Single pregnancy can be challenging journey for some, but what matters is, you and baby are going to conquer this world! Here are some things to consider as you start this incredible journey.
There can be many reasons and circumstances under
which you’ve come into single motherhood. Maybe you’ve conceived intentionally through
IVF and without a partner; or as an unexpected surprise from seeing an old
flame. Or, something else happened. What matters is, you and baby are going to
conquer this world! Here are some things to consider as you start this
You are not
Single parenthood in Australia is on the rise. Although
it can feel like you are going it alone, chances are, other single mothers are in
your area. It can be a good idea to look for groups within your community and
make friends with those who are going through a similar situation. Friends and
family are important but they often can’t share your experience. Meeting other
mums-to-be in antenatal classes is also a good networking option. Being able to
relate with someone about your day-to-day life can make navigating through it
all, a lot less stressful. There are also various social media outlets
available for connecting with other single parents. In itself, pregnancy has
its ups and downs, so build yourself a support network.
afraid to ask for help
It may sometimes be terrifying to disclose to your
inner circle or even family about your pregnancy, more so if you are going to
do it alone. Planned or not, no doubt there is a lot of stigma attached to
single motherhood. Although you may receive mixed responses at first, when it’s
time for baby to make an appearance, guests will be flooding in. Don’t be
afraid to ask for help. This help can take shape in different ways. Whether
it’s asking for a lift to the store when you’d usually take the bus, or getting
a friend to help with the household chores— you don’t need to prove how strong
you are on your own. Allowing yourself to ask for help takes strength in
itself, and at the end of the day it will alleviate some of the stress.
and your pregnancy
It’s easy for mums-to-be to fall into a pattern of
self-doubt and vacillation. Take your pregnancy for what it is— your body is
creating another life. Be proud, dance, and enjoy it! Far too often we let
ourselves be ridiculed by societal standards of what pregnancy should look
like. Celebrate yours! Going it alone can be tough, sure, but you need to stay
positive and believe in yourself. Taking pride in your independence will only
set a good example for your child in the future. So take a luxurious bath or a
vacation, for your own well-being and bub’s.
Babies are expensive in general, let alone when
you’re the sole caretaker and provider. It can be a tough topic to discuss, but
you will come into new financial responsibilities with the arrival of your bub.
It can be helpful to make some sort of financial plan and have a rough idea of
the expenses you will incur with your plus one. Whether you choose to seek
expert advice or go about creating a budget on your own, details like childcare
and medical will need to be taken into account. What about schooling in the
future, public or private? Or even in the nearer future, where do you want to give birth? There is government assistance (see below), but the majority of the
costs will be on you. Unless you’re well-off to begin with, some of these new
expenses can be a bit of a handful, so to speak. Being well prepared in
advance—whether that’s saving or investing— can greatly take off some of the
burden from later.
What kind of
parent do you want to be?
Although you will have the support and advice of all
the people you choose to include in your child’s upbringing, ultimately, you
should consider that you will be the only one to make decisions. What parenting
style do you want to employ? How do you want to show affection? At the end of
the day, you’ll take on the role of both parents. It might be helpful to
research and actively choose what kind of parent you want to be, rather than
fall into it through circumstance. Do you want to consciously elect a male role
model for your child? Do you even think it’s necessary? These, among others,
are choices better made with thorough research. It’s great to go with the flow,
but inform yourself along the way.
It may be wise to seek legal representation, if the father
of the baby is in the picture. When the baby arrives, legal counsel can help you
navigate tough decisions like custody, visitations, and finances. Even if the
father does not want to be a participant, they may still be responsible for things
like child support payments. You may not require representation per se, but
getting legal advice on what you are entitled to, can at least give you peace
of mind and the option to pursue it in the future. If legal costs are of
concern, see if legal aid is available in your state.
resources that may be available to you
The Australian Government’s Department of Human
Resources has many payment programs that you could qualify for as a single
parent. Some of these are targeted for lower-income, however, there are plenty
of services that apply even to the higher income brackets. Some services to
keep in mind are: Newborn upfront payment, Family Tax Benefit and Parental
Leave. You could also be entitled to child support from your baby’s father, if
that’s what you want. It’s worth finding out what single parenting payments are
available to you and exact amounts—whether you are in financial need or not.
It’s helpful for knowing your rights, as well as obligations, when it comes to
having a baby- with your employer (notice and leave entitlements) and the
government (registering your child, enrolling in Medicare, etc.). There are
also many great resources for advice, support, childcare options, all on a
fairly easy-to-navigate platform.
Welcome to Babyinfo – the ultimate pregnancy and newborn information guide. We are here to help you find all the pregnancy and baby info you need to make the most beautiful experience of your life even better.
Our team is comprised of an amazing mix of experienced mothers, recently pregnant women, and editors with tremendous medical knowledge in the fields of gynaecology and childbirth.
Think of us as your friendly advisors, here to give you honest, easy to understand and authentic information. We are here to be your support at this crucial time in your life, when you need it the most.
Note: This website is in no way meant to replace doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers that may be utilized by current mothers or mothers-to-be. All mothers are advised to see a doctor for medical advice and the appropriate care before, during, and after pregnancy.