SRF047: Pathways to Access of Postpartum Contraceptive Care for Illinois Patients in Catholic Health Systems- A Qualitative Analysis

Zarina Wong, BA; Debra Stulberg, MD; Lee Thompson; Ashley McHugh; Lee Hasselbacher, JD


Context: In Illinois, nearly 30% of hospitals are affiliated with the Catholic Church. Catholic policies on contraception mean that thousands of Illinois residents receiving obstetric care every year may have limited access to postpartum family planning methods with their regular provider. Postpartum contraception can support birth spacing and improve maternal and child health outcomes. Patients delivering in Catholic hospitals may require support in navigating a pathway to receive their desired method of postpartum family planning. Objective: A comprehensive exploration of the network of care and untapped opportunities to mitigate religious restrictions on postpartum contraception access in the pre- and postnatal care setting. The results of this study will inform the development and implementation of a program to support patient access to postpartum contraception by leveraging community resources and education. Design: A qualitative study. Open-ended interviews were conducted using a semi-structured guided aimed at understanding patients’ (n=21) and healthcare providers’ (n=22) experiences and preferences regarding postpartum contraceptive care. Setting/Population:A geographically diverse sample of patients and healthcare providers who have respectively received and provided obstetric care in Illinois Catholic hospitals with contraceptive restrictions. Human Subjects Review: The University of Chicago IRB approved this study. Intervention: N/A Outcome Measure: An understanding of the restrictions and potential pathways to contraceptive care utilized by patients and providers when receiving and providing care or counseling regarding postpartum contraception. Anticipated Results: Thematic results from patient and provider interviews have unveiled barriers that patients experience around counseling and receipt of postpartum contraception after delivery in a Catholic health system. Findings highlight the ways in which obstetric providers, surrounding clinics (e.g. FQHCs, family planning clinics) and maternal health programs (e.g. doulas, home visiting programs) can support access to postpartum contraceptive care for patients facing religious restrictions. Expected Outcome: An understanding of the ecosystem of pre- and postnatal care opportunities can offer improvements for care in a region with religious health systems. Established programs and resources can be leveraged to support healthy pregnancies and ensure pathways to comprehensive contraceptive care.
Leave a Comment
Debra Stulberg

Great job, Zarina!

Jack 11/21/2020

terrific work. so important. thanks for sharing with NAPCRG

Tyler Barreto

Thanks for sharing this work! I look forward to learning from your findings when analyses are completed. Thank you!

Social Media


11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway
Leawood, KS 66211