A family is obviously the smallest institution that constitutes the bedrock of a nation anywhere in the world. A peaceful nation, therefore, is ostensibly a true reflection of a stable, healthy and resourceful family. To make and achieve the aforesaid features, a well-structured procreation system must be put in place and this is readily achievable by embracing the family planning programme designed to enable every one of child bearing age to effectively plan and space their children.
In other words, it won’t be out of place to define family planning as a process of educational, comprehensive medical activity which enables individuals to determine freely the number and spacing of their children and to select the means by which this may be achieved. This may involve consideration of the number of children a woman wishes to have, including the choice to have no children, as well as the age at which she wishes to have them.
The aforementioned are usually informed by external factors such as marital situation, career considerations, financial position, any disabilities that may affect their capacity to have children and raise them, besides many other considerations.
According to the United Nations and the World Health Organization, family planning encompasses services leading up to conception and does not promote abortion as a family planning method, although contraceptive use reduces the need for it.
In 2006, the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) issued a recommendation encouraging men and women to formulate reproductive life plans to help them in avoiding unintended pregnancies and improve the health of women and reduce complicated pregnancy outcomes.
It is worthy to say that raising a child requires a significant amount of resources, time as well as proper environmental considerations. Planning can help to ensure that resources available are properly harnessed to achieve an intended result. Therefore the purpose of family planning is to make sure that any couple which has a child has the resources needed in order to complete this goal. With these resources, the couple can explore the potions of natural birth, surrogacy, artificial insemination or adoption.
In another case, if a person does not wish to have a child at the specific time, he/she can investigate the resources that are needed to prevent pregnancy such as birth control contraceptives and physical preventions.
A review of the economic literature on life satisfaction shows that certain groups of people are happier without children. These include single parents, the divorced as well as the poor to say the least.
Meanwhile, it is pertinent to say that about 99% of maternal deaths occur in less developed countries, less than one half occur in sub-Sahara Africa and almost one third in South Asia. Available records show that both early and late motherhood has increased risks. Young teenagers face a higher risk of complications and death as a result of pregnancy. The ideal thing is to wait until the mother is at least 18 years old before trying to have children.
However, if additional children are desired after a child is born it is healthier for the mother and the child to wait at least two years after the previous birth before attempting to conceive.
Adesola Ogunbanwo, Abeokuta, Ogun State.