Starting a family can be an exciting time. But, it can also be stressful. Before my husband and I started a family, I know I wanted to start off on the right track by getting some of the important things taken care of before conception. Here is what I did:
I had "The Talk" with my Hubby.
My husband and I always knew we wanted to have children someday, but "someday" is such a subjective term. In the months, and even years, leading up to us taking that leap towards starting a family, we were constantly revising our plan.
Before deciding to start a family, be sure you and your spouse are on the same page. Otherwise, either one of you are headed for some major disappointment. For my husband and I, we knew we wanted one of us to stay home full-time with our kids. So, this meant making sure that we had a solid savings and that one of us had a very dependable job.
Determine what factors are important to you two as early as possible. This means that when that you both will be on the same page and "ready" to start a family together. Just remember... no matter how prepared you think you are, starting a family can be scary. Be prepared to take a little leap of faith even when all of your plans have been put into place!
I got healthy.
Sure, in an ideal world I would always be super healthy. But, sometimes I forget to take my vitamin or I put on an extra few pounds. As the time for you to start trying to conceive draws near, there are a few health aspects that are extra important:
Start taking a pre-natal vitamin every day. Not only are vitamins good for everyday health, but pre-natal vitamins have essential folic acid that will help prevent birth defects. Get active. Even if this means you only walk one mile a day. Pregnancy is hard on your body and moving around will help keep your weight down and keep you more comfortable. Establish healthy habits before you get pregnant so it is natural and easy for you to continue throughout pregnancy.
Keep your back and muscles strong. Pregnancy is going to take quite a toll on your body and will make you uncomfortable in a number of ways. Prevent discomfort by working to strengthen your back and other muscles now.
I researched providers and hospitals.
This step was very important to me. Not only did I want doctors and facilities that had a good reputation, but I also wanted to be with people that I felt comfortable with. There are many options when it comes to childbirth. Do you want a midwife or an obstruction? Do you want to be at a hospital or a birth center.
Deciding these options now will help make life easier down the road. You can start seeing your provider from the moment you become pregnant rather than months afterward. Being settled and comfortable with your care will help prevent stress. You will also want to make sure that wherever you choose will be covered by your insurance. If you do not have insurance, now is definitely the time to start getting health insurance quotes. If you wait until you become pregnant, you may end up paying for some services out-of-pocket while you wait for coverage.
I learned about my cycle and conception.
For some of the lucky couples, getting pregnant is quick and easy. But, only 20% of healthy couples will conceive during the first month. Learning about your cycle and when you are most fertile will help this process significantly. I started tracking my periods do that when the time came to conceive, I knew exactly when I was most fertile.