Has that switch flipped, and you're starting to think about becoming pregnant? Have you started to notice pregnant women everywhere you go? Does it seem like there's a new mom pushing a stroller on every street corner? Do you notice dads with little ones in carriers in the park?
If so, you just might be starting to think about becoming a mom yourself. This is sometimes known as the pre-contemplative phase, where ideas take seed and start to grow in your mind.
Questions to consider
Every woman approaches this process from her own unique perspective. Here are some questions to consider:
What's your personal timeline for getting pregnant? Next month? Maybe in six months or a year?
How do work, school and career fit into your plans?
Are you feeling the pressure from your parents to have a grandchild?
Are you already a mom and feeling pressure to have another baby?
Read more about 19 Ways to Boost Your Fertility
What about your partner?
Are your partner's ideas about timing in sync with yours? It's normal for one person to be ready for a baby and their partner to be more hesitant.
If you're feeling pressure from family, it can be intense. Perhaps you've got your own plans for the future, and you will have to make it clear that a baby must wait until later.
There's a lot to consider as you prepare.
Many women find it helpful to list the factors that are influencing their decision about becoming pregnant. It's completely normal and natural to map out what you think your life will be like and then discover that life, school, partner, family, work or other things in your busy and complicated life isn't exactly lining up the way you thought they would.
It's normal to feel overwhelmed by the normal everyday pressures of life, especially now with everyone working at a fast and furious pace. You may be hesitant to add a new baby to your life. Or perhaps you want to delay pregnancy until you've accomplished other goals. No matter what factors influence your decision, it's often helpful to take some time and think about what's most important to you!
Envisioning your life as a mom
Here are some questions to ponder:
What would you like your life to look like?
How will you juggle work, school and family factors in your life with a new baby?
How's your health?
What's your living situation?
How are your finances?
What would you like your future to look like?
Where does a baby fit into all of this?
Remember there's no right or wrong choice or one way that's best. It's your own personal path.
Good luck in your journey.
This blog originally appeared on Nurse Barb's Daily Dose. Barb Dehn is a women's health nurse practitioner, award-winning author and nationally recognized health expert. She practices with Women Physicians in the Silicon Valley of California.