The importance of family planning
Remedios Manloloyo (The Freeman) - September 23, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — It is a fact that any undertaking goes smoothly and well when planned thoroughly beforehand. And what could be a more crucial undertaking than starting a family? Proper family planning is very important, because it is about the wellbeing and happiness of loved ones.

It used to be that the only way to prevent or space out pregnancies was abstinence. Fortunately for couples today, there are many more family planning methods available. And there is no need for couples to sacrifice their religious convictions.

The term “family planning” is often used as a synonym for “birth control.” Family planning, however, does not only involve contraception. Family planning also takes into account planning childbirth for specific times – like by spacing births a few years apart – and planning for a child when the wife has challenges conceiving one.

Family planning is a major step in responsible parenthood. Again, there are several methods available – for delaying pregnancy and for spacing or limiting the number of births in the family. A key consideration is the capacity of parents to provide for their children – not only in terms of the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, but also of good education and parental attention.

It is easy to figure out that the bigger the family, the more resources needed to maintain the home. It also means more stress for parents in attending to the kids and, thus, the loving atmosphere in the home may be compromised as parents become short-tempered and the kids become resentful. These problems can be prevented by good family planning.

The Department of Health cites various benefits that support the concept of family planning – for the mother, the children, the father, the whole family.

For the Mother –

• allows her to regain her health after a childbirth,

• gives her enough time and opportunity to nurture her baby,

• enables her to give sufficient love and attention to her husband and children,

• allows for more time focus on her family and on own personal advancement,

• gives her enough time for treatment and recovery, in case of illness.

For the Children –

• healthy mothers produce healthy children,

• they get all the attention, security, love, and care they deserve.

For the Father –

• lightens the burden and responsibility in supporting his family,

• enables him to satisfactorily provide his children their basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, education, and better future)’

• gives him time for his family and own personal advancement,

• gives him enough time for treatment and recovery, in case of illness.

Family planning is important for the health of the mother and her children, as well as the family’s economic situation. According to the United States Agency for International Development, having too many children or having children less than two years apart can cause both the mother and her children serious health consequences. The financial consequence of having children involves the medical costs of pregnancy and birth and the high costs associated with actually bringing up children.

A manageable family size allows for parents to think and take steps for their own advancement. They may pursue careers or start businesses, which can empower them more financially to provide for their children’s needs. And the children will have better emotional support and guidance from their parents.

It is said that it can break a person’s back to take on a load that’s more than he can carry. This aptly applies to parenthood. Thus, it is advisable for couples to do family planning – because if their backs break, the whole family breaks down.

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