- Allowing a 24-month interval between a woman’s last birth and her next pregnancy,
- Allowing at least a 6-month interval between a woman’s last miscarriage or abortion and her next pregnancy
- Planning that avoids pregnancies in women younger than 18 or older than 35
- Avoiding additional pregnancies for women who have already had 5 or more births (including stillbirths)
Adhering to these tenets are key to preventing many adverse health outcomes for a mother and her baby, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where access to quality medical care may be sparse. Traditionally, HTSP work has focused on delaying early pregnancies and endorsing healthy birth-to-pregnancy intervals. This has left a gap in HTSP work specifically targeted at preventing pregnancies in women of advanced maternal age (AMA; when a woman is 35 or older) and high parity (HP; when a woman has had 5 or more births), which present their own risks.
In its efforts to understand more about the scale of AMA and HP HTSP work to date, HC3 conducted a literature scan report, and more recently an evidence review and secondary DHS analysis report. Both reports are available in French and English.
The literature scan highlights the dearth of current HTSP programming for AMA/HP women and makes recommendations for future research and efforts. The evidence review and secondary DHS analysis highlights the health outcomes and risks for AMA and HP pregnancies, and gives an overview of fertility preferences and other family planning information for all women, as well as specific AMA and HP DHS findings for Benin and Niger – two countries in the focal region for HC3’s future HTSP work with these populations.
HC3 is also preparing to conduct additional secondary data analysis on HTSP, as well as formative research on AMA and HP in Niger and Togo. The project will use all information gathered to ultimately create a collection of adaptable communication materials focused on HTSP messaging for AMA/HP that will serve as a complimentary resource to other HTSP materials for existing FP programs.
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