How family planning can promote maternal and child health

by | Dec 6, 2017

The decision to have a child is full of excitement and hope. Bringing a child into the world can be one of the most important and meaningful decisions a woman makes in her lifetime. But childbearing also comes with many risks, particularly for women who live in developing countries, as they are more likely to face challenges during pregnancy and birth.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries, and most of the causes are preventable.

When a woman is pregnant there are a multitude of complications that can arise, especially if the woman is very young, older, or has more than four children. The leading cause of death for girls ages 15-19 is complications from pregnancy and childbirth. Complications during pregnancy and childbirth can leave children without mothers, or mothers grieving the loss of their children.

Something that can help avoid these issues is family planning. However, women in developing countries are often unable to choose if or when they have children. This is due to a myriad of problems that women in poor communities face, including lack of access to information or services about contraceptives and fertility, as well as gender-based pressures and barriers.

This is where family planning programs can help: they can provide education about how to become pregnant at the right time, encourage safe spacing of pregnancies, and enable access to different types of birth control. Family planning in poor communities empowers women to make fully informed decisions about childbearing, as well as reduces their health risks and unintended pregnancies. It’s estimated that family planning could actually prevent 35 million abortions and 76,000 maternal deaths.

In developing countries, 214 million women who desire to avoid pregnancy are not using safe family planning methods. Yet, many of these women want to limit their family size or increase spacing between children.

At One Day’s Wages, we’re partnering with Heartline Ministries in Haiti, an organization tackling the issues of maternal and child mortality from several angles. Their mission is to strengthen Haitian families and prevent children from becoming orphans through initiatives that empower Haitians with maternal and infant health care, education, vocational training, economic development, and Christian outreach. Through this partnership, 60 vulnerable women plus their children will receive lifesaving maternal and child health care, including family planning information and services.

Family planning empowers women and their families to make informed choices. It’s more than contraception, it’s the power of knowing that you can keep your family safe and healthy.

Jessinia Ruff is a student at Seattle Pacific University and an ODW Blog Contributor.

Share this story: [shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”26108403″]

More stories of impact

How Do We Stand With Refugees?

This month we’ve been really energized by collaboration, partnerships, and people taking action. There is a growing need to provide more relief resources for refugees around the world. Last weekend, we gathered together with our partners and community in...

read more

Where Are They Now? Part II

Why intern? Is it just about getting experience? Are internships even worth it these days? These are questions many of us have wrestled with, especially if you’re a student or on the job hunt. At One Day’s Wages, we believe that interns are an integral...

read more

Are we listening? A conversation

Are we listening? Or are we operating with a currency of fear? One Day’s Wages’ founder Eugene Cho explores these questions with Wondercamp filmmakers as they share stories of refugees in the Middle East.

read more

Today’s fastest growing refugee crisis

The fastest growing refugee crisis in the world is happening before our very eyes in Southeast Asia. Since August 2017, nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled their homes in Myanmar and crossed the border into Bangladesh. One Day’s Wages is partnering with World Renew to provide essential resources to people in need.

read more

Seven years is a long time to listen

It’s been seven years since the war in Syria began and people are still seeking refuge from the continued violence. Seven years is a long time to listen. It’s a long time to engage, invest, and care. We want to continue listening, sharing stories, and empowering children, women, and their families. Join us.

read more


One Day's Wages is a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty

©2018 One Day's Wages is a registered 501(c)(3) organization | Privacy policy | Terms of use

P.O. BOX 17575 Seattle, WA 98127 | Contact us