By Paige Whipple of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
In the show's season finale, she told her friend Britnee that she wants “lots of babies,” and when she quizzed Cole about their post-wedding plans, he correctly guessed that the first thing on her list is “family planning.” Cole then suggested they have seven (!) children together, but the couple eventually decided on three or less.
No matter how many kids they end up having together, the fact that they are actually planning for their family makes a big difference. Research tells us that:
*Couples who choose to become pregnant are more likely to be emotionally and financially prepared for their babies.
*Parents experience less depression and greater attachment to their children if the pregnancy was planned, which translates into more positive child development and parent-child relationships over the years.
*Couples who have an unplanned pregnancy are twice as likely to split up as couples who plan for it.
*Women who actively plan to get pregnant are more likely to be healthier and take advantage of prenatal care, which makes for healthier pregnancies and babies.
*Married couples have a better chance of raising their child in a stable household: Overwhelming evidence shows that children and families do best when parents live together, which is more likely if they are married when a baby is born. (Among parents who are married when their child is born, 87% remain together five years later, compared to 61% of couples who were unmarried but living together. The vast majority of parents who were truly single when their child was born -- not married or living together -- NEVER move in together.)
Chelsea wanted to stay on birth control (she had the Mirena IUD) until she was married, stable and ready to welcome another child into her life -- and that's certainly a good plan too. For more info on birth control, visit Bedsider.org.