How to Emotionally Prepare for Pregnancy

Three Methods:Communicating With Your PartnerAddressing Your ConcernsFeeling Mentally Prepared

Bringing a baby into the world can be an emotional experience. You can expect many highs and lows. During the nine months of pregnancy, feelings can wax and wane between excitement, joy, fear, and frustration. It is important to emotionally prepare for pregnancy. Thinking about how you will feel and change will help you feel more ready to begin the process of having a baby. There are several things you can do to feel emotionally ready.

Method 1
Communicating With Your Partner

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    Begin an honest conversation. If you are in a relationship, it is important to be on the same page as your partner. Deciding to have a baby together is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Speak to one another openly about your intentions and desires regarding raising a family.[1]
    • There are many important questions and concerns that should be discussed before starting a family. Some individuals have specific timelines in mind regarding a family, while others may care only about the number of children they have.
    • Discussing all of the details surrounding raising a family is the first step in emotionally preparing for a pregnancy. It is a sign that you have the maturity needed to become a parent.
    • If you feel uncertain, that's ok. Tell your partner, "I have something important I want to discuss. I'm nervous, so please be patient."
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    Speak clearly. Tell your partner how you feel now about pregnancy. If you are having any concerns, speak up. If you feel ready to start trying for a baby, then make this clear.[2]
    • Try explaining your feelings. You can say, "I feel like we are ready to take the next step in our lives. I want to consider trying for a baby."
    • Bring this up when you are feeling stable in your relationship. Early on in a relationship is often an unrealistic time to raise this possibility.
    • If you are at a point of emotional or financial turmoil in your lives, you might want to consider waiting until things calm down. If your partner broaches the topic at a bad time, ask if you can revisit the conversation in the future.
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    Listen to each other. Remember that this should be a joint decision. If your partner voices a different opinion, tell yourself to listen respectfully. If you don't understand the point being made, ask questions.[3]
    • For example, try paraphrasing. You could say, "I hear you saying that you're not ready to stop traveling for work. Is that right?"
    • If your partner remains ambivalent, be considerate. It may take time to bring him or her around to your way of thinking.
    • Avoid badgering him or her, or insisting that you keep talking about it regularly. Give it a rest for a few months before returning to the discussion––this will give your partner time to think about what you've said.
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    Conduct research. When you are considering making a major life change, it's a good idea to find lots of information. Find useful and constructive information to inform your conversation. It's recommended that you do a little research first and find useful resources to guide both of you in understanding what changes could occur.[4]
    • A good place to start is with printed resources, such as self-help books, pregnancy books, parenting books, self-discovery books and resources printed by parenting and baby care groups. Such resources will help both of you to explore the health and emotional issues associated with pregnancy, including risks and stresses.
    • Moreover, be sure to read beyond the pregnancy stage and read about early childhood. Look at sources that discuss how child raising impacts your life.
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    Track your thoughts. Monitoring your thoughts and emotions can make it easier to communicate. It's a great way to help you focus on issues to bring up with your partner. Consider starting a journal in which you can document all the feelings associated with the emotional pregnancy journey, including the decision to try to get pregnant.[5]
    • There is also a more practical element to doing this––it enables you to keep track of the highs and lows of your feelings and moods.
    • A journal can be many things––it can help you organize your thoughts as you collect information from various sources, it can be a place for expressing your feelings, it can be where you keep price comparisons for all the baby items you think you need to get and it can be a place to keep medical notes too.
    • Be sure to include information that you receive from conversations with your spouse or partner, suggestions from friends and family members as well as the facts that you absorb from print resources.
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    Make a timeline. Invest in a suitable method of contraception until you are ready to intentionally conceive a child. The most common cause of feeling emotionally unprepared is an accidental pregnancy. Talk to your partner about the method of birth control that works best for you.[6]
    • Avoid these worries by properly planning when you want to conceive and only remove contraception from your regular routine when you choose the time. This way, you will both maintain control over the outcome and start off with the desire to create a family on your own terms.
    • Choose the method that works best for you and your partner. You can consider a diaphragm, an IUD, or prescription birth control pills. Condoms are also an option.
    • Ask your doctor to help you figure out a family planning method that is right for your body. You can also go to a Planned Parenthood near you.

Method 2
Addressing Your Concerns

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    Make a budget. When your are contemplating a pregnancy, it is natural to have some hesitation. Try addressing the things that are causing you to pause. To begin, consider the financial ramifications of a pregnancy and of raising a child. Financial instability can contribute to emotional unpreparedness surrounding a pregnancy.[7]
    • Children are expensive. And so is health care. It's essential to have the means to care for a child properly or you'll risk feeling overwhelmed and possibly even resentful.
    • Discuss the financial details openly with your partner, including expectations about who will take time off work and when, if at all, the partner principally responsible for at-home baby care will return to work.
    • If you choose to be a stay-at-home mom or dad, there will need to be very clear financial strategies set in place to ensure that this decision doesn't mean you're stretched beyond your abilities financially.
    • Be realistic. Consider costs of doctor visits, food, clothing, daycare, etc. Try to reduce debt and save as much as possible before becoming pregnant.
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    Prepare your body. Many people are nervous about the physical impact of a pregnancy. Addressing this concern can help you feel more physically and emotionally ready for changes. Caring for the physical needs of your pregnant body can help to prepare you emotionally for a pregnancy.[8]
    • Many women experience intense emotions as a result of hormone fluctuations and the dramatic changes that their bodies encounter during a pregnancy. Some women are shocked to find that they have "mommy brain" and can't think straight during some or all of the pregnancy.
    • While this doesn't happen to all pregnant women, for those who do experience it, it can be very distracting. This might mean considering reduced duties if working, scheduling earlier bedtimes and getting help with things that you find tax your energy too much.
    • By exercising regularly and eating healthy, you can take greater physical control over your body. In turn, this can help to create better emotional control.
    • Get in the habit of getting some moderate physical exercise most days of the week. If you already work out, ask your doctor how you can adapt your routine to be safe during pregnancy.
    • Start taking prenatal vitamins before you are pregnant. You can also make sure that you are getting plenty of folic acid and calcium. Try eating leafy greens such as kale and low-fat dairy products.
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    Complete a self-assessment. Write down a list of questions to ask yourself before you make the decision to become pregnant. This list can include concerns or hopes, or just general questions. After you write the questions, spend some time reflecting on honest answers.[9]
    • Ask yourself why you want to have a baby. Reflect on whether it is something you truly want, or if you are feeling pressured by society.
    • Think about your support system. Do you have friends and family around who will support you?
    • Are you ready to change your career plans? Do you think you'll want to work full time after you have a child?
    • A self-assessment can be very useful in helping you emotionally prepare for the changes a pregnancy will bring. Ask your partner to complete one, too.
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    Plan for lifestyle changes. Obviously, pregnancy is going to effect your mind, body, and finances. But a big part of preparing emotionally is thinking about all of the other ways your life is going to change. During a pregnancy, you may not have the energy to keep up your normal schedule.[10]
    • During the beginning and end stages of a pregnancy in particular, you may feel tired. If your partner is the one who is pregnant, you may need to adjust your schedule to help her get the rest you need.
    • Both partners should think about if they are ready for extra chores. During a pregnancy, you will need to spend a lot of time preparing.
    • You will need to furnish a nursery, buy supplies, and make plans for child care. Think about your current lifestyle and figure out where you will find additional time.
    • You may also need to reconsider travel. Are you used to being able to take off for weekend trips at a moment's notice? During a pregnancy, you may not feel physically capable of going on a spur of the moment adventure.
    • You can also start thinking about how a baby will change your lifestyle. Are you ready to add caring for another human being to your morning routine? Are you ready to find a sitter each time you want to have a date night?
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    Talk to your doctor. Your doctor is an excellent resource, before and after you become pregnant. You can schedule a prenatal appointment to discuss your plans for conception. Be honest and open about any questions or concerns that you have.[11]
    • Make a list of questions to ask your doctor. Plan to discuss hormonal changes and how they will affect your emotions.
    • You can also ask about any special concerns you have. For example, if your family has a history of diabetes, depression, or other illnesses, you can ask your doctor to make some recommendations.
    • Ask your partner to go with you to the appointment. From the beginning, planning for a baby should be a team effort. That will make both of you feel emotionally supported.

Method 3
Feeling Mentally Prepared

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    Ask for advice. Talking to others is a great way to feel more prepared for a pregnancy. Draw on naturally available, realistic sources of information––family members and friends who have already experienced raising children. Discuss the emotional nature of pregnancy and parenthood with trusted friends and family members.[12]
    • Individuals who have experience with pregnancy and parenthood can provide you with helpful advice and resources that can prepare you for the emotional changes that you will experience and the lingering emotional transformation caused by a newborn baby.
    • Ask your friends to be honest. You can say, "What was the hardest challenge of your pregnancy?"
    • Be respectful. Before asking personal questions, ask your friend if she minds discussing these personal issues with you.
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    Learn to meditate. Many women state that meditation is incredibly helpful during a pregnancy. It can relieve anxiety and help promote restful sleep. Consider adding meditation to your pre-pregnancy routine.[13]
    • If meditation is already a habit, it will feel natural to keep doing it when you are pregnant. Meditation has many emotional benefits, such as keeping you calm.
    • Look for an app that has guided meditations. Begin by practicing for 5 minutes a day.
    • Find a comfortable place to sit. Try placing a comfy cushion on the floor, closing your eyes, and concentrating on the mediation.
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    Make a back-up plan. Some couples have trouble naturally conceiving. This may not happen to you, but it can be helpful to address the problem before it occurs. Talk to your partner about whether or not you will be open to trying other methods of having a child.[14]
    • There are many ways that a doctor can help you conceive. Consider whether or not you would be comfortable trying hormone therapy or IVF.
    • Remember that adoption is an option. Many couples decide to adopt a child if they are unable to naturally conceive.
    • Have an honest conversation with your partner about how important having kids is, and what you are willing to do to have them.
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    Think about the birth. Consider how you feel about giving birth. Would you like to work with a doula? Or have a traditional hospital experience? Thinking about these things in advance can make you feel more prepared.[15]
    • It can also be reassuring to plan to attend birthing classes regularly and inquire about after-birth baby care classes, too.
    • Talk to your doctor and your partner about what type of experience you would like to have.
    • You can also read books about the experience of giving birth. Blogs are also a great way to learn about individual stories.
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    Make a to-do list. Many women and their partners find emotional relief and stability when they tackle pregnancy-related tasks one at a time. Make a list of tasks that you need to complete. Once you're pregnant, you can begin working on the list.[16]
    • Consider drawing up a timetable and marking in suitable times for each thing you'd like to achieve. Most of all, aim to be as rested, contented and un-rushed as possible.
    • Be aware that many women experience what is commonly called "nesting instinct" toward the end of pregnancy, a period of intense activity arising out of a boost of energy that lets you get baby's room and requirements ready. This can help you to get those last minute things organized with pep.
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    Talk about your feelings. Communicate regularly during a pregnancy. The best way to emotionally prepare before and during a pregnancy is to regularly communicate about your fears, your hopes, your desires and your anxiety. Communicating with your partner, your parents, siblings and friends will help to ease the emotional burden that is often associated with a pregnancy. [17]
    • Remember that you are going through a physically and emotionally challenging time and it is important to use the support of others to bolster your morale. This will help you feel like you can cope.
    • Even if you live far away from most family members, there are always hospital and midwife resources on which you can draw for added support. The internet can be another source of support if you join some online pregnancy support groups.


  • It is easy to become overwhelmed when you receive too much advice from others. Be discerning about who you listen to.
  • Consider reading books about pregnancy and parenting as a couple so that you can discuss issues and ideas as they arise. There are also apps and other interactive resources which bring pregnancy to life online.
  • It is important to realize that no amount of research can truly prepare you for all of the unexpected twists and turns that are encountered during a pregnancy and after the birth of a child.
  • Keeping an open mind and a sense of adventure will help to prepare you for the thrill of pregnancy.

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