153781 Re-Introducing LAM to Family Planning Programs

Monday, November 5, 2007

Marcos D. Arevalo, MD, MPH , Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
The Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) is a FP method of proven efficacy, acceptability, and programmatic feasibility. It is based on the ovulation-supressing effect of breastfeeding. LAM has the potential to meet the FP needs of an important proportion of postpartum women. It has also been shown that using LAM increases the likelihood of using another family planning method once fertility returns. All this can be particularly important for programs serving populations who do not readily accept other types of FP methods, and women who have never used FP. Maternal and peri-natal mortality and morbidity are high in these groups; thus further spacing of pregnancies can potentially have an important health benefit for them.

However, although LAM was introduced to health programs over a decade ago, most FP programs throughout the world are not offering it or providing it to their clients on a scale sufficient to have an impact.

An implementation model, training and counseling protocols, tools, and client materials have been developed that emphasize the transition to other effective, modern methods when LAM is no longer effective. The model, tools, and materials continue to promote improved and sustained breastfeeding and nutrition practices.

This approach has caught the interest of health policy makers and program managers in several countries where previous LAM efforts have not been successful. LAM activities are underway in Mali and Burkina Faso following this approach.

This presentation will describe LAM models and tools; and project activities and results in Mali and Burkina Faso.

Learning Objectives:
1.Understand the rationale for emphasizing the transition to other FP methods; 2.Know how this is being put into practice by health programs in Mali and Burkina Faso.

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.