10 decisions for soon-to-be parents

Pregnancy is a time of decision-making — momentous and otherwise. First time parents have no idea what lies in store for them when that faint pink positive line shows up on the pregnancy test.

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  • Pregnancy is a time of decision-making — momentous and otherwise. First time parents have no idea what lies in store for them when that faint pink positive line shows up on the pregnancy test. All they know is that, in nine months, there will be a new little addition to the family. They don’t realize all the decisions that are going to have to be made in the interim and afterwards. If you fall under this category of expectant parents don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. The following is a list of 10 decisions soon-to-be parents should expect to make during those nine long months of waiting.

  • When do I spill the big news?

  • There is a big debate among expectant parents about the best time to tell people the news. Some people can’t wait; the moment they know they’re pregnant, they have to share the excitement with the whole world. Others, like to wait until the first trimester is over, and the biggest chance of miscarriage is past. The decision is personal and may depend on the couple’s past experiences.

  • Do I want to find out my baby’s gender?

  • Again, the camp is split on this one. Some people want to know the gender, so they have more time to plan, buy clothes, and pick out colors for the nursery. Others, like to keep it a surprise or an incentive to make it all the way through labor.

  • What is the baby’s name?

  • Whether you know the gender or not, it’s a good idea to have a few names picked out before the big day, so you don’t end up staring in desperation back and forth between a blank birth certificate and your nameless baby.

  • Will mom work after the baby is born?

  • This will all depend on your finances, whether the mom worked before getting pregnant, what kind of maternity benefits are available, and the cost of finding a good babysitter.

  • How will the baby fit into the household?

  • You’ll not only need to decide what roles you as parents will play once the baby is born, but you’ll also have to figure out how to fit all the baby “stuff” into your household. Babies look small until you realize how much baggage they bring with them.

  • Where will the baby be born?

  • Today, there are a number of viable options, including the hospital, a birthing center, or at home. Just be sure you know what you want to do some time in advance rather than trying to make the decision between contractions.

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  • How does mom want to give birth

  • ? Hospitals allow mom to choose whether she wants an epidural or to give birth naturally. Generally, birthing centers encourage labor to progress as far as possible without pain medication. Some women may not have a choice but to have a C-section depending on complications with the baby and the delivery process.

  • Who will be present at the birth?

  • The number of attendees may vary from merely the mom, doctor, and husband to the in-laws, siblings, and students undergoing residency training. Luckily, the mom has almost total control over who she wants in the room.

  • For boys only: Will we choose to have our son circumcised?

  • Do your research on this ahead of time, and find out more about the normal procedure used at the hospital. Remember, this is an entirely personal decision.

  • Will mom breastfeed or bottle feed?

  • For questions on this topic, expectant moms might consult with their OB-GYNs to decide the best option. If mom works full time, breastfeeding is difficult and may not be a viable option.

  • Of course, the decision-making doesn’t stop once the baby is born. There will be years more of decisions for Mom and Dad to make. You can think of pregnancy as practice in forming opinions.

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Katie Nielsen received her bachelor's in English with an emphasis in technical writing. She has taught English and is a published writer.

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