Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tips to Consider Before Trying for a Baby

My husband Aron with our 4th child, Eva. She is mischievous and fun!

Choosing to have a baby can be an exciting, emotional time of any women’s life. As easy as it is to take months of planning to become a Mom, nothing quite prepares you for that incredible feeling of holding your newborn in your arms.  So once you’ve calmed down, bought all the books you can find on pregnancy at your local bookstore, and maxed out your credit card on a stylish maternity wardrobe, it's time to get serious and start focusing on other factors of your life that will be affected by your growing baby bump – and that’s not just the color of your nursery walls.

Are you in good health?
Your first task as a mom-to-be: pick up the phone and call your doctor, ob-gyn, or midwife – whoever you intend to see or consult throughout your pregnancy. It’s time to make sure that your health, and that of your baby, is the best that it possibly can be. Make sure that your choice of healthcare provider is covered within your insurance network

Growing a baby can be tough work, and can wreak havoc on your emotions and feelings, not to mention the obvious physical changes that all new mothers can expect to go through. During your first health visit you will undergo a detailed examination, involving a full physical and pelvic exam. You can also expect to be weighed and measured and have your blood pressure taken. Your doctor will then give you your due date, around 266 days from the first day of your last period. Remember in a normal pregnancy, you can expect to see your doctor or consultant every month until about the sixth month; every two weeks during the seventh and eighth months, and finally weekly until labor.

Now you’ve seen your consultant it’s time to consider prenatal care. Most health practitioners will advise taking a prenatal supplement to up the levels of folic acid and iron that you need while pregnant. Being pregnant means giving your diet some careful consideration too. Make sure that you are eating regular, balanced meals and do make extra precautions when eating meat or fish, to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly. You will also want to stop drinking and smoking to avoid placing your baby at risk of premature delivery, miscarriage and other health complications.  Remember you are not alone when it comes to your baby’s health, sites such as http://www.pregnancyhealth.net/ offer a wealth of information and advice for Moms, whether you are expecting for the first or third time.

To maintain good health, you will need to consider incorporating some sort of exercise into your daily routine, if you don’t already. Just because you are pregnant, doesn’t mean that you can’t work out – you will just need to make a few small changes to your routine. Why not consider exploring other exercise classes that are slightly lower impact – such as yoga or Pilates? There’s no reason why you can’t work up a sweat, but be sure to check in with your gym instructor or doctor first. Practice balancing on a birthing ball for exercise and it will also help you throughout your labor — and beyond!

Telling your other kids
If you already have children it can be difficult to pick the right time to break the news that they are soon to have a brother or sister. Normally experts advise that you wait until your pregnancy is well established, this is usually when your first trimester is well underway, and the risk of miscarriage is reduced. It's also a good idea to wait until your baby bump is starting to show. It can be difficult for children to come to terms with the fact that a baby is growing inside Mom’s stomach – especially if it’s still quite flat. Be sure to let your kids touch your belly and try and be as open and honest with their questions as possible. How long you should wait, and the reaction that this will provoke, depends on the age and nature of your children. Remember that this can be stressful and confusing news for kids to digest, so make sure that you break the news when your kids are relaxed and in a safe environment.

Can you afford it?
If you ask any parent whether they waited until they could factor in the costs of having a child, the common answer would be a resounding no. If you currently have a strict household budget then now’s the time to make a few additions. Having a child can add anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars every month to your outgoings, depending on your health insurance plan, or childcare costs, and even diapers and formula milk can soon add up. During your pregnancy is a great time to go through your finances (and start saving too!) Be honest with yourself and your partner – can you really afford to go on vacation this year? Do you need a new car? Why not consult other friends or family members who have recently had a baby to see how their budget has been affected? Little changes will go a long way before the first patter of tiny feet.

If you do want to quit your job to be a stay at home Mom, is this feasible for yourself and your family? Make sure that your partner understands why you want to give up work, and whether you can cover all costs on just one income. There’s no right, or wrong, time to have a baby. However, it’s advisable to consider the financial effect on your household in the long term. Not only will your new born increase your costs from the moment they arrive, but you also need to consider that you will be feeding and clothing your child until they go off to college. 

No matter the planning or preparation that you do, there’s no greater feeling than becoming a parent. So if things don’t go quite to plan, don’t worry. You have nine whole months of pregnancy to get ready for this life changing experience. Becoming a mother means that your role in the world is about to change. Although sleepless nights, dirty diapers and exhaustion might await you, this “job” is truly unique. So make sure you enjoy it. 

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