Are you ready for a pregnancy?
A pregnancy is an important and significant time in a woman's life with very special results, but before you get pregnant make sure that you are truly prepared. Preconception care is an important aspect of helping to create a healthy pregnancy. Schedule an appointment with your OBGYN to get a check up and to ask any questions you may have about pregnancy and childbirth. All women of child bearing age are recommended to take folic acid supplements, which can be found alone or as part of a prenatal vitamin.
Your diet is also an important consideration in terms of preparing your body for a pregnancy. If you have not been eating well, change your diet to a more healthful one. Make sure you are not overweight or underweight, as these can both interfere with your chances of getting pregnant. Alcohol, smoking and drugs should be totally cut out of your diet if you have not done so already. You and your partner should discuss the possibility of going for genetic screening testing to rule out the possibility of inherited genetic diseases that could be passed on to your baby.
Are you ready for a baby?
Make sure that you are ready to have a baby. While babies are wonderful, they do come along with a lot of responsibility and obligations. Important factors to consider before having a baby are:
Emotional stability: Are you ready to give of yourself to another person? Are you emotionally in a place where you can handle the responsibility that comes with having a baby?
Finances: Babies are expensive! The crib, furniture, car seat, diapers, layette, bottles and all the paraphernalia that comes along with a new baby really add up. When figuring out the cost of these items, remember that cribs and car seats can be rented and clothes can be borrowed. You may also want to read up on the best baby products available and decide what you want to buy before you begin shopping. It may be practical to sit with a financial adviser to help work out your finances.
Lifestyle Changes: Think about how comfortable you are with a lifestyle change. A baby adds a new person into your family. Will your work allow for flexibility? Do you plan to continue working? Is a baby something both you and your partner want? If you do not have a partner, will you be able to get support and help from family or friends?
Congratulations, you've decided that you are ready!
Once you've decided that you're ready, enjoy this time in your life. Read up on pregnancy and childbirth. The more prepared and educated you are, the better!