Parenting isn't easy. One thing you will notice by starting a family is that you and your partner will change your lifestyle.

Some new parents have a hard time adjusting to the different lifestyle that comes with having kids. But parenting offers incomparable rewards because you and your spouse are directly involved in shaping your child's life.

In this article, I'll talk about some essential things that every couple must consider before deciding to have kids.

1. Schedule a visit to your gynecologist

The visit will be for a preconception checkup, so you could also visit a mid-wife or your family doctor.

Your doctor will review your current medical condition, as well as your medical and family history. Share with your doctor the medications and supplements you're taking. Some of them may interfere with your health that can affect your ability to carry a child. You may need to stop using them before trying to conceive because they can be stored in your body and can linger there for a long time.

To prepare your body and mind for conception, you may have to follow a certain diet and meet a suitable weight. Your practitioner may also lay out an exercise plan and recommend you get rid of your unhealthy habits, like drinking and smoking.

You may also need to undergo a test for immunity to some infectious diseases like rubella and chicken pox. If you have other medical conditions, your doctor may recommend you see a specialist so that your conditions will be controlled before getting pregnant.

You may also need to undergo a pelvic examination and undergo testing for any STD's.

2. Undergo genetic carrier screening

These days some doctors recommend their patients undergo a genetic carrier screen before they conceive. In this test, you and your partner will know whether one of you is a carrier of an inherited disease. Keep in mind that if both of you are carriers, your children will also have a one out of four chances of carrying it.From there, you can talk to a genetic counselor who can tell you about the condition and determine the best reproductive choices. It can help in ensuring that your baby is healthy. What's great about this screening is that most health insurance policies cover it.

3. Stop smoking and drinking

If you're considering to have kids, then now is the time to stop smoking and drinking. These unhealthy habits can lead to premature birth, miscarries and several other conditions. Some drugs linger in your system for a few weeks or months after their effects have worn off. Tobacco also lowers and affects fertility. Second-hand smoke can also affect your ability to conceive.

Drinking alcohol, on the other hand, may be allowed as long as you drink in moderation. Don't drink excessively. However, once you're pregnant, you must stop drinking as it can harm your developing baby. If it's difficult for you to stop your unhealthy habits, you must talk to a healthcare provider. They can give you tools to help you quit smoking, stop taking drugs and stop drinking alcohol.

4. Strive to have a healthy weight

It'll be easier for you to conceive if you are at a healthy weight. The reason for this is that having an unhealthy BMI makes it difficult for you to become pregnant. Furthermore, if you have unhealthy weight, you're likely to have complications during pregnancy or delivery.

Weight loss goals can be great motiviation if you want to get pregnant. In one of the best cities for children, women here tend to walk a lot to help them maintain a healthy weight. Richmond, VA for instance, is a perfect place for you to start a family because it's free from severe traffic congestion, thereby, encouraging you to take long walks every day. Walking can help you get started in achieving a healthy weight.

5. Understand the coverage of your insurance

Apart from conditioning your body and mind before having kids, it's also vital that you know your financial status. Make sure that you understand your health insurance. Keep in mind that it can still get expensive to have a baby if you have health insurance. You must know your expected costs early in the pregnancy. These bills will include labor and delivery, as well as prenatal care.

Then, draft a pre-baby budget. From there, you can understand how your current income will be affected in the coming months. You must learn to adjust your budget. Always remember that having a baby can have plenty of surprise expenses. That's why it's vital that you set a limit on optional and necessary buys. You must also plan for a post-delivery budget because recurring costs can easily change your overall household expenses. There's a need for you to plan for it today so you won't get caught off guard.

Finally, choose a pediatrician who's within your insurance network. You can verify that they are by contacting your insurance company. In this way, you won't be hit with unexpected charges.

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