Preparing to Have a Baby

If you and your partner have decided to go ahead and start a family, then you will have begun a life changing process for which certain preparations can be extremely helpful, particularly for first time parents. Planning your pregnancy may sound like something of a chore, but taking certain steps can make things much easier for yourself and for your partner.

Things to bear in mind about trying to conceive

When trying to conceive and start a family there are a number of different factors, which deserve some consideration. The most common of these will be discussed in this article, and include:

  1. Changes in your sexual habits – particularly with regards to contraception and ovulation.
  2. Financial planning and arranging time off work.
  3. Lifestyle changes and preparing your home for a child.

These are some broad topics that will be concerns for most couples, and if any of your planning concerns are not discussed in this article then the Internet or your GP will be able to provide you with any more information you need.

Preparing to conceive: Sexual intercourse for conception

The first step towards conception is to stop using contraception. For simple barrier methods like condoms and diaphragms, this is a straightforward matter of simply not using them anymore. However for hormonal methods like patches, injections, and even the pill, some further consideration is needed. Hormonal methods can have more longer lasting effects because of the nature of how they work, and if you are thinking about stopping any hormonal contraceptives, then talking to your GP is a great first step as they can tell you how to go about it and what to expect.

With contraceptive implants and intra-uterine coils, both methods of contraception that involve the placement of a contraceptive device into your body, you will definitely need to speak to your GP to ensure their safe and effective removal.

Apart from stopping contraception, another important step towards pregnancy involves paying closer attention to when you have sex. A female partner’s fertility is dependent on her monthly cycle, and during that cycle there is a period during which pregnancy is most likely to take place. This part of the cycle is called ovulation, and there are kits and even mobile phone apps available to help you find out when a female partner is ovulating.

Arranging Maternity and Paternity Leave

The final stages of a pregnancy, childbirth, and the early life of a newborn can be time consuming and both physically and emotionally tiring. If either you or your partner, or indeed both of you, are in employment while looking to get pregnant it can be very helpful to find out about your employer’s policies regarding maternity and paternity leave.

Employers are under a legal obligation to make certain considerations with regards to maternity and paternity leave, so you should be able to take time off before and after childbirth. You don’t need to arrange any leave until you have actually conceived, but knowing where you stand with regards to your leave can help any future plans and give you some peace of mind.

General Health and Lifestyle

There are a number of steps that both you and your partner can take to help in both getting pregnant and in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Practices like alcohol intake and smoking can be detrimental to both fertility and a healthy pregnancy. There is a wealth of information on the internet which will give you the information and support you need about why and how you should go about reducing your intake of the potentially harmful substances found in alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

Diet and exercise can have a surprising impact on your fertility, and healthy habits in both these areas carry on to promoting as healthy a pregnancy as possible. There is plenty of literature available on healthy nutrition, although it must be said that some unverified advice available on the Internet and from other sources must be taken with a pinch of salt. Your family doctor will be able to point you in the direction of verified sources of dietary information, but the basis of healthy nutrition tends to be simply eating healthy quantities of a variety of natural foods that will provide you with everything your body needs to get pregnant.

These are only some of the steps you can take when planning a pregnancy, although the above list is by no means a comprehensive one. Remember that getting pregnant does take time, and taking the time to prepare for the process of pregnancy and having a child can help you enjoy the whole business rather than make it stressful.

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