206950 Development of the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) for family planning: Research results and lessons learned in implementation

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:30 AM

Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH, FACPM, IBCLC, FABM , Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, Department of Maternal Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Purpose: This presentation will lay the groundwork for the panel, describing the rationale and history of the development of the LAM and the research that led to its acceptance and use in more than 40 countries. It will also outline findings from research on the acceptability of the method and will present findings on the flexibility of the method in use.

Data / information used: The findings are summarized from published and unpublished research and clinical studies used in method development, testing and post-marketing assessment.

Describe the methods used: Methods used include prospective biomedical research, clinical trials, secondary analysis of research data, and related review.

Major results: The Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) was developed create a bridge between those interested in family planning and those interested in nutrition and child health. It was developed based on consensus meetings of researchers involved in the study of fertility return during breastfeeding, with the aspiration of creating a situation where family planning services would promote breastfeeding for LAM as an entry into other family planning, and MCH services would support breastfeeding, with LAM as a benefit, hence supporting entry into family planning. The method proved to be both efficacious and very flexible in use. Expanded LAM may be used well beyond 6 months, and exclusive breastfeeding is not necessary for method success. Nonetheless, the method is not in general use in global family planning programs, nor in MCH programs

Recommendations / policy implications: Mainstreaming LAM into national and international family planning programs will benefit maternal and child health both by increasing birth spacing as well as by increasing optimal breastfeeding.

Learning Objectives:
Define the Lactational Amenorrhea Method. Explain the rationale for the development of the method. Discuss the findings from the first decade of study of the method.

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, International Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Major contributor to the development and implementation of this method of family planning
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.