Family planning is a well-known terminology in the 21st century. It involves taking into consideration the number of children a couple wishes to have, including the choice of having no children at all.
Often times when family planning is mentioned, Contraceptives are the first to come to mind and rightly so. However, family planning is not restricted to contraception alone. Family planning as elaborately defined by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System is the educational, comprehensive medical or social activities which enable individuals, including minors, to determine freely the number and spacing of their children and to select the means by which this may be achieved. (NCANDS, 2019).
Family planning is gradually becoming a welcome clause amongst couples even in Nigeria. Why is this so? One might wonder, the overpopulated society and struggling economy has made people more conscious of the number of children they should have and also when they should have them.
Family planning is not only important to a family, its benefits affects the economy of any country and social strength of any society. Let us look at the advantages.
Benefits of Family Planning to the Family
Family planning hits home more for the womenfolk as they are directly and primarily involved in the whole process of birthing.
A research carried out by the University of Ilorin Teaching hospital indicated that majority (88%) of women have good knowledge of family planning, many (61%) are interested in its use but at least half of them have not used any method and current use was just 27%. (Tunde-Ayinmode, 2013).
The benefits of family planning for women are as follows;
- The mother has enough time to recover after delivery,
- She has enough time to focus on her career
- She is in a better position to focus on each child and provide the needed motherly care that are critical to the early developmental stages of childhood.
Lack of family planning is an attributed cause of 640,000 newborn deaths and 150,000 maternal deaths. Also, application of family planning methods will save 600,000 children from losing their mothers annually. (Wikipedia, 2020)
In what ways do children benefit from family planning?
- The health of newborn babies is dependent on how healthy their mothers are.
- They get enough affection and attention from their parents.
- They develop better and are more psychologically stable as they grow
The father’s role in raising up children is undisputable; it is therefore important that he is capable of taking on this role. How does family planning benefit a father?
- His burden is lightened as compared to having more children than he can take care of
- He is in a better position to provide basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter for his children
- The spacing of the children allows for better planning of financial resources with regards to the education of the children.
The results of neglecting family planning or living in ignorance of its possibilities scales up to the society. The adverse effects of lack of family planning are evident in the society in more ways than we might care to notice.
- Overpopulation- When birth control is not taken into consideration, overpopulation is inevitable. This in turn leads to lack of resources and basic amenities to go round for the populace. These resources range from clean air to water. Inhabitants are also deprived of amenities such as health, education and food due to the fact that the portion available is not enough to go round.
- Increase in Social Vices- Since the attention of parents are strained with trying to provide for more children that they had planned for, the children grow up without sound exposure to moral values. As a result of this, they are prone to turn to a life of crime.
In general, family planning enables the achievement of both women and children’s right to education, employment and full participation in the society.
The common methods of birth control are;
- Barrier contraceptives such as the male and female condoms
- Cervical Caps
- Sterilization which could be the vasectomy for males or tubal ligation for females
- Intrauterine devices (IUD) such as Copper IUD or Hormonal IUD.
The options of birth control are vast, yet it is important to be sufficiently informed before making your choice. This is why it is important to Speak to a Doctor before embarking on this journey.
Gone are the days when matters such as the number of children you can have was left to fate and chance. Today, you can make a choice to give your offspring a healthy and balanced future, what more? You can access this service with just a Phone Call.
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