Awareness regarding birth spacing family planning methods among antenatal mothers

Vidhya Rajan, Saraswathi Kandasamy


Background: According to WHO, the ideal interval between two pregnancies is 24 months. In India the contraceptive needs of young couples especially in the area of spacing pregnancies is largely unmet. Hence this study is undertaken to know the pre-existing knowledge of our antenatal population regarding contraceptive methods available for birth spacing. Aim of the study was to the knowledge and attitude regarding birth spacing family planning methods among antenatal mothers.

Methods: It was a cross sectional study. Antenatal mothers attending the antenatal outpatient department of SBMCH, who are intending to have another child are invited to participate in this study. With informed consent, they are asked to fill a questionnaire, with questions regarding their knowledge and attitude towards the advantages and disadvantages of various contraceptive methods for birth spacing. The results of the study were analyzed by statistical analysis inrespect to various demographic factors of the population.

Results: Total 92%of antenatal mothers were aware of health benefits associated with birth spacing. Yet only 45% were willing to adopt a method of contraception. Condoms is the most commonly preferred method for contraception (33.3%) and fear for side effects (43%) is the most common reason for not accepting a particular method of contraception.

Conclusions: Though the awareness regarding the need and methods available for birth spacing methods of are widely prevalent in our urban based population, there is still a high percentage of mothers with misconceptions regarding the side effects associated with the birth spacing methods. Hence health education and counselling would improve the acceptance of contraceptive methods for birth spacing.


Birth spacing, Contraception, Birth interval

Full Text:



Report of a WHO Technical Consultation on Birth Spacing. World Health Organization, 2006. Available at: 10665/69855/1/WHO_RHR_07.1_eng.pdf. Accessed on 3 August 2020.

Conde-Agudelo A, Rosas-Bermúdez A, Kafury-Goeta AC. Birth spacing and risk of adverse perinatal outcomes: a meta-analysis. J Am Med Assoc. 2006;295(15):1809-23.

Conde‐Agudelo A, Rosas‐Bermudez A, Castaño F, Norton MH. Effects of birth spacing on maternal, perinatal, infant, and child health: a systematic review of causal mechanisms. Stud Fam Plann. 2012;43(2):93-114.

USAID, Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy: A Family Planning Investment Strategy for Accelerating the Pace of Improvements in Child Survival, Washington, DC. USA 2012.

Bongaarts J, Casterline J. Fertility transition: is sub-Saharan Africa different?. Populat Develop Rev. 2013;38(Suppl 1):153.

Lutalo T, Gray R, Santelli J, Guwatudde D, Brahmbhatt H, Mathur S, et al. Unfulfilled need for contraception among women with unmet need but with the intention to use contraception in Rakai, Uganda: a longitudinal study. Bio Med Centr Wom Heal. 2018;18(1):1-7.

Muhindo R, Okonya JN, Groves S, Chenault M. Predictors of contraceptive adherence among women seeking family planning services at Reproductive Health Uganda, Mityana Branch. Int J Populat Res. 2015;2015.

Sangavi R, Hatnoor S. Knowledge attitude and practice of contraception among antenatal care patients. Int J Reprod Contracept Obstet Gynecol. 2018;7:3065-8.

Utoo BT, Mutihir TJ, Utoo PM. Knowledge, attitude and practice of family planning methods among women attending antenatal clinic in Jos, North-central Nigeria. Niger J Med. 2010;19(2):214-8.

Singh M, Sinha R, Tyagi S. Awareness, attitude and practise of contraception among antenatal women in a tertiary care hospital in Uttarakhand. Int J Med Heal Res. 20206;(6):13-6.

Kruthika K, Metgud CS. Knowledge score regarding contraceptive methods among married women in urban areas of Belagavi. Int J Commun Med Pub Heal. 2017;4(4):1303-6.

Gadre SS, Ahirwar R. Level of acceptance of IUCD insertion in Indian women-a cross-sectional mixed research from central India. Int J Reprod Contracept Obstet Gynecol. 2015;4(4):1079-85.

Sanskriti P, Amita T, Pratima M, Rupali D, Jyotsna S, Kumar A. Exploring reasons behind Low acceptance for PPIUCD in postnatal women. N Ind J Surg. 2011;2(4):246.

Westoff C. Depot medroxyprogesterone acetateinjection: a highly effective contraception withproven long term safety. Contraception. 2011;68(2):75-87

Rajaretnam T, Deshpande RV. Factors inhibiting the use of reversible contraceptive methods in rural south India. Stud Fam Plann. 1994;25(2):111-21.