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Planning for a pregnancy is a more involved process than people often consider. There are several areas of your life that will need some preparation. In this guide, we’ll review five of them to help you plan.
5 Pregnancy Planning Tips
Think about your finances—pregnancy and caring for a new human is expensive. Before you start the process of trying to get pregnant, it is best to think through your finances and determine what changes you’ll need to make in order to afford caring for a new baby should you get pregnant. It’s important to be financially prepared for having kids, which means thinking about the funds you’ll need for everything, from a diaper subscription service to several years of school supplies. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step.
Once you’ve confirmed or at least developed a plan to get your wallet ready for a kid, you can start to prepare your body for pregnancy. Get connected with your primary care doctor (or get one if you don’t already have one) to explore any health risks that you need to address before attempting to get pregnant.
You’ll also want to make a plan to stop using alcohol, nicotine, and any other substances. Instead, you’ll need to start taking prenatal vitamins packed with folic acid and essential nutrients to develop a welcoming environment in your womb. When you become pregnant, your body will be doing an incredible amount of work building a new human, so start developing a practice of self-care and focus on being kind and gentle with your body.
After meeting with your doctor and addressing any risk factors, it’s time to start figuring out the best times for some alone time with your partner. There are windows during your menstrual cycle when you have the highest fertility, and these are the days (or nights) when it will be most important to get intimate with your partner. One of the best ways to understand your cycle and identify this window is to use a menstruation and fertility tracking app. These apps collect data about your cycle to give you more accurate information about your specific fertility window. This means that even if you’re not planning to get pregnant immediately, it can be beneficial to start using this app.
Your Resource Bank
There is a ton of information out there about every stage of pregnancy and parenting. And while you need to ultimately make decisions based on how your body feels and your own personal values, it can be helpful to start “collecting” bits of information from others who have already been on the journey for which you are preparing.
Like bookmarking tricks for inducing labor or building a list of pregnancy and parenting books recommended by people you trust. Start tuning into conversations that your friends or family who already have children are having about OBGYN and pediatricians to figure out what kinds of questions you’ll have for providers to ensure that you find the right fit.
Planning a pregnancy is a big step in your relationship, even if you already have other children. Each pregnancy is a new commitment. It is valuable to have conversations about how pregnancy and a child will impact daily routines, discuss how responsibilities will be divided and shared, and make a plan for keeping romance alive in your relationship.
If you find that you’re in a position where these conversations are hard to have or you and your partner have identified difficulties in your relationship, explore options for counseling. Addressing relationship issues before bringing a child into the family is important and can positively impact parenting and family development.
Planning your pregnancy allows you to make decisions that will prepare your wallet, body, calendar, resources, and relationship for pregnancy and parenthood. Once you’re pregnant, you’ll be glad you took the necessary steps to prepare.