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Are You Ready to Try to Conceive?

March 12, 2012

Some people may tell you that you’ll never truly be ready for the life-changing experience of having children, and they’re right. But if you want kids and you’re a planner, you’re probably trying to prepare yourself as much as possible before starting a family.

Many couples begin their preparations by considering their financial situation. In this economy, it makes sense to review the job stability of you and your partner. Are both of your jobs relatively safe? And if one of them is a bit rocky, do you have enough savings to cover household expenses for at least six months? Most financial planners recommend having a six-month safety net, and would also suggest that you try to pay down your debt to a manageable amount before taking on new family expenses. You may also want to consider your living situation. Whether you rent or own your home, do you have enough space to feel comfortable when two become three? Think about completing important repairs or renovations so that the cost behind you. And, very importantly, if you live in an area where a car is necessary, is yours safe and reliable?

Once you feel more confident about your finances, you may want to pay a bit of attention to your health. Scheduling a pre-conception visit with your ob/gyn is a great opportunity to ask questions about fertility, and get tips on staying healthy and preparing your body for its biggest challenge yet! If you are on any prescription medications, discuss them with your doctor, as adjustments may need to be made. And if you’re overweight, changing your diet and implementing an exercise routine may boost your fertility and reduce your risk of problems such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes during pregnancy. And pay a visit to the dentist! Getting any dental work out of the way before pregnancy is a great idea. Plus, pregnancy can wreak a bit of havoc on your gums; talk to your dentist about improving their health before your conceive.

Do you have any family health issues that could be passed on to your child? If you are concerned about the likelihood of passing on certain conditions, or want to evaluate the risks they may pose to your baby, many hospitals have genetic counselors available to discuss these issues with you. You can make an appointment to sort through your family medical history and determine whether any of these concerns need to be addressed further.

And of course, a lot of people get pregnant without consulting any financial or medical professionals! It is true that you may never be 100% ready for this particular milestone. But if starting a family is on your mind and you’re the type of person who likes to have their ducks in a row, we hope this advice will help you to get comfortable with the big leap you’re about to take!

Photography courtesy of Flickr.

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