If you and your partner are thinking about having a child together, congratulations! This is an exciting time for you, but deciding to become a parent is a decision that should not be taken lightly. In fact, there are a ton of things that you can do right now that can help you conceive and be prepared for both pregnancy and parenthood. Here’s what to know.

Talk in-depth about your parenting styles.


Just because you and your spouse are a tight-knit couple doesn’t mean that you have the same parenting style. You may have been raised with different family values, which can influence how you want to parent. It is important to talk about your different parenting styles and what values you want to pass onto your children before you even think about conceiving, as you don’t want to wait until the child is born to clash over something small. There are so many different traditions that families around the United States are raised with, and you want to make sure that you’re both on the same page.

Take some time to sit down and talk about how you plan to split childcare, if your finances can handle a child, some religious traditions you may want to pass down, what kinds of schooling you envision the child to have, and if you need to move into a bigger home to make enough room. Once both parents are on board with the same topics, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with know you’ll be parenting as a united front.

Consider your investments.


Now that you are bringing a child into the world, you will need to manage your finances both today and in the future. This means investing in better quality health insurance coverage that will cover both the mother during the pregnancy and after birth, and the child as soon as it is born. Most parents don’t realize that the child and the new mom have to have a separate health plan, whether your health insurance plan is a government-sponsored plan like Medicare or Medicaid or you get health insurance coverage through a job. Different health insurance companies cover prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum care to different degrees so you should research health insurance coverage and check out your options. To ensure both the mama and baby are covered when they need it the most, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, look into the health insurance options available to you before you get pregnant.

Learn your family history.


While you may have a good understanding of what’s going on when it comes to your personal health, you may not be completely aware of the health history of your immediate family and in-laws. Take time to speak to every member of you and your partner’s immediate family to see if there are any health issues you should know about. This way, you’ll be prepared and can speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have about any diseases or disorders being passed down to your child.

Take some supplements.


There are plenty of vitamin supplements that you can take to help your chance of conceiving. Most importantly, folic acid has been shown to be a necessary supplement for women to take during pregnancy, as well as B vitamins. If you’re concerned about out of pocket costs for supplements, look into Medicare supplement plans. In fact, take this time to look at any medications you are taking. They might not all be necessary and can hinder your chances of a successful conception and pregnancy. Bring up your medications to your doctor and see if there are any natural alternatives or supplements you should be adding to your daily routine.

Go on a shopping spree!


Pregnancy can be much more expensive than you may think, so get ahead of the game and stock up on some maternity clothes now if you see them on sale. This includes maternity pants with elastic waistbands, flowy tops, larger, comfortable shoes like moccasins and slip-on sandals, and a great nursing and pumping bra (or three). These are great bra options for when you are pregnant as they are easy to put on and remove, and have comfy, stretchy fabric without that pesky underwire. A pumping bra will allow you to do hands-free pumping, which is a huge help for mamas who are also multitaskers. You won’t regret investing in the perfect bra with a crossover design for pumping and nursing, especially when you find yourself spending a lot of time pumping milk for your little one!

While planning for a child can be overwhelming, these quick tips can help to ease some of the burdens you may be experiencing.