FAMILY PLANNING AND CONTRACEPTION
Updated: May 12, 2019
Did you know that family planning not only refers to the prevention of pregnancy, but to planning the optimal time and spacing of your pregnancies to give the highest chance of a healthy mother and baby?
Population data shows that for most couples, having pregnancies that are closely spaced or very far apart has higher risks of complications in particular including having a baby that is growth restricted (smaller than she or he should be), preterm birth (born earlier than 37 weeks), and of maternal iron and other vitamin deficiencies and weight retention as well as psychosocial stress (the impact of having several young dependant children at once). These risks are probably highest when there is six months or less between the pregnancies.
For women who have had a prior caesarean section, a short interpregnancy interval also increases the risk of the scar coming apart during labour (called a uterine rupture) and may alter the options provided by your caregiver for your next birth.
Reliable contraception is an important part of family planning for the above reasons and the ideal methods with the lowest failure rate are the long active reversible (LARC) methods such as intrauterine devices, implanon and depot, but so is where possible correcting acquired nutritional deficiencies, working towards a healthy weight and consciously spacing your next baby for the time that you and your family are most ready to begin the newborn phase anew.