Benefits of Family Planning

Family planning is making a decision to have a certain number of children, and avoiding pregnancy when it is undesirable. It also includes purposely spacing children by a certain number of months or years. It can include abstinence, fertility awareness and birth control. Family planning carries benefits for children, women, families and society.

Health Benefits for Women

The World Health Organization reports that approximately half a million women die from childbirth each year worldwide. Many of these women are young, already have more than four children, have health problems or are older, all of which can increase the risk of maternal mortality. Effective family planning can reduce the risk of death in these women.

Teaching women to use birth control effectively can also reduce the number of abortions performed. Abortions, especially illegal abortions or those performed later in pregnancy, can cause complications such as bleeding, infection and death. Reducing the number of abortions can improve women’s health.

Benefits for Children

Family planning can help ensure that the babies a family has are wanted and will be taken care of. The World Health Organization recommends that babies should be spaced at least two years apart. Children born less than 18 months after their older sibling are at risk of premature birth and low birth weight. These can cause various health problems and may lead to death.

Family Benefits

According to FamilyPact, most American families desire to have an average of two children. Having the desired number of children can foster a sense of well-being and can reduce the stress of needing to provide for more children than planned. If a woman can plan when she wants to have children, she can also plan to take advantage of educational and career opportunities, contributing to her overall happiness. This also may put the woman in a higher income bracket, reducing financial stress and allowing the family to save money, buy a home in a good school district or provide their children with all of their needs.

Community Benefits

FamilyPact states that for every dollar spent on family planning services, states can save $3 on Medicaid services for pregnant women and newborn babies. Family planning services and education also cause a decrease in the number of teenage mothers. The World Health Organization points out that if families only have the number of children that they can afford, they are less likely to need government assistance in the form of cash, food assistance and housing assistance. Women who have smaller families may be more likely to be able to help their communities through volunteer or paid work.

About this Author

Michelle Kulas is a freelance writer specializing in SEO, Web content, and blogging. She has worked as a certified nurses’ assistant, a dental assistant, and a dental insurance billing coordinator. Her areas of expertise include health and dental topics, parenting, homeschooling, education, homekeeping, natural family planning and decorating.