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Planning for Parenthood

If you are planning a pregnancy, are already pregnant or you are planning to adopt or foster a child, you will likely have questions about what to consider and what to expect as a new parent. But sometimes adding to our families takes a lot longer than we expect and it can be a long, difficult struggle, even before we can begin to think about parenting styles and nursery themes.

As women's roles in society change, more and more women are getting pregnant and giving birth at increasingly older ages. Many women in Canada are now having their first baby in their 30s. On one hand, this is great as it is more likely that these moms are financially and emotionally ready to have families, but the downside is that physically, women have more difficulties getting and maintaining healthy pregnancies as they get older. There are also many other challenges to conceiving and carrying a baby to term. Whatever your age, it's good to know the realities of conceiving.

Conceiving

Most health care providers will tell you that you should try to conceive for about a year before thinking about the "i word" – infertility. If you and your partner are generally in good health and you had a check-up with your health care provider when you began trying to conceive, it's a good idea to let your health care provider know that you have been trying unsuccessfully for a year. Some women let their health care provider know prior to the year so that they can be placed on a waiting list to see a fertility specialist.

If you have been trying to conceive for over a year and you are tired of people telling you to relax, and that "It'll happen when you least expect it to," you are not alone. Many well-wishers and advice-givers truly believe that it'll happen for you. So take the hope and positivity in their message and leave the other stuff behind.

Trying to have a baby should be an enjoyable time in your life but it can turn into a chore if you are having difficulty conceiving. Stay connected with your partner through activities that you both enjoy and try to take the time to appreciate all of the activities parents don't get to enjoy regularly such as romantic nights out, watching movies or travelling.

Adopting or Fostering

For those parents who plan to adopt or foster, the wait for a child can seem excruciating at times. While the process can be long, it is intended to protect everyone involved and ensure the best outcome for the child. Much like couples struggling with fertility issues, you can use the time to prepare for parenthood and enjoy your independence, partner, family and friends.