Having a child is a blessing for many women and families. It is a meaningful decision that a mother makes in her life. For many families, it is the start of a new season in their lives. But unexpected childbearing can pose huge health risks not just for the mother or the child. This is common among women who experience challenging pregnancies.

Family planning is about a woman’s ability to choose what they do about their pregnancy. There are many women with critical health issues. An unplanned pregnancy may pose difficulties for the mother and their child. Here’s why family planning is an integral part of wellness.

Family planning promotes maternal health

A study by the United Nations Population Division done in 2015 shows that 12 percent of women of reproductive age require family planning. There are different factors as to why they are not able to access family planning options. A common reason would be the lack of access to services and information. And in certain parts of the world, family planning is taboo in their communities. For these reasons, advocates of women’s rights are calling for communities’ help. Many will greatly benefit from better access and information regarding family planning. 

When a woman is pregnant, some complications can happen. This is especially true when a mother is older, young, or has given birth to more than four children. A leading cause of death for teenage girls ages 15 to 19 is childbirth and pregnancy complications. There is also a risk when mothers’ births have a gap of less than two to three years since their last pregnancy.

While preventing unwanted pregnancies is a common reason for women to get contraceptives, they also offer other benefits. Contraceptive options have prevented 44 percent of maternal deaths in 2008. They drastically reduce high-risk births and unsafe abortions, which reduce maternal deaths. 

Family planning improves child survival rates 

Although most people think that family planning options are only for the mother’s well-being, it also considers child survival. In many countries, children are forced to survive and thrive in a harsh environment as soon as they are born.

In Niger, 13 percent of children below the age of five die of different diseases. Because families are not given access to proper health care and family planning, mothers deal with unintended pregnancies. Many mothers in the sub-Saharan African region go through dangerous childbirth, where skilled birth assistance is scarce. This then leads to a large number of newborn deaths. 

Even if mothers can give birth to their children, the harsh conditions of their environment can cause children to develop illnesses early in their lives. Mothers who have health issues are more likely to give birth to children at risk for diseases. Some mothers who went through unwanted pregnancies leave their children behind. This causes trauma not just on these abandoned children but on their mothers as well. 

The advantages of family planning 

Family planning has built a positive impact on various communities. When women are given options on what to do with their reproductive health, they can live better lives. With a wide range of methods offered to women like sterilization, implants, injectables, and pills, they can choose which works best for their situation. 

Family planning offers many benefits not just for the mother but for the whole family. If a mother who just gave birth will get pregnant right away, she is at risk of complications. Hence, family planning enables women to regain their physical strength after delivery. It also gives mothers time and opportunity to care and give their children and husband attention without thinking of another pregnancy. This fosters great relationships within the family. 

For newlyweds, family planning allows both the husband and the wife to pursue their individual goals and dreams. It buys them time to build their family and finances. They can enjoy their time together without worrying much about the future early into their marriage. 

Governments and communities need to focus on educating families on how to deal with family planning. These strong programs can drive success in different urban and rural areas. In some countries like Ethiopia and Rwanda, communities were trained and are involved in spreading the advocacy. 

Family planning education and access are essential to building a healthier society. It reduces mistimed pregnancies, as well as maternal and child deaths. It also lowers the incidence of unsafe child delivery and abortion. It empowers women and their families to make wise and healthy choices.

Meta title: Family Planning: A Key to a Healthier Society

Meta desc: Childbirth is a fulfilling time in a mother’s life. Yet, family planning is a mother’s partner to healthier family life.