Providers and other clinic staff are often the primary and most trusted source of information and advice for patients seeking a family planning method. Any staff with whom patients have contact, from cleaning staff to a delivery nurse, have the potential to encourage or dissuade women from a family planning method.
Whether at an understaffed public health center or a private practice where “time is money,” providers first need to be motivated to offer and proactively counsel clients on PPIUD and other postpartum family planning services. What motivates an individual provider to integrate PPIUD will vary, from the altruistic desire to meet the needs of postpartum patients, to professional recognition, to opportunities for additional income generation. Demotivating factors are equally diverse and might include the additional time required to offer a PPIUD, misconceptions about its safety, or a lack of confidence in one's PPIUD insertion skills.
Communicating benefits & addressing barriers to PPIUD
The following messages emphasize the benefits of PPIUD from a provider perspective, and can be integrated into communications materials to generate provider support for PPIUD. Note that it is important for program planners to identify the perceived benefits and costs of individual providers and tailor sensitization accordingly.
- Access. PPIUD provision creates an opportunity to reach women who might not otherwise access clinical family planning services.
- Time. PPIUD insertion takes only a few seconds and eliminates the need for a separate family planning consultation.
- Safety. PPIUD insertion is a safe procedure, with risk of perforation or infection similar to that of interval insertion (very low).The risk of expulsion may be higher with postpartum insertion, but it can be significantly reduced by proper insertion technique (high fundal placement).
- Equipment. Additional commodities beyond standard delivery equipment are not required (gloves, speculum, forceps).