Last Reviewed April 2011
Deciding to Have a Baby
You plan for school, work, holidays and even your retirement. What about your baby? Parenting begins long before your baby is conceived.
Babies begin to develop even before women know they are pregnant. This means that the time to prepare for your baby's health is before you even get pregnant. There are things that both men and women can do to improve the health of their future children.
Thinking about parenthood
Giving life is powerful. You may be thinking about what a new baby might mean to you. You may be wondering whether the journey to parenthood is one you want to take. It is time to think about what is important to you, and how you will help your baby make sense of the world.
Fitting babies into your life
We are all born into a community that shapes how we think, talk and act. This often affects what we believe about families, health and pregnancy. Even within a community, there are different ways of doing things. You might feel the same as your partner about who should care for children, yet your neighbours seem to have another plan that works well for them. This is the time to discuss your thoughts and feelings with your partner.
Many parents will tell you that no matter what you do to get ready for a baby, you will still never be fully prepared for the wonder that enters your life. Most of the surprises are ones that you would not change for the world. But they'll also remind you that you have just accepted the most important change in your life.
From the time you learn about a pregnancy you can expect to face some tough times in your relationship. Planning and thinking through the idea of parenting before pregnancy may be the healthiest way to make sure you are as ready as you can be.
Newborns feed about 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period. Do you know how your days and minutes will be filled with schedules that are so demanding? Have you talked to your partner about how you will share the work?
What about relatives?
Before pregnancy, think about your family and the family of your partner. Could there be any genetic concerns? In your family and your partner's family history are there any birth defects, disabilities, or illnesses that could be passed on to a future baby? If you have concerns, talk to your family doctor.
For more information:
Region of Peel — Public Health
905-799-7700 Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216
To speak with a Public Health Nurse