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Promising Directions and Missed Opportunities for Reaching First-time Mothers with Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Services: Findings from formative assessments in two countries

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In many settings, young, first-time mothers (FTMs) face additional barriers that limit their use of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) services, including postnatal care (PNC) and postpartum family planning (PPFP), and are vulnerable to poor health outcomes, including rapid repeat pregnancies. This brief describes findings from a formative barrier and facilitator analysis conducted in Bangladesh and Tanzania. The formative research used a participatory journey mapping approach to identify FTMs’ touchpoints with the health system for antenatal care, delivery, PNC, immunizations, and PPFP, and the factors that influenced their use (and often non-use) of these services. The brief describes windows of opportunity (and many missed opportunities) to reach FTMs with integrated services responsive to their needs, to foster supportive families and communities, and to support continuity of RMNCH care across the continuum of care.

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