Having a child is great responsibility. Besides the wonderful feeling of being a parent, there also comes scores of responsibilities. A couple cannot afford to plunge into parenthood without realizing the different parental duties involved in it. Wanting a baby and being ready for one are two completely different scenarios. You may want a baby, because it's quite natural, but, you may not be ready for shouldering the responsibilities of having one. Bringing a baby into this world entails several factors that need prior consideration.
What to Consider When Deciding to Have a Baby?
There are several factors that have to be taken into consideration before taking the huge leap towards parenthood. Let's have a look at several family planning pointers.
Remember a baby is not the solution or the salvaging factor that can help save your crumbling marriage. If you are of the notion that your baby will be able to bring your drifting spouse closer, it's advisable to stop and first sort out issues in your marriage. As parents we cannot place a baggage and job description on our unborn child. It's important to work on your marriage and resolve any and every unresolved issues, before entering this new phase of life. A baby can add more strain to an already debilitating marriage.
Consensus from Both
It's important for both the husband and the wife to mutually agree to have a baby. Resistance from either party poses to be a problem. Try and understand the reasons why your spouse does not want to have a baby right now. Do not use coercion, self-pity, blackmail, etc. to convince your spouse. Only if the thought of having a baby enthralls and excites you both, then you're ready to have a baby. Any other underlying reason such as family pressure, social pressure, etc. pushing you towards having a baby is downright wrong. Having a baby when you are not prepared for one, will embitter you down the line. Thus, it's crucial for both partners to be on the same page.
According to researchers, the best age for a woman to conceive is between 20 and 30. Beyond 30, the complications involved in pregnancies increase. Moreover, having children when you are younger means you have higher energy levels to counter the busyness of parenthood. Bouncing back after pregnancies is easier for younger moms.
Being aware of one's family history before having a child is important before deciding to have a baby. Does anyone in the family have a genetic or chromosomal disorder? Once you have decided to go ahead and have a baby, schedule an appointment with the gynecologist. The doctor will carry out a preconception checkup which comprises a routine pelvic exam and pap smear test. One will also be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. If everything is fine, you have the green signal to go ahead and have your baby.
Healthy Diet, Lifestyle and Habits
One also needs to peruse through one's eating habits, exercise patterns and other unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking before conceiving. Being healthy increases your chances of becoming pregnant. However, bad eating habits coupled with eating disorders could have weakened your body system. You need to first get your body in good health before you can go ahead for a baby or else after childbirth, you will face several health problems. Check your lifestyle as well. Is your current lifestyle unhealthy and sedentary? If you are addicted to smoking, alcohol or drugs, you need to stop. Several studies have revealed that smoking and alcoholic women have increased chances of miscarriage. Premature birth and low birth weight babies are additional risks.
Mentally and Emotionally Prepared
If you feel lonely and want your baby to fill that void in your life, then you should not have a baby. Depressed women oft are of the notion that having a baby will add meaning to their lives and they will be freed from their depression. A baby does bring joy to your life, but he or she still doesn't do away with your depression. People who have had neglected childhoods and have felt unloved, often want to have a baby to feel loved and complete. However, the saddest part is if you haven't dealt with your past, it won't leave you till you do. You will end up doing the same to your kids. Thus, it's very important to be psychologically healthy before embracing parenthood.
You cannot feed your baby love and fresh air. As a couple you need to sit and think if you can afford to have a baby. With the adorable baby comes scores of expenses and quite a bit of money will have to be shelled out. Do you have the financial capacity to handle this situation? Are you living off loans and heavy debts? If yes, then try to clear those first. Moreover, what if you lose your job tomorrow? Do you have enough savings to support your growing baby? After a few years, your baby will have to be educated and the expenses will rise. Are you ready for this? It's not that only the rich have the right to have a baby. The amount of money you have, does not give you the right to have or not to have a baby. What's important is can you provide the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing to your baby?
With both men and women equally pursuing their individual careers, it's important to think and talk about the future in terms of career. Women have to take into consideration the fact, that they will have to take a break from their jobs. One needs to keep in mind the maternity leave and getting back to work in the future. Then, while you both are at work, who will take care of the child? One has to look into the crèche facilities or else look for work-from-home options. All these child care issues have to be sorted out.
Bringing a new soul into this world and parenting is not child's play; it's a great privilege; but, is also something that will take up your time, money and energy. Are you ready to unconditionally give all these aspects at this point of life? Only if the answer is yes, then it makes sense going ahead and deciding to have a baby. You need to provide a warm, loving, stable home for your baby to live in. Prudence always yields to sweet fruit! All the best!