There is more to preconception care than physical health. We would never, ever, downplay the need to ensure your health is optimum before conception and we continue to encourage you to get all of the screenings and tests you need beforehand. There are so many things you can do to protect your pregnancy and encourage a healthy and normal birth.
The Things One Doesn't Always Think Of: Becoming A Parent
There are also some other decisions to take into consideration before conception, especially because trying to discuss them while you are pregnant can produce some pretty intense moments. Some of the decisions you will have to make are not easy ones, and may fly in the face of convention, at least for your family and loved ones.
So, what are we talking about? Well, things like naming the baby, deciding what religion to raise the baby in (if you are a mixed marriage) and whether or not to breastfeed the baby. Simple you say? We'll deal with it when the baby is born? It may not be quite as simple as you think and one-word-answers may not be the one word you were looking to receive. Remember that the decisions you will make as parents will forever shape your family, so it is best to have them addressed before a baby arrives on the scene and when you are both of a mind to deal with the issues as rationally as possible. That probably means that discussing them before becoming pregnant would be prudent. Even experienced parents recognize the value of being proactive when it comes to such things.
We'll Raise Him ... Fill In The Blank, But Be Sure You Agree: Parenting Issues
Choosing which religion to raise your children in is a no-brainer for some folks. But, if you come from different religious backgrounds, agreeing in this area can be more than challenging. Start with a conversation about values and determine what is really important for you and your partner. Decide also what isn't important to either or both of you. Sometimes, by process of elimination, you are able to come to common ground. It is important to leave open doors rather than slamming them shut, especially if you aren't sure about religion or you are on the fence. Sometimes you fall off the fence after the baby is born.
To Breastfeed Or Not To Breastfeed, That Is The Question
Another very personal but important issue to resolve before pregnancy and birth is that of breastfeeding. Know how both you and your partner feel about it and make the decision together as opposed to allowing outside forces to form your decision for you. If you decide that nursing is for you, then be as prepared as possible. Sometimes the difficulty that can beset new mothers at the beginning of breastfeeding is enough to turn them off. By being adequately prepared long beforehand, the decision may be easier to abide with because you are aware of the possible challenges. Then, there's always the added dimension of work and how you manage breastfeeding and working at the same time. Not as easy as you thought?
And, There Are More Things To Consider... like Cord Blood Banking
Other considerations such as circumcision and cord blood banking are items that are best discussed without the added dimension of hormonal stress. A pregnant woman is dealing with more than the normal amount of hormones and the natural stresses that accompany pregnancy can make decision making a nightmare.
Some things are best done way in advance and these items may be considered fitting for preconception consideration.