What is family planning?
Family planning is popularly thought of as the implementation of a plan as to when to have children through the use of contraceptives, such as the Pill or other methods of birth control. Besides the Pill, different common types of birth control are, but not limited to:
Condoms and diaphragms
Intrauterine devices (IUD)
Tubal ligation (for females) or Vasectomy (for males)
While the use of birth control is a significant aspect of family planning, there are many other aspects and factors of family planning that do not involve the implementation of tactics to control the timing of a pregnancy physiologically.
Family planning also involves:
Learning about the woman’s menstrual/fertility cycle
Education and understanding of any challenges of getting pregnant, such as instances of infertility
Financial planning and readiness for the birth and rearing of a child or children
Creating a realistic, working plan as to when she gets pregnant ultimately gives the woman great control over her life- allowing herself to be fully prepared for the birth of a child or to take measures to ensure that she doesn’t become pregnant if she does not want to get pregnant or is not ready to get pregnant.
Giving birth to and then raising a child demands much time, effort, energy, and resources. Women and their partners must take the time to adequately prepare themselves financially as well as emotionally to meet best the responsibilities and challenges of raising a child.
Historically, the cost of raising a child has steadily increased; more financial resources are needed to build a healthy, well-developed child in this day and age than ever before. This means that deciding to start a family requires more careful and comprehensive planning than previous generations have had to do. It is the parents who are personally responsible for making sure that their child or children receive the food, clothes, shelter, healthcare, and education that they need- family planning goes a long way to ensure that parents are capable of providing the resources to meet those needs.