There are a few questions that I wish that I had asked – both myself and some experts in the industry – before I even considered having kids or falling pregnant.
I don’t want to scare you, but I think that this is an extremely important topic for couples to discuss before falling pregnant.
When my husband and I got married, we moved into a small apartment, which was perfect for us, especially as a couple starting our new adventure together. However, a few months later, I fell pregnant, and we realized that our cozy, tiny little apartment wouldn’t be big enough for a child to run around in – or for the number of items that come with a baby! We had to sell our place and look for something bigger. We moved into our new place when I was 8 months pregnant!
I wish that my husband and I had sat down over dinner and spoken about the little and big things that would change our lives forever – especially once we decided to have kids.
15 things to talk about before getting pregnant:
1. Can I really afford to have a child right now?
I know that you may be wondering why this is even a question but, trust me, once you have kids you will discover that there is something called never ending costs. There are nappies to worry about, doctor’s bills, clothes, shoes and so much more! And then you have childcare, aftercare, school fees… need I say more.
2. How many kids do I want?
I know that you may not have this answer right now, but this is something that you need to think about. It will help in choosing the right house and car that you would need to buy for the family one day.
3. Is my house big enough?
This is always a bit tricky because it is a personal decision that depends a lot on what your pocket can afford and on how much space you may need or want when you start growing your family. For me, the best decision was selling my apartment and looking for houses for sale with a nice garden, and garden cottage – because I work from home and I needed a full-time live-in helper.
4. Is my car big enough?
I have three kids and I drive a Mini Cooper… Yes, it is time to let go of it! My husband has a much bigger vehicle than I do but, still, it isn’t big enough to take 3 kids in one car. Shopping for the right family vehicle is so important because you have to consider the little things like Isofix connections, and space for car seats and prams. Trust me, prams are huge unless you get the Doona!
5. Where do I want to birth my baby?
Yes, you have options!
Hospitals are now businesses and some of them have very fancy birthing facilities.
At the beginning of my pregnancy, I told myself that finding the right doctor was more important than the distance to the hospital. That was until I went to my first appointment. I then realized that the distance might become a problem for me – especially if I went into labor during peak hour traffic! Choosing the right hospital/birthing center to birth your little one is also important because you will always remember the place, the surroundings and the way that the doctors and nurses treated you. Some moms even opt for a home birth because they prefer to welcome their baby in the comfort of their own environment.
6. Do I need to know the type of birth I want to have?
You shouldn’t be pressurized to have a C-Section if you don’t want to. Research on birthing is crucial. There are so many options to look out for – for example, a water birth or a non-medicated birth. It is important to choose a hospital and gynaecologist that supports your decision and the way that you may want to bring your baby into this world. This crucial decision may change your experience entirely.
7. Do I need to look for a gynaecologist before I fall pregnant?
Yes, you do, because gynecologists/obstetricians are very busy. So if you don’t have one already, I suggest that you do some research via pregnancy forums or ask a friend in the area for a recommendation.
8. How much does it cost to have a baby in a private hospital?
Private hospitals can get extremely pricey especially if you choose a fancy room and a gynaecologist who charges more than your medical aid covers.
9. How much does medical aid cover for my birth and baby?
Firstly, you need to be on a Medical Aid for at least a year before you fall pregnant. If you are pregnant and join a medical aid, the birth most probably won’t be covered. Make sure you find out the costs of the paediatricians in the hospital before you deliver your baby and see what percentage of the fee your medical aid will cover.
10. Do I really need to do my child’s school admission before he/she is even born?
In South Africa, yes! The waiting lists for schools are ridiculous so make sure you sign up on waiting lists for schools in the area during your pregnancy.
11. How long is my maternity leave and how much will I get paid?
This depends on your company and salary, but you can find out more info here. You should get at least 4 months of maternity leave.
12. Do I need to vaccinate my baby and what are the costs?
Vaccination is a personal choice. However, many schools would want your child to be vaccinated. The costs depend on the vaccination given and medical aid may cover some of the cost. The rest may need to come out of your savings.
13. Are there any product samples available for new moms to test? How do I decide which products to buy?
14. How can I prepare for a healthy pregnancy?
My suggestion is to start taking folic acid as soon as you decide that you want to fall pregnant. Eat balanced meals, make sure that you take your vitamins every day, and exercise. Exercise will help a lot with your delivery and recovery.
15. Are antenatal classes important?
For a first-time mom, I think it is. You learn so much in the class and you also get an opportunity to ask questions.
I know that some of the things on this list may not have even crossed your mind – but these are actual practical things that make a difference. When you have a child, you want to give them the best and this is precisely what happens when you prepare yourself for one of the most important and life-changing decisions that you will ever make.
This article was sponsored by Private Property and Hippo.co.za.