Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy (HTSP) is an under-utilized approach to family planning (FP) and maternal and child health (MCH) education, counseling and services to help families have planned pregnancies at the healthiest times of their lives for the best outcomes for mother and child. Although many FP and MCH programs promote birth spacing, HTSP elevates the role of spacing between pregnancies, rather than births, and stresses the impact on maternal, neonatal and child health.
HTSP activities and research to date have focused on the first two approaches in this list: delaying pregnancies until after age 18 and spacing pregnancies at least 24 months after the preceding birth. However, a recent HC3 desk review revealed that little to no work has focused on social and behavior change communication (SBCC) around the last two themes: pregnancies in women aged 35 and older (of advanced maternal age, or AMA) and women having five or more (high-parity, or HP) births.
HC3 conducted qualitative research around the drivers and determinants of AMA and HP pregnancies in Togo and Niger, and pretested approaches to address them using SBCC. HC3 then developed this implementation kit (I-Kit) to help program managers emphasize and include AMA and HP pregnancy risk information in their existing FP and MCH programs.
The HTSP I-Kit is designed to help program managers address the risks of pregnancies among women aged 35 and older (of advanced maternal age, or AMA) and women having five or more births (high-parity, or HP) in their family planning or maternal and child health programs.
The I-Kit is divided into two parts:
- Sections to help review the local data, apply SBCC approaches to design a strategy, integrate AMA and HP into FP and MCH programs, develop an action plan, adapt SBCC communication materials, and prepare a monitoring and evaluation plan.
- Adaptable SBCC communication materials, including: counseling guides for providers/CHWs; a provider poster; client brochures; guides for working with community-based groups, researchers and journalists; and infographics.
Click here for full details and access to kit.