Making the decision to have a baby is a big step and involves many aspects of your life--physical, emotional, and financial. You will want to consider each of these areas as you plan your future:
Getting Ready Physically
There are many ways you can help reduce the physical risks to both you and your baby as proper health before becoming pregnant is as important as maintaining a healthy body during pregnancy. By following a healthy lifestyle, including a well-balanced diet and regular exercise, avoiding certain harmful substances and potentially dangerous activities or situations, and by finding a qualified health care provider to manage your pregnancy, labor, and delivery, you will be taking the appropriate steps toward having a healthy baby.
Getting Ready Emotionally
Preparing yourself emotionally is a big part of planning for a baby. You and your partner will want to think about your reasons for wanting a baby. Are both of you ready to become parents? Is there room in your lives for a child? A baby can have a huge impact on a relationship, so it's important to talk about the changes that may come. Have you thought about how you might handle any problems or complications? What kind of parent do you want to be? How will you work together in parenting? What responsibilities will each of you have in caring for your new baby?
Getting Ready Financially
Babies affect nearly every part of your life, including your time, lifestyle, finances, and job. If you both work, you will want to decide if you can afford for one parent to stay at home, or if paid childcare is an option. Do you have the financial resources for baby furniture, diapers, clothing, and medical care? You might want to talk with friends who have a new baby about the changes they have experienced. Ask about classes or support groups in your community and your hospital.
No matter how well you plan, babies are full of surprises. But thinking about your needs and goals can give you a head start toward a healthy and happy family.
Click here to view the
Online Resources of Pregnancy, Birth, and Baby Center