Family planning intentions and satisfaction with contraceptive care: A qualitative exploration of postpartum Latina women in North Carolina
Awarded 2011
Trainee Grants
Matthew Zerden, MD
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Objectives: North Carolina has one of the fastest growing Latino populations, yet providers have minimal information on how to address the family planning needs of this population. We explored three domains relating to postpartum care: family size intentions; influence of social networks in family planning decisions; and satisfaction with contraceptive care. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with postpartum Mexican-American women, aged 18-30 years, who were within three months of delivery. Salient themes were identified, coded and analyzed using ATLASti. Results: Twenty women were interviewed. Almost all had definitive family size intentions: most desired 2-4 children with 2-5 years between births. Family size was influenced by partners, but not by social networks. Participants desired longer intrapartum intervals for optimal infant development. Financial considerations were relevant, but were not cited principally. Social networks were the driving influence for some participants’ desire for long acting reversible contraception (LARC). The benefit of LARC was known by many, but cost was a barrier for Mexican-raised participants. Mexican-raised participants also expressed increased trust in the medical establishment compared to those raised in the US. The majority of participants harbor no concerns regarding prejudice or negative motivations for contraceptive services. Discussion: Postpartum Latinas possess definitive family planning intentions. Achievement of these intentions may be challenged by finances and partner desires. Ideal family size is likely smaller than many health care providers would assume. Providers can utilize existing trust to encourage the most effective forms of contraception.