There are so many things to consider before having a
baby, so the decision process can seem a little
overwhelming at first.
But while there are some things to think about that
can wait (like whether you’ll use cloth or disposable
diapers), there are a few things to consider before
having a baby that you definitely need to think about
before you go off the Pill and start looking for an OB/
Here are 7 serious things to consider before having a
1. RELATIONSHIP: It’s been done before, but it’s
never a good idea, because it simply doesn’t
work. If you’re thinking about having a baby to
save your relationship with your significant other,
think again. Bringing a baby into an already
unsteady relationship means the fall-out from an
eventual break-up will be worse, and felt by three
people, not just two. On the other hand, if you
and your partner are in a happy, healthy
relationship, and you’re both longing to hear the
pitter-patter of tiny feet, keep reading…
2. MONEY: This question is simple at first, then it
gets more complicated — can you afford to have
a baby? The expense goes beyond a crib and
stroller and diapers and extends to taking a leave
from work, hiring a child care provider, and
possibly buying a bigger car. Think about all of
these expenses. The bottom line costs are
certainly some things to consider before having a
3. OTHER KIDS: If you have other children, it’s
important to also consider their situations before
you decide whether or not to add to their ranks.
Certainly they don’t have the final consideration,
but even more than worrying about whether or
not you can handle two or three kids in diapers
(new baby and two toddlers?), also think about
whether there’s enough of you and your spouse
to go around.
4. CAREER: The debate over women and mothers in
the workplace has raged for nearly a century, and
though many claim to be experts in both camps,
no one knows what’s better for you and your
family than you do. If you’re interested in
pursuing your career to its fullest, though, you
may want to think about the timing of having a
baby. Consider that, while you’re away on
maternity leave, your co-workers and
competitors will be there, in the office, making
progress and connections. If this thought gives
you hives, you may want to delay starting a
family… for now.
5. AGE AND HEALTH: Back in my great-
grandmother’s #time, it wasn’t uncommon for
women to have children into their 40s and 50s…
but nowadays, most of us stop in our late 30s or
early 40s. Why? Because there are a lot of health
risks that older moms face. If you’re over 40,
have a frank discussion with your doctor before
you decide for sure whether or not to get
pregnant. Your health is certainly one of the most
important things to consider before having a
6. SUPPORT SYSTEM: No matter how marvelous a
multi-tasker you are, or how good your motherly
intentions are, you’ll need help to raise a baby,
above and beyond your partner. Consider simple
things, like who will watch the baby for
occasional Date Nights, as well as more pressing
concerns, like who will provide child care if you
work outside the home.
7. LIFESTYLE: This is, in my opinion, one of the
most important things to consider before having
a baby, especially a first baby. It sounds horrible,
but any parent can tell you it’s true: your life,
while it will be so much richer and more
rewarding, will never be your own again once
you have a child. Every decision you make, for
the rest of your life, will be made with a child’s
needs in mind… so if you’re a free, independent
spirit who loves spontaneity and travel, this may
not be the time to have a baby… unless you want
to bring one with you… and why not? But your
lifestyle is something to consider, for sure.
While again, you don’t have to think about some of
the smaller issues yet, these are the main things to
consider before having a baby… once these are all
out of the way, feel free to consider the pros and
cons of breast-feeding, co-sleeping, and whether or
not you’ll need a midwife.
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