If you and your partner have been thinking about or recently decided to start a family, there are lots of things you need to know. Having a baby is probably the most life-changing decision you will ever make, so doing some research in advance is always a good idea.
You may find out things that you never even considered, so the more equipped you are the smoother the journey to parenthood is likely to be. To help you get started, we’ve put together 5 things you should know when starting a family.
Trying to get pregnant can be stressful
The ideal scenario is that you start trying for a baby, and within a matter of months find out you are pregnant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always pan out like that, so it’s important to be aware that getting pregnant can take time. If you have been trying for a few months and are starting to become worried that it will never happen, you need to remind yourself that it’s early days. The more you think about it, the tenser you will become, which will not help matters at all.
As time passes, you might find that you are becoming quite military in your approach to having sex with your partner. Although some men will be totally fine with that, it’s a good idea to discuss it with your partner and make sure that they are telling you how they feel too. The novelty of sex on demand can wear quite thin after a while so, although it might be easier said than done, try and keep things as natural as possible.
If you have been trying for a good while and there is no sign of you getting pregnant, ovulation tests can be quite useful. They will give you a good indication of when you are ovulating, which should narrow down the times when you are most fertile. If you are concerned that things are taking too long, speak to your GP. They can offer practical advice and will carry out any tests that they may think beneficial to help you on your journey.
Early pregnancy symptoms
When you do get pregnant, your body will start to change and adapt to ensure that your baby is well protected and well-nourished. According to Emma’s Diary, a website packed with information and resources for parents and mums-to-be, early pregnancy symptoms are very individual. Late periods are a very common sign of being pregnant, and many women get stomach pains similar to those you experience when menstruating. On the other hand, some women don’t get any symptoms at all and can go months without knowing they are even pregnant.
You have no doubt heard of the dreaded morning sickness that so many women experience, particularly in the first trimester. It’s called morning sickness because it’s usually at its worst in the morning, but for many, it’s a feeling that lasts throughout the day. Some describe it as a constant hangover, whilst for others, it manifests itself as a constant need to vomit.
Whatever the symptoms for you, it’s a good idea to try and find things to relieve it. Eating little but often can help, and drinking sips of water throughout the day might also alleviate the symptoms. There are many old wife’s tales suggesting that eating things like ginger can cure morning sickness, but whether it’s true is another matter. You may feel so terrible that you will try anything, so it’s worth persevering until you find something that makes you feel better.
There is no question about it, a baby will change your life forever, and although you won’t truly know what that means until you have one, you must be realistic about it. If you are used to having regular lie-ins, stress-free weekends, and doing what you want when you want, you may be in for a shock!
As children get older things do become easier, but when they are babies you will feel like you are constantly on the go. Changing nappies, feeding, bathing, and comforting all take time and seem never-ending, especially in the first few months. It’s worthwhile discussing and agreeing on some form of routine with your partner before your baby gets here. This will help to ensure that you can both get a decent amount of sleep and have adequate time bonding with your new bundle of joy. The sooner you develop a routine, the easier things will be.
A new baby can put a strain on your relationship, so it’s important to keep the lines of communication open as underlying resentment can escalate, particularly when you are both sleep-deprived. Work as a team, and you will both reap the benefits in the long run.
Babies cost a lot of money
If you haven’t already researched how much it costs to bring up a child, it’s worthwhile doing so. It is a costly business, so it’s a good idea to figure out how much extra money you are likely to need each month. It’s also wise to make a list of essentials that you will need straight away such as prams, car seats, and somewhere for baby to sleep.
Many people buy baby items second hand, which could save you a lot of money in the long run, although for safety reasons, car seats and mattresses are best purchased from new.
Budgeting in advance should help to minimise any hidden surprises further down the line and should keep unwanted financial stress to a minimum.
There is no other love like it
When people say the love you experience when you become a parent cannot be equalled, it’s true. You may love your partner or your family more than anything in the world, but from the moment you hold your new baby in your arms, you will be blown away.
For the rest of your life, you will experience unconditional love on a whole new level. Becoming a parent is hard, but it’s also one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.