A mother is the newborn’s best chance for survival. Unfortunately, the specific needs of pregnant and lactating women (PLW) and their newborns and young infants (0-6 months) are often overlooked. Ensuring optimal nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy offers a critical opportunity for positive health outcomes for both the mother and her newborn, and sets the course for better outcomes through infancy and childhood. In humanitarian settings, separate coordination, implementation, and funding structures for nutrition and health encourage siloed programming, resulting in missed opportunities for collaboration, continuity of care, and improved outcomes. The humanitarian sector must strive for a system in which the mother-newborn dyad is strengthened and nourished through the collaboration of the health and nutrition sectors to deliver quality, accessible, continuity of care within and between services.
Success Depends on Collaboration: Cross-Sector Technical Brief on Maternal and Newborn Health and Nutrition in Humanitarian Settings from the IAWG Maternal and Newborn Health Sub working Group aims to bolster this collaborative effort by equipping nutrition program staff with essential MNH knowledge in humanitarian contexts as well as MNH program staff with essential nutrition knowledge. Providing nutrition and health program staff with these guidelines, tools, resources, and examples of best practices, can improve linkages and integrated service delivery across nutrition and maternal and newborn health in a humanitarian response.