It is important to help women and their partners to gain increased control over their reproductive health. One of the main ways you can do this is through counselling on family planning methods during late pregnancy, the postpartum and the post-abortion periods.
Family planning is about deciding how many children you choose to have and when you want to have them (timing of pregnancies and birth spacing). The recommended interval before attempting the next pregnancy is at least 24 months in order to reduce risks to the mother and infant. A woman can become pregnant within several weeks after birth if she has sexual relations and if she is not breastfeeding exclusively. It is important that as a health worker you discuss the importance of family planning and birth spacing, and help couples in choosing the contraceptive method that is right for them.
The role of family planning counselling is to support a woman and her partner in choosing the method of family planning that best suits them and to support them in solving any problems that may arise with the selected method.