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Following the International Population and Development Conference in Cairo, there has been widespread consensus in the international community that family planning (FP) programs must be people-centered and focus not just on contraception, but on the reproductive health (RH) of men and women throughout their lives. This policy brief reviews the research and policy implications of promoting the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) as a component of FP counseling in India. The Government of India and the Population Council are using a pregnancy-based approach in Uttar Pradesh to improve the delivery of FP services through the rural primary health care system. Introducing pregnant women and their families to LAM offers a number of health benefits for mother and child. It promotes breastfeeding, which benefits the mother by reducing risk of postpartum hemorrhage and lowering risk of breast and ovarian cancers. The benefits to the fully breastfed infant include protection from hypothermia, neonatal hypoglycemia, and infections, in addition to nutritional advantages. Breastfeeding reduces postpartum fertility, thus delaying the need to use other contraceptive methods. LAM introduces couples to the concept of nonpermanent contraception and child spacing in a culturally acceptable way.






Asia & Near East Operations Research and Technical Assistance Project