People tend to be excited whenever we have a new member of the family. However, as time goes by, this excitement is getting lesser and lesser if the family gets bigger and bigger. That is when the importance of planning for a baby comes in.
If you have that notion of having pregnancy planning soon, here are some advice that can help you to decide.
What is family planning?
Family planning means enhancing a reproductive life plan for yourself as well as for having a family. It is setting a goal whether you want to have children or not, how many you want for children, and what conditions would you like to have them.
If you want to have children, you can read the following guide questions:
When would you like to start to have children, and at what age would you like to have completed your family or be finished having children? This is important because you control on what age you will be pregnant.
How many children do you like? If you want to have more than one, how many years do you want your children to be? This is what we call as birth spacing. This is important because if the babies (less than 18 months in between births) are born too close, there is more at risk for having problems and the mother’s health is optimal.
What is your life like? This is important to give the best for your children.
Are you ready for pregnancy?
You can ask your midwife or health provider to make sure your pregnancies are planned.
If you do not want to have children, you can ask questions:
Are you ready for being pregnant?
What will you do if you get pregnant?
Consider the questions for your next steps with the help of your partner or support system.
There are types of family planning methods: natural family planning and contraception.
What is natural planning?
Natural family planning or fertility awareness are methods without the use of hormones, chemicals, or barriers. Natural family planning is good to choose because there are no side effects, you can stop it anytime, you don’t need health care provider for birth control, and it is accepted by all religions.
If you are comfortable touching your body and your partner wants to use natural family planning, you are more likely to be successful. Stress, lifestyle, smoking, and health will all affect the monthly changes in your body.
What is Contraception?
There are several categories in contraception:
Barrier method. This are like the male condoms, female condoms, and the diaphragm. These birth control creates a physical barrier between the sperm and the eggs to avoid being fertilized. This is the least effective method because it hard to use it perfectly. However, this can minimize the sexually-transmitted infections.
Hormonal methods. These are the pills, vaginal rings, patches, and the birth control shot. These works by regulating and controlling the same types of hormones to prevent from ovulation. These are effective.
Long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as the intrauterine device (IUD) or the implant. IUDs work by affecting the way sperm move so they can’t combine with the egg.
Emergency contraceptives, like Plan B and other “morning after” pills. Emergency contraceptives use higher doses of hormones to avoid eggs from leaving your ovaries for longer than usual. Emergency contraceptives are very effective, but must be used within 5 days (120 hours) after having unprotected sex.
Permanent sterilization methods, like getting your tubes tied to make it sure that you can don’t get pregnant by closing your fallopian tubes so your eggs can never reach your uterus and sperm can never reach your eggs. Men can have a vasectomy, which prevents sperm from being released. These methods are not meant to be reverse.
There are some of the methods that are most well-known and widely-used methods:
- The ovulation method (or cervical mucus method, or Billings method), which involves pinpointing when you are most fertile by paying attention to the consistency of your vaginal mucus throughout your cycle.
- The standard days method, which identifies a standard 11-day potentially fertile period (from days 8-19) for women with menstrual cycles that are no shorter than 26 and no longer than 32 days long.
- The sympto-thermal method, which means combining several other methods of natural family planning (for example, charting vaginal mucus while also paying attention to body temperature).
- The lactational amenorrhea method, which only works for people who gave birth less than 6 months ago. You must be giving your baby all its sustenance from your breast milk only; nursing your baby at least once every 6 hours, even at night; and not having a period.
Getting Help with Family Planning
Choosing the method of family planning that’s right for you can be complicated. Consider your health and other personal needs, when or if you want to get pregnant, and your partner’s needs and desires.
Your midwife or other health care provider can help you choose the family planning method and/or prescribe you the method of birth control that’s right for you, your partner, and your family.