There's no doubt about it, planning a pregnancy brings things to the surface you would normally never think about. Depending upon your individual situation, there will be questions and decisions which will ultimately affect not only your life, but that of your partner, your baby and even your extended family.
How Will The Family Feel About Pregnancy?
Perhaps you are a single, mature woman who has finally decided you want to have a child of your own. You're not necessarily interested in being married, or even in a committed relationship. You've done the research and found a sperm donor from a sperm bank. You're very excited, but you still have a family to deal with. How are they going to handle the news? What about relationships that will affect your future child - will they be able to be close with their grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins? How will you handle the day your child asks about his father? Indeed, there are so many things to have planned and ready before conceiving.
Religion: How To Raise your Child
Choosing which religion to raise your child in is something that is not even a question for some families but for others, it can be a dividing point. In making a decision about religion, especially when the couple is from different faiths, it is important to talk about values and what is really important to you. If something isn't that important, let it go and focus on the items that will make a difference to both of you. The practice of talking these things through before becoming pregnant is excellent preparation for childrearing in the future.
To Breast Feed or Bottle Feed
You'll want to make the decision about breast-feeding or bottle-feeding. Breast-feeding is a very personal issue and one that should be settled before conception. You and your partner are the ones who will live with the decision and by resolving it before conception you can both stand steady when pressure comes from outside. If you decide to nurse your baby, then having the decision made before conception allows for time to prepare during your pregnancy. By being informed beforehand, the challenges which may arise at the beginning of the breast-feeding experience can be handled and you can go on to enjoy the bonding experience, having been prepared.
What About Circumcision?
If you have a boy, the decision to circumcise is one that needs to be made before as well. Perhaps the father is circumcised and expects his son will be also, or your religious beliefs include circumcision so the decision is a mute point. On the other hand, maybe you are both exploring the possibility and aren't sure whether you want to have surgery done on your little baby boy or not. By educating yourselves well before and making the decision before conceiving, you have eliminated what could be a very explosive issue. Immediately after birthing a baby, when you're exhausted and emotional, is not the time to make a decision like this.
Decide on the tough items before conception - you'll stress a lot less.