Diane Toto, 23-year-old married mother, Abomey-Calavi, Benin
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Diane Toto, I am 23 years-old and I have been married for 1 year. I am a student in human resources management. I gave birth by cesarean section two months ago. I was invited to come back 6 weeks after the delivery to do family planning to prevent an early pregnancy. That's what prompted me to come here to the health center this morning.
Was family planning discussed in your home?
No, well parents don't like to talk about certain things with their children, so in my family my parents were not in the habit of talking to us about these things. I hear about [family planning] a lot, but I have never had any guidance on it.
What family planning (FP) method did you adopt?
I chose an implant.
Looking ahead, the fact that you came in today to get the implant… what will that do for you? What will that change in your life?
I would like to let my child grow up well, enjoy my husband a little, and look for something to do (e.g., a job) that could help me before I get pregnant again.
How did you first get information about family planning?
I first got information about family planning here in the health facility from a midwife during my prenatal visits. I should also say that before, I heard about family planning at the community level because the information circulates, people talk about it and they also adopt family planning methods.
If you were to help us improve our work, what would you advise us to do to improve services?
I would say to intensify public awareness campaigns and outreach activities for the population in order to avoid early pregnancies. At health facilities, I would say to improve communication with women who come to the facility on the importance of family planning, because many women are still unaware of the benefits of adopting FP. Many women and young girls are wary of unfounded rumors that circulate about FP. Information sessions should also be organized to teach people about FP.
Finally, if you were to give a message to other women, what would you tell them?
When someone does not want to have an unplanned child, I would advise women, and especially young women, to use family planning in order not to make any mistakes and avoid many problems.