Postpartum family planning (PPFP) is a service delivery strategy that expands access to FP through integration with 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 essential to allowing all women and girls to achieve their reproductive intentions.
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. Integrating family planning services into maternal health services is an effective strategy for taking advantage of women’s increased contacts with the health care system in the time period around childbirth. More importantly, increasing the uptake of PPFP has the potential to protect and empower women at a crucial time in their lives, establish healthy birth spacing practices, and reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality.
Increasing PPFP uptake would also make a large contribution towards Family Planning 2020’s (FP2020) goals of increasing rights-based contraceptive access and use in its focus countries and ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights by 2030, as laid out in Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 5.
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 PPFP. The PPFP Global Meeting allowed countries to develop specific action plans and build consensus with local partners and policymakers towards their implementation.
Momentum in PPFP has continued thanks to several key factors, beginning with the June 2015 Global PPFP Meeting held in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Jhpiego’s subsequent stewardship of the movement; revisions to the WHO’s Medical Eligibility Criteria to allow for an expanded method mix for PP women; increased donor interest; and progress in country-level commitment and programming.
Meeting the frequently-overlooked needs and rights of postpartum women – and resolving the persistent inequities they face - remains the core of the PPFP movement. With renewed support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the focus on country-level commitment and improved programming in PPFP has been sustained and amplified, including an added focus on post-abortion family planning (PAFP).
Since 2015, there have been several developments in the management of the PPFP collaboration as well as in the field that require a shift in the scope of the movement. As of March 2017, the PPFP/PAFP movement is now managed by the FP2020 Secretariat. This allows the integration of the PPFP work, as well as the inclusion of PAFP into the Secretariat’s work and especially within the FP2020 focal point structure – where each commitment-making country is represented by government, donor, and civil society partners - already in place. Using a rights-based framework, each FP2020 country focal point team develops a Country Action Plan that is aligned with a country’s Costed Implementation Plan (CIP), or other existing country strategies, policies, and 2017 FP2020 commitments, and lays out a shared working agenda for the focal points, Secretariat, and partners. Additionally, for countries with identified PPFP/PAFP priorities, these will be integrated into their FP2020 Country Action Plans.
Burkina Faso Strengthens Commitment to Scaling Up PPFP Services
Dec. 16, 2016--Since the PPFP Global Meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand in June 2015, Burkina Faso has made significant progress in ensuring that facilities and health providers are prepared to offer safe and effective family planning methods after birth. After significant advocacy efforts, several key partners have strengthened their commitment to support the Ministry of Health for scaling up PPFP services. Since February 2016, Burkina Faso has:
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.