Making family planning work for the community
of children in the family will affect the health and well-being of every family
member. Encourage men to:
• use condoms.
• support their partners in whatever family planning method they choose.
• talk to other men in the community about the importance of family planning.
Family planning programs that work
Midwives help individual women and men decide about family planning
methods. In this work, they may find that family planning is difficult to get in their
communities. Midwives may then get involved in making family planning
programs work better.
What makes a family planning program work to improve a woman’s health,
her knowledge, and her control over her body?
• A wide choice of methods, for both men and women, with clear information
about benefits and risks.
• Good testing to know if a woman has a health problem, such as high blood
pressure, that means she should not use a certain method. Good follow-up
care to make sure a method is not causing problems and to help the woman
try another if it is.
• Health services that include family planning along with care before, during,
and after birth, support for breastfeeding, treatment for infertility, and
treatment and prevention of STIs.
• Encouragement for men and women to share responsibility for birth control.
• Respect for local health providers and safe
traditional practices, including traditional
methods of regulating monthly bleeding and
family planning. Midwives often have good
experience combining traditional methods
with modern methods of care.
• Freedom from pressure and coercion.
Coercion means a health worker or someone
else pushes a woman to use family planning or
a certain method when she does not want to.
This happens when programs limit the choice
of method or set targets (a certain number of
one method must be given). Targets make
health workers push people to accept a method
against their will or without full information.
These can be problems with family planning
programs funded by large groups outside the
community, such as international donors and
Health workers should be free
from pressure about which
methods to offer women.
A Book for Midwives (2010)