Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy Toolkit

Healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy (HTSP) is an approach to family planning that helps women and families delay, space, or limit their pregnancies to achieve the healthiest outcomes for women, newborns, infants, and children. HTSP works within the context of free and informed contraceptive choice and takes into account fertility intentions and desired family size.

This Toolkit supports evidence-based recommendations from WHO and USAID that:
  • Women should delay their first pregnancy until at least age 18;
  • After a live birth, women should wait at least 24 months before attempting another pregnancy in order to reduce the risk of adverse maternal, perinatal and infant outcomes; and
  • After a miscarriage or induced abortion, women should wait at least 6 months before attempting another pregnancy to reduce risks of adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes.
This Toolkit for policy makers, program managers, and service providers includes:
  • key evidence on the health benefits of HTSP
  • international policy guidance from organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), UNFPA, and USAID
  • guidance and tools for advocating for HTSP
  • health communication tools that support the promotion of HTSP
  • training materials, counseling tools, and job aids for integrating HTSP counseling and messaging into health services
  • guidance and indicators for monitoring and evaluating HTSP efforts
  • examples of country-specific recommendations and experiences with HTSP messaging and programming
The Extending Service Delivery Project (ESD), in collaboration with FHI 360, Georgetown University's Institute for Reproductive Health, the Maternal Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), World Vision International, and the Knowledge for Health Project, comprised the Steering Committee that outlined the development of the Toolkit. HTSP Core Group members and HTSP Champions from 32 countries and 106 organizations and projects contributed resources.
 
If you have an experience to share about the introduction or provision of HTSP services, we invite you to tell us about it through the feedback form, where you can also suggest new resources for inclusion in the Toolkit. For more detailed information about this and other K4Health Toolkits, please visit the About page.

 

Toolkit last updated: March 10, 2015

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