Postpartum family planning services should be a top reproductive health priority

December 11, 2015, Population and Development Review

Approximately one-quarter of inter-birth intervals in low- and middle-income countries are less than 24 months in length, exposing infants to risks of prematurity, low birthweight, and death. Increased evidence of these health risks has emerged in the past few decades and, after a period of neglect, interest in postpartum family planning has followed, supported by organizations like WHO and USAID.

How successful have interventions and projects to improve postpartum uptake been? A new study published in Studies in Family Planning as part of the December special issue "Postpartum and Post-Abortion Contraception: From Research to Programs" analyzes data from 35 studies (19 of which were not included in earlier reviews) to address this important question, and identifies program implications and future research priorities.

Key findings include that counseling before discharge from a maternity unit likely has an impact on subsequent contraceptive use and that the integration of into immunization and pediatric services is justified (despite few programs offering these services).

The case can also be made for relaxing the strict conditions for LAM (the Lactational Amenorrhea Method based on the premise that breastfeeding interferes with the release of the hormones needed to trigger ovulation) to be considered an effective postpartum contraceptive method.

The authors note: "In view of the findings, the ideal strategy is to incorporate contraceptive advice and services across the continuum of reproductive healthcare." Four types of interventions are analyzed—antenatal, postnatal, combined ante- and postnatal, and integration with other services—and a range of countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are included.

Explore further: Attention to postpartum contraception needed

More information: John Cleland et al. Interventions to Improve Postpartum Family Planning in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Program Implications and Research Priorities, Studies in Family Planning (2015). DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2015.00041.x

Related Stories

Attention to postpartum contraception needed

April 2, 2014
(HealthDay)—Women in the postpartum period should receive counseling and access to contraceptive methods to promote optimal birth spacing, according to research published in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics ...

Put birth control in place right after childbirth

July 26, 2016
(HealthDay)—Obstetrician-gynecologists should counsel pregnant women about use of long-acting reversible contraception, such as implants and IUDs, immediately after they give birth, a leading group of U.S. doctors says.

Free postpartum contraception optimizes pregnancy intervals

July 17, 2013
(HealthDay)—Providing postpartum contraception to low-income women through publicly-funded programs helps avoid short pregnancy intervals, according to research published online July 8 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

ACOG provides guidance on optimizing postpartum care

May 27, 2016
(HealthDay)—To optimize postpartum care, anticipatory guidance should be implemented during pregnancy, according to a Committee Opinion published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Research evaluates risk factors for postpartum depression in mothers of preterm infants

September 13, 2016
Postpartum depression is the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting up to 15 percent of all women within the first three months following delivery. Research has shown that mothers of infants born ...

Immediate birth control implant more cost-effective

June 9, 2015
Women who have just given birth are often motivated to prevent a rapid, repeat pregnancy. For those who prefer a contraceptive implant, getting the procedure in the hospital immediately after giving birth is more cost-effective ...

Recommended for you

New study finds fake, low-quality medicines prevalent in the developing world

August 10, 2018
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that substandard and falsified medicines, including medicines to treat malaria, are a serious problem in much of the world. In low- and middle-income ...

Insurance status tied to higher self-perceived poor/fair health

August 9, 2018
(HealthDay)—Underinsured and never insured adults are more likely than adequately insured adults to report poor/fair health and frequent mental distress (FMD), according to a study published online July 19 in the U.S. Centers ...

Giving kids plates with segments and pictures caused them to eat more vegetables

August 8, 2018
A pair of researchers at the University of Colorado has found that preschool kids ate more vegetables when presented with segmented plates with pictures of fruits and vegetables on them. In their paper published in JAMA Pediatrics, ...

Carbon dioxide levels on flight deck affect airline pilot performance

August 8, 2018
Commercial airline pilots were significantly better at performing advanced maneuvers in a flight simulator when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels on the flight deck (cockpit) were 700 parts per million (ppm) and 1500 ppm than when ...

Boxers or briefs? Loose-fitting underwear may benefit sperm production

August 8, 2018
Men who most frequently wore boxers had significantly higher sperm concentrations and total sperm counts when compared with men who did not usually wear boxers, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of ...

As Medicaid work requirements gain traction, experts propose ways to reduce potential harm

August 8, 2018
New Medicaid rules in several states mean low-income people will have to work, or prove they're too unhealthy to work, to receive health coverage. Other states want permission to require the same, which could affect millions ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.