There is a vast array of contraceptive methods available to postpartum women and families, including methods that can be started immediately after giving birth and methods that can used safely while breastfeeding. Understanding these options is critical if people are to make informed decisions, prevent unintended pregnancies, and achieve family planning goals. The goal of the Family Planning Ahead project is to help us better understand people’s experiences making decisions about postpartum contraception and whether Birth Control After Pregnancy—a decision aid coproduced by patients, health professionals, and researchers—improves care experiences and outcomes.
Dartmouth Institute researchers, working in collaboration with external partners, are testing the new Birth Control After Pregnancy decision aid in two studies. First, we are conducting an Internet-based randomized controlled trial in which pregnant women residing across the United States are randomly assigned to receive either the decision aid or existing information materials. Data on women’s decision self-efficacy and other outcomes will be collected via a survey administered two weeks later and compared between the groups. Second, we are conducting a non-randomized before-and-after hospital-based study of women receiving prenatal care before and after implementation of the decision aid. Data on women’s perceived support in decision-making and other outcomes will be collected via a survey administered 10 weeks after the participants’ estimated due dates and compared between the groups.
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Other institutions: Regan Theiler, Dartmouth-Hitchcock; Hillary Washburn, patient partner; Elisabeth Woodhams, Boston University School of Medicine
Family Planning Ahead is funded by a grant from the Society of Family Planning Research Fund.
For more information: www.familyplanningahead.org