Your health should be your first priority before you start trying to become a parent, regardless of how you plan on expanding your family. Let’s discuss how to get healthy before adding to your family and issues you need to address before you could bring a new child home.

Conception

Your health affects your ability to get pregnant. Untreated sexually transmitted diseases can cause infertility and birth defects. While your partner may be monogamous today, that doesn’t mean you aren’t harboring an old chlamydia infection; this is linked to premature delivery and low birth rate of infants. There are a number of other STIs that you should be checked for before you try to get pregnant. Note that your partner should visit the doctor, too, so that he can discuss lifestyle and health issues that could impact his fertility.

 

Visit your doctor for a health checkup before you begin trying to conceive a child, and inform the doctor you want to have a child. Your doctor will discuss your weight, your medical history, any medications you are taking, and your lifestyle. All of this will be analyzed in relation to your fertility. Your overall health and lifestyle can impact your odds of getting pregnant.

 

You’ll be given advice on how to improve your odds of conception and tips on how to get your body ready before pregnancy. This is also the ideal time to be vaccinated so you can prevent illnesses that can harm you and your unborn child. Visit your dentist. This is the time to have those cavities filled and dental X-rays taken. Talk to your dentist about how to prevent gingivitis. If you or your partner are dealing with mental problems or have in the past, consult with your psychologist to ensure that you’re ready and able to become parents. For example, if you’ve suffered from depression in the past, you want to know how to minimize a recurrence during pregnancy and have a plan for treating it if it strikes during pregnancy or after childbirth.

Pregnancy

Maintaining your health is the key to a pregnancy that is as smooth as possible. Regular checkups by your doctor or obstetrician are necessary, since untreated problems like prenatal diabetes put your health at risk.

Genetic testing is not a necessity for everyone who wants to get pregnant, but it is wise to have genetic testing done for common genetic disorders when you are pregnant. If you’ve already suffered several miscarriages, then genetic testing to try to determine why is a good idea.

Adoption

If you want to create a family by adoption, you must go through a comprehensive medical screening. The adoption agencies want to know that adoptive families are medically and mentally stable. They don’t want to place a child with parents who are not able to properly take care of it. It is irresponsible to give a child to parents who won’t be alive and able to see the child to maturity. Given the sheer number of prospective adoptive parents, the adoption agencies have their pick of potential placements. This means you’ll need to be in excellent health.

Fostering

There are several points in favor of fostering. First, older parents may be considered for older children, whereas those who want to adopt a newborn may be told they’re too old. Fostering is an option, too, regardless of marital status and sexual orientation. Fostering families could have children of their own or other foster children; the only requirement is having enough space, energy and enthusiasm to take on the challenge of a foster child. Know that children in foster care will be dealing with the emotional pain of separation and may have other emotional needs.

Prospective foster parents, however, must still be capable of taking care of the child. Tahir Khan from Perpetual Fostering explains that you must get a clean bill of health to be a foster parent. You cannot be a foster parent if you have a severe physical disability, serious health problems that limit your ability to care for the child, or a debilitating mental illness. You don’t have to be the perfect potential parents that adoption agencies require, since there are so many people competing to adopt a young child but so many children in need of foster parents.

If you plan on conceiving a child or are pregnant already, invest in your health to make the transition to parenthood as smooth as possible. If you want to adopt a child, you must be in excellent health to even be considered. If you want to become a foster parent, good health is a prerequisite.

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