Becoming a mum for the first time is a magical experience. It’s also a life-changing one (in so many ways!). While you’re probably talking to friends and family, and learning lots from their experiences, here are some useful tips to help you think about some of the more practical issues…
What to consider before getting pregnant
1. What kind of parents will you be?
Have a chat with your partner about how you plan to raise your child. You might have very different views on discipline or religion, for instance, so now’s the time to put your cards on the table.
2. Look at your finances
How will you manage the extra cost of having a baby? Is there anything you could cut back on? Now might be a good time to give your finances a review.
3. How will you afford childcare?
Could one of you give up work to look after your baby? If you go back to work, how much will childcare cost? Would close family be able to help out with childcare?
4. What maternity and paternity leave are you entitled to?
5. See your GP
You need to be as healthy as possible before starting to try to conceive to give your baby the best start in life. Book an appointment for you – and your partner (it takes two to make a baby!) – to see your GP for a check-up. For more tips, look at our guide to improving your fertility.
6. Spend time with babies
Ask friends how their lives changed when they became parents. Offer to babysit to get some hands-on experience.
Thinking of having another baby?
You’re already a parent so you know the score! But here are five questions to think about before you start trying for a second (or third, or fourth…!) child.
1. Do you and your partner agree about having another baby?
Will a new sister or brother have a positive effect on your children?
2. How old is your youngest child?
Trying for another baby just after you’ve had one could stress your body – and your relationship. See deciding when to have another baby.
3. Are you ready to change your routine?
If your children are getting independent, are you really prepared to go back to square one with a newborn?
4. Are you happy to put your career on hold while you have another baby?
Can you afford to stay at home or pay for childcare if you want to go back to work?
5. Can you afford it?
You’ll probably have lots of baby gear from the first time around, but can your finances cope with another baby?
Think you might already be pregnant? Read our list of pregnancy signs to look out for.