The Indian Family Welfare Program, though successful in increasing contraceptive use among couples who have achieved their desired family size, has failed in educating people about the importance and need of using contraceptive methods for spacing births. With its Indian collaborators, the Population Council’s Frontiers in Reproductive Health (FRONTIERS) program undertook a study to test a model to increase use of postpartum contraception among young pregnant women with a parity of 0 or 1. The study showed that the Behavior Change Communication (BCC) model developed to promote Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy (HTSP) was effective in promoting the lactational amenorrhea method and postpartum contraception and could be rolled out easily; misconceptions about the return of fertility and its links to the biological marker of the menstrual cycle are the main barriers in a timely beginning of postpartum contraception; and acceptance of community workers (CWs) in a family increases if counseling focuses on HTSP and its benefits to mother, child, and family. The report concludes that the complementing effort by CWs of two Ministries to achieve similar objectives is feasible and provides a synergistic effect. The BCC materials, counseling aids, and messages developed for the projects are ready to use in scaling up the program.
Khan, M.E., Mary Philip Sebastian, Usha Sharma, Rukma Idnani, Kaushal Kumari, Bharati Maheshwari, and Shahid Ashraf. 2008. "Promoting healthy timing and spacing of births in India through a community-based approach," FRONTIERS Final Report. Washington, DC: Population Council.
Frontiers in Reproductive Health