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Pregnancy health centre

Are you ready to have a baby?

WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

If you’re well off, have a nice home and a great marriage you’re probably in a pretty good position to start a family but that may not be feasible for everyone.

There are probably reasons why you don’t think you’re quite ready for parenthood. Will your career suffer? Can you afford it? What will happen to your social life?

It’s a big decision that will revolutionise your life. But if you’re even reading this you might be more ready than you think! Ask yourself these questions:

Is your relationship healthy?

If you are in a good place in your relationship, you communicate well, have mutual respect and love for one another and are both ready for a child that’s a good place to start.

"You are ready to have your first baby when you and your partner both feel you are ready and that you are happy to share what you have, including your precious time, with someone else," says parenting author and expert Karen Doherty.

If you are single make sure you can rely on a strong support network.

Are you broody?

Do you find yourself wanting to cuddle other people’s babies or going into baby clothes shops and admiring tiny outfits? That’s a sign you may be ready for one of your own. Feeling broody may be down to your hormones or your emotions but some women do definitely feel an urge to have a baby.

Some women are aware that their so-called biological clock is ticking. Women in their late thirties and early forties may get the feeling that time is running out if they want to become mothers. Even though we are leaving it later in life to have children the average age of a mother in the UK is around 30, it gets more difficult to get pregnant the later you leave it.

Fertility and pregnancy expert and author Emma Cannon says: "One of the biggest problems I see is that people wait until they are ready to have a baby. This can add stress and tension to the situation."

She says it’s better to be much more relaxed in your approach: "If you wait for everything to be 'right ' you might have waited too long."

Are you ready for your career to take a back seat?

It is usually women who have a career break and spend time at home with the child but it’s not always the case.

Discuss who is going to be the main carer of your child and what impact it’s likely to have on future employment prospects. Is it a good time to focus on something other than your work?

Your career doesn’t stop when you have a child but it can have implications on your job progression.

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