Postpartum Contraceptive Decision Support Tool

Summary: 
Meeting people’s needs for birth control after having a baby can help people achieve their reproductive goals, as well as decrease the risk of preterm birth by increasing the amount of time between births. Given the personal nature of contraceptive decision making and a history in the US of reproductive injustices enacted on women of color, birth control counseling during pregnancy and after giving birth must be explicitly focused on individual’s own priorities and preferences. To inform efforts to improve counseling in this context, this project used interviews with women of color to understand what they wanted to know about birth control during this period, and how they wanted to receive this information.

 

RAP Awardee 
Christine Dehlendorf, MD, MAS

Award Cycle: Spring 2016


Background

Meeting people’s needs for birth control after having a baby can help people achieve their reproductive goals, as well as decrease the risk of preterm birth by increasing the amount of time between births. Given the personal nature of contraceptive decision-making and history in the US of reproductive injustices enacted on women of color, birth control counseling during pregnancy and after giving birth must be explicitly focused on an individual’s own priorities and preferences.

Objective

To inform efforts to improve counseling in this context, this project used interviews with women of color to understand what they wanted to know about birth control during this period, and how they wanted to receive this information.

Results

Participants reported that they were not counseled about how having recently had a baby could impact their health and use of birth control, including pregnancy spacing, when they could start methods and any impact of methods on breastfeeding. They strongly desired information about these topics. Many expressed openness to and acceptability of electronic educational tools and resources.

Conclusion

These findings were used to adapt an existing patient-centered decision support tool, designed and support women who want to prevent pregnancy to make an informed decision about birth control, to the specific needs of women who are pregnant or have recently had a baby. Through facilitating informed decision-making, this tool is designed to help women decrease their risk of preterm birth and achieve what they want in their reproductive lives.

Project team: 

Christine Dehlendorf, MD, MAS

Prof In Res-HCOMP
M_FCM-FamMed-ZSFG-Programs

As a family physician with advanced training in family planning and a Masters Degree in Clinical Research, I perform research and clinical work designed to address the family planning needs of low-income, diverse populations. My research program focuses on contraceptive counseling and family planning disparities.