Image by RambergMediaImages via Flickr
Image by RambergMediaImages via Flickr
You’re excited at the very thought of getting pregnant and bringing a child into your family. However, you realize that there are some areas of your life you need to evaluate and perhaps even change before you start down this exciting new road with your partner. Planning Family helps ensure that you take the necessary steps you need to take to get yourself ready to become a parent.
One important area of family planning is finances. Having a child involves a lot of joy as well as a lot of costs. Even if you have insurance, you may still end up paying part of the costs associated with doctor visits, ultrasounds, and hospital services when the baby is born. Don’t forget about the cost of preparing your home for a new baby, setting up a nursery, and buying items such as diapers, bottles, toys, and clothes. You can see why you need to take some time to get your personal finances in order before you get pregnant.
Family planning also includes health and nutrition. Is your body is ready to handle a pregnancy? Nutrition and exercise are important both before and after conception. Moms-to-be need to know how to keep themselves healthy because their baby’s life depends on it.
After you are pregnant, you can use online resources to track the development of your baby. You can monitor your baby’s growth during each week of gestation with these pregnancy guides. And once your baby is born, there are plenty of sites that can help you understand what changes your baby will undergo during the first year of life.
Websites such as PlanningFamily.com provide health guidelines to follow before conception to help ensure you have a smooth pregnancy, and offer advice for women who are pregnant, new parents, and moms who are dealing with a bossy two-year-old. Research the online tools that are available and select the one that works the best for you.
By ages fifteen to seventeen, most girls have gone through all the changes puberty brings and have completed their physical changes. Boys tend to run two years behind girls, so they are still maturing.
Friends become more important than ever during middle adolescence, so they’re more aware of the social behaviors of friends. They’re less likely to want to spend time with family. This isn’t a reflection on you as a parent, but a natural stage most everyone went through. It’s a good idea to remind yourself yet again that this is just a phase.
Their capacity for caring has increased, as well as their interest in the opposite sex. At this age their physical changes are not as confusing, so any conflict or outburst they may have had toward you at age thirteen or fourteen would have decreased.
They may experience doubt, depression, or feelings of isolation that can lead to risky behavior and poor grades. This is why it’s so crucial to have already developed an honest line of communication with them when they were much younger, which was hopefully reinforced every step of the way. This makes it easier for you both when a discussion needs to happen.
If your teenager expresses concerns, don’t downplay them. Never say things like, “get over it!” or laugh at the insignificance of their worries.
If your teen is involved in an after-school activity such as sports, drama, or an art club, go to their game, play production, or exhibit. Show an interest in their interests.
To develop responsible spending habits, work with your teen to develop a savings plan. This is especially useful if your teen has a part-time job and wants to save for a car. Even if you plan to give your teen your old car, come up with an expectation as to how much they need to contribute. This teaches responsibility that will be useful in adulthood.
While we may not always have the time, there are countless books, TV shows and web sites were women are told to relax, rejuvenate and concentrate on ourselves. But in reality, there are few people who tell men to relax and rejuvenate. Now you may think that this is a given and that men already do this without any encouragement. Well I beg to differ. My husband is a great guy and he definitely does his share in the relationship, and sometimes more than he should, to be honest. There are times when we all neglect our husbands and when we see that, maybe they need some fun alone time too.
If you feel the man in your life, whether boyfriend or husband, needs to get some relaxation time then there are several ways you can go about this. First, if your man loves sports then let him watch some TV programs. Remember the last chick flick you watched. The one that was therapeutic, calming and brought a smile to your face. Well, the same can be said if your man loves his sport and can watch it freely and without guilt for spending 3-6 hours in front of a box instead of with you. And if he has a knack for picking the right team, then maybe he should go to some sports betting sites and see if he can bring back some money to the family for having fun.
Another way to surprise your man is to tell him to go hang out with his friends whenever he wants. You’d be surprised to know that, for the most part, that doesn’t mean he will be off and out of the house every night. In fact, most men say that if they had the opportunity, they would still spend most of their time with their significant other rather than their friends. The key to any successful relationship is to remember that everyone needs their space and to an individual.
If you’ve experienced a miscarriage, or have a condition that puts you at greater risk to miscarry, you’ll want to take extra steps to ensure the healthy delivery of a full-term baby.
Avoid cigarette smoke, even secondhand. Just breathing it in can double problems with the placenta and could lead to a low birth weight or premature baby.
Try to get regular exercise and eat healthy. Just walking comfortably for half an hour a day is beneficial, and the fresh air is good for your emotional health. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and stay away from junk food. You’ll crave weird and often unhealthy combinations, but remember the needs of your baby. If you have any health conditions, such as diabetes, make sure you’re keeping them in check and following your doctor’s recommendations. Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol. Drinking coffee doubles the risk of miscarriage, so don’t even take that chance. Drink water instead.
Consider your zinc intake. A zinc deficiency is a common cause of miscarriage. It’s required to keep the body able to maintain a pregnancy, and it’s also necessary to produce healthy sperm for men. Try taking a supplement and boost your intake of zinc sources like lean meat, egg yolks, whole grains and oysters.
If you think your progesterone levels may be low, talk to your doctor about using progesterone cream along with prenatal vitamins. Try to learn the signs of your body and what’s normal for you.
Always get enough sleep and enjoy a daily nap. You’ll feel extra tired anyway, especially during the first trimester, so relax whenever you can.
Keep your scheduled doctor’s appointments and don’t be afraid to bring up anything you may think is abnormal. Even the slightest thing such as a change in cervical fluid could tip your physician off to a potential problem.