Getting pregnant is a serious decision that needs to be considered thoroughly and thought over at length.
Pregnancy brings about significant changes in the woman’s and her partner’s lives. Getting ready for pregnancy involves preparing for pregnancy checklist, babyproofing your marriage, and arranging things to welcome the new member into your family.
For one, the expectant mother will undergo many physical transformations during her pregnancy, including considerable weight gain, stretch marks, morning sickness, and back pains. That’s not all, though. Women also experience sudden and frequent mood swings, brought about by hormones wreaking havoc in their pregnant bodies.
The adjustments don’t stop after giving birth.
Motherhood means an entirely different set of changes and responsibilities.
There are several critical questions you need to ask yourself and answer, thoughtfully and comprehensively (perhaps in written form), to ascertain your readiness to get pregnant and to bring a child into this world.
Do you have the resources to get pregnant and raise a child?
Thinking about getting pregnant? Remember! Pregnancy costs a lot of money.
You need to pay for expensive medical checkups, ultrasound screenings and other examinations, as well as healthy food and supplements, maternity items and clothes, and other baby-related items.
And if your company doesn’t provide maternity leaves, you will need to sacrifice a few months’ worth of salaries and take unpaid leaves near your delivery date and after giving birth. Or you may need to quit your job and lose your primary source of income altogether.
After giving birth, you will have to spend more to raise your child. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child currently is $233,610, excluding the cost of college.
If you have ample resources for a baby, then you’re one step closer to being ready for pregnancy and motherhood.
Are you ready for pregnancy and motherhood?
How do you mentally prepare for pregnancy?
Now, there is a level of maturity for every stage of people’s lives, and it’s not determined by a person’s age. Even if women are in their prime physical age to get pregnant, it doesn’t always follow that they’re in the right mental and emotional state for it.
Hence, you should assess and evaluate your own mental and emotional condition before deciding to get pregnant.
Are you ready to handle all the changes—physical, mental, emotional, lifestyle, etc.—pregnancy and motherhood will bring into your life?
Get as much information as you can. Talk to your partner, family, friends, parenthood counselors, and experienced mothers.
You should know what you’re getting into, what you can expect from pregnancy and motherhood, and what you’re supposed to do before and after. Only then can you fully assess if you’re ready for the next step.
How prepared are you for the physical changes of pregnancy?
Now, there are certain steps to take before you get pregnant.
Once you’ve determined that you’re financially, mentally, and emotionally ready for pregnancy and motherhood, the next step is to prepare your body for what’s to come. Talk to your doctor before trying for a child with your partner.
You should know how easy or how difficult it is for your body to get pregnant and whether it’s equipped to carry and sustain another human being for nine months. You should also be aware of your medical history and the possible complications that may arise if you have existing conditions.
After getting a clean bill of health, the next step is to prepare your body for the ordeal (because pregnancy is no walk in the park) it is about to undergo. Your diet must be adjusted to have the proper amount of nutrients to support yourself and your baby.
You will also need to quit taking in caffeine, alcohol, and other potentially harmful substances.
Some medication and supplements that you’re taking now may cause congenital disabilities to the baby, so you need to talk to your doctor and ask for medical advice. You must also screen the hygiene, dental, cleaning, and other products you use during pregnancy.
Do your research first, and talk to medical professions and experts on pregnancy and parenthood to know how you can be prepared to meet the health and physical demands, as well as deal with the changes brought about by pregnancy and motherhood.
Are your environment and lifestyle suitable for raising a baby?
The environment you grew up in has a hand in shaping you as a person, and that is also true among children.
Growing up in a negative home environment can have lasting adverse effects on the child, including poor language development, future behavioral problems, unsatisfactory performance in school, aggression, anxiety, and depression.
On the other hand, a pleasant home environment, where the child is amply provided with their needs, attention, love, and opportunities, has profound positive influences in the child’s development—physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.
Before you welcome a child into this world, you must have prepared to give them the environment they need to grow as healthy, happy, well-adjusted adults.
Part of giving a child a pleasant home environment is being a present and hands-on parent. If you can’t give your child that, you should think twice before getting pregnant.
Pregnancy and children don’t only cost money; they also need your time and energy.
If you have a partner, both of you can plan together and share the responsibility of taking care of the baby.
But if you’re raising the baby by yourself and working a full-time job, you need to consider the logistics carefully before you proceed to the next step.
For instance –
Who is going to take you to the hospital when you’re going into labor? How are you going to look after the baby while you’re at work?
Getting pregnant is not a decision that should be taken lightly
So, the most important question here is, ‘how soon should you prepare for pregnancy?’ Getting pregnant is not a decision to make impulsively.
If you’re not willing to accept or you’re not ready for the responsibilities and lifestyle changes the child is going to bring into your life, take more time to consider. Better yet, don’t go through with it until you are wholly ready.