Use of Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) as contraception among women in Ibadan, Nigeria
Monica Akokuwebe, University of Ibadan
Adebola Adedimeji, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Obafemi Omololu, University of Ibadan
About 15% of Nigerian women are reportedly practicing any form of contraception despite widespread knowledge and ongoing efforts to increase usage. Whereas, the prevalence of lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) for contraceptive purposes is reported at 5%, the reasons for the low use of this method among lactating mothers are yet to be investigated. This study explores knowledge, attitude and practice regarding LAM as a method of contraception among lactating mothers currently practicing exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) in Ibadan, Nigeria. We utilized systematic sampling strategies to select 338 lactating mothers in 2 health facilities and applied a structured questionnaire to measure knowledge, attitude and practice regarding LAM as a contraceptive method. Data analysis was descriptive to report frequencies, chi-square and correlation of study outcomes. Although awareness of LAM was nearly universal (95%), 61% of participants knew it could be used for contraception. About half of participants (51%) had previously used it for contraception and slightly less than half (48%) currently use it for contraception. Chi-square results show significant associations between educational level (p<0.003), income (p<0.01) and ethnic affiliation (p<0.002) and ever use of LAM. Only income showed a significant association (p<0.05) among current users. Unmet need for modern contraception among Nigerian women is high and natural methods like LAM can increase contraceptive prevalence among lactating mothers. Whereas knowledge of LAM for contraceptive purposes is high, demographic, socioeconomic and other contextual factors impede use. Addressing these barriers through effective programs and policies can contribute to reducing unmet need for contraception among lactating women.