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.