The Top 3 Things to Consider Before Getting Pregnant

So you think you might be ready to bring a beautiful baby into this world. First off: congratulations! Becoming a mom or dad when you’re really and truly ready is really exciting.

Parenthood is one of the most important roles that a human being can play, and it has plenty of giant joys and crazy challenges that go along with it. So since we’ve had a bunch of Beforeplayers asking how to know if and when they’re ready to have a baby, we thought we give you a quick list of the key considerations. We also have a great Are You Ready? Pregnancy Tool to help you think through some more of these considerations.

1. Think About Your Health

Pregnancy is a total physical transformation. Things will stretch, grow, make new sounds and go through all sorts of other—ehem—interesting changes. The important point is that you’re willing and able to do everything you can to stay healthy for yourself and your baby. You’ll need to take vitamins, go to lots of doctor’s appointments, exercise regularly, eat right and avoid certain foods and activities (smoking and drinking are out for sure). You’ll also likely experience challenges with sleep. You’ll gain weight. You’ll experience new aches and pains. And you’ll have to tough it out like a pro the whole time.

And once you give birth, there’s a whole slew of stuff you’ll need to do to help you body recover while you care for your newborn’s health too. That’s a lot to deal with, so you definitely want to make sure you’re aware and prepared by talking to your health care provider.

2. Think About Your Finances

Money is a huge consideration when you’re contemplating pregnancy because frankly, babies cost a LOT of it. You’ll need to buy everything your little one needs, like food, diapers, a crib, clothes, toys, bedding, books, healthcare and childcare, etc. And as the child grows up, you’ll need to consider a savings plan for college and about a million and one other expenses. Ask yourself: “Do I have a reliable source of income that will provide for this baby?” “Do I have debt that will impact my ability to pay for things I need?” “Do I have savings or a back-up plan in case I lose my job or encounter unexpected costs?” “Do I have health insurance that will cover me and my baby?”

3. Think About Your Lifestyle

Your entire life changes when you have a baby—and not just the little, insignificant things. It’s like…the big stuff.

Your relationship will face challenges because you’re not the only two in it anymore. Your family may start playing a different role in your life, and you may rely on them as a support structure. You may have totally different priorities than you did before being a parent. In short: you will be living a completely different life. So when you think about getting pregnant, you want to be sure you feel secure and confident in your decision. Also, you’ll want to be sure you’ve accomplished everything you wanted to in your pre-baby life because after you have a child, there’s no going back to the way it was before.

Now that we’ve laid it all out on the line, it’s your turn to give these three points some serious thought. And don’t worry, even if this all seems a little overwhelming at first, that’s totally natural. Becoming a mom or dad is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so it makes sense that you’ll want to consider every single detail before taking the parenthood plunge. Trust us though, when you’re absolutely ready, the rewards will be worth it.