Family Planning for Postpartum Women: Seizing a Missed Opportunity

This brief discusses the following points:

  • Postpartum women have a high unmet need for family planning (FP).
  • Health services often pay little attention to postpartum care, including FP.
  • Women who are breastfeeding have special needs when selecting a FP method; however, in the right circumstances, all methods of modern contraception may be used.
  • The goals of a postpartum FP program are to: reduce unmet need; improve contraceptive choice; promote optimum health for both mother and baby through breastfeeding; encourage birth spacing of three to five years; and integrate FP with other maternal health and newborn services.
  • Contraception is the primary method of reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.


2 p
INFO Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs