Five African states help women prevent pregnancy right after birth

May 30, 2016

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Policy and Enabling Environment

Postpartum & Post-Abortion Family Planning

When Kenyan Eunice Achieng, 24, found out that she was pregnant for the fourth time in six years she could not stop crying. Her other pregnancies had been hard on her young body and her first two babies were always in the hospital. Weak, sick and feeling alone, Eunice knew that she did not want to get pregnant again.

Nearly 1 in 3 women in poorer countries have an unintended and completely avoidable pregnancy within 2 years of a birth. According to a 2001 paper published in the journal International Family Planning Perspectives, even though over 90% of postpartum women want to delay their next pregnancy, nearly 65% are not using any form of contraception. This situation shows that new mothers do not have what they need to plan their families and their lives.

Postpartum family planning -- when a woman starts using a modern contraceptive method within two years of giving birth -- is critical to empower women to make choices about whether to delay their next pregnancy and avoid unintended pregnancies and abortions.

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