How To Plan Your Family

Are you and your spouse ready to bring a child into the family? Things to consider.

Family, friends and neighbours aside, your decision to start a family should not be dictated by outward pressure, but by your own readiness as a couple. How to prepare for your first child? Find out.

Some couples are prepared to become parents barely a few months into the marriage, while others might want to wait for a few years.

Having a child is a life changing decision, which will depend on several factors, such as your financial stability, career aspirations, emotional willingness and even your physical health. Needless to say, you and your spouse need to discuss these things in detail so that your hopes and expectations and well aligned.

Financial readiness
Having a baby requires major lifestyle changes and a bigger household budget – after all, there is now an additional member in the family. That is not to say that you cannot start a family unless you have lakhs of rupees in savings, but do make sure you have some corpus stashed away for the baby’s immediate needs. This should be easy if you have planned your finances well and have made some investments early on in life.

Emotional Readiness
Even though you may be well settled and doing well in your career, you may just not feel ready enough for such a big commitment. Different people have different thresholds and it is better to discuss your concerns with your partner before planning to start a family. This is especially important for women as they are going to be the primary caretakers of the child.

Physical Readiness
A woman’s body undergoes immense transformation through pregnancy, childbirth and lactation. Is your body ready for this? Both husband and wife should undergo a thorough medical checkup before you plan to have a baby so that any underlying problems can be treated in time. If you are suffering from any health problems, do discuss these with your doctor. Women nearing thirty must also keep track of their reproductive health, as infertility is a common problem these days.

Career Aspects
Each job comes with its own set of demands and you need to evaluate if you will be able to balance your career and your responsibilities as a parent. Will both of you continue working in the same jobs? How will you plan your maternity leave? What are your company policies on family planning? Who will take care of the child when you get back to work? Some forward thinking on these fronts will allow you to make appropriate arrangements and avoid difficulties later on.

Support System
Your decision to start a family will also depend on your immediate environment. Are there adequate medical facilities where you live? Do have extended family who can help you take care of the baby? If not, how are you going to manage?

Take stock of all these factors before you embark on the most beautiful and exciting journey of life – parenthood.

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