Deciding whether to have another baby and expand your family is a huge decision. Bringing a little life into the world is a big deal, so it’s worth taking the time to mull it over. On one hand, after a child or two already your family might feel complete – if this is the case then do what’s right for you and don’t feel pressured by what society tells you it should look like. In other cases, you might be on the fence and wondering if your family really is complete, or whether you need the pitter patter of tiny footsteps in your life one last time. If you’re not sure, here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you make your decision.
Can you afford another child?
This is the big one for most families. Of course, you’ll make it work regardless and if for example you had a ‘surprise’ baby, you’d find a way to provide for them no matter what. However, if you’re already settled into family life and are enjoying a certain standard of living when it comes to your finances, you might want to ask yourself how having another baby will change that. Even if you have baby items to hand down from previous children, you’ll need to factor in loss of earnings from time taken off work in pregnancy and postpartum. You’ll need to consider extra childcare costs, the cost of holidays and days out will go up and things like your food bill will increase too once they’re old enough to start eating with the family.
Do you have enough space?
Do you have enough room in your home for another baby? If you already have siblings sharing a room then you might need to consider moving somewhere bigger to make room for another child, or perhaps extending your home. Is this something you can, or are willing to do? Think about things like your car too, if you already have other children who are in car seats do you have space for another? If not you’d need to get a bigger car. These might not be deal breakers on their own but they definitely warrant some thinking about when you’re considering the bigger picture of having another baby.
How’s your health?
If your previous pregnancies were very traumatic, or if you suffer with a health condition that could put you or a future baby at risk then of course this is something to bear in mind. Speak with your doctor to find out the details of exactly what another pregnancy would involve in regards to your health.
Your next steps
If you decide that another baby is on the cards then it’s time to get excited! Before conceiving, it’s always worth working on your health and money to put yourself in the best position physically and financially. If you come to the conclusion that you don’t want any more children then it’s time to start looking into prevention steps. You can register for an appointment here for a vasectomy for men, or speak to your GP about tubal ligation and sterilisation options for women. Long term contraception such as the implant might be an option if you feel like there’s a small chance you might change your mind, since it lasts for three years.