Am I Ready to Have a Baby?

Am I ready to have a baby? It’s a question that many women ask themselves quite often. Sometimes, the question is ‘Am I ready to have another baby?’ No matter which question, the decision is still a major one to make. Ask yourself and your partner these 10 questions before you start trying to conceive.

1. What’s your job’s maternity policy?

It’s worth reviewing this now so you have a better idea of how much time you’re allowed, what your pay will be when you’re on leave, whether this year’s vacation time can roll over into your maternity leave, and so on, says Twenge.  Maternity policies vary widely so it’s best to know what your company’s rules are.

In India, Parliament approved  Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act on March 9, 2017 a bill granting women working in the private sector paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks now, a decision which will benefit around 1.8 million women. The law will apply to all private sectors. For the third child, the entitlement will be 12 weeks.

Check out his paternity policy and what those options would be as well. If his company allows him leave, you might want to plan the timing so he’s home with the baby once you go back to work. Related to that, if you have a profession that’s seasonal (perhaps a teacher or an accountant), you can consider planning your pregnancy or birth around that.

2. Are your finances in good shape?

Yes, we all know babies are expensive.  This is an important question to ask, especially in the recession. Babies cost money. Sure they’re cute and cuddly, but they use money faster than a shopaholic on Black Friday. A newborn may go through 15-20 diaper changes, use 30 wipes, need up to 3 outfits, drink 10 4oz. bottles of formula (if you’re not breastfeeding), not to mention shelter, warmth, laundry needs, water for baths….It certainly adds up, and that’s just for a newborn!

When answering this question, think about your financial resources and whether or not you are going to work when the baby is born.  If you are going to work, you’re going to need to think about two things:  you is going to stay home (maternity/paternity leave) with the baby or whether junior will be in day care (or with a nanny, family member, etc.) as all can be expensive options. Maternity leave or paternity leave can be paid or unpaid, but most of the time it ends up being unpaid.

It’s probably a good time to redo your budget and realize there might be other things you won’t be able to afford when it was just the two of you, like vacations, expensive shoes, and lavish gifts. Coming to terms with your “family budget” and how you’ll be spending your money before and after baby is an important discussion to have now. Take this into consideration when you are thinking about having a baby.

3. What happens if I can’t get pregnant right away?

You may want to look into adoption the moment you hit the year-of-trying-without-success mark. He, on the other hand, may expect to pursue every single fertility treatment to get a biological child, no matter the cost. You obviously want to discuss — and ideally get on the same page on — these difficult but major decisions.

4. What kind of delivery do we want?

You and your partner should discuss the kind of delivery you both would want, to avoid last minute panic and confusion. o your research, and present your case. Find the pros and cons of each method before deciding. Take the mom’s health into consideration, and present your cases backed up by serious logical explanations.

5. Are you ready to give up “me” time?

Motherhood is the most selfless job you’re ever going to have and putting your independent self on the shelf (at least for some time) is something you need to be mentally prepared for. If you’re not okay giving up hours with friends, time in the gym, one-on-one time with your partner, and your alone time, it might be worth seriously considering if you’re ready for a baby right now. Perhaps you still have a few life goals, travel destinations, or adventurous things you want to tackle over the next few months before you get pregnant.

6. What religion will your baby be?

If you and your partner don’t follow the same religion you should discuss what faith (if any) you want the baby to be raised in and any ceremonies that go along with that.

7. If pregnancy screening reveals our baby has disabilities, what do we do? 

The vast majority of babies are just fine, but what happens if a test during pregnancy reveals an abnormality? Would you consider terminating the pregnancy? If you decide to have the baby, can you financially and mentally handle caring for a child with a medical condition? Figuring out how you would handle this extremely sensitive situation could preserve your sanity — and relationship .

8. Are you BOTH ready for more chores?

Raising a child is a massive team effort. Sure, your guy may joke around and say he’s never going to change a diaper, but it’s better to find out how serious he is (and whether you’re okay with that) . It’s a good idea to also discuss midnight feedings, laundry, late-night store runs, and overall household tasks that are going to seem to triple once you’ve got a baby.

9. Do you need to move?

Babies make a lot of noise from the very first moment they enter this world. They don’t take up much space, their noise level can surely disrupt an entire sleeping family (and neighbors) all night long. Discuss whether you’ll need to move into a bigger home and when that’s going to happen. No one wants to be packing up her kitchen when she’s nine months pregnant!

10. Are You Ready to Be a Parent?

If you answer yes to any of the above questions about having a baby, you may be ready. The rest just all comes with time and experience. And patience. And love. Lots of love.

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