EngenderHealth asks WTFP and It Doesn’t Mean What You Think



Given the fact that I have four children, and I had them all on my schedule — well, not my oldest, kind of, but that’s a story for another day, I can honestly say that the statistics for mother and child mortality because of lack of ability to family plan is staggering. The fact that the reproductive rights of women are still questioned makes me sad. 
When EngenderHealth reached out to me to write about the different family planning issues that women in different countries face, and how they are helping make sure that every woman has the amount of children that they want, when they want and in a safe manner, I was very excited to participate.
I was able to read about three very different women who have all been able to benefit from different aspects of EngenderHealth’s work, such as programs to help with postpartum hemorrhaging, obstetric fistulas, and child spacing. The thing is, while they may have been different as far as countries that they reside in, and the amount of children that they have, they all had one thing in common: the lack of information to help them with different aspects of maternal care and family planning. 

Rashida for example, experienced life-threatening hemorrhaging each time she each of her five children.  This pregnancy, her sixth, she found out that she was going to be delivering twins.  This time however, she was visited by a government health worker trained by EngenderHealth, who was able to prescribe a 50 cent pill that would help slow the bleeding after the birth of her twins, and essentially keep Rashida out of a very dangerous circumstance. Excessive bleeding not only affects the mother’s ability to tend to her newborn, it makes it nearly impossible to function because energy levels are low because of the rapid loss of blood. 

Being able to space children out so that you are able to tackle things in your life at a pace that is comfortable for you is something that I’m sure many of us in the US don’t think too deeply about. For Mariam, however, being able to space her children was a life-changing opportunity. She was able to send both of her children to school and focus on a business that she and her husband run together, without worrying about her becoming pregnant at a time that would be inconvenient for her or her family. She and her husband are now ready for children, and she has the freedom to choose when she and her husband are ready to add more to their family. 

I cannot imagine what life would look like if my husband and I weren’t able to plan our children out the way that we did. We spaced our first two eight years apart, and then decided we were ready to have our third – or our third and fourth – two years after we had our second, and now that we’re fairly sure that we are done, I’m not worrying about any surprise pregnancies. It’s invaluable to me that avoiding pregnancy is not a HUGE thought process for me is invaluable, so I can understand that when ladies who formerly weren’t privy to family planning can get it, there is a huge burden lifted. They are put in the driver’s seat of their maternal and reproductive health, and it’s awesome! 

Because of my ability to plan, I have four children. I still kind of throw around the idea of having two more (I have an issue with odd numbers of children, but it’s not a game changer) while my husband gets wide eyed at the mention. But we have a choice, and that’s what everyone in this world should have as well. 

EngenderHealth is working to raise awareness among Americans of the importance of access to contraception around the world. In September, EngenderHealth is launching a national campaign that asksWTFP – Where’s the Family Planning?!’ 

There are several ways to engage in the campaign. Find out more by clicking here and be sure to follow EngenderHealth on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

 

How has access to family planning shaped your life? Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win a Social Good Goodies bag.

 

Sweepstakes Rules:

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4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

5. Sign up for EngenderHealth newsletter at the following link, and leave a comment on the post saying you did so.

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Notorious Spinks
    September 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    The ability to plan is awesome. We all should have access to contraception, no matter where you life, your faith, etc. But some more kids… I’m afraid to have one.
    Notorious Spinks recently posted..The Home Depot Presents Girls’ Night Out Hosted by Tom Joyner #HomeDepotGNOMy Profile

  • Reply
    heather
    September 22, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    I think access to contraceptives is very important and hope one day every woman in the world will have access. I will tell others about this post. Having access has helped me and my family.

  • Reply
    Brittany
    September 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    The ability to family plan has been amazing for myself and my husband. My husband is currently a seminary student and I am a law student. We already have a 3 year old who was conceived while I was pursuing my undergraduate degree which allowed us to decide we didn’t want any other children until we were both further into our career. We enjoy our one child as well as knowing that we are in control of the growth of our family.

  • Reply
    Angel Jacklyn
    September 24, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    TWEETED FOR FIRST ENTRY! afjackly@oakland.edu

    https://twitter.com/kytah00/status/514953479853719553

  • Reply
    Angel Jacklyn
    September 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I WAS BETTER EDUCATED THE SECOND TIME AROUND WHEN I GOT PREGNANT AND IT’S BEEN A HEALTHY EXPERIENCE THIS TIME! afjackly@oakland.edu

  • Reply
    Ashley H
    September 28, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    It helped me have a baby when I was ready and financial stable.

  • Reply
    D Schmidt
    September 28, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    It has meant I am able to make my own choices and have freedom.

  • Reply
    D Schmidt
    September 28, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    tweeted
    https://twitter.com/mummytotwoboys1/status/516412359644954625

  • Reply
    Nicole
    October 18, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Having access to family planning has shaped my life by having the control to make the choice on when to start a family.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    October 18, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    My tweet is here: https://twitter.com/lil_lady_dz/status/523604034486145024

  • Reply
    Madeline
    October 25, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Access to family planning has given us the choice of when to have our children, and when to stop!

  • Reply
    Kerry
    October 31, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    It has allowed me to get to the point of my life where I was ready to start a family the way I wanted.

  • Reply
    erica best
    November 1, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I am single woman and the ability to family plan when i am ready it great

  • Reply
    Cori Westphal
    November 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I’m married with two kids and am happily finished having kids! Family planning means I can make sure I don’t have any surprises down the road!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com
    Cori Westphal recently posted..30 day Challenge to get fit?My Profile

  • Reply
    Cori Westphal
    November 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Tweet: https://twitter.com/coriwestphal/status/529387522439135232

    coriwestphal at msn dot com
    Cori Westphal recently posted..30 day Challenge to get fit?My Profile

  • Reply
    Tabathia B
    November 3, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    For me it means protection against unplanned pregnancies
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  • Reply
    Tabathia B
    November 3, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/529450390681419776

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  • Reply
    Melissa M
    November 7, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    It helped me find out I was pregnant.

  • Reply
    Melissa M
    November 7, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    https://twitter.com/618mom23boys/status/530935076935467008

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