Natural Family Planning
Natural family planning will allow a couple to adopt natural birth controls methods so they can plan when to have a child. Determining when ovulation occurs is the best way to adopt natural birth control. This can be done with an ovulation indicator test kit, through using calendar rhythm, or by determining basil body temperature. Other family planning methods include but are not limited to the use of oral contraceptives, condoms, intrauterine devices, diaphragms, and contraceptive patches or shots. A couple who is unsure about what method of birth control to use may want to consider finding a clinic that specializes in family planning and talk to a counselor about all of their options. In addition, decisions like these should be considered carefully and thoughtfully but also prayerfully. "Cause me to hear Thy loving kindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee" (Psalm 143:8).
Couples who are married may decide to put off having a family right away. This could be for many reasons. Maybe both work and they want to be financially secure before bringing a child into the world. Natural family planning might be the best way to go if the two are willing to try and interpret the signs of ovulation. Women who have regular menses cycles are the best candidates for pinpointing exact times of ovulation. In addition, a couple may find that other methods of birth control are not tolerated very well. Sometimes oral contraceptives can cause many side effects and some of them may be very uncomfortable. With this type of dilemma the woman will have to weigh the benefits against the detriments to make a decision.
Oral contraceptives can cause discomfort because of common side effects. Side effects include but are not limited to nausea, headaches, weight gain especially with contraceptive shots, fluid retention, mood swings, depression, breast tenderness, and breakthrough bleeding. Many of the side effects may go away after being on contraceptives for at least three months. A woman should also consider the increase of health risks with long term use of oral contraceptives such as atherosclerosis, blood clots, gallbladder disease, cervical cancer, and breast cancer. Family planning methods that provide effective results with birth control include oral contraceptives that are taken exactly as prescribed. However, for the women who can not tolerate the side effects there are some other options.
An option for couples who choose to plan when to start their family is to purchase an ovulation indicator test kit. Most drug stores carry these and there are different brands to choose from. Basically these are used similar to pregnancy test kits. The woman can use the test to determine if the pituitary gland has released a hormone that will show up the day before ovulation occurs. The urine present on the stick will change colors if the hormone is present. Natural family planning methods that help a woman determine when ovulation occurs can be done by using this method. However, it may take a few sticks and a few days of checking to get a positive reading. Women who have regular menses will probably have more success at pinpointing the time close to ovulation compared with women who have very irregular menses. Talking to a physician about when to start using the test kit will be very helpful for women who are just unsure about when to start. More information can be found online regarding other ways to pinpoint ovulation including calendar rhythm and basil temperature.
The Bible says that children are a reward and a blessing from God. "Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward" (Psalm 127:3). Starting a family takes commitment and sacrifice by a couple but the rewards are many. If a couple decides to wait for awhile to have a child then there should be a planned method of birth control. Family planning methods require commitment from both husband and wife in order for birth control to be successful. Temporary solutions may be to use condoms or a diaphragm. Condoms are available for both males and females. A woman may decide to use a diaphragm but a doctor should be consulted before doing so. A diaphragm and condoms can only be used one time. People who are allergic to latex may not be able to use either.
An intrauterine device can be a very effective method of birth control as it changes the environment of the uterus where conceiving would be almost impossible. Possible side effects of an IUD include possible cramping and heavy bleeding during menses. The positive side of using an IUD is that it is effective for many years and it is easy to use. An intrauterine device will not interfere with conception once it is removed. Concerns for family planning methods usually revolve around risks or complications. Signs of complications are usually evident with abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, and fever which could all indicate infection.
Couples who are not married should seriously consider what the Bible says about marriage, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). Services available to couples can help them to make a decision towards choosing the best method of contraception. Natural family planning will usually take the couples lifestyle into consideration; what their plans are for the future; how soon they might want to have children; and their health and family medical history. Using a Christian counselor can provide insight into a Biblical perspective on issues concerning family as well as making suggestions on what birth control methods might work best for the couple's unique circumstances.
Pre Pregnancy PlanningPre pregnancy planning involves deciding on a specific time become pregnant. The best time to conceive a child is when ovulation is taking place. Drinking too much alcohol and smoking can impair one's ability to conceive. This is true for both male and female. Excessive alcohol has been proven to impair fertility. Caffeine is another substance that needs to be restricted. In fact, completely quitting caffeine, alcohol, and smoking will be necessary after becoming pregnant and should be part of every female's pre pregnancy planning. Caffeine has been proven to trigger miscarriage. Stay away from sodas, tea, coffee, and especially energy drinks because they normally contain large amounts of caffeine. A mother-to-be needs to eat as healthy as possible and take multi-vitamin and mineral supplements the entire 9 months. Food cravings may make it difficult to always eat healthy but every woman will want to be as healthy as possible so that her child will be as healthy as possible. "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him" (Ephesians 1:17).
Shedding extra pounds can make it easier when conceiving. Studies have shown that women who are overweight have more complications during pregnancy and delivery compared to those who aren't. Even being 10 pounds overweight is an impairment making it harder to get back to one's normal weight after the baby is born. Start a regular exercise program and make this an important part of pre pregnancy planning. Find an exercise that is enjoyable and set aside the same time each day or at least every other day. A couple of good suggestions that a female can continue after conception include walking and calisthenics. On the flip side, being too thin can be a hindrance as well. Some women who are too thin do not have regular cycles especially if they exercise a great deal and this can reduce fertility making it much more difficult to conceive.
Pre pregnancy planning should include saving money for diapers, baby furniture, maternity clothes, and doctor bills. Not being financially sound and having a little money in the bank can put a strain on family life. Making a budget helps a couple to stick back a little money for necessities and emergencies. Don't plan on making any high dollar expenditures. Forego buying a new car or taking out any loans especially high dollar ones with high interest. Curb spending on eating out by eating at home whenever possible. If a woman is working she should find out what her employer's policy is on getting paid while on maternity leave. She should also be aware of the policies of her health insurance especially how much it will pay towards having the baby. Most insurance companies will pay for maternal expenses but not prenatal expenses after the baby is born. This is a very vital and important consideration with pre pregnancy planning.
A couple wanting to have a child should look at their current residence and decide if there is room for one more. Sometimes a move to a bigger place may be necessary. Doing so will increase a family's expenses so wisdom should be used. Make sure there is enough money for getting into a bigger place and that it will be affordable after the baby arrives. Pre pregnancy planning should include a nursery and playroom for the little one. The child will need to have his or her own space just like adults need their own space. The first few months after the baby is born most people keep a bassinet in the master bedroom but after that the child will need to have his or her own bed to sleep in.
Make an appointment with an obstetrician and get a physical. Have the doctor check for STDs, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. Check all current medications out with the doctor to make sure they will be safe to take while pregnant. Pre pregnancy planning involves being in good health for both mother and baby. Make sure that you feel comfortable with your current physician while expecting because you will be visiting his or her office often for check ups. The spouse should get a physical as well making sure that he is in good health and has no reproductive problems such as a silent STD or fertility problems. Make an appointment with the dentist and have teeth and gums checked out. Problems with teeth can indicate an underlying health problem. Women who have gum disease have a higher risk for miscarriage.
Personal grooming can be an issue after conception. The chemicals in hair dye could possible be dangerous to an unborn baby especially during the time when the baby's organs are developing. Getting highlights is less dangerous because the chemicals do not normally reach the beginning of the root as much as full coverage hair color. Don't spend money unnecessarily for clothing because the clothes in your closet now are probably not going to fit you immediately after the baby is born; plus maternity clothes will have to be purchased to accommodate your changing body shape. Pre pregnancy planning is all about making good choices about purchases for personal grooming. Remember to wear loose fitting clothes and avoid products that contain chemicals. Choose products that are as natural as possible for your body too.