An examination of postpartum family planning in western Kenya: “I want to use contraception but I have not been told how to do so”
Postpartum family planning (FP) in Kenya is low due to inadequate sensitization and awareness among women, particularly in rural areas. This paper identifies most widely used types of FP, intent and unmet needs among women, FP counseling and barriers to FP uptake. Focus group discussions with providers, traditional birth attendants (TBAs) and mothers, as well as in-depth interviews identify key themes including preferred postpartum FP, limits to existing FP counseling and barriers to FP uptake. Postpartum FP is common including injectable contraceptives, oral contraceptives, coils, condoms, and calendar methods. FP counseling is provided by peers, friends, TBAs and formal health providers. FP practices are associated with family support, literacy, access to FP information, side effects, costs and religion. In conclusion, changes in service provision and education could encourage increase in postpartum FP use in Kenya. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17: 44-53).
Keywords: Kenya; Postpartum family planning; Family planning counseling; Family planning barriers; Traditional birth attendants
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