The branch of health services that focuses on mothers and their children. This is an extremely important component of public health sciences and practice, comprising many facets of health promotion and protection, disease prevention before and during pregnancy, safe care throughout labor and delivery and during the postpartum period and subsequently, especially through the early childhood years. It also involves curative personal services, which may be provided by family physicians, pediatricians, and nurses. Providers of MCH may be members of a local (public) health department, a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), independent fee-for-service health care providers, or alternative health care practitioners. The emphasis is on promoting and protecting health: monitoring growth and development, advising on infant feeding, nutrition counseling throughout childhood, ensuring that infants and small children receive vaccinations, etc.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology — Social Work.