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World Population Day: Make Your Mind Before You Make Babies! 

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By 2050, the world population is projected to reach nearly 10 billion and we will be needing at least 3 Earths for our accommodation![1] But the million dollar question is: can the planet support 10 billion people? 

Overpopulation is a crisis that potentially stands alongside climate change as one of the biggest challenges faced by humanity today. No doubt we are using more resources than the earth can renew. Controlled population and optimal use of resources allow sustainable development. This, in turn, helps eradicate poverty, social inequality, corruption, and unemployment at ground level.  And, the easiest and most effective method that can control population explosion is birth control.

While there can be no two opinions about the necessity of birth control, here are 6 more reasons you must make mind before making babies: 

1. The decision lies with you

The decision to start a family should be yours and only yours. Marriage in most Indian household indirectly means to enter a family life. Of course! But, couples must ask themselves, are they ready for this big change? It is equally important to understand and respect a woman’s choice for this change. Better awareness and access to effective birth control methods help prevent pregnancy when you are not prepared for it.

2. More me and us-time

Getting to decide when to have kids means having more time to pursue personal and professional goals. Research suggests that couples who can plan their pregnancies are more likely to stay together and more prepared for their parenthood.

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3. Healthier moms, healthier families

Certain birth control methods protect women against sexually transmitted infections and help normalize menstrual irregularities. Studies have also linked a lower number of pregnancies with a lower risk for cervical cancer in women with an human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. Recent studies have found that chances of a woman getting a major heart attack increase by 40% if she has more than one or two children. Also, it is interesting to know that 77% of women say birth control allows them to take better care of themselves and their families.[2] 

As per a study published in the British Medical Journal, children born after unplanned pregnancies tend to have a more limited vocabulary and poorer nonverbal abilities. So, unintended pregnancy not only adversely impacts the mother’s health but also results in compromised cognitive skills in their children.

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4. Save lives of the unborn

Nearly 80 million unintended pregnancies occur each year worldwide, resulting in 42 million induced abortions and 34 million unintended births.[3] Birth control protects and saves lives of the unborn and abolishes any chance of raising an unwanted child with a dented emotional reserve.  

Do you know around 214 million women of developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy are not using any birth control measures?[4]

5. Gets you financially prepared

The moment you plan a baby, you start planning saving and investing. The medical expenses can be majorly split into two buckets–before delivery and after delivery. It becomes so much easier to enjoy the process of having and raising a child if it is not marred by financial concerns or constraints. 

6. Less feet, less heat

Having 1 fewer child may be more than 20 times more effective than any other action individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprints. A lower birth rate would definitely help cut carbon dioxide emissions. Stopping at two children can serve as the best personal strategy to tackle climate change and save the environment. So, if you want to take your eco-friendly behavior to the next level, look into the greenest way out, i.e., birth control. 

Take-home Message

Birth control is an effective way to plan pregnancy, family planning, and doing your bit to contain population explosion. You can choose from a plethora of methods, including natural methods (withdrawal methods), barrier methods (male and female condoms), contraceptive pills, and surgical techniques. Do not hesitate to consult a specialist in case you have any doubt regarding the efficacy and usage of these methods. 

Got queries related to planning a pregnancy? Consult a specialist.

I have 3 humble suggestions:

To the family: Pregnancy should be a conscious decision made by the couple, not a helpless or a compelling dilemma. 

To the man: Imposing that “I want a baby” or not taking responsibility for an unintended pregnancy is no solution! Think, plan, and involve your partner in the decision-making. 

To the woman: Do not make babies to “save” a marriage falling apart. A child is no solution to the compatibility between a man and a woman!  And, saying “Yes” to birth control does not mean saying “No” to motherhood.

Now is the time to feel a responsibility towards future generations and Mother Earth. Do remind yourselves to have a family by choice, not by chance. Make your mind before you make babies!

Recommended Reads:

Oral Contraceptive Pills Or Birth Control Pills — What You Need To Know

Can Natural Birth Control Methods Really Prevent Pregnancy?

References:

1. World population projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100. News. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations (UN).

2. Singh S, Shekhar C, Acharya R, et al. The incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy in India, 2015. Lancet Glob Health. 2018 Jan;6(1):e111-e120.

3. Kumar N. Current abortion practices in India: a review of literature. Int J Reprod Contracept Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Jun;3(2):293-300

4. Key Facts. Family Planning/Contraception. The World Health Organization(WHO).

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