by Dr. Jack Singer
Men worldwide are getting more involved in family planning, thanks to changes in technology and culture. Everyone benefits when couples share the responsibility for family planning. When considering the weighty issues that are before you and the next steps you should take, think carefully about the following:
- Recognize that parenthood is a big decision for both partners. While pregnancy is obviously a major event in a woman’s life, fatherhood also has a huge impact on any man’s future. Make sure you’re ready for all the economic and psychological responsibilities of parenthood as well as the rewards.
- Strengthen your relationship and show your partner that you care about their welfare. Discussing intimate issues helps to build your trust in each other. The willingness to find a solution that’s safe, natural, and comfortable for both of you demonstrates your regard for each other’s well being.
- Protect your own health and that of your children. Look into natural forms of family planning such as:
NaPro Technology, Fertility Care, or Billings Ovulation Method.
- Evaluate the safety and side effects of different forms of birth control. Some contraceptives may pose health issues for certain individuals. For example, women taking birth control pills may need to have their blood pressure monitored and it may be more difficult to get pregnant in the future.
- Improve maternal and infant health by spacing pregnancies. The interval between pregnancies can have a dramatic effect on keeping mothers and babies healthier. Work together to stay on a safe timeline.
How to Share Responsibility for Family Planning and Contraception:
- Talk openly with each other. Sharing the responsibility for family planning begins with sound communication about your needs and aspirations. Couples need to know if their goals are compatible. Parenthood can be one of the most joyous and meaningful experiences in life if you get off to a good start.
- Be patient and persistent. Many people are uncomfortable talking about sex. By being patient with yourself and your partner, you can help work through any squeamishness so you can find the best arrangements for you and your family. Like most things, you’ll get better with practice.
- Select an appropriate time and setting for family planning discussions. You’ll probably have more constructive discussions about family planning if you select a time and setting which you both find calm and secure. It can be difficult to make sensible decisions while you’re physically intimate, so reserve these important dialogues for the appropriate time.
- Support each other if you’re using fertility awareness methods. Some couples prefer natural family planning that tracks ovulation to determine when a woman is most likely to become pregnant. This method requires effort and knowledge about the female menstrual cycle, so it’s most effective when both partners are motivated and engaged.
- Get input from health professionals. Doctors and nurses can help you understand your options and decide on the best methods for you. Couples may want to talk together with a health professional to help promote a unified approach.
Everyone benefits by being empowered to make better informed choices about the number of children they want to have and when they want to have them. By sharing the responsibility for family planning, you can build a better future for yourself and your family.
I am also available for phone consultations with athletes around the U.S. and in-person visits with athletes in Southern California. Call today toll free at 1-800-497-9880 for a free 20 minute telephone consultation with Dr. Jack Singer.
Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis