Postpartum Family Planning for Community Health Workers

This package provides all of the tools and materials needed to conduct a 3-day workshop to help community health workers learn how to counsel mothers, families and communities about postpartum family planning (PPFP). The content covers counseling on return to fertility as well as suitable family planning (FP) method choices, primarily for breastfeeding mothers. Emphasis is placed on the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) and the transition to other modern methods of family planning. Content focuses on helping the mother make the best method choice and understand how to use it.

The package emphasizes the importance of “no missed opportunities” to give women appropriate PPFP messages. This means that every client contact with pregnant or postpartum women is used to provide appropriate counsel and services. This package provides the content that is needed for PPFP counseling. It will, however, be up to the individual country/locale to decide where, when, and how many times the CHW is expected to visit the mother to give these PPFP messages. Ideally, these visits will be conducted during pregnancy, at the end of pregnancy and several times in the postpartum period.

The components of this package include:

  • A participants’ manual – This manual includes those items that the CHWs will need as they proceed through the training, including the reasons for PPFP, PPFP counseling and the role of the CHW; how to be a good counselor, counseling couples, counseling the fathers; healthy spacing of pregnancy, and return to fertility.
  • The facilitator’s manual, which includes the overview of the course, the pre-test and answer key, detailed session plans, the handouts that you will use with participants, and a set of illustrative counseling flip-charts. A set of graphics which contain the content for each session is included.

As with all competency-based trainings, the sessions are highly interactive with the focus on small-group work, demonstration/return demonstration, case studies, games, and role plays to stimulate interest, energy, and active participation of the learners. This is especially important for the community health worker with limited (6th grade) literacy level. Visual aids are particularly important.

Additional information is also provided in the folder of Reference Materials. The PPFP Message Guide is a key reference for this training. Likewise, job aids and other resources will support CHWs in transferring newly acquired knowledge and skills in the communities they serve.