Do You Have a Reproductive Life Plan?
If someone asks you – “Do you plan on having kids,” you may or may not have a response. That’s to be expected. No matter what stage of life you are in or whether or not you want children, creating a reproductive life plan can act as a great navigation tool and can even help you stay on track and plan accordingly for your future.
Let’s take a look at what exactly a plan like this entails and how to put it into practice.
What is a Reproductive Life Plan?
Think of it as your own unique roadmap that prompts you to identify life goals, professional pursuits, financial plans, and personal accomplishments to determine how, and if, a family and children fit into that.
It allows you to assess your current relationships, plan out the timing of potential pregnancies, and factor in any medical, economical, and emotional pieces necessary for a safe and healthy pregnancy.
A reproductive life plan is not only for women who want to have children. This step is valuable for all types of relationships and families. For instance, if you don’t want to get pregnant you will need a contraceptive plan to prevent that from happening—just one example of how reproductive planning comes into play.
Examples of Reproductive Plans
No two individuals or families are the same, so embrace the idea that your plan will look different than other friends and family in your life. Below are some introductory examples of reproductive plans to help you get started.
I’m in a serious relationship, but I don’t want children. I will find a form of birth control that works well for me and stick to that.
I just recently got married and I want a baby, but I’m concerned about potential health complications. I will schedule an appointment with my OB/GYN to figure out if it’s safe for me to get pregnant.
I already have three kids—all close in age. I want to take a break before having more, but have never used birth control before. I will talk to my OB/GYN about my options.
At this time, I want to focus on my career and immediate family. I want a natural alternative to birth control. I will see what my OB/GYN recommends.
How to Put Your Plan into Action
Set aside some time to sit down alone, or with your partner, and think through your life goals. Write down your thoughts in your wellness journal as you go. There are also great resources, like www.cdc.gov, where you can download helpful worksheets and tools to help you plan.
Next, talk to your OB/GYN so they are aware of your reproductive life plan. This specialist will be able to answer any questions you may have moving forward.
Value the family you have and the family you may have by taking the next steps in preparing your reproductive life plan.
Have questions about reproductive life planning? We’re here to help! Contact Carrie Snyder, the Beebe Women's Health Nurse Navigator, at (844) 316-3330, email [email protected], or visit the Women’s Health Resource Center at www.beebehealthcare.org/womens-resource-center.