The Basics of Natural Family Planning
Before engaging in family planning, make sure that your financial situation, you and your partner’s age, as well as the potential age gap with your child, are within considerations.
The First Step to a Blissful Pregnancy –
Your child’s growth and development require immense responsibility and duty. Hence, it is essential that you are physically and mentally prepared from the very beginning for this beautiful lifelong commitment. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, consistent planning and goals need to be carefully set in place.
If you plan on having a positive pregnancy experience, you need to have a solid pregnancy plan laid out with the primary goal of conceiving and birthing to a healthy child.
If you want at least two children, the intervals between the two births matter. It is best to keep them both properly spaced out to prevent any health implications or birth complications. Next, it is necessary to prepare your entire family for the arrival of the new member so you can provide utmost care. Finally, factor in all the mandatory health checks, vaccinations, activities and take precautions to stop any form of drug abuse in your pregnancy planning.
It is no myth that healthy parents give birth to healthier children. One great advantage of pregnancy planning is the reduction of the mother’s psychological stress when she is mentally prepared, giving her the confidence of a smooth pregnancy.
Analyze Your Financial State and Environment
Financial issues can be a huge hindrance in family planning. Consider this; if you are unable to cope financially, how do you expect to provide a fulfilling and happy upbringing for your children? Bear in mind that the costs of raising a child, such as medical expenses during pregnancy, indispensable living costs, along with other financial burdens, are sky-high.
Having children when you have a strong foundation in your finances is an ideal explanation to lowered parental stress. Finances aside, other external burdens such as work and family problems, may lead to parents being too occupied to provide sufficient prenatal care. This, in turn, may lead to a scenario that causes parents to wallow in guilt and self-blame when their child is in poor health and constantly crying, questioning themselves if it was due to their untimely pregnancy and neglect. Therefore, if your situation does not permit your pregnancy, it is best to postpone it to the future when pressing issues have been ironed out.
Ideal Age for Pregnancy: Before 30
For women, the ideal age for pregnancy hovers around the age of 25. Aside from the medical point of view of a woman’s physiological phenomenon, pregnancy at the age of 25 also gets the thumbs up in societal views. However, women tend to wed a tad bit later these days, so planning a pregnancy around the age of 30 is fine, but it is not advisable to conceive later than 35.
High-risk pregnancy begins after the age of 35, as the rates of premature births, miscarriage and deformity increase exponentially. Furthermore, your uterus muscles tend to ‘harden’ after 35 years of age, placing older mothers at risk of labor complications.
Although a man’s age does not carry as much significance as a woman’s age when it comes to pregnancy, it is scientifically proven that younger men have better sperm mobility with lower chances of mutation. Hence, men should strive to have children before hitting their 30s.
The period of 2-3 years is an ideal interval between two births
If you intend to have two or more children, it is important to consider the age gap between them. Generally, an interval of 2-3 years is ideal, as the mother’s body would have sufficient time to recover completely from the first birth ensuring a smooth second pregnancy. Taking care of 2 infants is a backbreaking job, so having the second child after 2-3 years would be a simpler task.
At times, having two children consecutively may result in sibling rivalry, whereby the older child bully their younger sibling or behave regressively to vie for their parents’ attention. In these situations, children develop an unhealthy mentality which increases parental stress.
Therefore, to prevent having to deal with such circumstances, it is strongly recommended that the next pregnancy is planned at least a year or two after getting the hang of raising the first child.
Spring Births are ideal
Due to many advantages, it is strongly recommended to plan the childbirth during the months of Spring. Firstly, a child’s growth and development is optimal during this period, along with postpartum care. Secondly, when the child is taking his first steps approximately a year later, Spring would be the ideal season for them to learn walking outdoors. Another advantage is aiding morning sickness which often results in a loss of appetite. Planning childbirth in Spring would mean conceiving in Summer so by the time morning sickness starts to occur, the abundance of rich, flavorful food during Fall will come just in time to help with the poor appetite.
Reduce Pressure with a Healthy Lifestyle
Leading a healthy lifestyle minimizes the stress of both parents which in turn increases the chances of having a healthy child. Hence, optimum pre-pregnancy health is of utmost importance. Parents planning for pregnancy must first ensure that their health is at top-form by eating healthily, exercising regularly and getting adequate sleep.
Regular Health Check-Ups for the Prevention of Diseases
Before conceiving a child, both parents should undergo a thorough health examination to ensure that they are perfectly healthy to do so, or begin treatment if they have any existing health problems. In any case, if the mother is suffering from diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and other diseases, it is strongly advised that she consults a doctor to fully understand any risk that might incur from her pregnancy. Assurance from a doctor would also levitate any uncertainty and doubts that she might have.
Quit Substance Use: Tobacco and Alcohol
Any mothers who wish to conceive a child has to quit any substance abuse such as smoking and the consumption of alcohol. Although this may be a daunting task for some, always bear in mind that substance abuse is highly detrimental to both the mother’s health and fetus’ development. Complications such as miscarriage, premature labor, stillbirth, vaginal bleeding are particularly apparent when the mother is a frequent smoker. Therefore, stopping substance abuse ahead of pregnancy is necessary to conceive a healthy child. As for fathers, they too should abstain from smoking and drinking in order to maintain a good health.
During pregnancy, mothers must remember that they no longer consume just sufficient nutrients for themselves, but for their child as well. Hence, the type of food consumed needs to be rich in nutrients especially protein, calcium, and iron. A mother should never conceive a child if she were on a diet, as a deficiency in protein and iron during pregnancy would leave adverse effects on both herself and her child.
Is there no cause to worry if you are planning for pregnancy at a younger age?
Statistics have shown that for women, a gradual decrease in egg quantity and quality in the ovaries begins after the age of 29. Chances of infertility soars to 30% after the age of 35, and increase further to 40-50% after the age of 40.
There is also a direct relation between a man’s age and his fertility. Based on statistics, a 25 year old man has a good fertility rate of 75%, but falls to a depressing rate of 25% after the age of 40.
Simply put, healthier and younger parents have a higher possibility of conceiving healthy children due to better quality sperm and eggs. For more info how natural family planning works see the video below.