Birth spacing and informed family planning choices after childbirth in Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo: Participatory action research to design and evaluate a decision-making tool for providers and their clients

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Patient Education and Counseling, 2018, 101 (10), pp. 1871 - 1875
Issue Date:
2018-10-01
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© 2018 Objectives: Postpartum family planning (PPFP) is essential for maternal and newborn health but is often not systematically addressed before or after childbirth. This article describes the development and field-testing of a PPFP counseling tool to support providers and women. Methods: Participatory action research involving women, men, providers, policymakers, researchers, and contraceptive experts from Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Results: The tool consists of an A4-size flipchart with illustrations on the client side and clinical information and counseling tips on the provider side, and can be used during visits of the antenatal-delivery-postnatal care continuum. Qualitative results suggest that the tool is easily understandable, user-friendly, relevant, and useful with regard to providing PPFP information to clients, and respectful of clients’ rights and choices. It may have a positive influence on clients’ attitudes towards PPFP and their decision to use contraception. Conclusions: The tool holds promise in guiding a systematic discussion on birth spacing options among providers and clients. Its impact on contraceptive uptake requires further research. Practice implications: If proven effective, the tool could be disseminated to Ministries of Health and local, regional, and global partners to strengthen national family planning and maternal and child health strategies in low-resource countries.
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