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Contraception. 2013 Nov;88(5):624-8. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2013.05.008. Epub 2013 May 22.

Family planning intentions: a qualitative exploration of postpartum women of Mexican descent in North Carolina.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA. Electronic address:



North Carolina has one of the fastest growing Mexican-American populations, yet health care providers have minimal information on how to address the family planning needs of this population.


We conducted semistructured interviews with postpartum Mexican-American women, aged 18-35 years, within 1 month of delivery. Salient themes were identified, coded and analyzed.


Twenty women were interviewed. The majority had firmly held family size intentions: most desired to have 2 to 4 children with 2 to 5 years between births. Partners' preferences and the family size in which the participant was raised were factors that most influenced their family size preference. First-generation Mexican-American participants were more likely to have a partner whose intentions are influenced by the gender(s) of their children compared with participants born in Mexico. Participants desired longer intrapartum intervals for optimal infant development, with financial considerations cited less frequently.


Postpartum women of Mexican descent articulate consistent family planning intentions. Partners' desires may challenge the achievement of these intentions. Providers can encourage the most effective forms of contraception to promote ideal and intended family size.


Acculturation; Family planning; Latino; Postpartum contraception; Qualitative analysis

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