The decision to start trying for a baby is probably the most important decision you’ll ever make, even above getting married and buying your first home. A child will require your love, care, and attention for the rest of your life, so it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. For some people, that decision-making process is taken away entirely by a surprise pregnancy, but for everyone else, it’s always worth considering these major questions before you start trying to conceive.
How is your relationship?
While it’s perfectly possible to bring up a happy, healthy child as single parents, it’s usually the case that most people want to raise their baby as a couple. Trying to conceive, pregnancy, and caring for a newborn can all be immensely stressful, so a relationship needs to be strong in the first place to succeed. The sad fact is that some couples decide to get pregnant in order to try to mend a damaged relationship, which usually only ends in tears. You need a solid foundation, trust, and excellent communication for this to work.
Are you healthy?
Pregnancy can really take its toll on your body, so if you have any underlying health conditions that aren’t being treated effectively, pregnancy can be even more tricky. Even conceiving can be difficult if you’re unhealthy – a man’s sperm count is dependent on whether he drinks, smokes, eats well, and maintains a healthy weight. If either of you has health conditions which might make conception or pregnancy difficult, including nicotine addiction, it’s worth confronting these before you start trying to conceive.
Can you afford it?
There are no two ways about it – babies are expensive. It’s not just the initial payments – you’re going to be feeding, clothing, housing, and caring for a whole extra human being for at least the next 18 years, and that costs quite a lot of money. If you’re not in a financial position to take on that burden, it could be worth waiting a while until you are. It just takes the pressure off the whole process when you know you can afford to care for your child to the best of your abilities.
What happens if it’s difficult?
Sometimes it just doesn’t work, for whatever reason, and conceiving naturally becomes impossible. Do you have an idea of how you’ll proceed from that? Would you contact in vitro fertilization specialists and try to conceive that way, or would you choose to adopt? Maybe you’d prefer just to leave it altogether? It’s useful if you and your partner are at least vaguely on the same page before you begin trying to conceive, just in case.
How will you raise your kids?
There are a few major conversations that you and your partner need to have before anything can happen. For example, will you bring your child up religiously? Will they attend a public or private school? Where would you want to live? Who would take time off work, or become a stay-at-home parent? For some people, the answers to these questions could be deal breakers, so avoid problems down the line by having these tricky conversations first and ensuring you’re on the same page.
This is such an exciting time in your life if you reckon you’re ready for it – good luck!
Enjoy this guide, “When is the Right Time to Start Your Family?”, created by Natera.