Mother and Child Health Programme

Mother and Child Health Programme: To ensure the full well-being of the children within the family and society, mother and child health services are given. Every element of India’s community health programme has a remarkable influence on children’s health.

Development of Mother and Child Health Programme

  • 1921- The health service for mothers and children started.
  • 1931 – A maternal and child welfare service was founded by the Red Cross society.
  • 1938 Indian Research Fund Association investigated the causes of maternal morbidity and mortality.
  • The 1946 – Bhore committee revealed that India was having the problem of high maternal and infant mortality.
  • 1954 – First five-year plan continued and the BCG vaccine is introduced by CDRI Lucknow.
  • 1960-School health committee was formed.
  • 1971 – Parliament passed the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) bill, which came into force in 1972. 
  •  1975-ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) was launched.
  • 1979 – On World Health Day, “A healthy child- A sure future” was the theme.
  • 1984 – “Children’s Health – Tomorrow’s Health” -was the WHO theme.
  • 1985 – Universal immunization programme was launched.
  • 1987 The World Bank has initiated a global ‘healthy motherhood’ initiative. The WHO theme was ‘Immunization-A Chance for every Child.
  • 1992 – On August 20, CSSM (Child Survival and Healthy Motherhood Programme) was released. The Infant Food Act came into effect.
  • 1995 – The ICDS was renamed IMCD (Integrated Mother and Child Development services).
  • 1996- Prenatal diagnostic techniques act 1994 came into force.
  • Pulse polio immunization was launched.
  • Family welfare programme made target free.

Objectives of Mother and Child Health Programme

  • To reduce preterm birth.
  • To reduce fetal and infant death.
  • To increase the proportion of mothers who breastfeed their babies.
  • To identify the cases of “high risk” and provide them special treatment.
  • To prevent communicable and non-communicable diseases.
  • To provide skilled assistance at the time of the birth of a child.
  • To educate the mother to improve the health of her and her children.
  • To provide expert advice to the couples to plan their families.
  • To encourage the deliveries by trained workers in a safe and clean environment.
  • To give useful knowledge to mothers during pregnancy.

Aims of Mother and Child Health Services

  • To have effective control of maternal mortality and morbidity.
  • To pay attention to safe childhood and stability in the population.
  • To pay attention to Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) for the health of women boys, girls and postnatal mothers.
  • To have successful safe pregnancies.
  • To provide safe control of reproductive health for men and women.

Components of Reproductive and Child Health

  • Prevention or management of STD and AIDS.
  • Referral services.
  • Family planning services.
  • Growth monitoring and nutritional education.
  • Child survival and safe motherhood programme (CSSM).
  • Providing counselling, information and communication services on health.

Importance of Maternal and Child Health Services

  • To maintain pregnant women’s health and well-being.
  • Mother and child are considered as a weaker group or special risk group of complications community.
  • To identify and risk factors that initiate during pregnancy.
  • Many mother and child health issues are preventable.
  • Health programmes for mothers and children include; protection from morbidity and mortality.

Mother and Child Health Services (MCH)

  1. Ante-natal care services.
  2. Intra-natal care services.
  3. Post-natal care services.
  4. Neo-natal care services.

(1) Ante-natal care:

Women are provided with this service during pregnancy. Its goal is to provide a healthy mother and a healthy baby at the end of pregnancy.


  • Promote, safeguard and preserve women’s health during pregnancy.
  • Identify incidents of high risk and give them special care.
  • Identify and avoid pregnancy risks.
  • Educate the mother about nutrition, clothing and personal hygiene.

Services provided:

  • Prenatal advice related to diet, personal hygiene and exercise.
  • Prenatal services include; physical examination, iron and folic acid supplementation, lab investigations.
  • Protect the mother against nutrition deficiency of iron.

(2) Intra-natal services:

This service is provided to women during childbirth. It aims to provide good intra-natal care so that complications can be prevented.


  • Provide thorough asepsis.
  • Prevent complications such as; haemorrhage, convulsions, etc.
  • Provide care to the baby.
  • Deliver the baby without injury to the baby and mother.

Services Provided:

  • Domiciliary care.
  • Place the mother comfortably on the bed after delivery and provide some hot drinks (tea or coffee).
  • Clean the mother, fix napkins, and demonstrate prenatal care.

(3) Post Natal Services:

These services are provided to the mother after delivery. It includes the care of the mother and the care of a newborn.


  • Providing Family planning services.
  • To check that breastfeeding is sufficient.
  • Providing treatment for the mother’s rapid return to optimal health.

Services Provided:

  • Postnatal examination
  • Haemoglobin examination during the postnatal visit.
  • Teach postnatal exercises
  • Family planning services
  • Health checkup

(4) Neo-natal care services:

Upon the birth of a child, this service is given. For a child, early neonatal treatment in the first week of life is most important. In the first 24 to 48 hours after birth, the risk of death is highest.


  • Body temperature maintenance.
  • Infection avoidance.
  • Cardio respiratory infection management.
  • Early diagnosis of congenital and acquired disorders and treatment.
  • Setting up a suitable feeding schedule.

Services Provided:

  • Immunization
  • Breast feeding
  • Growth and development
  • Personal hygiene
  • Detection of health problems and treatment
Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on : Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme
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