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Barbara Dehn, RN, MS, NP, FAANP, NCMP

Practicing Nurse Practitioner


San Francisco, CA

Barbara Dehn, RN, MS, NP, is a practicing nurse practitioner and a television health expert, who's known as Nurse Barb. She's passionate about health education, whether it's 1 on 1 with a patient, in a lecture hall at Stanford or with millions of people watching on television. Her warm and engaging personality puts everyone at ease as they learn more about health.

Nurse Barb is the award winning author of the Personal Guides to Health used by over 5 million women in the US, with titles ranging from fertility and pregnancy to menopause and breastfeeding. Active in Social Media, she contributes content to HealthyWomen, Huffington Post, NurseBarb, KevinMD and The Patch and amplifies her reach with an active and engaged Facebook following and 34,000 Twitter followers.

She is the author of The Hot Guide to a Cool Sexy Menopause, Nurse Barb's Guide to Breastfeeding and Nurse Barb's Guide to Pregnancy.

Barb earned a masters degree from UCSF and a BS from Boston College. She's certified by the North American Menopause Society and is a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Over the last 2 years, she's been an active participant in Global Health Initiatives at FAME Hospital in Karatu, Tanzania. Barb lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Pregnant woman with her child in pram walking in nature

Are You Thinking About Becoming Pregnant?

If you're starting to consider becoming pregnant, you may want to ask yourself some questions about yourself and your partner and think about life as a mom.


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.

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