So much to consider when thinking about starting a family! In this section, we will look at all the considerations that might factor into your decision. As we reflect with parents who have survived the first year, there appear to be specific topics they identify with.

You: Nutrition Overview - Folate in Pregnancy

Folate, a B vitamin that's found in a number of different foods, may play a key role in the health of a woman—and the health of the children she gives birth to. Experts have found that mothers who have adequate levels of folic acid in their bodies may be less likely to give birth to children with neural tube defects (NTDs). As well, folate may also help in preventing a number of other health problems that can be experienced during pregnancy, including anemia, birth defects, and complications such as preeclampsia and spontaneous abortion. After the birth of a child, folate may also help a mother’s body get ready sooner for another pregnancy.

Science shows that only about 50% of pregnancies are planned. As a couple, are you ready for a baby in your life? Consider the following questions, think about your responses and then discuss them with your partner.

Am I ready to be a parent?

  • Do I enjoy being with children?
  • What experience have I had caring for babies and young children?
  • How would I feel about having a child around all the time?
  • Do I have the patience it takes to raise a child?
  • Do I see myself as a father?
  • Do I see myself as a mother?
  • Can I manage a job and the responsibilities of a child?
  • What skills do I have that would help me to be a parent?
  • Am I ready to put the needs of a baby ahead of my routines or activities?
  • Can I support a baby financially at this point in my life? How will our financial situation change? Do we need to cut back financially?
  • Am I ready to devote the time it takes to be a parent?
  • Who are my role models as parents?
  • Do I have any health or work-related issues that cannot be changed and that may affect my ability to be a parent?

Am I ready for personal changes that having a child brings?

  • What kind of time and space do I need for myself?
  • What kind of lifestyle do I have?
  • What changes will I need to make about seeing friends, going out, relaxing time, and career or education goals?
  • Am I willing to delay or change some of the personal goals I have set?
  • Will I resent the changes I will need to make?

Am I prepared for the changes in our relationship as a couple?

  • How do we spend our time together? How will this be different with a baby?
  • What are our expectations about dividing the work around the home now? After a baby comes?
  • What are our expectations about dividing the care of a baby?
  • How do we make decisions as a couple?
  • Do we have any relationship issues that we need to resolve? Having a baby will not fix a rocky relationship.


Were you surprised by your reaction or your partner’s reaction to some of these questions? You may not be in agreement on all of these questions - couples rarely agree on everything. We know from our research with expectant parents who participated in our prenatal/parenting program The Parenting Partnership, (www.welcometoparenting.com), they were very surprised to discover just how different their views were on parenting. Much better to have these conversations before having a child than to be surprised afterwards, when stresses are high and hours of sleep are low.Discussing these various areas allows each of you to share any concerns and compromise around when the best time might be to add to your family. Talk with friends who have become parents. They are likely to tell you just how having a child changed their lives.


Did you go through this list of questions with your partner? Were you surprised with the answers? Let us know and share your experiences by leaving a comment below! 


If you're pregnant or thinking about having a baby, check out www.welcometoparenting.com. These interactive, online prenatal and parenting classes will provide information on pregnancy, labour and delivery, your relationship and a community of expectant and new parents just like you! Watch the overview video!



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