Thinking of starting a family? It'll pay to give thought to these key points first.
Do you find that your breathing is often shallow or your stomach is in knots? Sounds like elements of your life are pretty stressful. Are there things that could give, to help make life a little calmer? Stress has a major impact on all areas of our life, including our health and fertility. Maximise your chances of conceiving by reducing stress and seeking out a stress remedy that works for you – experiment by signing up for a yoga class once a week, or setting aside 15 minutes on a Saturday to use a new meditation app.
Talk to your partner
It pays to discuss early stage parenting issues with your partner before you start trying for a baby. How much time will you both take off work, for example? It’s not the end of the world if you and your partner disagree on some issues, and you may find your ideas change once you become parents. What is important is that you keep talking, and are respectful of one another’s views.
Get your health in check
Give yourself the best chance of a smooth conception and healthy pregnancy by eliminating unhealthy habits and bringing good ones on board. Alcohol and cigarettes need to be banned, and your caffeine consumption reduced. If you are on any medications talk to your doctor to make sure they are safe to use in pregnancy. Reduce your toxic load by switching to natural skincare and make-up ranges, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and fewer processed foods. Start taking folic acid, even before you’re pregnant, to reduce your baby’s chances of having neural tube defects. Talk to a naturopath to find out which vitamins are best to take. Exercise in moderation.
Think about money
Now is the ideal time to review your financial situation, particularly following the expensive exercise of throwing a wedding. Put a solid financial plan in place and start putting money aside for the weeks or months that one of you will be home with the baby. Kiwi couples are entitled to 16 weeks’ paid parental leave – visit ird.govt.nz to find out more. Think about ways you could reduce your current expenditure. You could trial living on one wage together, to see how you fare. Do you have friends or family who can lend you basinets, clothes and toys? Small savings here and there can greatly ease long-term strain on your wallet
Let go of your expectations
If you’re one of many modern newlyweds who are embarking on the parenthood track well into your 30s or 40s, prepare yourself for the fact that miracles may not happen immediately. The road to pregnancy, just like parenthood, can be vastly unpredictable. Keep a calm temperament and tackle the process one step at a time, making sure to keep a positive mindset all the way.