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close this book Community Nutrition Action for Child Survival
close this folder Part I - Community nutrition problems and interventions
close this folder Unit 7: Family planning and nutrition
View the document Session 1: Family planning and nutrition
View the document Session 2: Providing the facts about family planning
View the document Session 3: Community-based distribution of family planning methods

Session 2: Providing the facts about family planning


Trainers list rumors and attitudes that have a negative effect on Family planning acceptance in their areas. They then identify facts that counter these attitudes and rumors and discuss ways for making factual information about family planning available.

Time: 1 hour


- Flipchart and marking pens


1. Introduction: Couples may reject the use of family planning for different reasons:

- They want to have another child in the near future

- They have heard rumors about family planning methods

- They have cultural or religious reasons for not accepting family planning

- In-laws are opposed

- Etc.

In many cases, couples do not have the factual information they need to make an informed decision about contraception. In this session, we will discuss some of the specific facts about child-spacing and family planning methods that couples need in order to make an informed choice. We will also identify different methods for providing information to couples in their communities.

2. Ask trainees to begin by listing all of the rumors and negative beliefs that they have heard about family planning. When they finish, make a group list of rumors and beliefs on the chalkboard. Do this by asking each trainee for a rumor or belief from their list.

Ask trainees to list facts that would disprove each incorrect rumor. For each belief or attitude against family planning ask them to think of a logical response that might help change the negative attitude. Write these on the right side of the chalkboard across from the rumors and attitudes they refer to.

3. Role Play: Conduct several role plays based on the rumors and negative beliefs listed above. In the role plays, a "Family planning promoter" should try to convince a woman, man or couple that a rumor they have heard about family Planning is untrue. Encourage the rode players to provide facts, use examples and develop persuasive arguments to dispel these rumors. Make sure that "family planning promoters" are courteous and respectful of other people's beliefs and attitudes. They won't change attitudes by offending their clients.

4. Community Education: Ask trainees to list different types of community activities and events in which information about family planning could be presented and discussed.


- discussions with organized groups (women's groups, cooperatives, teachers, etc.)

- education sessions in the clinic

- home visits

- community meetings

Encourage trainees to tell the group about successful activities they have conducted or participated in that increase people's knowledge about family planning.

5. Ask: "Who should provide family planning information to the community?"


- doctors, nurses

- chief or village leaders

- satisfied family planning users (men and women)

- volunteer health workers

- extensionists

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of involving each type of- individual listed. What kind of training would each need?

6. Summarize:

Community programs to improve nutrition must provide correct information about:

- the benefits of child spacing and small families;

- modern methods of family planning;

- family planning for the breastfeeding mother.

Negative attitudes and rumors about family planning can be changed by providing factual information about family planning methods, and by stressing the benefits of small families and birth spacing to the family and the community.

Activities to spread family planning information could include presentations and discussions with groups as well as counseling of individuals and couples. Promotion of family planning by community leaders, medical professionals, satisfied family planning acceptors and other respected individuals can be important in changing community attitudes towards family planning.