Family planning helps to have the desired number of children with the desired spacing. There are a lot of benefit for the mother, children, family, community and the nation as a whole. The family feeds well and the population in the country is under control. Everyone therefore benefits from this. Maternal morbidity and mortality is reduced. How can this be achieved? This can be done through family planning.
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What then is family planning ?
Family planning is a method that allows individual or a couple to regulate their child birth. Family planning helps them achieve the number of children they desire and helps to space their children. A woman’s body needs to recover completely from the previous pregnancy before embarking on another. Failure to do this can result in complications if another pregnancy is embarked on. It can even lead to death. Children also suffer from this because they tend to be malnourished. This is why family planning is very important.
There are different family planning methods although each method has its own disadvantages, the advantages far outweighs this. During your routine antenatal clinic , you will be enlightened on some of these methods and you will be counselled more on why it is important. You can decide to go for family planning even as a teenager as long as you are sexually active. This will prevent unwanted pregnancy and subsequently unsafe abortion.
When can you go for family planning?
Family planning should be done at your first post natal clinic which is 6 weeks after delivery. Once you visit any health facility for family planning, you will be asked some questions like:
1. the number of children you have on ground. Someone who has 1 child will not be advised on the type of family planning given to a woman with 5 children.
2. your desire to have other children.
3. what your menstrual cycle looks like.
4. any heavy bleeding. People with heavy bleeding will be advised against use of coil.
5. your hygiene. People with poor hygiene will not be advised on coil as they may have recurrent infections.
6. your compliance to oral medications. A woman that forget to take drugs will not be advised to use the tablets as the failure rate will be high.
7. the type of family planning you even desire.
This will help the health worker to know the type that will likely suit your body. Some vital signs like blood pressure and weight will be checked and you will be given a short follow up appointment to know how your body is adjusting to the method chosen.
At follow up, the health worker would look out for possible side effects. If there is no significant side effect, then you are good to go. If any is however noticed,this may be observed for sometime if it is not life threatening otherwise, you may be advised on another method.
You need to know that there will definitely be a method that will suit your body. You will be educated on the family planning method used so as to reduce failure rate.
What are the benefits of family planning?
• It helps to prevent unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. You become pregnant whenever you want to.
• It helps to space child birth. You will have enough time to breastfeed and take care of the children on ground before trying another.
• It helps to have one’s desired number of children.
• It helps to prevent the side effects of unsafe abortion. When there is no unwanted pregnancy, there will be no reason to think of abortion.
• It helps the mother to recover completely from the previous pregnancy and delivery. This helps to prevent death of the mother.
• It prevents infant malnutrition and death because the mother will be able to dedicate all to her infant.
• Some methods prevent sexually transmitted infections when used properly.
The advantages of family planning outweighs the disadvantages. A couple will be able to plan well for themselves, their born and unborn children and the risk of death in both the mother and her infant will be reduced.
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