Family Planning: Ideal ways of planning a baby

Updated at: Jan 21, 2014
Family Planning: Ideal ways of planning a baby

With the help of family planning or birth control, couples can fulfill their desire of having a specific number of children and can space and time their births. Advice on spacing the children.

Bhadra Kamalasanan
PregnancyWritten by: Bhadra KamalasananPublished at: Feb 04, 2013

Starting a family is not rocket science, but it sure does need your careful decision making. Try and figure out what it is that you want from your future and you will know all about planning for your family.


family planningWith the help of family planning or birth control, couples can fulfill their desire of having a specific number of children and can space and time their births. Family planning is achieved with the use of various contraceptive methods, natural methods and sometimes in cases of infertility, treatments could also be of help. Natural methods of family planning are not completely reliable. Couples should understand the need to provide a gap of time between pregnancies and also the importance of restricting number of pregnancies. Pregnancy spacing and limiting number of pregnancies dramatically affects the mother’s health in more than one way, it reduces neonatal complications and lets the mother’s body recover for her to be wholesome before giving birth to another life. Both the newborn’s health and the mother’s health depend on birth spacing as it gives sufficient time for the mother’s body to rebuild its strength and nutrition stores.


Benefits of Family Planning

  • Good Reproductive Health: Ensures good reproductive health of the woman and reduces risks of premature birth or other complications.
  • Unplanned Pregnancies Prevented: Family planning helps to prevent unplanned pregnancies which can result in miscarriage or abortions thereby protecting the overall health of a woman.
  • Helps to Decide: Helps women or couples to decide family size and timing their baby’s birth.
  • Healthy Pregnancies: By limiting pregnancies in the fertile and childbearing years of a woman not only does the woman benefit by having healthy pregnancies with minimal complications but the child benefits too. A newborn given birth after enough spacing and at a fertile age of the mother is less likely to suffer from any abnormalities or health risks.

Ideal Spacing between Children

What may be “ideal” for one, may not be a choice for another. The ideal gap between two children will draw varied opinions from all spheres with various reasoning to back them. You might consider all advice you may get but ultimately it is your call, do what you feel is right as every case is unique. Today, all women marry late and postpone their childbirth to a later stage, eventually then wanting children who are spaced between less time as the fear of infertility swings like Damocles’ sword. As per studies, it is recommended that a gap of eighteen to twenty-three months from the time of delivery is ideal for conceiving a second baby. There are a number of pros and cons in both the cases of less spacing and more spacing between children, weigh them down and decide.

Benefits of spacing Babies further Apart

  • Allowing your body to recover: Your body goes through a lot of rigors of pregnancy and delivery may make you anemic because of the transfer of iron to the baby and general blood loss during childbirth. Letting your body recover from the upheaval of hormones, nutrient loss and psychological change is very important before you plan to have another baby.
  • For better health of the subsequent baby: When the babies are spaced apart for a considerable period (18-23 months) you drastically reduce the chances of premature birth, low birth weight and undersized baby not considering the cases of high-risk pregnancies.
  • Better upbringing: It aids in better upbringing as the first baby gets full attention.
  • Having a considerably elder child: This may help to raise a second baby in a better fashion. The first baby would be able to help you raise your newborn, also by being able to take care of his/her own needs. This will also help your elder child in being more protective and caring towards your newborn.
  • Giving ample time to couples to “recover”: Recovery from the journey of pregnancy and letting them prepare for the next pregnancy by providing time for emotional stability or drain out is very important.

Perils of spacing babies further apart

  • Age gap, different needs: A child has different needs according to the age group. A grown up child would like to go and play outside while a baby needs optimum sleep. Parents have to juggle with these needs as ignoring anyone will lead to a child feeling inferior to the other sibling.
  • Children spaced further apart: may have individual interests which may vary from the other sibling and prioritizing this becomes a task for parents.
  • Adjustment for the first born: The first born who was having the privilege of being the “only” child may find it hard to adjust to the new image of him sharing his space and attention from parents.

Benefits of spacing Babies close Together

  • Simultaneous Raising: Couples are in the phase of bringing up babies which will help them raise two babies simultaneously saving them from undergoing the procedure again. Parents are accustomed to the demands of “babyhood” like changing diapers and erratic timings.
  • Similar Treatment: Since the children are closely spaced there are no feelings of being “left out” by any of the child.
  • Common Interests: Children spaced close together will share common interests and needs making their upbringing considerably easier.
  • Good Social Skills: Closely spaced children become natural playmates and social skills develop quite early in them.

Perils of spacing Babies close Together

  • Exhaustion: Couples raising closely spaced children will experience exhaustion and complete drain out as baby care becomes a double duty.
  • Divided Attention: Since attention gets divided between two equally demanding children one’s focus may get blurred and the experience of raising each child is absent.
  • Excess Competition: Having closely spaced, same gender siblings may have excess competitive streak with lack of close bonding.

Since pros and cons are present in both the cases, it is best left to the parents to decide how to space their children depending on concerns related to health, financial situation, sibling relationships and family structure.

Read more articles on Conceiving.


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