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24 Jan 2023

Mothers asked to share their post-birth contraception experiences to improve future services

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Researchers are hoping to speak to new mothers from across the North East and North Cumbria region, to learn about their experiences of contraception after the birth of a baby.

Women who’ve had a baby in the last three years are being asked to complete a short online survey, with a chance to win a £50 shopping voucher.

The study is being funded and supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC).

The survey will specifically ask about contraception provided up to eight weeks after a birth, called postnatal contraception.

Postnatal contraception is vital in preventing unplanned pregnancy soon after birth, and in reducing the risk of harm associated with a short gap between pregnancies. However, we know that relatively few women receive contraception support in the weeks after birth, and that some communities are more likely to miss out on contraception counselling and support.

This is despite the fact that women typically have regular contact with health professionals during their pregnancies and in the weeks and months after their babies are born.

The research project – named ‘The PoCo study’ – will ask women about the opportunities they had to discuss contraception during pregnancy and access it after pregnancy – whether that be from a hospital doctor, a midwife, a health visitor, a GP, or a specialist contraception service.

The responses to the survey will help to highlight any areas for improvement.

Dr Malcolm Moffat from Newcastle University is leading the study. He is an Honorary Consultant in Public Health, and previously worked in obstetrics and gynaecology in hospitals around our region.

Dr Malcolm Moffat said: “Hearing about the postnatal contraception experiences of women in the North East and North Cumbria will help health services to develop new and better ways of providing women with the contraception care that they want and need after pregnancy.

“More than 1,000 women in our region have already shared their postnatal contraception experiences with us, and we’re keen to hear from more women and from a diverse range of communities. Capturing the full range of experiences is so important in making sure that the recommendations we make to services properly reflect the needs and preferences of the people who use them. We hope this research will shine a spotlight on good practice as well as identifying areas that require improvement.”

The study is in collaboration with partners at the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), and others.

Follow this link to complete the survey.

All responses will remain anonymous.

Please send any questions about the study to Dr Malcolm Moffat at poco.study@newcastle.ac.uk.