Is there ever a right time to have a baby? Just how prepared can one be when planning to start a family? Is reading the book and scouring the forums enough to truly prepare an expecting mother or is parenthood something that, no matter how much one studies for it, they can never be ready for what is coming?
Choosing to start a family is a big decision. Having a baby is a life-changing choice that should not be taken lightly. Both due to the baby that comes afterwards but also the pregnancy that comes first. Pregnancy is often portrayed as a magical and wonderful time in a woman's life. Filled with a lovely glow, flowy maxi dresses, and the ability to eat whatever food one craves without hesitation. But there are a lot of other aspects to pregnancy that are not discussed in popular media that one should consider before attempting to start a family.
For starters, morning sickness is a misnomer and is rarely contained to the morning hours, and the due date is hardly reliable- with many babies coming weeks before and after the estimated time of arrival. Before making the decision to start a family, take this quiz to see if the time is now or if a bit more preparation is in order.
When can one conceive?
Conception is the first step in starting a family. Though even this step can be much harder than one is lead to believe. With the sheer amount of accidental pregnancies that occur and the importance of taking one's contraceptive at the same time every single day, many people looking to start a family assume that doing so will be simple and instant. But the truth is that many couples struggle with conception and most couples end up having to attempt to conceive several times before the procedure sticks and results in a successfully implanted embryo that could eventually become a baby.
When is the best time to test?
Whether a pregnancy is wanted or not, waiting until the right time to take a pregnancy test can be one of the more stressful things in this life. It is important to wait until the right time to take the test because doing so too early can result in inaccurate results. And since pregnancy tests can be a bit pricey and conception can take several months to stick, these tests can add up if they are taken incorrectly. There are several 'Early Response" tests available that promise the ability to detect a pregnancy before one's expected period but can we trust them to deliver accurate results?
Is there a "right time to have a child?"
This is one of the most important questions someone can ask themselves if they are planning to have children at some point in their lives. Should they wait until they have advanced to a stable and secure place in their career? Should they wait until they have bought a house? Are married? Have a dog? What if achieving those things takes too long and makes conceiving a child much more difficult? How big of a deal is financial security? Should someone wait until they are older before starting a family or is it better to be younger parents when raising children?
How is the due date calculated?
The due date is one of the most important things about having a child. Why is that? Because, from the moment that one announces their pregnancy to friends and family/start to visibly show, every single person they encounter will ask them when their due date is until the child is born (and sometimes afterwards as well.) So one must get to know that date. After all, it could become one's future child's birthday and that is one of the most important dates in a mother's life. Like it or not, one's due date is incredibly important. But how is it calculated?
How long is the average pregnancy?
It is important to know the length of a pregnancy before planning to start a family (or add a new member to an existing family.) One must consider the time of year in which the child will be both carried and born. Is the person considering the prospect of starting a family willing to be pregnant during the warm summer months or would they prefer to carry their child during the winter? Does she want to be pregnant during Halloween so that she can choose a costume related to her condition? Does she want the child to be born near Chrismas or as far away from that holiday as possible?
Can a pregnancy test show a false negative?
Alright, so it is finally the right time to take a pregnancy test. But just how accurate are those results? Can we trust them to provide a truthful reflection of whether or not we are pregnant or are their results prone to inaccuracy? It is important to know whether or not one can fully trust the results in order to know how one should react to seeing them after taking the test. A negative result can be a bit of a let down to a couple looking to start a family, especially if they have had other negative results in the past.
How long does it take the average couple to conceive?
So, one has decided to start a family. They have stopped taking their contraceptives, bought a few ovulation tests, and have figured out the most fertile time in their monthly cycle. They try and try and try...and fail? How many attempts at conceiving does it take for an attempt to finally stick? Should a couple tell those around them that they are planning on starting a family? Or should they keep that to themselves in case it takes longer than expected to stick? Will telling those around them result in unsolicited advice on how to do so from people that one would rather not hear such things from.
How common are miscarriages?
It's not often talked about but it really should be. It is truly important to talk about how common miscarriages can be so that the women experiencing them don't feel so alone. Many women worry that the end of a wanted pregnancy is their own fault and can harbour feelings of guilt and stress over such things. It is important to note that these things are rarely the fault of the mother and often happen because there was an issue with the embryo that could have caused issues had it been allowed to continue to develop. It is normal, it is okay, and it is no one's fault.
Can someone carry twins with different fathers?
There are two different basic ways that twins can be formed. In the case of identical twins, a single egg is released from the ovaries and is split into two separate beings afterwards. The two separate embryos develop, side by side, until it is time to be born. In the case of fraternal twins, two separate eggs are released at the same time and they are both fertilized individually. So, that begs the question. If a woman releases two eggs and has two partners in a short time frame, would it be possible for her to bear twins with different fathers?
Can pregnant women have sushi?
When deciding to start a family, one of the more important things on the lengthy checklist of things to do is to check to see which foods are okay to consume and which should be left alone until the baby has safely been delivered into the world and is no longer part of the mother. One of the main foods that one must check is safe before ingesting when pregnant is sushi. Since sushi is made of raw fish and comes with a risk of mercury illness, it is important to check to see if it is safe to eat before digging in.
How many trimesters make up a pregnancy?
A pregnancy is divided up into several trimesters. Each trimester has its own symptoms and rules that must be followed. Each trimester comes with different feelings and things that the mother can expect while being in the midst of said trimester. But how may trimesters are there? How many trimesters are the nine months of pregnancy divided up into? How many time-divided groups of symptoms do pregnant women have to endure before they are able to deliver their baby into the new world and greet them? Hint: the answer to said question can be found within the name "trimester" itself.
Can pregnant women have coffee?
The majority of adults in our world consume coffee or some other form of caffeine on a daily basis. Whether if it is done in an attempt to help them wake up in the morning and greet the day or if they do so simply because they enjoy the taste, the fact is is that most adults are regular coffee drinkers. And drinking coffee is such a difficult habit to break. So do expecting mothers need to go cold-turkey on their favourite morning drink or can they get away with indulging every now and again? Or is coffee totally safe to consume?
Is it normal to have a dark line down the pregnant belly?
Due to the lack of information concerning many of the symptoms of a healthy pregnancy and the common nature of miscarriages, many women who are experiencing their first pregnancies can find themselves googling every single symptom that arises; worrying that it could be the sign of something serious on the horizon. But the majority of these seemingly concerning symptoms end up being nothing to worry about and completely normal. Is the dark line that can appear down the middle of an expecting mother's stomach something that they should be concerned about or something that is totally normal and not worth a second thought?
Does a pregnant woman's heart beat change?
So many aspects of an expecting mothers body have to change in order to accommodate their growing baby. Reading up on the numerous ways that a pregnant woman's body can change will growing a child can be overwhelming at first but each change is necessary in order to accommodate the new life springing forth. Organs shift and move around inside the body as the child grows and those same organs must divert and change some of their functions in order to provide for the baby. But do all of these changes affect the heart or is that the one organ that remains unchanged?
Do the internal organs move?
There is not an excessive amount of space insides one's torso. Plainly put, the internal organs take up a lot of space and there isn't a lot of wiggle room in there. So when a woman becomes pregnant, where do those organs go while the baby grows? Do they shrink? Does the baby grow around them? Or do the organs shift in order to accommodate the growing baby? And if they do, can the expecting mother feel the organs shifting around the growing baby? And if those organs do shift during the pregnancy, how long does it take for them to move back into place after birth?
What creates the belly button?
Belly buttons. We all have them. But what causes them. Why does every single human on this Earth have one? Where did they come from? Are we born with them or do we receive them shortly after birth? If we receive them shortly after birth, are they given to us or is the belly button growth a natural process? Is the umbilical cord (the cord which connects the baby to the mother during the pregnancy and provides it with all the nutrients needed to grow safely and properly) responsible for the belly buttons which we all possess? Or is something else the cause for them?
Can pregnant women fly on airplanes?
Planning a vacation can be more stressful than planning to start a family. Both efforts involve a lot of dedication, budgeting, planning, and consulting with one's calendar, Both involve making sure that both events do not conflict too strongly with surrounding events that one has already committed themselves too. But will those two events conflict with each other? Does one need to consider their pregnancy when planning a vacation that involves air travel? Are pregnant women free to fly or are their limits to the amount of air travel that they can enjoy while growing another human being within their body?
How much does the skin stretch to accommodate the growing baby?
One of the coolest things about skin is the fact that it stretches to accommodate many aspects of human life. Going from an infant to a full-sized adult requires a lot of stretching. As does exercise, going from standing up to sitting down, and the majority of daily movements. All of these things require our skin to have the ability to stretch in order to accommodate the movements necessary in our daily lives. But the biggest stretching task that one's skin must undertake during our lifetimes is the stretching needed to accommodate a growing baby. But just how much does that skin need to stretch?
What are 'Braxton Hicks contractions?"
If one has ever watched a situation comedy featuring a pregnant character, then one has most likely heard of a little phenomenon called "Braxton Hicks contractions." But what are Braxton Hicks contractions and what is their purpose in a pregnancy? Is it common? Is it serious? Is it related to labour in any way whatsoever? Does this phenomenon have any lasting effect on the baby? Is it anything to worry about or is it just something that happens to certain people in specific situations? Is there anything someone can do to predict or even prevent them? Or are they just something that happens?
Can babies hear what happens outside of the womb?
Many parents choose to watch their words carefully around their young children, but how young are we talking here? Should one watch what they say around toddlers? Infants? Newborns? What about in-utero? Can babies hear things from inside of their mother's bellies? Can they experience what is going on in the outside world from the inside of the womb? At which point in their fetal development do they get the ability to hear things? At what point in the pregnancy does the baby develop ears? And when do those ears gain the ability to hear and perceive the sounds around them?
What are the three most common signs of pregnancy?
So, one has decided that it is the right time in their life to have a baby. Now what? They map out the best times to conceive and start planning the life that they will have with their future child and how said child will fit in their existing family unit. Their ovulation date passes by and they wonder whether or not it worked. But, aside from taking a test, how will they know if the procedure has taken? One does not want to waste their money on countless tests if conception is unlikely. So what are three telltale signs of pregnancy that one can use and an indication of whether or not they should take a test?
When can one see the gender of the baby?
Once an expecting mother receives that long-awaited positive pregnancy test, the fantasies begin. They start to imagine the future that lies before them and the things that could be coming in the next few weeks. One of the biggest things that expecting mothers tend to dream about is the gender of their growing baby. Whether or not they have a preference either way is not the biggest concern as expecting mothers tend to imagine both possibilities equally. Some mothers wish to wait until the baby is born to find out their gender while others want to know as soon as possible.
Name two signs of labour
The pregnancy is reaching its end. The baby has nearly outgrown its home and is seeking to be free of the only home it has ever known. But how can one be sure that the end is finally here? Maybe it is just another case of braxton hicks contractions (a.k.a. false labour.) Or maybe it is the real thing. How can one tell that the real thing is here and that it is not another false flag? There are two big signs of labour that cannot be ignored. Hint: these signs are shown in almost every film containing pregnant women.
Does morning sickness only occur in the morning hours?
In every movie containing a pregnant woman that has ever been written, the woman gets sick once and then realizes she is pregnant. And then is magically never sick again. But is that how things really go? Can we trust the way that Hollywood has chosen to represent pregnancy? Is morning sickness truly restricted to the wee hours of the morning or is it more of an all-day thing? Is it limited to the first trimester or can it occur at any point in the pregnancy? Does it magically stop when the expecting mother finds out she's pregnant or is that just Hollywood magic?
When is it safe to announce one's pregnancy?
When someone is planning a family, finally getting that positive test can be one of the most exciting things in one's life. It can be so exciting that the expecting mother might want to call everyone they know the minute the second line appears and announce their big news. But doing so might not be the best idea. Miscarriages most commonly occur in the first trimester and some mothers might not feel comfortable with the idea of announcing a pregnancy only to have to recant the statement later. So, if this is something an expecting mother is concerned with, when would be the best time to announce a pregnancy?
Is it possible to receive a false positive on a pregnancy test?
Though it is very possible to achieve a false negative on a pregnancy test, is it also possible to achieve a false positive? False negatives occur when the expecting mother took the test too early in her pregnancy for an adequate amount of the HCG hormone to be detected or if she took the test incorrectly. Examples of taking the test incorrectly can include taking it at the wrong time of the day, drinking too much water before taking the test, taking it too early, not leaving it in the stream long enough, or even oversaturating the test while taking it.
What hormone do pregnancy tests check for?
When taking a test, it is important to know what one is being tested on and what the test is looking for. We know that a pregnancy test is testing to see where or not a woman is pregnant. However, how does the test figure this out, exactly? What does the test look for when being taken and how does that translate to pregnancy? The test is looking for a certain hormone that is only present in pregnant women. This hormone gets stronger as the pregnancy wears on; which is why it's important to wait to the right time to take it.
Do pregnant women have to stop taking certain medications?
Some women take certain medications in order to get through their everyday life without a hitch. Be it for certain issues involving the chemical of the brain or a physical ailment, these medications allow them to get through their daily life with ease. But when considering starting a family, one needs to consider whether or not they would have to stop taking these medications in order to safely conceive and house a baby. Will those medications be an issue when attempting to conceive? Can they affect the baby? Will the mother be able to safely go off of them for the duration of her pregnancy?
At what point can a baby live outside of the mother?
It is important to note that not all babies stay inside their mothers for the full 40 weeks that a normal pregnancy is expected to last. Some babies, for whatever reason, decide to make their debut in our world a bit early. And, the majority of the time, these early arrivals can go off without a hitch. But sometimes they can be a bit uncertain. At what point in a woman's pregnancy can the baby safely live outside of the mother? Sometimes it is safer outside of the womb than inside of it; so at what point can the baby be removed from its mother and be in our world?
Can pregnant women jump on trampolines?
It goes without saying that the majority of women will have to change their daily lives in order to safely grow a baby. Certain habits, activities, and behaviours need to be changed (or put on hold for a few months) in order to ensure that the baby is being grown in the safest environment possible. No longer eating sushi, cutting down on one's coffee consumption, and going off of non-necessary medications are some of the basic steps that one should consider taking while growing a baby. But should certain physical activities be avoided as well? Are trampolines safe for expecting mothers?
When does implantation occur?
Alright, so the prospective couple has decided that it is time to start a family. They plan out the best night to conceive and do everything in their power to meet that goal. Now what? A woman must wait until a week after her expected period in order to test for a successful pregnancy. But what is happening inside of her while she waits? After the conception event itself, a little phenomenon called "implantation" occurs. Implantation is the name given to the event where a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus in order to grow safely. The process can even involve a bit of cramping and spotting,
What is the best birth plan?
The most important part of a pregnancy, aside from the conception, is planning the birth itself. There are several ways that a woman can choose to bring a baby into the world and each one of them has equal amounts of pros and cons that come with them. There is the option of natural birth which involves no pain medication. There is a c-section, which is a more traditional surgical procedure. The is the natural delivery that is eased with medication. And there is also the water birth which involves a large tub and someone whose job is to ensure that the water stays warm for both mother and baby.
Which is better: formula or mother's milk?
One of the biggest debates in the online mother community is whether or not one should feed their baby naturally or use formula instead. Some firmly believe that one is better than the other but it is important to note that each option does have a set of pros and cons that should be considered by the expecting mother. It is also important to note that no one's opinion outside of the expecting parents and their selected medical professionals truly matters. And if an expecting mother has no directly asked for an opinion, it is best to keep said opinion to oneself.
How long does it take to recover from labour?
It seems like every magazine cover featuring a new mother is always talking about how quickly she got her body back. But are such feats realistic? Pregnancy is a 40-week process that changes many aspects of a woman's body so one cannot expect their body to snap back to its previous state immediately after birth. These things take time. Organs must shift back into place, the uterus takes several weeks to shrink down back to its original size, and the body needs time to not only process the labour that it has experienced but the stress of being a new mother as well.
Should one give expecting mothers unsolicited advice?
Becoming a mother can be a stressful experience and when someone is experiencing something new, it can be wise to gather as much information as possible from people who have experienced said things in order to prepare for the unknown and oncoming. And when someone close to a person is going through something, that person is going to want to do everything they can to help. But are these unsolicited opinions truly helpful or can they overwhelm the expecting mother and be more of a burden than a blessing? Should someone offer the expecting mothers around them advice or wait until they are asked directly before they share?