Am I ready?
You may be a little nervous about becoming a parent. This is not unusual. Becoming a parent is a big responsibility and can bring significant life changes.
Some women will also have had bad experiences in the past. A history of family violence or sexual assault can make you feel very confused about becoming a parent or getting pregnant.
You may question whether you are able to be a good parent. Can you afford it? Will your relationship cope? Will you and your baby like each other?
These are just a few, very common fears that people have when they think about parenting. Often these fears are groundless, but sometimes they reflect very real issues and you may need help to sort through them.
Start, if you can, by talking openly with your partner or other people you are close to.
The following questions are for women with a partner. It offers some suggestions for questions you might ask yourselves.
- Why do we want to have a baby?
- Does it feel too soon or too late?
- How do we think a baby will affect our relationship?
- Can we afford a child?
- How will we manage financially?
- How will a baby affect our jobs or career?
- When would we want to return to work? Who will return to work? Full or part-time?
- Can we cope with extra responsibility?
- How will a baby affect our lifestyle and freedom, now and in the future?
- How do we think a baby will enrich our lives?
- Do we feel comfortable with each other’s values and attitudes to parenting?
- Are there any experiences we’ve had that may affect our parenting?
It is not unusual to be confused about the decision to have children, and it's not uncommon for couples to find the issue difficult to resolve. Try talking with friends who have small children. Ask them some of the questions above. Relationship counselling can also help.
Your support networks
Friends, family and community can be very helpful during pregnancy and in the months and years after your baby is born. When you are thinking about having a baby, think about who you have around you to help and support you when things do get difficult. Some women find that it is important to have parents around, others enjoy strong support from their community of friends. Some ways your network can support you include:
- being available for chats and talking things through
- hands-on, practical support
- giving advice from their own experience
- attending birthing classes with you
- helping with transport
- preparing the baby’s room
- adding safety fixtures to the home
The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.