When the time comes to try for a baby, a lot of women simply stop taking their birth control and get pregnant! While this may seem like the easiest and simplest way to start a family, it might not be the smartest. There are actually a ton of things that every soon-to-be mom and dad should consider before throwing caution to the wind and creating a baby.
Starting a family is a very grown-up thing to do, and it is important to make sure that you are stable and have things in order.
Once that baby arrives, life is thrown into chaos. There is no reason to create more stress in your future simply because you chose not to plan.
There are numerous ways to plan a pregnancy and many things that should be thought about as well. Once you or your partner have a stable living situation, steady income, and good health insurance, the fun side of planning can come out. From choosing which months you want to be pregnant to when you want your baby to be born can all be calculated and planned. There are even ways to determine the gender of your baby if you believe in that kind of stuff. The planning is never-ending, so here are 15 useful ways women can plan their pregnancy.
15 Freezing Your Eggs
Before Kim Kardashian became pregnant with her first daughter North West, she was actually going through the process of freezing her eggs. She knew she wanted kids in the future, but didn’t plan on having them anytime soon. According to PBS.org, when a woman goes through the process of extracting her eggs, they have to take a series of hormone shots. They also have to go stop taking any hormonal birth control as well. Since Kim was off of her birth control while she was doing this process, she ended up getting pregnant with North.
Now, this may not be the best example of “planning,” but when it comes to freezing your eggs, it is actually a great way to take your fertility into your own hands.
Women have been told forever that her maternal clock is always ticking. With this medical procedure as an option, women can choose to have kids much later in life. However, it does come at a price. Most egg retrieval procedures cost around $10,000 alone.
14 Summer Babies
Let's say you have always dreamed of having your beautiful little baby as the perfect summer accessory. Maybe all your baby clothes are sundresses and the idea of putting your newborn in cool sunglasses excites you. Your dreams are not so far from reality despite what some people may tell you. If you want to have your baby in the summertime, all you have to do is plan your conception date correctly and your odds of having a summer baby are almost 100%.
Summer consists of June, July, and August. Therefore, you should start trying to get pregnant three months after the month you want to be due. So if you are shooting for a June birth, you should start trying to get pregnant in September. According to TheBump.com, summer babies are a good plan if you work in education or are in school yourself since it’s basically your vacation time.
13 Avoiding Pregnancy In The Hot Months
On the other hand, many women will do anything they can to avoid carrying a baby during the scorching summer months. If you live in an area where your summers get up to or over 100 degrees, the thought of dealing with the inconveniences that come with pregnancy are simply not ideal. Swollen feet, hot flashes and possible bed rest are not something to look forward to when the weather is already making you melt.
According to WebMD,
“heat and humidity, while unpleasant for most people, take a greater toll on pregnant women.”
With temperatures that are already abnormally high, pregnant women are very susceptible to heat intolerance. Because of this, many women try to plan their pregnancies in order to avoid these hot months. Perhaps they try to get pregnant in August and give birth in May. This way, they successfully avoid being majorly pregnant during the hottest months of the year.
12 In Line With The Seasons
Most people have a favorite season. Perhaps it is the flowers that appear in spring or the sunshine in the summer. Maybe, the leaves in the fall or the snow in the winter simply give you that magical feeling inside. Whichever season is your favorite, it doesn’t really matter. What is important is that you can actually plan your pregnancy to where you have your baby in your favorite season.
This works out really well for parents who want to name their child a season inspired name like Summer or Autumn. Many moms love the name June but feel like it would be weird if their daughter wasn’t born in the month of June. According to Popsugar.com, fall is an ideal season to have a baby so that expectant moms could actually enjoy the outdoors once summer rolled around.
11 Considering Their Future School Schedule
School is very important for kids. It is something that they will be doing for their entire childhood and many parents think about the seriousness of this even before their child is conceived. The reason for this is because choosing when to start your child in kindergarten is actually a much tougher decision than expected. According to Popsugar.com, those who don’t want their kids to be the oldest or the youngest in their class should give birth to them in the spring.
This is because students born in late summer or even early fall are barely turning five years old when kindergarten starts, and some of them are still four.
On the other hand, babies born in the early fall months who aren’t ready to start kindergarten end up waiting a whole other year. This causes some students to be a full year apart. The best way to make sure your child developmentally ready to start kindergarten but also not too old that they will feel behind is to have them in spring!
10 Work Around Your Living Situation
Moving is never usually considered to be fun. It is a long and painful process that can also be very stressful and strenuous. You have to pack up all your belongings, put them into boxes, and carry them into your new house where you get to unpack and decorate everything. While parts of this experience are fun and exciting, it is really not something a pregnant woman can or should be doing.
If your living situation is not suitable for a child and you know you will need to move before giving birth, the best plan women can make is to wait until they move before becoming pregnant. This is also safer for the baby because all that labor could cause them harm. According to Parents.com, pregnant women are more likely to hurt themselves when lifting and bending.
9 Wait Until Your Job Will Offer Maternity Leave
If you get pregnant before working at your current job for at least six months, you will not be entitled to maternity leave pay. According to BabyCentre UK, you will only be able to claim your statutory maternity pay if you have been working for the same employer for 26 weeks. Statutory maternity pay is a weekly partial payment of your normal salary.
Because it takes time to reap the benefits of your employer, it is important to plan your pregnancy around your work situation.
If you are thinking about leaving your current job and looking for a different one, it might be better to wait to get pregnant until you have the right amount of time invested in your new position. Otherwise, you may be pregnant and stuck at your old job that you hate simply because you want the maternity leave.
8 Make Sure You Have Good Health Insurance
Health insurance is another very important aspect of starting a family. According to Comparethemarket.com, if you are even thinking about starting a family, you should seek out private health insurance before trying to conceive. This is especially helpful for someone who would like a private hospital and their choice of an obstetrician. Most birth related coverage and reproductive-related services will have a 12 month waiting period. However, you may be able to get some of your pregnancy and birthing classes covered by this health insurance so it may be worth the wait to plan ahead.
It is also important to consider switching plans from a couple to a family once your little one arrives. Most of us understand that health insurance could get costly, but when you're going through nine months of pregnancy and a delivery, it is not something you want to forgo due to lack of funds.
7 Planning For A Boy
Many people think that it is crazy to plan for a certain gender because they have been told their entire life that it is just a 50/50 chance and they really have no control over the conception process. This is not necessarily true.
There is actually some pretty good evidence to indicate that a woman can increase her chances of having a baby boy if that is what she desires.
According to BellyBelly.com, X and Y chromosome sperm have a number of unique differences. Research has found that the Y chromosome sperm for a boy is actually weaker, smaller and faster than their female counterparts. Because boy sperm is faster, the renown Dr. Shettles believed that deep penetration was important to give the boy sperm a head start. And, trying to conceive at the peak of ovulation when the egg is waiting will give boy sperm the best chance of success.
6 Planning For A Girl
When it comes to planning for a girl, the Shettles method still applies but in a different way. According to BellyBelly.com, this method has a 75% success rate for couples trying to conceive a girl. Dr. Shettles believed that the most important factor in determining gender was timing. Boy sperm swims faster but for a shorter period of time, and female sperm are stronger and more resilient but swim slower. If you are hoping to conceive a girl, you should have sex 2 to 4 days before ovulation.
Since male sperm swims faster, they will reach the uterus but no egg will be there to ovulate yet. Once those sperms die off, the female sperm that lives longer will be waiting for that egg to drop and will be right there to penetrate. While this method does seem to work, it should be noted that not trying to conceive during ovulation exactly could reduce chances of pregnancy overall.
5 Change Your Diet
If you are even thinking about having a baby, it is very important that you plan ahead and change your diet far in advance. It takes a while for your birth control hormones to fully get out of your system and give you a regular cycle again, and it also takes some time for your body to fully reap the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
According to BabyCenter.com,
you should not wait until you are pregnant to improve your eating habits.
Food and fertility are linked to both men and women. And, a balanced diet will increase your chances of a healthy baby once you do conceive. It is a good idea to start taking prenatal vitamins so your body is ready to carry a baby. It is also smart to develop healthy habits before the pregnancy occurs.
4 Work Around Your Vacation Schedule
Traveling for the holidays might be a must for your family in the winter months. Or, maybe you and your partner have amazing international vacation plans over the summer. Many women often underestimate the amount of energy that will be lost once they become pregnant. A close friend really wanted to start trying for a baby but she and her husband had a trip to New Zealand planned where they would be doing a ton of hiking and very active activities. It was not the trip to do if you were pregnant, so she decided to wait.
Many couples do take a “babymoon” a few months before their baby is due to arrive. This is supposed to give the mom and dad one last relaxing vacation before parenting life kicks in. However, Boardingarea.com argues that the best babymoon is the one taken right before you get pregnant. You can travel around the world and do whatever you wish while still feeling your best and having all of your energy.
3 Consider How Many Children You Want To Have
Knowing the size that you want your family to be will really help in the planning process. You will have a better idea of when you should start getting pregnant and how fast you should have your babies in order to reach the number that you desire. According to statistics on Artofmanliness.com, the average American family wants 2.5 kids but ends up with only 1.86. Many factors can cause this to happen including “financial stress, cultural pressures, and fertility issues.”
Children are expensive and if you know you want a lot, you need to financially start planning for that and saving early on.
There is also the unfortunate chance that you and your partner could have trouble conceiving which pushes your timeframe back too far. Cultural pressures can come in all shapes and sizes. Currently, there is this assumption that having two kids is the perfect number and a third would throw a wrench in everything. This idea could cause a family to stop growing their family prematurely.
2 Think About The Age Gaps You Want Your Kids To Have
Age gaps between your kids is also a really important aspect of pregnancy planning that should not be overlooked. This alone could determine how many kids you end up having, depending on how early or late you get started. According to Parenting.com, there are pros and cons to multiple different age gaps with siblings. A 1-2 year age gap is nice because the siblings are automatic playmates.
A 2-3 year age gap is the most common interval in American families, and many experts feel it is the best option. The kids still grow up being relatively close, but it gives mom a little time to recover in between pregnancies. Siblings that are over three years apart may actually make the parents' life a lot easier. A four or five-year-old will treat the new baby as their own and might actually be a big help. You don’t really get that when you have a 1 or 2-year-old.
1 Your Age Matters
As much as we try to stay away from societal norms and the pressure that they put on us, sometimes it is inevitable. When it really comes down to it, age matters a lot for a woman who wants to start a family. According to Yourfertility.org, a woman’s chance of conceiving starts gradually but significantly decreasing once she turns 32. By the time a woman is 40, her fertility has been cut in half.
Older women also have a higher risk of miscarriage and birth defects with their child.
Because of these reasons, often times women will try to have all their kids by their mid 30’s.
There is definitely a taboo in society surrounding older women being mothers and while judgment from society is never good, some of the concerns may be valid ones.
References: PBS.org, The Bump, WebMD, Popsugar.com, Parents.com, BabycentreUK, Comparethemarket.com, Bellybelly.com, BellyBelly.com, Babycenter.com, Boardingarea.com, Artofmanliness.com, Parenting.com, Yourfertility.org