Family Planning and Immunization Integration: Reaching postpartum women with family planning services

What is the promising high-impact practice in family planning service delivery?

Offer family planning information and services proactively to women in the extended postpartum period during routine child immunization contacts. The extended postpartum period is defined as the 12 months following a birth.


Most women in the extended postpartum period want to delay or avoid future pregnancies but many are not using a modern contraceptive method. Improving uptake of postpartum family planning (PPFP) can enhance the health of women, infants, and children. Closely spaced births (less than 18 to 24 months apart) are associated with increased maternal, newborn, and child morbidity and mortality including preterm birth, low birth weight, and increased neonatal and under age 5 death. Evidence also suggests that unintended pregnancies are associated with negative outcomes such such as increased likelihood of inadequate immunization, stunting, and increased maternal anxiety and depression. Despite the significant benefits of the use of voluntary family planning to save lives and improve health outcomes, a large proportion of women in the extended postpartum period may not access contraception as suggested by the fact that birth-to-pregnancy intervals in 50% or more of pregnancies in many low- and middle-income countries are too short (less than 23 months). Given this, it is crucial to take advantage of every health care contact with pregnant and postpartum women to offer family planning information, counseling, and services.