Natural Family Planning
In a post-collapse, there no longer will be artificial birth control methods to reply upon. Condoms, oral contracpetives, diaphrams and spermicides, all will be unavailable. This means that you'll have to reply upon natural family planning and or artificially altering the pH of the vaginal lining in order to reduce unwanted pregnancies.Medical Issues
Getting pregnant in a collapse can be very dangerous. First of all one must look to personal medical history. Some women have pre-existing medical conditions that might put both the mother and child in danger. Say a mother has already had a very difficult Caesarian section twice before. Having a child when you know that delivering vaginally will be difficult or impossible is very risky. Someone with out of control diabetes that tries to carry a child will have tremendous hurdles to overcome. Often the baby is much larger when the mother is diabetic, so of course this makes vaginal delivery problemtic. Someone who's had issues with pre-eclampsia could suddenly hemorrhage, losing both patients too.
In today's world, we eat fortified food
. There's a reason for this. Many of the food we eat aren't really healthy. Vitamins and minerals are added to make us think that they're natural or healthy.
The primary reason was to ensure that women received adequate folic acid to prevent neural tube defects
. As babies form, one of the first things to form is the spinal column and nervous system. Without adequate folic acid, babies could be (and were and are) born with incomplete spinal chords and a host of issues as a result.
There used to be many nutritional deficiencies because people didn't eat adequate foods that provided enough vitamins and minerals. This is why maternity vitamins are given to make sure that the mother and baby(s) get enough to properly develop.
Besides all of that, a lack of enough calcium will mean the only means of getting enough calcium to the baby will come from the mother's own calcium resources like her skeleton and teeth.
In a post-collapse world, there won't be vitamin supplements nor fortified food. In a perfect world with great agriculture and a diverse diet, this wouldn't be an issue. Of course what's more likely to happen is severe malnutrition and even starvation. This is one of many reasons I have hammered away at describing the nutrional content of foods in order that you may best take care of yourselves.Detection
The second issue with pregnancy is lack of detection. Today we put great faith in early pregnancy tests. These are followed up with a second test at the doctor's office. In a SHTF scenario, there won't be any scientific means of determining pregnancy other than symptoms (vomiting, lack of monthly menstrual flow, a blue cervix
, changes in breast development, increased pigmentation on the face, etc). Because this was historically an issue, fortified food laws were passed because one could be pregnant and not know that they needed to eat differently. If you think you're pregnant, and you have a speculum to open your vaginal cavity, then it's possible that someone could inspect it for you. This is why you need detailed medical kits in families with potential child bearing women and equipment. I can only teach you a little.Mutagens
A third issue is many chemical agents are toxic to a developing baby. Many medications are as well. Because you may be on some medications and not realize that you're pregnant, the baby may have been harmed. Of course tobacco smoking and fetal alcohol syndrome are the two of the most common ones. So is epilepsy medicine.So are some antibiotics, so use care taking them and always considering if taking them is medically necessary, and using alternative antibiotics when possible.Planning
Not everyone will desire to get pregnant post-collapse. If food is scarce, this is a big problem. Timing may be crucial for people attempting to get from one place to another on foot. You might have just delivered a child, and the last thing you need is a second child on the way.
This means that you have to use the old ways to choose when to have sex based upon three main criteria:Timing
: the rhythm method journaled and chartedTemperature
: Basal temperature detected and chartedTouch
: Mucus levels detected and charted
See this link for an excellent charting method:
[link to menstruationresearch.org
These are your main means of reducing unwanted pregnancies. Statistically if you are strict about these three methods, only 1 in 25 will get pregnant.
That's the good news. The bad news is most people break the rules or they fail to journal and chart adequately. This takes discipline. Men if you love your partner and or spouse, you will be responsible, understanding, and sensitive. Women you too must be responsible and journal and not break the rules.Timing
You must learn to listen to your body and notice the signs and chart accordingly. How long does your menstrual flow usually last? Note that and use that as a guide. This may change based upon diet or the lack of adequate diet. To start you should begin NOW to chart, not wait for a collapse. Ideally you need eight months of charting but you won't have that. If you're currently on oral birth control, then of course your natural pattern has been obfuscated by the addition of excessive hormone ingestion.
It will taken months to finally find it's natural equilibrium.
Here's one method taken from the office of Health and Human Services:
[link to www.hhs.gov
Calendar Method or Rhythm
"To predict the first day you’re likely to be fertile (the most likely time for you to get pregnant if you have unprotected sex) in your new cycle:
You will need your menstrual cycle information from at least the past eight months, a calendar and a pen.
Subtract 18 days from the total days of your shortest cycle. Take that number and count ahead from the very first day of your next period (count the day your period begins).
Example: your shortest cycle lasted 27 days. 27-18= 9 days. On your calendar circle the date your next period starts, and beginning with that day count ahead 9 days. So if you period starts on the 2nd day of the month, you’d count ahead to the 10th day of the month. Put an “X” on the calendar for that day.
To predict the last day you’re likely to be fertile in the cycle:
Subtract 11 days from the total days of your longest cycle. Take that number and count ahead from the very first day of your next period (count the day your period begins).
Example: your longest cycle lasted 29 days. 29-11=18 days. On your calendar circle the date your next period begins, and starting with that day count ahead 18 days. If your period starts on the 2nd day of the month, you’d count ahead to the 19th day of the month. Put an “X” on the calendar for that day.
Office of Population Affairs Natural Family Planning Fact Sheet U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C.
The days between the two “X’s” are when you’re most likely to get pregnant. If you don’t want to get pregnant, then don’t have sex on those days, or use birth control (like a condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap).
Keep this in mind: the calendar method can predict the days you are most likely to be fertile, but isn’t always 100% accurate, especially if your cycles don’t always last the same number of days. It’s best to use other fertility awareness methods, too "Temperature
When a women begins to ovulate, her basal body temperature will change from her regular temperature. It will usually rise a little less than one degree Fahrenheit. This change will happen up to three days before she ovulates and one day after. This is the peak period of getting pregnant since there's some variation in it. It typically will occur when you feel most sexually excited too, which is too bad.
This means you must religiously chart your temperature change. It doesn't take long.
The main issue is cleanliness post-coitus. Since sanitation is modified post-collapse, then you might have sex and then not be able to bathe. Because of that and because sperm can live for a set time period, then you must be very careful on days leading up to this basal temperature rise (ovulation).
Your cervical mucus will change in content and by inspection. You'll feel along the inner wall, the mucus will get thicker as you ovulate. It will “string” between two inserted fingers upon inspection. Then it will thin after the four day window. You'll note this, and any other changes because you'll become your own gynecologist. You may find that your partner will also note such changes and can help you evaluate them too.
Changes in pH
For implantation to occur, the lining must stay at a strict level of 3.4-4. Water has a natural pH of 7.0 if pure. Soap is alkaline and exceeds 7.0 based upon content. This is why a little soap and water will possible take care of times when you had sex just before or after the four day window. People douche and too often now. In a post-collapse, they won't be able to do it often, other than perhaps a mild vinegar one or possibly one containing a miniscule amount of iodine to treat a yeast infection. Regardless it is unwise to break the rules and have sex on those days when all indications: timing, temperature, and touch tell you NO! :) (But you want sex...sorry.)
Remember that sexually transmitted diseases will are always prevalent. We have a lot of undetected STDs now, and this will still be the case. It may be that there's less opportunity, or it may be that sexual abuse happens in a world post-collapse. Since the barrier method is not in place, that special care must be taken after sex if this occurs.
I wish I could give you better news, but this is the most pragmatic solution to a world without true contraception.