You may have been thinking about another baby, but may not be sure if the time is right. There are no firm rules regarding the best time to have another child. Much of the decision depends on your personal situation and feelings on the subject. There are some questions you can ask yourself to help you decide if the time is right.
How are your finances?
Do you work or stay home with your children? If you work, can you afford another baby? Maternity leave, day care costs and other expenses, such as your portion of health care costs need to be considered. Sit down and figure out these costs when deciding if the time is right to get pregnant.
If you are working with one baby, you may need to stay home with two children. The day care costs for two children can be very expensive. Determine the costs compared to your income. You may find that day care will eat up most, if not all of your income. If this is the case, can you afford to stay home?
How is your health?
See your doctor for a complete physical including blood work. Get a clean bill of health before trying to conceive. Consider any chronic health issues you may have and if the condition is under control. How will this condition affect your pregnancy? Be sure to get any health care conditions under control before you get pregnant. Some can affect the pregnancy, such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and thyroid conditions.
How does your husband/partner feel about having a baby?
Have a heart to heart talk with your husband about having another baby. Often, one partner will want a baby and the other won’t be ready. You really need to be of one mind on this issue. Talk about your feelings, hopes and fears about expanding your family. It’s best if both partners want the baby. If you can’t agree, it’s best to wait. One partner may feel resentment if pressured into having a baby too soon.
How old are your children?
You may have strong feelings about the spacing between your children. There are benefits to spacing them closer together and further apart. When the kids are spaced close together, such as two years apart, they are more likely to play together, will have more in common and may play well together. When they are spaced a bit further apart, the older child has more time with the parents, is more self sufficient and needs less care.
How old are you?
The age of the mother may be a factor in deciding when to have another baby. You may worry that you will run out of time to get pregnant. The risk of complications and some birth defects, such as Down’s Syndrome increases with age. If you are concerned about this, you may want to try sooner rather than later.
How is your relationship?
Consider the status of your marriage when deciding whether or not to have another baby. If you are in a good, loving relationship, the time may be right. If your marriage is strained or you are having problems, it’s best to wait. Consider counseling to get your marriage on more solid ground before you try to conceive.
Sometimes women get pregnant in an attempt to strengthen the marriage. This will not work. A new baby adds stress to a marriage. If you are already having problems, the additional stress of pregnancy and a new baby can make it worse.
How fertile are you?
Have you had any previous fertility issues? If you had trouble conceiving in the past, that doesn’t mean the problems will be present this time. However, some causes of infertility require time and even treatment with each pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about any fears you have. It may take you a bit longer to conceive if you’ve had problems in the past. Take these factors into consideration when making the decision.
In the end, only you and your partner can decide when the time is right to have a baby. Consider all the factors when making your decision.