July 2015
EWSE Webinars   
Missed our last webinar on Men's Reproductive Health and Planning? Click here to watch it.  
What's Your Plan?   
What's Your Plan?: Making a Reproductive Life Plan 
What's Your Plan?: Making a Reproductive Life Plan
Check out this video from the Toronto Public Health department highlighting the importance of making a reproductive life plan.
Consumer Resources

Click here to view the NC Preconception Health Campaign's reproductive life planning infographic.

    

 
Are You Ready? Sex and Your Future. This booklet asks people to think about how children fit in their plans. It includes a health assessment and information on how to prevent a pregnancy. Click here for the cultural adaptation in Spanish.

North Carolina's Young Families Connect: Engaging Communities program provides services that promote self sufficiency, health and wellness, and parenting skills for expectant and parenting women and men ages 13-24 years in the five counties. Click here to access the Life Plan tool for teens.

Someday Starts Now is the public campaign of the Healthy Texas Babies initiative. Their website features tons of relevant preconception and reproductive life planning tools and resources for men and women and healthcare providers.
 
The Delaware Department of Public Health has developed a consumer and provider website, DE Thrives. Access their life planning tools for young men, women, and teens. Click here for their most popular reproductive life planning tool.

Blog Post!   

Read the blog post on the importance of a reproductive life plan from one of our coalition members and the State Coordinator of the NC Preconception Health Campaign, Kweli Rashied-Henry.         

 Reproductive Life Planning 

Healthy People 2020 has established family planning goals aimed at improving pregnancy planning, spacing, and preventing unintended pregnancy. Further, in its number one recommendation for preconception care, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages men and women to formulate a reproductive life plan, to help them in avoiding unintended pregnancies, to improve the health of women, and reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes. Given the high rates of unintended pregnancy in the US, we could all be doing a better job of starting this critical conversation - with ourselves, our families, our friends and the people we serve.

A reproductive life plan is a set of personal goals about
when and if a person wants to have or not have children. A good plan includes steps for achieving that plan - from picking a contraceptive method to finishing school or starting to take prenatal vitamins! Each person's plan is unique to him/her, based on their own values, goals, and resources.
RLPs can change frequently - they are far from set in stone! A plan today may feel very different in 6 months as a person's life and circumstances change.

A reproductive life plan can be essential for planning the timing and spacing of pregnancies, identifying and modifying medical, behavioral, and social factors negatively affecting pregnancy outcomes, and managing pre-existing conditions and behaviors, before, between, and beyond pregnancies. Health care providers can introduce RLPs during primary care, outpatient, annual and hospital visits as a prompt to make sure they are providing quality, patient-centered care. RLPs can also be introduced in community settings through home visiting programs, health education curricula, family support programs, church programs, sororities and other initiatives. The question is easy. You can try the following:
Do you want to have (more) children? or 
How many (more) children would you like to have and when?  or
Would You Like to Become Pregnant in the Next Year?"
 (One Key Question: Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health)

Sometimes reproductive life planning is used synonymously with preconception care, however preconception health is a larger framework in which reproductive life planning functions as a tool. Routine health promotion activities for all women and men of reproductive age should begin with screening women and men for their intentions to have or not have a baby in the short and long term and their risk of conceiving (whether intended or not). Every woman and man of reproductive age should receive information and counseling about all forms of contraception that are consistent with their reproductive life plan and risk of pregnancy.
When providing RLP counseling, it is important for healthcare providers to be non-judgmental about a patient's culture, values, timing and choices, focusing on providing the best information possible in terms of risks and benefits, and advantages and disadvantages. This conversation offers a special opportunity for a provider to listen to his/her patient and focus on helping him/her best achieve their personal goals.
Healthcare Provider Resources  
Through funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Every Woman Southeast Coalition (EWSE) funded eight reproductive life planning community grants across the southeast. The goal of the program was to fund innovative community-based initiatives that work with traditional and non-traditional partners to improve women and men's capacity to plan childbearing and improve preconception and interconception health using a life course approach.   
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a Reproductive Life Plan (RLP) Tool for health professionals. The RLP Tool contains questions that health professionals can use with their patients.   


The National Preconception and 
Interconception Care Clinical Toolkit was built to incorporate a woman's reproductive life plan. This toolkit provides clinical guidance for reaching every woman with preconception and interconception health services, every time she presents for routine care.
The Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment (Family PACT) program provides resources and training for healthcare providers on many topics including RLP. Click here to access their webinar on Talking with Your Clients about a Reproductive Life Plan.
The North Carolina Division of Public Health - Women's Health Branch developed a presentation on the Case for Reproductive Life Planning
as part of their preconception health training modules for providers. The branch also trains health care providers and community partners who serve young, expecting and new parents in the state on a reproductive life planning curriculum titled Ready, Set, Plan.
The  Office of Population Affairs Family Planning National Training Centers houses many training resources for healthcare providers, including information on how to put the new Quality Family Planning recommendation into practice. Their latest archived webinar on integrating reproductive life planning into services is now available.   

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