This edition of Protecting Your Family will talk about preparing for life during and after pregnancy. It would be nice if all babies were planned, but hey, sometimes they aren't. One of the most important things I can tell you is that, babies are never accidents, they are blessings. No child wants to be told he was an accident and thus, you must never allow yourself to believe he was. That being said, let's take a look at some important pregnancy issues such as: the doctor, vitamins, baby stuff, health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, calcium and baby-proofing.
"Oh No! I'm Lateâ€¦" "Honey! We're pregnant!!" whether you're happy or nervous, there will definitely be an emotional trigger that goes off when that first pregnancy test comes up positive. And even though they are only 99% accurate, chances are good that yep, you are growing a baby.
What do I do now? Is a pretty common question and the answer is really up to you (and sometimes Dad). If you choose to keep your little guy, then the rest of this article will be useful, otherwise this is where we part ways.
The first steps to having a baby vary widely depending on your situation. The list is more like a guideline, you don't have to follow it exactly.
Make a Dr. appointment!!! Why? Because sometimes, tests are just wrong. Plus your doc is going to give you the best advice for your body. Be sure to ask about prenatal vitamins and the effects they have on the body. Don't just take them, know what they do first!
Tell Dad! Don't be afraid, he will either be happy or nervous, just like you!
Decide if you want to tell the family now or wait until an important time to spring the news on them.
Now after everyone has settled down, and before you start getting bigger, you need to sit down and make a list of items you will need. If this is your first child, you will need a lot. If you saved things from the last tyke, then you have a head start.
Depending on what your space allows, here is a basic list:
Crib or bassinette (or both)
Changing table (I didn't think this was important until the first FULL diaper I had to change)
Storage bins (ORGANIZE!!!)
Rocking chair (wow, they work magic with newbornsâ€¦)
Diaper disposal container (they make special containers for used diapers. This is a MUST)
Dresser or chest of drawers (for babies clothes!)
Clothes! Be smart, Buy used at rummage sales and you will save a FORTUNE
Bottles (if you're not going to breastfeed)
Nose pickers (looks like miniature baisters. They help get boogies out)
Toys (because all work and no play makes baby very loud)
That is a pretty basic list that can be added to, or in some instances subtracted from, but bewareâ€¦if you think, for one instant that you can just change Little Johnny in his crib. That you don't need a changing tableâ€¦Boy oh boy are you in for it. Cleaning up a changing mat is a LOT easier than cleaning (or in severe cases, replacing) a mattress.
Now let me tell you a few things about insurance. There are three main types of Insurance that are relevant to pregnancy, Health, Life, and disability Insurance.
Disability Insurance: If you are planning on getting pregnant, look into getting this. Believe it or not, pregnancy is usually a qualifying disability! Pay a little extra now, to get a little extra while you are home with baby and not working. It's worth checking into.
Health Insurance: In terms of cost, Babies are expensive! Having Babies is also expensive. If you are planning to get pregnant and you don't have insurance, expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to over $10,000 for a vaginal delivery, add another couple thousand if you have to have a C-section. This doesn't include nine months of doctor visits, ultrasounds, and other lab costs. Now, that's a healthy baby, and a healthy delivery. If your baby is born prematurely, prices can range from a few thousand dollars, to over $200,000 for neonatal care!!! So, if you are planning to have a baby, try to get some health insurance first, it will really save you in the long run.
Life Insurance: A lot of people cock their heads when I say Life insurance, but then they start nodding when they realize how important it is. There are two main instances where Life insurance is needed.
Sometimes, even with all the love in the world, little babies, don't make it very long in the world. It's sad, and I wish it never happened. But, if it did, wouldn't you want to send him on with a nice funeral?
Sometimes, even with today's modern medicine and technology, there are complications during childbirth, and sometimes mom doesn't make it. Life insurance won't ever bring your loved ones back, but it can help ease the transition to your new life with Baby.
When it comes to Insurance, get what you can afford.
I mentioned Calcium earlier, and though what I say about it is brief, it is important. Growing babies are like calcium vampires. They will take every bit they can get, so it's important, to not only take your prenatal vitamins (if Dr. says to) but to also drink plenty of milk, or eat foods that are higher in calcium. If you don't, your teeth could suffer the consequence, and that pretty smile, could need major dental work. Milk's cheap, drink it.
When it comes to baby-proofing, just remember to work your way from the bottom up. Get on your belly (not you mom) and look around. See anything that could spell danger? Fix it. You won't have to worry about most of this until baby starts crawling, but it will be less hassle if you do it in advance. I'm going to list some basics.
Electrical outlet plugs: because even though an outlet might look tasty to a baby, it's not.
Cabinet locks: Keeps your baby from opening cabinets down low.
Sharp corners: Sand them down or cover them with something soft.
Chemicals: Keep them on the top shelf, or if you can't, use cabinet locks.
Stairs: Expandable gates will solve this problem, just double check their strength.
Glass: Anything glass? You might want to replace it, because if the end table breaks, who spends most of their time on the floor?
Extension cords: Tripping hazard, nobody wants to take a tumble while holding baby
Pet food: while its not always hazardous, do you want baby eating Alpo?
I hope that this short guide has been useful to you, if it has, please feel free to share the link with your friends and family!