Planning a Family

Reviewed Oct 19, 2017

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Summary

The entire planning process involves communicating with each other, compromising, and making decisions.

Planning to have children is a natural course for many couples. Some plan to do so early in their marriage; others prefer to wait. Some will require fertility treatment; others will adopt.

The entire planning process involves communicating with each other, compromising, and making decisions. There will be times of enthusiastic discussion and times of silent thought. When to begin to attempt getting pregnant or adopting, how many children to have, where to live, who will care for the baby, what is the financial picture and how having a baby will affect your families, yourselves, and your careers are just some of the decisions to ponder. You may also need to consider serious questions about your health and your genetic background. So ask away, exchange ideas, gather information, compromise, and plan.

Trying to conceive

Even after you and your spouse have settled on the planning aspects of starting a family, Mother Nature must cooperate, and waiting for this cooperation can prove stressful. Many couples may find their time frame for starting a family lengthened by fertility problems or the adoption process, either of which can take years. Couples who choose to try fertility treatment may have to cope with a huge unplanned financial burden. The time investment and the uncertainty of the process add to the stress.

A couple considering having a baby should seek professional help if the desires of one partner are vastly different from those of the other, or if their anxieties are keeping them from leading a productive and satisfied life.

Fertility issues

If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year or more, talk to your family doctor or gynecologist, who can assess your situation and tell you about your options.

Your doctor will start with a number of tests to establish why you are not getting pregnant and then recommend what you can do about it. Your doctor or gynecologist is a great resource on fertility specialists.

Adoption

If you decide to begin the adoption process, you will meet with a social worker from an adoption agency. Often, a workshop with other couples is required to help you understand the adoption process. If you are considering adoption, you will need to consider financial and legal issues.

Many magazines and books address the nuts and bolts of planning a family. Friends and relatives can be excellent sources to consult. Hospitals and churches offer presentations on this topic too.

Often, planning a family brings a couple closer together and strengthens a marriage. They also will have their share of the normal anxieties—what changes they can expect in their social and work lives, how they will have to redirect their finances, whether the baby will be healthy, whether they will be able to care for the baby, and how the baby will affect their relationship.

One couple married in their mid-thirties and had struggled greatly with compromising on when to begin a family. The wife wished to start right away, and the husband wanted to wait until they had more financial freedom. Their relationship suffered, and they sought counseling. This helped them clarify the different values and priorities they brought into the marriage, and they were able to come to an agreement about starting. Whenever planning a family negatively affects your feelings for your partner, it is best to seek help sooner than later.

Resources

The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant by Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. Atria Books, 2012. 

What To Expect Before You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. Workman Publishing Group, 2009.

By Suzanne Dell, MA, Donna K. Daviss, MA and Steven R. Daviss, MD

Summary

The entire planning process involves communicating with each other, compromising, and making decisions.

Planning to have children is a natural course for many couples. Some plan to do so early in their marriage; others prefer to wait. Some will require fertility treatment; others will adopt.

The entire planning process involves communicating with each other, compromising, and making decisions. There will be times of enthusiastic discussion and times of silent thought. When to begin to attempt getting pregnant or adopting, how many children to have, where to live, who will care for the baby, what is the financial picture and how having a baby will affect your families, yourselves, and your careers are just some of the decisions to ponder. You may also need to consider serious questions about your health and your genetic background. So ask away, exchange ideas, gather information, compromise, and plan.

Trying to conceive

Even after you and your spouse have settled on the planning aspects of starting a family, Mother Nature must cooperate, and waiting for this cooperation can prove stressful. Many couples may find their time frame for starting a family lengthened by fertility problems or the adoption process, either of which can take years. Couples who choose to try fertility treatment may have to cope with a huge unplanned financial burden. The time investment and the uncertainty of the process add to the stress.

A couple considering having a baby should seek professional help if the desires of one partner are vastly different from those of the other, or if their anxieties are keeping them from leading a productive and satisfied life.

Fertility issues

If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year or more, talk to your family doctor or gynecologist, who can assess your situation and tell you about your options.

Your doctor will start with a number of tests to establish why you are not getting pregnant and then recommend what you can do about it. Your doctor or gynecologist is a great resource on fertility specialists.

Adoption

If you decide to begin the adoption process, you will meet with a social worker from an adoption agency. Often, a workshop with other couples is required to help you understand the adoption process. If you are considering adoption, you will need to consider financial and legal issues.

Many magazines and books address the nuts and bolts of planning a family. Friends and relatives can be excellent sources to consult. Hospitals and churches offer presentations on this topic too.

Often, planning a family brings a couple closer together and strengthens a marriage. They also will have their share of the normal anxieties—what changes they can expect in their social and work lives, how they will have to redirect their finances, whether the baby will be healthy, whether they will be able to care for the baby, and how the baby will affect their relationship.

One couple married in their mid-thirties and had struggled greatly with compromising on when to begin a family. The wife wished to start right away, and the husband wanted to wait until they had more financial freedom. Their relationship suffered, and they sought counseling. This helped them clarify the different values and priorities they brought into the marriage, and they were able to come to an agreement about starting. Whenever planning a family negatively affects your feelings for your partner, it is best to seek help sooner than later.

Resources

The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant by Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. Atria Books, 2012. 

What To Expect Before You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. Workman Publishing Group, 2009.

By Suzanne Dell, MA, Donna K. Daviss, MA and Steven R. Daviss, MD

Summary

The entire planning process involves communicating with each other, compromising, and making decisions.

Planning to have children is a natural course for many couples. Some plan to do so early in their marriage; others prefer to wait. Some will require fertility treatment; others will adopt.

The entire planning process involves communicating with each other, compromising, and making decisions. There will be times of enthusiastic discussion and times of silent thought. When to begin to attempt getting pregnant or adopting, how many children to have, where to live, who will care for the baby, what is the financial picture and how having a baby will affect your families, yourselves, and your careers are just some of the decisions to ponder. You may also need to consider serious questions about your health and your genetic background. So ask away, exchange ideas, gather information, compromise, and plan.

Trying to conceive

Even after you and your spouse have settled on the planning aspects of starting a family, Mother Nature must cooperate, and waiting for this cooperation can prove stressful. Many couples may find their time frame for starting a family lengthened by fertility problems or the adoption process, either of which can take years. Couples who choose to try fertility treatment may have to cope with a huge unplanned financial burden. The time investment and the uncertainty of the process add to the stress.

A couple considering having a baby should seek professional help if the desires of one partner are vastly different from those of the other, or if their anxieties are keeping them from leading a productive and satisfied life.

Fertility issues

If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year or more, talk to your family doctor or gynecologist, who can assess your situation and tell you about your options.

Your doctor will start with a number of tests to establish why you are not getting pregnant and then recommend what you can do about it. Your doctor or gynecologist is a great resource on fertility specialists.

Adoption

If you decide to begin the adoption process, you will meet with a social worker from an adoption agency. Often, a workshop with other couples is required to help you understand the adoption process. If you are considering adoption, you will need to consider financial and legal issues.

Many magazines and books address the nuts and bolts of planning a family. Friends and relatives can be excellent sources to consult. Hospitals and churches offer presentations on this topic too.

Often, planning a family brings a couple closer together and strengthens a marriage. They also will have their share of the normal anxieties—what changes they can expect in their social and work lives, how they will have to redirect their finances, whether the baby will be healthy, whether they will be able to care for the baby, and how the baby will affect their relationship.

One couple married in their mid-thirties and had struggled greatly with compromising on when to begin a family. The wife wished to start right away, and the husband wanted to wait until they had more financial freedom. Their relationship suffered, and they sought counseling. This helped them clarify the different values and priorities they brought into the marriage, and they were able to come to an agreement about starting. Whenever planning a family negatively affects your feelings for your partner, it is best to seek help sooner than later.

Resources

The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant by Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. Atria Books, 2012. 

What To Expect Before You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. Workman Publishing Group, 2009.

By Suzanne Dell, MA, Donna K. Daviss, MA and Steven R. Daviss, MD

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