Congratulations! You have decided to start a family. It’s a huge step, but there is nothing more rewarding in life. After all, that’s why we are all here, right?

But do you have everything in place? We don’t mean a nice room for the new-born baby, or thousands of nappies ready to be broken out of their packaging. We’re talking about health. Yours, primarily.

There’s a lot to sort out before having a baby, and it is often the case that we forget about ourselves. Obviously, this isn’t ideal. So we thought we would put together this short guide to making sure you are looking after yourself in the best possible way. Let’s get started.

4

https://flic.kr/p/7Lsz4B

Communication

Communication is going to be the key to a successful pregnancy, the birth, and the early stages of a newborn’s life. If you don’t talk to your partner beforehand, there will be problems, it’s guaranteed. It is a hugely stressful time, and it can cause emotional problems. Outline your expectations of each other and talk about the future. Think about who will be the primary carer, talk about what you are scared of, and discuss your priorities. Communicating early and often is healthy, because it will help reduce the impact of the emotional strains having a child can bring.

Indulgences

Once you are pregnant, you pretty much have to call a halt to your partying – temporarily, at the very least. But if you have decided to go for a family, you should think about scaling back all of your indulgences before you start. A healthy body is a much better environment for reproduction to take place. Take smoking, for example. It can have a drastic effect on sperm and egg quality. Being healthy in the first place is the best way to reduce the risk of birth defects and miscarriage.

Weight

If you have been indulging in too much food and taking too little exercise, now is a good time to call it quits. Losing some of that extra weight can increase the chances of getting pregnant. Eat a balanced diet, and ingest fewer calories. Burn more calories by doing exercise. Use more than you put in is the best rule of thumb for losing weight.

Protection

It is hard to find peace of mind when you are carrying new life inside you. Lots of things can go wrong and, although the chance might be small, it is a constant worry for you. The last thing you need, then, is to be worrying about yourself. Before you start a family, make sure you are covered by your health insurance for any eventuality. If you are employed, make sure you have the right coverage contained in your employer’s group health insurance plans. Look into getting personal policies in place for anything that might be missing. This way, you will be able to concentrate on bringing up baby, safe in the knowledge that you have everything covered should anything happen to you.

Starting a family is an awesome thing to do. But it takes a lot of work, and the only way you can get through it is by looking after yourself. Start now, and enjoy the ride!