Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NatureMadePrenatalDHA #CollectiveBias
I mentioned recently that the having another baby is something I have started to think about. After being pretty open about the difficulties of my last pregnancy, I realize this is something that may surprise a lot of you. I am going to talk more in depth about why I am ok with going through all that pain one more time pretty soon. For now, I thought I would share some of the ways I am getting ready to start TTC.
I was inspired to write this article the other day while I was shopping at Sam’s Club. I go there often, but this particular day felt important. I had decided to go out just to buy prenatal vitamins. I use Nature Made® Prenatal Multi + DHA because it is the same one I used with Zoey and Zander and I was happy with that choice. Buying prenatal vitamins is a milestone marking a very important decision. So as I picked them up off the shelf it got me thinking about all the things we do before getting pregnant and before TTC. Choosing to have a baby is a momentous. A decision that big requires a lot of thought and planning, and I thought it might be useful to share some of the things I did (or wish I had done) before getting pregnant or TTC.
25 Things you Should do Before TTC
In the past I talked about how you know you are ready to have kids. That post was more focused on the emotional and heartfelt side of parenting preparation. Today I wanted to share some of the more practical things you should do before TTC. Ultimately you are the only one who can know when you are ready to make that big step. But here are just a few things to consider before getting pregnant.
1. Have an Open Discussion about TTC with your Partner
Choosing to have a baby is a huge decision. Have an open discussion with your partner about your fears, concerns and excitements about having a baby. Before getting pregnant it might also be a good idea to discuss your ideas about parenting. Do you have strong opinions on big parenting topics such as schools, religion, disciplining methods, etc.? These would be good things to discuss prior to TTC so you can get on the same page or come up with compromises.
2. Fill your Fridge with Healthy Options
Getting pregnant means you are not only feeding yourself, but also your baby. Healthy habits are important for both you and your little one. But healthy habits don’t start overnight. A good first step is filling your fridge with healthy options.
3. Calculate the Financial Aspect
Babies aren’t free! They are worth every penny, but the financial aspect is certainly worth calculating. If this is your second child and you have saved carseats, cribs, etc. it is going to be a lot cheaper. Another thing to consider is if you will have a baby shower or not. Friends and family can be very generous with clothes and diapers. A baby shower will definitely save you some money at the beginning.
4. Ask Older Siblings for their Opinion
If this is your second or third child it is important to ask older siblings what they think about having another baby. Although it is ultimately a decision for you and your partner, it is a nice gesture to include your child in the discussion. Rather than feeling caught off guard with an announcement, they can feel like they are part of the process.
5. Talk to a Trusted Friend or Family Member
A close friend or family member who knows you well may have some really good advice on this decision. Ask someone you trust for advice, or just share your thoughts with them. You will need a lot of support if you do get pregnant. You can start building that support system now.
6. Aim for a Healthy Weight
Getting to a healthy weight before getting pregnant makes it so much easier to get back in shape after the baby! One of my goals between each pregnancy is to hit my pre-pregnancy weight on the scale.
7. Start an Exercise Regimen
When you are pregnant you can get really tired. I have never been so tired in my life as during those first few weeks of pregnancy! Get a healthy exercise regimen going while you still have the motivation. I used this system after Zander, but it is a great method for before TTC as well.
8. Take a Prenatal Supplement
You should start taking a prenatal 6 months before you start trying to get pregnant. I use Nature Made® Prenatal Multi + DHA, which you can get at Sam’s Club. Nature Made® Prenatal Multi + DHA provides essential vitamins and minerals (before and during pregnancy) including Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D3†. It has clinically proven absorption of folic acid and iron. Nature Made Prenatal Multi + 200 mg DHA is guaranteed to meet high quality standards – it is made from carefully selected ingredients under strict manufacturing processes. Adequate folic acid in healthful diets may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a neural tube defect. Nature Made Prenatal Multi + 200 mg DHA is also convenient with its easy-to-swallow softgel’s and one per day dosage.
9. Give up Harmful Habits
Drinking, smoking and drugs are off the table when you are pregnant. Kick all unhealthy habits that may harm your baby out the door. Don’t be afraid to get professional help if needed to quit smoking or overcome other addictions. Having the courage to seek out professional help is a mature step in the right direction towards parenthood.
10. Go off the Pill in Advance
Some birth control methods, like the pill, can lessen your chance of getting pregnant in the months after you stop. Stop taking the pill at least a few months before TTC and opt for condoms as a contraceptive instead.
11. Make a Before Getting Pregnant Restaurant Checklist
This is less on the practical side and more on the fun side. Going out to eat is a little harder after the baby is born. Not to mention pregnancy aversions can limit your choices of where to eat. Make a list of restaurants you want to visit before getting pregnant and start checking them off.
12. Buy a Camera
There will be many memories to capture if you do have a baby! Not to mention each stage of your pregnancy should be photographed. I love looking back and seeing pictures of my mom pregnant with me! Capture those moments so that special time can be remembered forever.
13. Plan for the Possibility of Postpartum Depression
This is something many people overlook, but it is SO important. Research the signs and symptoms of PPD and have a plan of action. What many people don’t know before having a baby is that PPD can seriously effect your relationship with your significant other, and sometimes lead to divorce or breaking up. It is also surprisingly common for men to experience depression when their wife starts to go through PPD. This makes two people ill-equipped to handle the emotions they are facing. Have a personal counselor and a couples counselor contact ready so that you can set up an appointment ASAP if you need to.
14. Go to the Movies
Back to a lighter topic, go see as many movies as you can before the baby is born! No one loves a screaming baby in a theater, especially the parent of that baby. Get all your movie dates out of your system. When the baby comes you can enjoy all the netflix and chill sessions you want at home.
15. Apartment Hunt if Needed
Do you have room for a new baby? In the first few months they will sleep in your room with you, most likely. But eventually you are going to want your own space again! Look for a new place if needed.
16. Think about your Job
Does your job offer maternity leave? How long? Is it enough time for you? These are all important questions to consider.
17. Ask your Mom about her Pregnancy
Often times people have pregnancy’s very similar to their mothers. Unfortunately for me that means being very sick. It was helpful to know how my mom’s pregnancies were in advance. That way I could prepare for the possibility of being sick my whole pregnancy.
18. Visit your Doctor
Visit your OBGYN and get a prenatal check up just to make sure everything is good to go before TTC.
19. Stop Clothes Shopping
Once you decide to get pregnant, don’t buy any more clothes!! I made this mistake. Right before Zoey was born I bought a whole new wardrobe. It wasn’t long before most of it didn’t fit me anymore. Wait to see how your body grows before going all out with clothes shopping.
20. Enjoy your Sleep
Like I have said before, no amount of sleep can compensate for the exhaustion you will feel post baby. There are things you can do after baby is born to cope with exhaustion. But it is easy to take those peaceful nights before a baby comes along for granted! I know I did. Just enjoy those sleep-ful nights a little more while you can!!
21. Go on a Vacation
Hit the road and go to an adults only resort or on that cruise you have been dreaming of. You can definitely vacation after you have a baby, but it is different. Enjoy some alone time with your significant other while you can.
22. Schedule a Dental Visit
A dental checkup is a good idea before getting pregnant. Make sure you are cavity free before you have a little one inside of you!
23. Start Tracking your Ovulation Patterns
It is impossible to plan exactly when you will have a baby. But tracking your fertility can help a little. I use a whole system to track my fertility patterns and I will share more about that very soon. Starting to track your cycles months in advance is really wise for predicting the best time to TTC. It also is very helpful to your doctor to have that information, should you have trouble getting pregnant.
24. Read a Parenting Book
I loved What to Expect When You’re Expecting before I got pregnant, while I was TTC, during my pregnancy, and even now! It gives a lot of insight into things to prepare for and what to … expect. Find a parenting book that gets your interest and start reading to get ready for your baby.
25. Ignore Unwanted Advice!
Lots of people will be ready with advice on when you should have kids. Ultimately you are the only one who can make this big, life changing decision! Ignore unwanted advice. Ignore these 25 tips if you need to! You are responsible for your potential baby, so don’t be afraid to confidently make decisions that you feel are best.
Well that was a LOT of advice just from picking up a bottle of Nature Made Prenatal Multi + 200 mg DHA at Sam’s Club! In the end the most important thing is whether or not you feel ready to be a parent. No one is ever completely ready, if you feel like you can handle it, you probably can! But it can be really helpful to consider the practical side of things too.
Are you getting ready to grow your family?
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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