Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help gauge whether you and your partner are ready to grow your family:
- Do you and your partner feel ready?
- Are you in a place to put the needs of another above your own?
- Do you feel you are emotionally ready?
- Is your relationship solid?
- Are you excited about your life being forever changed?
Changes to Your Body during Pregnancy
It's hard to explain in a few paragraphs all the changes your body will experience during pregnancy and after. Pregnancy affects every part of your body — from your hair to your toenails.
Your body may ache as ligaments, tendons and muscles adjust to the growing baby and your breasts may grow. Heartburn, gas, constipation, leg cramps, shortness of breath and frequent trips to the restroom may also become a reality. With this laundry list of changes, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to go through pregnancy. However, it’s amazing how resilient women are and how much their bodies can handle!
Is Your Partner Ready?
Talking with your partner about having a baby may seem awkward, but it’s an important first step. It is a good idea to make sure you and your partner are on the same page before you get pregnant. Here are a few questions to help you get the baby conversation started:
- Are you both ready to give up some of your “me” time?
- Are you both ready for more chores? Will you share in child-care responsibilities like changing diapers, helping with feedings, etc.
- Are you going to work or stay at home?
- Are you financially ready for extra expenses, such as diapers, baby food and day care?
- What are your views on child care, help from family, a nanny?
- Parenting styles: How will you discipline the children? Will you eat meals together?
- What religion will your child be? What religious traditions will you celebrate?
What to Expect as a New Parent
The first few months with a baby may seem like a mystery. Let us help by giving you a few key facts. During the first month, the baby will likely:
- Sleep for 2 to 4 hours stretches
- Want to eat every 2 to 3 hours
- Need 8 to 12 diaper changes a day
Talk to Other Parents
The baby’s schedule, moods and needs will change over time, and it’s nice to have a support system where you can ask if what you’re experiencing is the norm.