What is it?
As you know, a new addition to your family means some big and exciting changes in your life. Being ready for these changes–mentally, physically and financially–can lower your stress. It will also help you to enjoy this exciting time in your life. Family planning involves creating a plan for your future and your family.
- Do you want more children?
- How many?
- When? How far apart?
These are all important questions to think about. Sometimes life doesn’t go according to our plan. There are steps that you can take to make sure that you are ready for your growing family.
Family planning includes:
- Choosing if and when to get pregnant
- Birth control methods
- Knowing about sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
How do I start?
You can begin by building your reproductive life plan. Having another baby may or may not be in your future. Your plan will help you to think about your next steps. It can then help you put those steps into action.
Remember, you are in control of your future. Your reproductive life plan can help you make the best choices for your family’s health.
What do I need to think about?
- Think about some of your goals in life. For instance, going back to school, learning how to drive, or finding a new home.
- Now, think about how you will achieve your goals. (More information on how to set goals). Include the type of support and financial needs that relate to your goals.
- Next, think about if you want another baby
If you do want to have another baby…
- How many babies do I want to have?
- When will I have these babies? How many years apart?
- When do I want to start planning for this baby?
- What do I want my life to be like when I have these babies? (Living, financial, education, or career situations)
- What do I need to do to get my body ready before becoming pregnant again?
- What medical conditions (such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure) or other concerns (such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs) do I need to talk about with my doctor?
- Anything else you want to consider
If you don’t want to have another baby…
- What methods of birth control will I use?
- What will I do if I become pregnant by accident?
- Is it possible to change my mind if I decide I want to have children one day?
- What steps can I take to be as healthy as possible?
To help you create your own plan, visit CDC’s My Reproductive Life Plan.
Examples of Reproductive Life Plans
If you want to have another baby…
- “I would like to have a total of 4 babies. But I want to finish going to school first, so I can get a jump on my career. This way I can be financially stable to provide for all of my children. My doctor said that I should not get pregnant again until 2 years after I gave birth; this way my body will have time to get back in shape. She told me about all of my options for birth control, so that I can be ready for the next ones!”
If you don’t want to have another baby…
- “I am done having babies! Running my own business, volunteering at church, and being pregnant is just too much for me. I spoke with my doctor about what choices I have. We worked together on finding just the right type of birth control that fits with my busy lifestyle.”
Your Plan and Your Doctor
However you want to design your reproductive life plan, you should discuss this with your doctor. Your reproductive plan also includes testing and treatment for STIs, besides birth control. Your doctor can guide you with options that are right for you.
Check with your insurance provider to see what reproductive health possibilities are available for you. If you need assistance for medical coverage, you have a number of options to get health care in Detroit:
- Visit the Institute for Population Health, located at 1151 Taylor St., Detroit 48202 or call 313.324.9482. When you visit them, they can help you get enlist in the MOMS program right away.
- Reach out to your local Wayne County Department of Human Services (DHS) Offices. You’ll contact the DHS office that serves your zip code.
Tips for Dad:
No matter what your relationship with Mom is: boyfriend, spouse, short term relationship, or friend, it’s important that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to family planning.
- Think about the family that you want and your goals for the future. Be sure to discuss this with your partner so that decisions can be made together.
- If you decide that you don’t want any more kids together at this time, be sure that some form of protection is being used. Don’t assume that it is taken care of. Talk about it together and decide what type of birth control will work best for your relationship.
- Planned Parenthood Detroit Health Center in Midtown offers pregnancy and STI testing as well as options for birth control
- Summit Medical Center provides screenings and testing for pregnancy and STI’s as well as reproductive care services
- Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center has location is Midtown and Southwest provide bilingual healthcare services
- Detroit Community Health Connection, Inc. offers prenatal care at various locations all over the city regardless of your ability to pay for services