Family planning is defined as a way of thinking and living that is adopted voluntarily, upon the basis of knowledge, attitude and responsible decisions by individuals and couples in order to promote the health and welfare of the family group and thus contribute effectively to the social development of a country. This is the WHO definition of family planning
Objectives of Family planning
1. To avoid unwanted births.
2. To bring about wanted births.
3. To regulate intervals between pregnancies.
4. To control the time at which births occur in relation to the age of the parent.
5. To determine the number of children in the family.
Family planning avoids and also prevents a variety of adverse effects on the health of mother, foetus and child.
The adverse effects prevented are:
1. Maternal depletion
2. Maternal morbidity
3. Maternal mortality
4. Lowered nutritional status
5. Complications of pregnancy.
Preventable effects are:
1. Fetal under – nutrition
2. Fetal mortality.
The following can be prevented
1. Mortality of children
2. Protein energy malnutrition (PEM)
3. Inadequate child care
4. Emotional consequences of inadequate care