‘Life chances are often shaped long before birth’ article by Jonathan Sher

  This is an extract from an article in Partyline: Magazine of the National Rural Health

The future of rural Australia is being created right now – one baby at a time. That future could be a very bright one, but that happy time will neither happen by accident nor by hoping for good luck.

Unfortunately, the great majority of mothers and fathers were (and are) woefully unprepared for parenthood. Roughly half of all pregnancies across Australia are still unintended, unplanned or mistimed (although not always unwanted). The use of Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs) continues to be too low. Adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes – from miscarriages and stillbirths, to unhealthy/damaged babies - remain too high.

Prospective parents are too rarely encouraged and supported in meaningful ways to ask and answer such fundamental questions as:

Do I ever want to become a parent?
If not, then what am I doing to actively and effectively avoid pregnancy?

If so, then with whom, when and under what circumstances would it best for me to have a baby?
How can I get the assistance I want and need to prepare for this life-creating and life-changing event?

Australia, and specifically rural Australia, does too little too late to improve the lives and life chances of the next generation of babies, parents and families. The price of ‘que sera sera’ passivity, and a lack of proper preparation, is incredibly high in financial, societal and human terms.

Read more: http://ruralhealth.org.au/partyline/article/life-chances-are-often-shaped-long-birth

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