Reproductive Life Plan

July 1, 2010

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) couldn't care less whether or not you plan to conceive: they want every man and woman to make a reproductive life plan during their reproductive years. This recommendation, so they say, has nothing to do with getting pregnant.

Living a lifestyle conducive to good health is important no matter whether you are a woman or a man or whether you want to have a baby or not. Everyone should eat a balanced diet packed with nutrition. Every individual should refrain from a high intake of caffeine, stay away from cigarettes, and keep alcohol consumption at moderate levels. Each person should get the right amount of regular exercise, too. All of this is independent of your gender or any decisions you might make about having kids.

The CDC notes that more than half of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned. Because of this fact, it behooves a sexually active heterosexual woman in her reproductive years to consider the state of her health.

For one thing, it's rare for a woman to realize she has conceived during the earliest stages of her pregnancy. During this time, she may continue her usual lifestyle behaviors which may cause damage to the fetus. A good example of this relates to prescription medication. A woman could take her regular prescription medication with no idea she is pregnant and without realizing that the medication is contraindicated for a fetus. There are often safer alternatives to such medications and women should ask for medical advice on these matters as part of their regular health care.

Identifying Pregnancy Goals

In drawing up a reproductive life plan, each man and woman should consider if and when they'd like to have kids, and what goals they would like to achieve before this time. They can then think about how they might attain such goals. Perhaps it will be a crucial component of the plan to obtain a reliable form of birth control that can be used until such time as you are ready to conceive. Not every issue that can impact on your health is connected to pregnancy, but only you can identify the right life choices that you must take during your lifetime.

Underlining Reproductive Objectives

The idea of the reproductive life plan is to help you underline your objectives in relation to bearing or not bearing children. The plan is a reflection of your personal resources and values.

Some sample topics you may wish to include in your reproductive life plan:

*Right now, I don't want children. I need to ensure I won't get pregnant. I have two choices: avoid having sex with those of the opposite sex, or make sure I correctly use an efficient method of contraception.

*I want children but not just yet. I want to be in a stable relationship and be making good money, first. Until I get to this point, I will be using contraceptives. Once I'm ready to have a child, I will first seek preconception care and make sure the doctor feels I'm in good reproductive health.

*I'm prepared to have three kids but want them spaced every 4 years. I will maintain my reproductive health with preconception care throughout this time and find the best method of birth control to help me achieve my childbearing aims.

*I want whatever children come my way. I don't believe in planning pregnancies. What comes will come. However, I will make sure my body will be in good health throughout my childbearing years.

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