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Only you and your partner can decide whether or not you are ready to have a baby, and knowing whether or not the time is right is quite tricky. But perhaps we've got some food for thought for you with these tips. Are you emotionally, financially, and logistically prepared for a new addition to your family?

Are you ready to be a parent, emotionally?

Emotional readiness is talked about quite a lot these days. Of course, it is important to be able to meet your child's needs and to be confident as a parent as well. As a mom of two, I've got to say something that may sound a little contradictory nothing quite prepares you for being a parent, and at the same time, you do get the chance to grow with your baby. You are already getting a practice run when you are pregnant, because this is when you start to bond with your child and to make decisions in her best interest. Babies are relatively easy to care for, and as your child's needs become more complicated, you will be a more experienced parent as well.

If you have unresolved issues from childhood, traumas, personality disorders, relationship trouble, etc, it's certainly better to see a therapist before you get pregnant. In fact, couples counseling is always great before you take the plunge, and you should definitely discuss parenting philosophies with your partner before getting pregnant, rather than just assuming that your other half will feel the same about raising kids as you do.

How's your bank account?

Financial planning before getting pregnant is sane. Having a baby doesn't have to break the bank, but it does require some thinking. Are you going to have two working parents, or will one of you stay at home with your baby? If so, for how long? Start off with the situation that you really desire, and then calculate if you can afford it. How much will daycare cost, or can you live off one salary with three people?

And your health?

Of course, if your life is ready for a baby, you will then need to look at your health. Losing weight (if necessary!), starting eating a healthier diet, exercising more, taking a folic acid supplement... those are pretty much the health basics of pregnancy that everyone knows about. You can also have a preconception checkup and get tested for stuff like chlamydia and high blood pressure. Make sure you tell your partner to do the same, because men matter too. And, sign up for a free ovulation calendar or perhaps just look at your cervical mucus to check when you are fertile.

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