Author(s): Glasier AF, Logan J, McGlew TJ
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Abstract Women were interviewed to determine what advice they received about postpartum contraception and what they thought of it. Only 4\% of women discussed postpartum contraception antenatally. Up to 84\% discussed the issue with a midwife on the postnatal ward but discussion was often felt to be brief, limited and frequently held as the mother was leaving the hospital. Obstetricians appeared to have little interest in the subject and only 50\% of mothers left the hospital with supplies of a contraceptive. Almost all women discussed contraception with their general practitioner at the postnatal check but a significant number felt that the choice of method was limited to condoms or pills. The postnatal check is traditionally held at six weeks--two to three weeks after the recommended time for starting contraceptive precautions. Women with short inter-pregnancy intervals were younger, less likely to be married and more likely to default from postnatal follow-up. Pregnant women should be offered the opportunity during the antenatal period to discuss postpartum contraception with someone who has a special interest in the subject. The postnatal ward is not an appropriate setting for discussion about future contraception.
This article was published in Contraception
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health