Unmet need for family planning is extremely high among women in the postpartum period. More than 90% of postpartum women in developing countries desire to space or limit a subsequent pregnancy, yet 61% are not using a family planning method. This means that we’re not getting postpartum women the family planning options they want. Only a minority of these women use a family planning (FP) method, and many do not use an FP method consistently or for the recommended 24 months between a birth and next pregnancy. Increasing the uptake of postpartum family planning (PPFP) has the potential to protect and empower postpartum women and make a large contribution towards the goal of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), a critical milestone to ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights by 2030, as laid out in Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 5, and is key to unlocking all development priorities.
Though most women want to delay their pregnancy for at least two years after giving birth, PPFP use is low. Uptake of PPFP has the potential to make a large contribution toward the global goals, yet it remains unavailable to millions of women and girls in the developing world. PPFP is a service delivery strategy that expands access to FP through integration within the existing continuum of maternal, newborn and child health services. Well-implemented, national PPFP programs that deliver family planning services to postpartum women in the first two years after birth using these integrated channels are an essential platform for reaching global FP goals and saving lives of women and children at the same time. Now is a better time than ever to increase access to this life-saving intervention. With updated guidance from the World Health Organization, more postpartum contraceptive options are available than ever before. More women across the globe want to plan their families. More countries are including PPFP in their health strategies. Recognizing this opportune time, global health leaders have galvanized a worldwide movement around greater access to PPFP.
The Postpartum Family Planning Global Movement is an international effort to advance access to postpartum family planning (PPFP), or family planning within one year of giving birth. The PPFP Global Movement aims to catalyze change at the global, regional, and national level to support PPFP as a life-saving intervention for women and their babies and a key strategy to achieving international family planning goals.
Convened in 2015 by Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) in technical partnership with Jhpiego and in coordination with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program, the United Nations Population Fund and the World Health Organization (WHO), and joined by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, Track20, and Advance Family Planning (AFP) in 2016, the movement aims to fast-track country progress toward FP2020’s goal of reaching an additional 120 million women and girls access with lifesaving contraceptive information, services and supplies by 2020 by focusing on postpartum women, whose family planning needs are frequently overlooked.
The PPFP movement began in June 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where a global, action-oriented meeting, titled “Accelerating Access to Postpartum Family Planning in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia” (the “PPFP Global Meeting”), was held with family planning, maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH)representatives from select countries and key international stakeholders to accelerate access to postpartum family planning (PPFP). The PPFP Global Meeting catalyzed learning into action as countries developed specific action plans and built consensus with local partners and policymakers towards their implementation.
Afghanistan Increases Access to Contraceptives by Expanding Method Mix, Bolstering Training
Sept. 22, 2016—Since the PPFP Global Meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand in June 2015, Afghanistan has made significant progress in ensuring women have access to safe and effective family planning methods after birth. After the Chiang Mai meeting, a National Family Planning Meeting was convened where PPFP held a key part of the agenda.
As a result of these national discussions, Afghanistan has:
Afghanistan is looking forward to expanding their training to build the capacity of even more health providers in all methods available for postpartum women and exploring where additional integration could take place as part of maternal or child health services so additional women have access to postpartum family planning.
Check back here for updates and progress from other countries.
During the PPFP Global Meeting in June 2015, country delegations composed of Ministry of Health representatives from Family Planning and Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health divisions, donors, implementing partners, professional associations, and academia developed context-specific country action plans to accelerate access to PPFP. These delegations returned home to gain consensus from key stakeholders and initiate action plan implementation. These action plans reflect the six month period from July to December 2015; they are not official national documents but are formative strategies to catalyze progress in PPFP.
Blog: Spotlight on Madagascar: Growing the Postpartum Family Planning Movement (Anne Pfitzer, MCSP Family Planning Team Lead, JHPIEGO)
Blog: Five African states Help Women Prevent Pregnancy Right After Birth (Dr. Isaac Malonza, Jhpiego regional director for East and Northern Africa, and Lindsay Breithaupt, senior programme co-ordinator for Jhpiego’s technical leadership office of family planning and reproductive health)
Blog: Thinking Outside the “Family Planning Box” to Ensure No Missed Opportunities (Sadie Healy, MCSP Family Planning Senior Program Coordinator)
Blog: Global Commitments, Local Actions: Postpartum Family Planning Champions Deliver (Sruti Ramadugu, MCSP Communications Specialist)
Blog: Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals through Postpartum Family Planning (Angeline Mutunga, the East Africa Regional Program Advisor for Advance Family Planning, based at the Jhpiego Kenya Office, and Catherine Njeri Ndungu, Communications Specialist for Jhpiego in Kenya)