The Truth About Family Planning. Is Planning on Getting Pregnant a Good Idea?María Arellano
Family planning: Your right to information and choice
Family planning means deciding how many children you wish to have (this includes the choice to have no children), at what age you wish to have them and the spacing between siblings.
Having an idea of what you want in terms of having your own family and what you need in order to make it happen is a very good thing!
Family planning is not limited to planning when to conceive a child. Families can also grow by adoption.
And, heck why not, you can also plan on different changes such as a divorce… some people go as far as planning a divorce party.
Keep in mind that planning a pregnancy should take into account your partner’s feelings, their availability during and after the pregnancy as well as their willingness to accompany the child in the long term during his or her growth, education and development.
Becoming a parent is a big deal
Parenting takes a lot of courage, as does pregnancy.
Both are really big projects that are much easier to handle if you have a realistic idea of what you will be going through- what to expect emotionally, physically and even spiritually!
That said, we don’t always have a clear idea of what is coming, quite a few of us just take the plunge.
It’s ok. Not everyone plans their pregnancies
Sex not only feels good, it is also good for you… which seems like motivation enough to focus on the pleasure and set the responsibility part to the side.
And sometimes that is exactly what happens – to the happily unplanned-pregnant couples!
What is a reproductive life plan?
If you are sexually active becoming a mother may be the last thing on your mind BUT you should definitely take some time to think about your goals, on whether you want to have children or not.
Is it normal to plan your pregnancy?
If you have gone through an unplanned pregnancy, you are not alone. A 2011 study conducted in Brazil concludes that planned pregnancies are not frequent.
Who plans their pregnancies? It is most frequent in women who have had a previous pregnancy or previous abortion or miscarriage.
A woman’s age, her partner’s age and their cohabitation are also determinants that were positively associated with planned pregnancy.
So really, what leads women to plan their pregnancies isn’t so much their schooling and contraception use but their reproductive history as well as the type of relationship they maintain with their partner while sexually active.
Planning your pregnancy and scary possibilities
Here’s a list of what you need in order to take care of a child (via Planned Parenthood):
- Time — raising children is a super-important full-time job, and it can impact your other plans and goals.
- Energy and care — children need parents who are loving, patient, and involved.
- Planning — raising a child takes day-to-day planning and long-term planning for all the stages of your child’s life.
- Material things and money — children need clothes, diapers, food, health care, day care, etc.
The scary possibilities of an unplanned pregnancy mainly have to do with not having the current resources (time, energy, care, planning and material things) to take care of the growing child.
Other aspects to take into consideration are the effects of an unplanned pregnancy on the baby and the mama’s physical health.
Unplanned pregnancy, the baby’s health and your health, mama
Unplanned pregnancies have been associated with higher risk for inadequate prenatal care, perinatal morbidity and significant postnatal problems.
That means that it is harder for a woman who is going through an unplanned pregnancy to cover her needs during pregnancy, follow through on her regular medical check ups and other prenatal care activities.
Baby’s born as a result of an unplanned pregnancy are also more likely to present disorders as a result of adverse influences present during pregnancy or within the first four weeks of life – this is called perinatal morbidity.
Unplanned pregnancies can also significantly affect a mama´s health. Postnatal problems include infections, excessive bleeding after delivery and other health issues that affect the woman’s recovery time.
Among these affectations beware of postpartum depression.
Unplanned pregnancy and depression
Recent studies show that unplanned pregnancies do not necessarily affect the health of the newborn baby on their own.
What does affect a baby’s health? The mother’s emotional health as a consequence of the unplanned pregnancy. A study published in the year 2018 in Midwifery followed 201 Latina women after their second or third trimester.
The study reveals that single women, compared to partnered women, had higher levels of depression postpartum. And in turn, higher levels of depression predicted poorer newborn health as measured by several indicators including head circumference percentile and birthweight.
Reasons why you should plan your pregnancy
Your pregnancy and your financial situation are extremely important to take into account.
Plus, also thinking ahead to revealing the news at your workplace, to your boss and to your coworkers.
Added to the health factors mentioned above, children born of unplanned pregnancies are also at higher risk of long term negative consequences for their development, including low verbal ability and low educational attainment.
If you weren’t planning on having a child, chances are you weren’t planning on all of the time you have to invest into giving care and creating a positive home learning environment.
Planning a pregnancy is about making the best choice for your health and, more importantly, looking out for the health and future of the little person you will bring into the world.
Make sure to let us know if this post has helped you make your decision and how you are doing with your family planning!