This interactive graphic summarizes some of the many different areas of family life that research on the Matlab program showed were affected by a couple’s family planning use. These include mothers' health, increased family assets, increased home value, improved pregnancy and newborn health, health and education benefits for boys and for girls, improved water sources, and agricultural investments.
Women who used family planning were healthier than those in comparison villages. They weighed up to five pounds more, and their body mass indexes were above the critical threshold of 17.5, which is believed to be associated with a significant reduction in mortality risk from undernutrition. Since women using family planning had on average one fewer child, they had a lower risk of pregnancy-related death and disability. Healthier women are better able to support the health of themselves and their families through activities like working and preparing better food.
Women in the program area also earned more money than in the control group. They earned 450 taka more, or about six months of added salary, compared to women of similar education not using family planning. The higher income enabled women and their families to increase investment in their homes, livelihoods, and families.