Providing Birth Control Immediate Postpartum
When women are able to plan if and when to become pregnant, the long-term, positive outcomes for themselves, their families and their children are dramatic. This weekend, The New York Times linked to Upstream USA when describing an important component of reducing unplanned pregnancy and improved birth spacing – offering immediate postpartum IUD and implant (LARC) placement while women are in the hospital after giving birth:
The New York Times: Medicaid Finds Opportune Time to Offer Birth Control: Right After Birth
In our statewide project in Delaware, our goal is to ensure that all women can access the full range of contraceptive methods through any (public or private) door of the health care system. Upstream USA not only provided training to maternity hospital staff so they could offer all methods of contraception to women immediately after delivery, but also partnered with state policy leaders to establish separate Medicaid reimbursement policies to eliminate administrative hurdles that prevent hospitals from offering this critically important service. We are also collaborating with private insurers in the state on this issue.
More states should eliminate administrative and reimbursement barriers so that women can access effective contraception immediately postpartum – currently, fewer than half do. We should not create hurdles that make it more complicated for women to get access to the effective contraception that they want, including LARCs.
Upstream USA trainer Amy Yoxthimer observes clinicians practicing postpartum IUD insertion on a specialized simulator in Delaware.