What does a Pokemon trainer and a young parent have in common? Both of them are embarking on a great new adventure! As a young parent, you will face challenges far different from your adolescent life. Here are some facts you need to learn as you prepare to welcome your bundle of joy.
As our own parents have probably told us many times, being a parent is hard work. Adding some exercise routines in your game plan will definitely help you prepare in ‘keeping up’ with the baby, especially during the toddler years!.
Also, it is very important for young expecting mothers to keep their nutrition in check even during planning of their pregnancies. If you have a family history of anaemia or diabetes, do consult your doctor on the best diet for you and baby.
Lifestyle choices will also need to be re-evaluated, especially if you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, even socially. Second-hand effects from smoking and alcohol consumption have been scientifically proven to affect to your sperm count and the development of a baby in the womb.
Never underestimate your mental health needs. Ante-and post-natal depression is a possible risk in young mothers. You can help prepare for any possibility by having a proper discussion with your spouse and a doctor you trust regarding the roles you will play in each other’s lives, even during the planning stages.
As an expecting parent, you must be mentally strong and available for your future child. Talk to your employer about the possibility of a more flexible work schedule, if your job is quite demanding in terms of time and pace. Ask your doctor about maybe seeing a consultant or psychiatrist to get you through the pregnancy, and maybe even after if you feel you would need the mental support.
As the 70s soft rock band, Chicago, sung: ‘Everybody needs a little time away…’. So, do include some time and funds for little getaways on your own or with your spouse, or even just a night out at your favourite restaurant, a spa day, or a cosy night in with dinner and Netflix.
Family is Important
Remember, you do not need to be alone on this journey as a young parent. Your family, friends or community can be of immense support in terms of sharing their experience, encouragement and physical assistance. The old adage, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, is never truer.
You can also make friends with other expecting parents via the connections you make at the fertility clinic, or even online. There are many parenting groups on social media and forums that you can reach out to to share insights and concerns.
Yes, having or preparing for a baby does require you to have good financial practices. For example, putting your money in health and education insurances for mother and baby are one of the ways to financially prepare for raising a child.
Young parents without the means to invest as yet can still make the nine-month wait fruitful. Use the first trimester to clear up any debt, create a post-delivery budget, and while at it, to check with your HR department for any corporate maternity benefits.
You may then use the second trimester to research tax breaks, where best to shop for groceries and baby things and also to discuss which spouse needs to stay-at-home if necessary. Check with your insurance carrier as most health insurance companies allow new parents 30 days after delivery to add their new-born to their policy.
The third trimester should involve investing time with your loved ones, especially on yourself. It is also time to find a babysitter who can cater to your budget and needs.
Your Doctor is Your Best Friend
Lastly, it goes without saying that you will not want medical advice from pseudoscience hacks online and offline. Do invest in the best obstetrician you can find and who is able to make you feel comfortable throughout the whole pregnancy process.
Your doctor should be diligent, compassionate and empathetic. Make sure to follow their advice and adhere to your scheduled check-ups before, throughout and after you’ve become a parent.
Remember that delivery is not the end of your youth, but the beginning of a lifelong adventure for you and your baby. If you’re ready to take the next step, arrange for an appointment with your doctor today!