Having a baby is something that you can prepare for in every way possible. Welcoming a baby into the little world this is your couple-life can be a bit of an adjustment for parents to be.
Having a baby is something that you can prepare for in every way
possible, and then still get completely surprised by what actually happens.
Welcoming a baby into the little world this is your couple-life can be a bit of
an adjustment for parents to be.
It might help you to take a few of these steps together as a couple to
help you prepare for the next big step in your lives.
This is a really good
time to remember that you are doing this together, and it is all the work of
1. Talk about parenting
Before you become a parent with your partner you need to be on the same
page as each other about a lot of things.
Ideally you should chat about the idea of having kids before you get
pregnant together. There is some big stuff that it really helps to agree on,
although these aren’t really deal breakers.
2. You should try to chat about your relative parenting
Where you would live?
How many children you want?
How much involvement you
imagine your extended families having in your lives?
If you think you want to co-sleep!
Whether you and your partner
have the same ideas on who will work and who will be the primary carer!
How you feel about
If you want to raise your
children in a particular religion or following a certain diet such as vegan!
If you want them to go to
private or public schools!
If you feel very strongly about
anything with regards to how you intend to raise your children, it is
respectful and probably quite sensible to bring this up before you agree to get
These sorts of talks can also go down a lot easier if they are done as
early as possible, when things are more hypothetical and relaxed, and no one is
feeling pressure or the marching on of time. Keep these as light as possible.
And being prepared to compromise on some of these will help too.
3. Get a pet
It is funny how many couples will get a pet together in the year before
they get pregnant. It is a common storyline that a lot of romances seem to
follow; but there is a lot of sense in this.
It is more than just, ‘If we can keep a cat alive, then we can be
responsible enough to be parents.’ It is a very good way to gauge if you are
ready for children in many aspects of your life, and also can be a good indicator
if you are still a few years away from being ready to be a parent.
If you get a pet together, you can learn so much about yourself, about
the other person, and about how the two of you work as a team.
4. Some things you can learn about your partner
from getting a pet together
If you both share the duties
equally, or if one of you seems to be more responsible for toilet training and
cleaning up poop or vomit
How often you travel or go away,
and seem to need to put your pet into a kennel
How to schedule and prioritise
your time to take care of your pet, such as allowing for walks
How you deal with giving up half
of your bed to your cat or dog. If you can adjust to just to sleeping in an
uncomfortable position rather than waking up or inconveniencing your pet?
5. Prepare yourselves as a team physically
While much of the baby-carrying burden falls to the woman, both
partners in a couple can get physically ready for having a baby. This can
include getting healthier in terms of eating and exercise, buying boxer shorts
for the male partner, giving up drinking, smoking or coffee, and much more.
More and more couples are realising that it doesn’t just have to be the
woman who quits certain things, and not only will this make the whole journey a
lot easier, it will make you both healthier, which can only be a good thing in
the long term.
You should also prepare yourselves for having less sleep, and for
sharing as much of the nightly burdens as possible. Even if the mother is going
to breastfeed, it isn’t fair that her partner gets to sleep through the night
and leave her alone in this. Get used to being awake together, and get used to
being disturbed in the night.
6. A woman should not have to go through pregnancy
When a woman becomes pregnant she has to lose some control over her
body, and she never completely gets it all back.
While ideally your body should be in the best physical health you can
get it into to have a baby, being healthy is not the most challenging part of
having a baby. The most difficult and challenging part of getting physically
pregnant is having to relinquish control of your body.
This is difficult for women and can only be helped if their partner
knows this is happening, sympathises and even understands what it feels like.
If you shape up and prepare physically together then both partners get a sense
of relinquishing control, which will help both of you when a baby joins the
7. Questions to ask yourselves as a couple to get physically
How set in your ways are you in
terms of the food you eat? Would you be easily prepared to give up things
you like, or would you be happy to start eating food that you used to hate
because your body seems to need it now?
Are you prepared to lose weight
if you need to and start exercising if this helps you get pregnant?
If you like your body fit and
healthy, and are usually a bit of a gym junkie, are you prepared to gain
weight and reduce the amount that you exercise to let the baby be in charge of
your body for a while?
If you like to drink, or sleep,
or both, are you prepared to relinquish these pleasures?
Do you drink a lot of coffee to
be considered a nice enough person to communicate with other human beings? Are
you prepared to reduce this?
When you are pregnant you
will have a much lower immune system and will likely catch plenty of bugs like
colds and flu. But you cannot take anything stronger than paracetamol; will you
be okay with this?
How do you cope with pain?
How do you cope with needles?
Do you like being able to jog or
sneeze without little bits of wee coming out?
Do you really like how your body
looks right now, such as your clear skin, your lack of stretchmarks or
cellulite or varicose veins, your breasts where they are, your healthy hair,
your stomach somewhat resembling flat? Because all of this may go, and you
might miss it when it’s gone.
Much of what we are talking about here are the extremes of pregnancy,
but you get the general idea. Everything that you have been used to being able
to do to or with your body up until now may need to change. You are giving up
control for at least nine months, and for many women, it will be years before
they get it back, if they ever get it back.
If none of that seems important to you when you consider what getting
pregnant and being a parent can bring to you instead, then physically, you are
8. Remind each other that you are attractive and
Younger or newer couples are often driven in the beginning by physical
attraction to each other and can place emphasis on looking good. It’s only
natural to want to dress up for your partner and be attractive.
When a couple gets pregnant, and then when they have a baby, your own
looks can go a little bit out of the window. This can happen because the
woman’s body is changing or recovering, because neither of you are getting much
sleep, or because the extra time for things like exercise, grooming and ironing
sort of disappears.
For women, going through pregnancy doesn’t mean that you should give up
being attractive or liking your body, because you can love it after having a
baby. Even more so because of the amazing stuff it has done.
Couples need to remember this and tell each other often that they are
beautiful, sexy and loved. This can start well before getting pregnant, because
with this one, you can never have enough practise.
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.