Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Counselling for maternal and newborn health care

A handbook for building skills

World Health Organization

Book cover image.

Publication details

Number of pages: 233
Publication date: 2009, updated in 2013
Languages: English and French
ISBN: 978 924154762 8
WHO reference number: NLM classification: WA 310



The main aim of this MNH Counselling Handbook is to strengthen counselling and communication skills of health providers including skilled birth attendants, helping them to effectively discuss with women, their husbands/partners and families and communities the important issues surrounding pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, postnatal and post-abortion care. Key information from the clinical guide “Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum and Newborn Care: A guide for essential practice” (PCPNC) has been integrated.

The Handbook relies on a self-directed learning approach. Although it is designed to be used by groups of health workers with the help of a facilitator, it can also be used by an individual. All topical sessions contain specific aims and objectives, clearly outlining the skills that will be developed and corresponding learning outcomes. Practical activities have been designed to encourage reflection, provoke discussions, build skills and ensure the local relevance of information. There is a review at the end of each session to ensure that the learner has understood the key points before progressing to subsequent sessions.

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