In terms of love, hope, time and effort, planning a pregnancy and raising children can be the greatest investment people make. There are emotional considerations to be made. Practical logistics to be juggled. Personal health history to be juggled and lifestyle and diet factors to consider. And that’s just the beginning.
Just googling ‘Pregnancy’ yields 126,000,000 results. It’s possibly one of the biggest google black holes you can fall into. The blogs, websites and forums offer more answers to questions you didn’t know you wanted. We wanted to filter through that noise and give you some actionable information that’s accurate and actually useful. So, here goes:
Being open and honest with yourself (and your partner) helps prepare you emotionally and practically when planning a pregnancy. When it comes to the “why” of starting a family, there are no right or wrong answers, but you may want to explore some of these questions.
Consider writing down responses to the questions below and then discussing them with your partner. For many couples this may be the first time you share your hopes, values and expectations of starting a family. Exploring what you perceive to be the benefits, risks and challenges will create an shared space that can highlight what support you would like from your partner and where you can look for additional support.
While the romance of having a baby cannot be denied and the marketing agencies and social media outlets have you dreaming of rosy-cheeks and giggles, the reality of having children also includes sleepless nights, making sacrifices personally, professionally and socially.
Having a clear understanding of your responsibilities to your employer (if applicable) and your rights as a employee are an important part of balancing your finances when planning a pregnancy.
Miscarriage is unfortunately an all too common part of trying to have a baby. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage before 20 weeks. Having a doctor, friends or family members who can help support you and your partner during this difficult time is important.
As Obstetric management and technologies improve, access to prenatal testing and the amount of information we are able to get about our pregnancies means that we are often left with difficult decisions. Understanding testing options and potential results can help empower you to making decisions if and when needed.
Just like most other major decisions in life, pregnancy is something that benefits from careful planning. To provide the best care for both yourself and your baby, being well-informed and prepared can empower you to make decisions that feel right for you.
Your family health history can help you identify whether you have an increased chance of developing a genetic condition. It will include any information you can gather about illnesses and diseases that are present in your family. For instance – if your grandmother had breast cancer or your father’s sister had heart disease. Your ethnic background also influences what type of genetic traits you may carry.
Eugene Labs offers fully supported access to pre-pregnancy genetic carrier screening. This at-home genetic test checks to see if you or your partner carry a rare gene variant that could cause a serious genetic disease in your child. Some ethnicities are more likely to carry certain gene variants, however as we all know risk is a part of pregnancy.
Speak to your GP or obstetrician about possible risks of any medications you are taking as there may possible negative side effects for you and the baby – before, during or after pregnancy.
The health of both women and men is important to consider when planning a pregnancy. To maximise your chance of conceiving, and support the growth of the baby and cope with the enormous changes it will bring, it’s important to have both mum and dad fit and healthy.
Zoë is a co-founder at Eugene and has been counselling couples in reproductive genetics for over 10 years. She is passionate about improving access to ethical genetic testing in a emotionally supportive and culturally sensitive environment. Zoe wants to empower people with knowledge of the genetic identity rather than fear it.
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Eugene's pre-pregnancy carrier test is like a checkup to see if you or your partner are carrying any genetic disease that could be passed on to your children.Learn more
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