What is family planning?

Family planning means planning for the future. It means having your baby when you are ready for a baby.

What is ‘ready’? That depends on you.

Maybe you first want to find that special someone and have a secure relationship. Maybe you want to complete your schooling, getting your matric certificate or your university degree.

Maybe it means getting a job first. Maybe it means enjoying your young life before settling down with a baby. Maybe you want to travel overseas. Maybe you want to buy a house first. Or a car. Maybe you want to start your own business.

Family planning means thinking about all the maybes and making a list of everything you want to do before starting a family.

Babies and children cost a lot of money. You need money to look after yourself during pregnancy. You need healthy food. You need pregnancy clothes. You need to visit a doctor regularly and you need to pay for the transport to and from your doctor, hospital or clinic. You might need supplements and/or medication. You need to prepare for the baby: clothing, blankets, toys, cot, pram, nappies, bottles, etc.

When the baby is born, you might need formula. Formula is very expensive and babies drink a lot. You will be buying cans and cans and more cans of formula before your baby’s first year. You will soon need more clothes and bigger clothes as your baby grows. And grows.

Then your child will need to attend preschool, primary school, high school, college or university.

Family planning means being responsible for your future and giving your child or children the best there is to offer.

There’s a huge difference between wanting to have sex and wanting to have a baby. Use contraceptives. There are many modern contraceptives to choose from. Go to a clinic or go to see a doctor and discuss contraceptive options with them. If you are shy about going to a clinic, talk to your mother or another responsible adult. To begin with, the adult may freak out, but hopefully they’ll get over it and come respect your choice – and take you to the clinic.

Rather a freak out than an unplanned baby!

Or, get a sexually active friend – or many friends – to accompany you to the clinic.

Be wise. Live your dream. Go for contraception.

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