Thinking of becoming pregnant?
Here’s 20 questions to see how much you have actually thought it through.
Will you and your partner be able to parent together, or will it cause a break in your relationship?
Raising children will add stresses on any relationship.When there are two parents with two sets of values raising one child it is common that there are differences in opinion in parenting.
Here’s a list of 20 questions to ask yourself and then discuss with your partner before you decide to become parents. This list is also suitable for those that have already started the journey to parenthood with pregnancy or a young baby.
Once you have had these open discussions you will know whether you can, or can’t, work together as you take your biggest step ever.
- What are your thoughts if the doctor advises aborting for medical reasons?
Is abortion on medical grounds an option you would consider, and at what stage is too late?
- What if child has a disability?
Disabilities can be of such a varied range. Where do you draw the line as to how much care you are capable of offering to a child with a disability?
- What if it came down to baby or mother?At what stage would this change?
We see it on television shows, but it can be a reality. If there came a point of choosing, when do you choose one over the other, and how does that look?
- What are thoughts on social drinking/smoking throughout pregnancy?
Evidence has recently shown that 61% of women still drink socially during pregnancy, and many do not give up the cigarettes. What do you consider acceptable, and what has to change? There is also evidence that smoking around pregnant women affects the newborn, is a partner also willing to make changes?
- Will you find out the sex of the baby?
Everyone has a different view, discuss what works for you and your partner. Will you tell others
- When/how would you envisage telling family and friends?
There is a social norm around this, wait the first trimester, tell the family first then friends, but is this what you view will suit you and your partner? If you are waiting to tell, how will you keep it quiet?
- What sort of birth plan would you like? What is the back up if things don’t go to plan?
There is so much diversity available for birthing nowadays. Natural, caesarean, hydro, drug-free, hypnosis, and the list goes on. Where do you sit on the spectrum, and what happens if it doesn’t all go to plan?
- What are your thoughts on feeding?
Breast vs bottle, or a combination of both? Expressed breast allows others to feed as well, do you want that? Who is getting up in the night?
- What are your thoughts on sleeping?
Which room and which bedding will you use for your baby? Do your research, look at SIDS and at co-sleeping pro’s and cons. Will baby be rocked to sleep, or settled with a feed, or settled into bed before asleep? Will you have the house quiet when baby sleeps or continue with noise around?
- What are your thoughts when baby cries?
Will baby be allowed to cry, will ‘controlled’ crying be used, what emotions does a crying baby bring up? Will you use a dummy, and if so when and for how long?
- What are your thoughts on having time off work?
Maternity & paternity leave are often available for both parents. Who will take leave and for how long?
- How will both parties be involved in raising the child?
What roles will each parent have? Nappy changes, feeding, night time shifts, washing, how will it be shared.
- What are your thoughts on circumcision if a boy?
There is much to research on this, it is still available and practiced. Will you be considering this option if you have a boy?
- What about immunisation?
The data strongly suggests that immunisation does reduce many medical diseases and death. Some people still view immunisation as not proven. Where do you lie on this issue as it brings with is many heated discussions in society?
- What financial spending will occur in relation to the baby?
Will everything be bought brand new? How much will be spent on the nursery? What ideas do you both have for the nursery? Will you accept hand-me-downs?
- What are your thoughts on going back to work?
There are various reasons parents do, or don’t go back to work. Personal preference and finances are two reasons. Circumstances and reality can step in and change these ideas, but it is a discussion to be had.
- What values will you be instilling on your child?
Will you be raising your baby under a particular religious belief, if you are vegetarian will you instil that on your child, if bi-lingual what language/s will you speak with the baby? What else do you need to consider?
- What are the social things you do now that you want to change or are willing to change once baby is born?
Friday night after work drinks may be great before baby is born, but once baby is born this could change. Are both parents prepared to have those discussions on a weekly basis and make the changes as they arise?
- What are your thoughts on others caring for the baby at times?
Will you allow others to care for your baby? Who else will be permitted to care for baby? Will grandparents be available, will friends be suitable, will you allow yourself some time out? Will you consider daycare or will a nanny or babysitter be more suitable, and at what age?
- What are your thoughts onone on one time with each other after the baby arrives?
Going from a couple to a family changes dynamics and relationships. Once baby is born time together is less, and often interrupted and some partners say they feel redundant . What will you put in place to retain your relationship with each other, and how often?
If you can have these conversations and be able to communicate on these questions effectively and come up with amicable outcomes, the parenting journey will be more enjoyable for both parents and the child.
There are many more questions to discuss with each other as the baby gets older and reaches different stages, so please get comfortable with these conversations as early as you can, and refresh periodically.
Next week, we will look at questions to discuss once baby has passed the first 6 months of life, when there are different ages, stages decisions and challenges.
Suze specialises in caring for newborn babies with her fostering. She is very hands on and experienced. This experience flows through to her babysitting agency where she instills her values into the policies and practices of the agency and their babysitters.