This is a collection of three trainings (for CHWs, peer leaders, and facility-based health care providers) to orient them on FTPs and provide them with the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of this important population in their communities. These trainings are designed for use in francophone West Africa, where a significant proportion of adolescent girls aged 15–19 and young women aged 20–24 are married or living in union, but they can easily be adapted for other settings.
Reaching Young Couples and First Time Parents
Every year, over 13 million girls aged 15–19 give birth in low- and middle-income countries, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Many of these young mothers are married, first-time parents, and are often under family and community pressure to have a second child quickly. Young mothers who have a second child very rapidly can suffer complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Their children may also experience adverse health outcomes from rapid, repeat pregnancies.1
In many contexts, the youngest mothers (ages 15–24) are less likely than older mothers to use health services, including postpartum family planning, for themselves and their children, increasing their vulnerability to rapid repeat pregnancy and poor health outcomes. This life stage, a period of rapid change and vulnerability, is a vital window of opportunity for young women to get the support they need to shape their life-long practices.
A growing body of program experiences have shed light on first-time parents’ needs and related programming considerations. Evidence shows that comprehensive approaches addressing individual, family, community, and health system factors can increase first-time parents’ use of postpartum family planning and other essential health services. While showing promising impact, these comprehensive approaches have proven challenging to scale.2
In this Trending Topic, we share some tools for social and behavior change and examples of materials from around the world. If you would like to share your materials or tools, please contact us or upload them on the Compass.
- Retrieved from https://publichealth.gwu.edu/content/new-project-aims-increase-first-time-parents%E2%80%99-access-family-planning-bangladesh-and-tanzania on 2/3/20.
- Retrieved from https://blog.savethechildren.org/2020/01/scaling-up-first-time-and-young-parent-access-to-postpartum-family-planning-could-small-shifts-change-the-game.html on 2/3/20.
Photo credit: Seun Asala for the Evidence to Action (E2A) Project
The First Time Parent (FTP) Framework defines the FTP lifestage within the broader evolution of sexual and reproductive activity typically experienced over an individual’s lifetime—from puberty to parenthood and beyond, and also adapts the socio-ecological approach to understand the broader FTP social system, and the multiple personal and environmental factors/interactions that influence health choice and action.
This is a review which was conducted to examine new and emerging considerations from recent research and programs related to FTP’s reproductive and maternal health, with a particular focus on family planning.
This toolkit shares a study design and participatory tools for formative research exploring the factors influencing use (and non-use) of sexual and reproductive health services by FT/YPs and is intended to inform program design.
This technical brief presents findings and lessons learned from small-scale interventions implemented by MCSP with first-time parents (FTPs) in three diverse settings. This presentation of cross-country learning is intended to help program implementers design effective interventions for FTPs and to inform future research and learning agendas.
Led by Save the Children, Connect (2019-2024) uses a phased approach to leverage the reach of large scale "host projects" in two initial countries (Bangladesh and Tanzania.) In each country to reach first time parents (FTPs).
The Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) of USAID adapted and tested interventions with first-time young parents (FTYPs) in Kogi and Ebonyi states.
Globally, few programs consider the needs of first-time young parents (FTYPs), who face disproportionate negative health consequences during pregnancy and childbirth. Scant evidence exists on FTYPs‘ broader health needs.
Young married women (YMWs) and first-time parents (FTPs) face a unique set of challenges to living healthy sexual and reproductive lives—challenges that are different to those faced by unmarried adolescents, older married women or older parents.
This page offers links to resources and an introduction to the topic of first time parent issues.
This training aims to impart the skills needed for peers to facilitate small groups of young married women and first-time parents, which can reduce these young women’s social isolation and increase knowledge of sexual and reproductive health. The training is designed for use in francophone West Africa, where a significant proportion of adolescent girls aged 15–19 and young women aged 20–24 are married or living in union, but it can easily be adapted for other settings.
The primary objective of the Responsible, Engaged and Loving (REAL) Fathers Initiative is to develop and test a set of interventions to reduce intimate partner violence and harsh punishment of children among young fathers (ages 16-25) in post-conflict northern Uganda.
The Our First Baby Facilitator’s Guide contains nine participatory sessions to be used in small group sessions with first-time mothers and their male partners. Sessions cover fertility, antenatal care, care of the mother during pregnancy, first-time fatherhood, birth planning/delivery, newborn and postpartum care, exclusive breastfeeding, healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy, family planning, sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and gender-based violence.
This brief describes an initiative launched in Tanzania in 2018. Evidence to Action (E2A) Project and Pathfinder International worked together, focusing on young first-time parents (FTPs) in the Greater Mahale Ecosystem of Tanzania as a new component of the Tuungane Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) project. The full report of this project is here.
The Gender Roles, Equality and Transformations (GREAT) Project works to improve gender equity and reproductive health in Northern Uganda.
This article describes a project in Madagascar to reach first time young parents.
This blog relates the story of a young couple who made a choice that broke the mold for newly married youth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): they decided to use contraception to delay having their first child.
The Adolescent Age and Life-Stage Assessment and Counseling tools aim to support health provider efforts to seize teachable moments while talking with adolescents on a one-on-one basis at the health facility.
This brief describes an effort launched in 201 wherein the Evidence to Action (E2A) Project. and Pathfinder International, in partnership with the Ministry of Health,worked to improve postpartum health and gender outcomes for young first-time parents (FTPs) in Cross River State, Nigeria. The full report is here.
In Madagascar, Nigeria and Mozambique the Maternal and Child Survival Program has been testing approaches designed to connect first time / young parents (FT/YPs) to health services.
Birth & Beyond is a smartphone app designed to provide mothers and caregivers with easy access to videos about a baby's first two years. The app helps support those with limited access to health care, an increasing problem worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic.
These key messages were developed as part of a "1000 Special Days" campaign in Malawi to reduce stunting by caring for the pregnant woman, unborn child, and young child. The messages address maternal nutrition, infant and young child feeding, dietary diversification, micronutrients, and growth monitoring.
The Wise Woman's Diary entertainment-education video series chronicles a woman's experiences as she traverses the various stages of the post-pregnancy period.
At a recent First-Time Parents webinar, hosted by the Evidence to Action (E2A) Project, Georgetown University Institute for Reproductive Health, and Pathfinder International, several experts shared their insights on results from recent projects targeting this critical and underserved youth population in Nigeria, Niger, and DRC. This page offers the speakers' full presentations, and also offers the participants' questions and answers.
This brief describes a project called Reaching Married Adolescents, which represents one of the first efforts in Niger to compare the ability of different interventions to increase the number of married adolescents who use a method of contraception. The project was developed with lessons learned from years of programming among similar populations in different contexts.
This technical brief discusses Pathfinder’s experience in Burkina Faso, implementing a project to reach young married women, first-time parents, and their key influencers, for healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy through contraceptive use.