You’ve spent your whole adult life trying not to get pregnant. Then it hits you. It may be that all your friends are having babies, or you saw a child in the supermarket that made you long for your own soft, cooing piece of heaven. You talk to your spouse or partner that day and you both decide, “We want to have a baby.” Now what?
Are you emotionally ready to handle a child’s demanding needs? If you are married, is your marriage stable or struggling? If you are struggling, seek marriage counseling before you consider pregnancy. Counseling will help you get on the right track to becoming a mom. Pregnancy is both emotional and stressful, so you will want to face it with a clear mind and realistic expectations.
A most important aspect of bearing and raising a child is money. Let’s face it. These little ones don’t come cheap. Can you afford it? A wise woman once said, “If you waited until your finances were in perfect shape, you may never have children”. Well, you don’t need to be in perfect shape, but these suggestions may help.
- Sit down with your spouse and list some typical maternity/postpartum expenses. Does your income and savings cover these costs?
- Doctor Appointments: For the first two trimesters, you will see the doctor every four weeks. In the third trimester, these visits will increase to every two weeks, and in the final stretch, every week. What are your medical insurance co-payments?
- Hospital Expenses: Typical expenses may include labor & delivery fees, OB/GYN fees, nursery fees, circumcision fees (if you have a boy), pediatrician fees, and surgical and anesthesia fees for a Cesarean. The typical cesarean rate in the country right now is 25% – 30% of all live births. Remember that medical insurance covers much of this. Find out how much before you take the plunge.
- Maternity Clothes: Do you know any pregnant women that could loan you some maternity clothes?
- Baby Gear & Clothes: Take stock of everything you will need to care for that precious bundle of joy. Check out the SmartMomma Store to see all that you would need. Remember that you will get some gear (mostly clothes and bedding) from your baby shower too.
- Time off Work: Does your company offer paid time off? Do you qualify for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees you 12 weeks UNPAID time off? Are you required to use your sick and vacation time first? Does your company pay you short term disability pay for having your baby?
- Child Care: Are you planning on going back to work after you have your baby? If so, call around to a couple of home daycares, commercial daycares, and nanny agencies. Get an idea of the cost of childcare in your area.
Before you decide to take the pregnancy plunge, make an appointment for a fertility consultation with your OB/GYN. Your doctor will examine you, take note of your immunizations, and give you a prescription for some prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins are essential for a healthy pregnancy and should be taken even before conception if possible. Ask your doctor for more information.
Once you have a clean bill of health and your prenatal vitamins, you are ready to start trying. Isn't that the best part? Have fun!
Do you want to be caught up on all the latest happenings with you and your baby? Join SmartMomma Advantage for free! You'll receive your choice of e-mail newsletters, from monthly updates on your baby's development to weekly sales alerts and the latest pregnancy, baby, and toddler news. Stay up to date with the SmartMomma advantage! Join today!
Early Pregnancy Symptoms
Not This Time: Don’t Give Up