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Someone mentioned to me recently that I should have begun my year of articles on child development with prenatal information. She was right. I have lots of information about this important time in the development of a baby. I don’t intend on spending every week for nine months providing this information, but I will try, over the next year, to cover important areas of development.
Think about whether you are really ready to share your life with a baby. Do you like to sleep late in the morning? If so, are you ready to get to bed late after that last feeding of the day? Are you prepared to not only get up early, but to be awake during the wee morning hours changing wet/soiled diapers, warming bottles, and trying to get that little dear to return to slumber land.
Are you going to have the means to buy diapers? How will you feel working hard all week to spend what may feel like half your paycheck on “seat covers” that you will discard at the convenience center at the end of the week?
Are you ready to be less self-centered? To wear the same shoes for several years in a row because the feet of a baby grow very fast and his shoes are very expensive? Will you be okay paying a lot for tiny outfits that will be too small in just a few months? Especially when you love the new styles you’ve been admiring in magazines and store windows.
Think about how you will feel when you have to pay for formula when the supplement provided by WIC (if you qualify) runs out before your next checks can be cashed? How will you get back and forth to the doctor? How will you pay for those visits if you don’t qualify for Medicaid and you have no health insurance?
Do you eat a well-balanced diet? If not, you need to begin if you plan on getting pregnant. If you smoke, be prepared to stop in order to give your baby the best chance of being born healthy. Babies born to moms who smoke may give birth to underweight infants. This is known to put the baby at risk. There has never been determined a safe amount of alcohol to ingest when pregnant.
Think about whether you will be okay if your wee one is born with fetal alcohol syndrome, addicted to drugs, or more prone to allergies because you smoked (or were in the presence of second-hand smoke), if you use those substances when pregnant.
Will you have room for your baby? If you still live at home, will your parents be okay if you bring a baby into their home. Or if you have roommates, will they be okay with a baby fussing and crying when they are trying to sleep? Does your partner want a baby as much as do you? Is he prepared to take an active role in the baby’s life…long term?
If you answered yes to these questions, you should get the idea that having a baby is not something to be taken lightly, but don’t stop there. Continue to think about what it will mean to you, those around you, and for goodness sake, what it will mean to the innocent little one you will be bringing into your life. Ask questions, pray for guidance, consider carefully, and prepare well before making such a decision.
©2011 Brenda Holland-Robinson