Postpartum family planning: current evidence on successful interventions

Open Access J Contracept. 2016 Apr 11;7:53-67. doi: 10.2147/OAJC.S98817. eCollection 2016.


We reviewed existing evidence of the efficacy of postpartum family planning interventions targeting women in the 12 months postpartum period in low- and middle-income countries. We searched for studies from January 1, 2004 to September 19, 2015, using the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations to assess evidence quality. Our search resulted in 26 studies: 11 based in sub-Saharan Africa, six in the Middle East and North Africa, and nine in Asia. Twenty of the included studies assessed health facility-based interventions. Three were focused on community interventions, two had community and facility components, and one was a workplace program. Overall quality of the evidence was moderate, including evidence for counseling interventions. Male partner involvement, integration with other service delivery platforms, such as prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and immunization, and innovative product delivery programs may increase knowledge and use during the postpartum period. Community-based and workplace strategies need a much stronger base of evidence to prompt recommendations.

Keywords: birth spacing; contraception; family planning; interventions; less developed countries; postpartum period; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review