If you’re planning to get pregnant there are lots of things you should think about before you get started. Having a baby is a big decision and you’ll have to make some potentially drastic changes to your lifestyle before you even think about getting pregnant.
1: Are you ready for parenthood?
First of all, you shouldn’t underestimate the ways in which having a baby can change your life. As well as the responsibility involved in bringing up a child, you should also consider whether you are financially, emotionally and physically equipped for the challenges which being a parent bring.
According to The Guardian, the cost of raising a child from birth until the age of 21 has soared to £210,000 which means that if you’ve got any money worries, you might want to sort them out before trying to conceive! Making sure that you are financially secure means that you will be able to provide the best opportunities for your child as well as ensuring that you are prepared for any expenses which may pop up.
You will also need to decide how you are going to organise your life during and after pregnancy. As well as talking about the fun parts of pregnancy planning - such as what you want to name your child - make sure you have a frank discussion with your partner about the logistics. For example, how much time will each of you want to take off work? Will you want to quit your job? All of these things are important to talk about sooner rather than later.
2: Ask the experts
Another thing to remember when you’re planning to get pregnant is to consult the relevant health professionals for advice on your individual situation. Make sure you book a preconception appointment with your doctor who can make sure you don’t have any existing medical health issues which might be complicated by becoming pregnant. You should also visit the dentist in order to avoid having any dangerous infections during pregnancy.
3: Look after your body
Finally, it may seem obvious but you need to make sure that you are in the shape of your life in order to have a baby! If you’re serious about planning to get pregnant, draw up a fitness plan with the help of your doctor or fitness instructor – and stick to it! Now is also the time to get rid of any unhealthy habits such as drinking, smoking and even drinking coffee. Instead, fill your fridge with healthy foods and stock up on folic acid which prevents birth defects in the spine and the skull.
Deciding to have a baby is a big decision and not one to take lightly. By making sure you are as well prepared as possible for the realities of parenthood, you'll be more equipped to provide your baby with the best start in life.