Improving Quality of Post-Partum Family Planning in Low-Resource Settings

Postpartum Family Planning (PPFP) aims to prevent the high risk of unintended and closely spaced pregnancies during the first year following childbirth. It is one of the highest impact interventions to avoid increased risk of premature birth, low birth weight, fetal and neonatal death, and adverse maternal health outcomes.

Despite monumental gains in training and family planning commodities distribution, persistent system, and quality of care gaps continue to prevent many postpartum women from receiving effective PPFP services in low-resource countries. Major barriers include problems at the health facility level, barriers to demand for PPFP, and weaknesses in underlying health system functions needed to support PPFP services. Unmet demand for PPFP services remains high in many countries, resulting in a failure to achieve Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancies (HTSP) and indirectly contributing to high rates of maternal and child mortality.

This framework, developed by ASSIST, is designed to help managers and care providers at all system levels to understand common challenges in PPFP service delivery and specific solutions that may help to close these gaps. It outlines a new approach to improving PPFP services and outcomes, based on well-developed improvement methods that have proven effective and cost effective in other areas of health care. The framework provides a step-by-step approach for how PPFP programs can benefit from the application of improvement methods.