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October 2021

Stud Fam Plann. 1998 Mar; 29(1): 41-57.

Postpartum contraceptive use in Bangladesh: understanding users' perspectives.

Salway S, Nurani S.

Centre for Population Studies, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, United Kingdom.

Qualitative and quantitative data are used to explore postpartum contraceptive use in two populations in Bangladesh. Findings from in-depth interviews with contraceptive users illustrate that women are primarily concerned with their own and their newborn child's health and well-being in the period following childbirth. In addition, women are aware of a diminished risk of pregnancy during the period of postpartum amenorrhea. These perceptions, plus a belief that modern methods of contraception are "strong" and potentially damaging to health, mean that the majority of women are reluctant to adopt family planning methods soon after birth, despite a desire to avoid closely spaced pregnancies. Supplementation of the child's diet is also shown to be an important factor determining the timing of postpartum contraceptive initiation. The findings suggest that current policies promoting contraception to women in the immediate postpartum period are inappropriate for many Bangladeshi women.

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