Having a baby is one of the decisions in life that needs an utmost sense of responsibility. A whole individual is going to rely on you for the next 18 years. You need to be prepared emotionally, physically, and financially before taking this step. Compared to earlier generations, millennials pay more attention to the stability in finance before planning to get pregnant. However, preparing for baby mentally and physically are not yet given the importance it deserves. Most people start to pay attention to eating well and taking vitamins after they conceive. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here is a little preparing-for-pregnancy checklist to help you prepare better for a baby.
Women are told about the ticking biological clock in their early 20s. The severity of the warning increases as they close in on their 30th birthday. Most women aim at having their first baby around the age of 25 because anything later than that is considered ‘late’ by society. But, are you ready to have a baby? This is the first question in the preparing-for-pregnancy checklist. Every couple needs to ask this themselves before conceiving.
Without thinking about the bickering of neighbours and the bio-clock, answer yourself if you are ready to give birth and nurture a baby into its childhood. If no one ever prompted you to have a baby as soon as possible and you have endless time to have a baby, will you choose to have a baby right now? The only reason for couples to have a child is that they truly want to have a little person in the family. If you are not emotionally ready for a lifelong commitment to a person who is going to be dependent on you for a really long time, it is not the right time to have a baby.
Women go through a roller coaster of emotions during pregnancy. And things are only more hectic after the delivery. Sleepless nights, health issues, and exhaustion are waiting for you. You need a healthy mind to get through the first few years to not lose yourself in all this. Remember that your mental health has a significant impact on your baby’s overall well being. You need to pay special attention because it is not the most well-lit part of preparing-for-pregnancy checklist.
Once you decide that you want a baby in your life, taking care of yourself. Give yourself at least six months to get used to the idea. If you have any unresolved issues from the past, now would be a good time to deal with them. If you have a job that is causing more stress than you can handle, it is time to deal with the issue. Fatigue and burnout are not easy to handle when you are pregnant.
You need to try to as comfortable as possible during pregnancy. If you aim for comfort, you will manage to have a comparatively stressful journey. Surprisingly, the most important step is to cut yourself some slack. There is no textbook way of going about it. You are allowed to feel all sorts of emotions. Reading about it and talking to other new moms will help you prepare for the near future. One thing that can help you is your support system. Make an effort to communicate about your emotions to your partner, close friends, and family. Pampering has a great positive effect on pregnancy.
Also read: Eight Homemade Baby Foods
Your physical health is an area of that you can control. You may need more than six months to prepare your body for pregnancy. If you can start a year before, that is the best. Stop taking hormonal birth control as the effect of it doesn’t wear off fast. It takes about three months for your menstrual cycle to get back to its original pattern after you quit the pills. Hormones will take longer to return to natural design.
Keeping track of your menstrual cycle is always a great hack to understand your reproductive and sexual health. Note down everything from the dates to body temperature. Finding your fertile window is only one of the aims of understanding your reproductive health. If you have been thinking about having a baby way before you actually started preparing for it, this can be the first item to your preparing-for-pregnancy checklist. The sooner you start, the better understanding you have about your body.
If you have been suffering from vitamin deficiencies or any other health issue, now is a good time to tackle it. Visit your nutritionist and gynaecologist. They will have many suggestions worth following to add to your preparing-for-pregnancy checklist.
If you are into smoking, alcohol consumption, or drugs, you must quit right away. The body needs to flush out of any trace of these chemicals before it conceives. And the longer you have been indulging in them, the longer it takes to cleanse the body. Help your body with a detox diet, workout regime, and nutrient-rich foods. A year is more than enough time to groom a healthy body.
Vitamin deficiencies can be a real problem. If your diet isn’t cutting it, go for iron, folic acid, and multivitamin supplements. Pregnancy is an energy-consuming affair. You have to prepare your body by working out at least four times a week. Reach out to an expert for advice regarding strengthening the pelvic floor.
Also read: Top 12 Pregnancy Myths And Facts
Once you decide to have a baby, you and your partner need to sit down and talk about your finances. You cannot, obviously, plan every single detail. But you need to have an idea about your situation before taking the plunge. There will be expenses once you get pregnant and it will only go up once the baby arrives. And unlike your expenses, baby’s needs cannot be avoided.
Start with taking a financial inventory. Have a decent look at your income and expenses. A written budget will give you more clarity. If you have any debt, now will be a good time to pay it off. The next step is to plan the future. You can talk about everything from ‘which hospital you want to go to’ to ‘how you want to decorate the baby’s room’. Try to talk to new parents to understand the kind of expenses that are likely to come your way after birth.
You will have to leave some wiggle room because no matter how healthy you are or well-planned your preparing-for-pregnancy checklist is, surprises are part of your life for the next few years.