Creating a Reproductive Life Plan
By: Katy Leopard
Choices. Memphis Center of Reproductive Health
Having a plan helps you make important choices in your life. A Reproductive Life Plan is a set of goals you can make about having or not having children. You may change your mind over time – that is ok. A reproductive life plan is important for your personal well-being, whether or not you plan to have children. Planning if and when to have children helps you think about how you want to live your life and achieve your goals. Many pregnancies in Tennessee are unplanned and happen at a time when a woman’s health or social situation is not ideal. Making a reproductive life plan can help ensure that you are healthy and ready if you choose to get pregnant. If you don’t have a plan to prevent pregnancy, you have a plan to get pregnant!
A Reproductive Life Plan takes into account your future goals and dreams for yourself, your physical health, mental health, family and health history, as well as your desire to have children or not. Have you ever thought about what your life will be like in 5 years? How much education would you like to complete? What work would you like to be doing? Do you see yourself in a committed relationship? Being in control of your reproductive life is a key part of making these dreams and goals a reality. Good health habits and working to manage any chronic diseases like diabetes or asthma can affect your future health and your reproductive life goals. Health problems can also come from parents or other relatives. If you know the health background of your family, you’re a step ahead in understanding problems that could affect you, your future and any children you may have. That’s why it is important to know about your past. Finally, emotional wellness means you feel good about yourself, your relationships and your purpose in life. When you are emotionally healthy, you will have fewer lows and be able to bounce back from sad times faster.
At Choices. Memphis Center for Reproductive Health we address the interconnected needs of our patients to prevent, plan, and space future pregnancies by combining patient education and high quality medical care. Choices recognizes that health outcomes are impacted by a multitude of factors. Our feminist perspective views women within the context of relationships, family, and community; and understands that class and race/ethnicity interact with gender to provide different outcomes for women of all ages. At Choices we encourage women to take control of their reproductive lives and to develop a reproductive life plan to prevent and/or plan and space future pregnancies. Attached is a booklet to help you think through your goals and make a Reproductive Life Plan. For preconception health care contact Choices 901-274-3550.