There are about 6 million pregnancies in the United States every year, according to the American Pregnancy Association. About half of these pregnancies are unplanned, and though the babies turn out to be wonderful human beings, if you can plan prior to becoming pregnant, there are some important considerations to make.

By answering the following questions, you and your partner can determine if now is the right time for you to start your family.

1. Are You Healthy?

A developing baby s health is dependent on its mother, and it s crucial that she be healthy prior to getting pregnant. So important is this factor that the division of reproductive health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new federal guidelines in 2006 asking all women with the potential to conceive to consider themselves pregnant.

The guidelines ask all women in this group to take folic acid supplements, avoid smoking, maintain a healthy weight and manage any health conditions like diabetes or asthma. For sure, now is the time to start eating a healthy diet, exercising and cutting out alcohol and cigarettes from your lifestyle.

2. Can You Afford It?

People have a way of making things work no matter what, but it does help to take into account the U.S. Department of Agriculture s annual report on the costs of raising a child. In 2006, the average married couple in the middle-income group, with two children, could expect to spend from $10,600 to $11,660 per year until the child reaches the age of 17.

3. Is it the Right Time?

Having a baby means devoting your time to raising a child, and perhaps putting your own wants and desires on hold for a while. That said, do you want to finish your education, get settled into a career, or explore your relationship more before you bring a child into the mix? Are you ready to give up sleeping in on the weekends or going out whenever you feel like it? These are all things to consider.

4. Do You and Your Partner Both Want a Baby?

If only one person in the relationship feels ready for a child, it s important to discuss the other s fears and concerns before jumping in. This is a life-changing decision for both of you, and you should have a united front on whether or not to start a family.

5. Are You Ready?

No one, perhaps, really knows whether they re-ready to start a family. It can bring up many emotions, from wondering if you ll be a good parent, to dealing with the newfound identity of being a parent. You may also feel overwhelmed at the prospect of having another human being who s dependent on you. Rest assured, these emotions are completely normal, and if you feel they re negatively impacting your confidence in yourself as a future parent, you can certainly use The Sedona Method The Sedona Method (official site) Self Help Program by Hale Dwoskin to release them.

6. Is Your Relationship Ready?

Bringing a baby into your now two-person relationship is going to change things considerably, and while many believe a baby will bring you closer, it usually adds a lot of stress to the relationship as well. There will be changes in intimacy, time together, spontaneity, and even in the way you view your partner. Now more than ever, you must be able to maintain open communication and support for each other.

If you currently have unresolved issues in your relationship , The Sedona Method can help you to let go of the negative thought or communication patterns that are making you feel misunderstood, or causing excessive disagreements. Only when your relationship is on solid ground will you and your partner be truly emotionally present for your new baby.

Ready for a Baby?


Once you've made the decision to start a family, you should continue to use The Sedona Method during pregnancy, says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of Sedona Training Associates.

The Sedona Method can help with the ups and downs of pregnancy, including the depression that often comes after giving birth, Dwoskin says. As you use The Sedona Method during your pregnancy you can be much more comfortable and relaxed throughout the whole experience.

You will also be creating a much more supportive, energetic environment, he says, and a much healthier and loving environment, in which to raise your baby.