When should we start trying? When should we stop 'not' trying to fall pregnant? What if it takes longer than we think? What if it happens straight away? Pregnancy planning can be a minefield of questions that have no right or wrong answers.
Still, for women today, pregnancy planning is a thing. When's the right time? Maybe after my next promotion? After we buy a house? After Jack's first birthday? There is no right answer; of course, everyone's plan and journey are different.
I had a plan, married and pregnant with my first at 30 - tick. The next bit didn't go quite to plan, a story for another day, which is often the case. The path to motherhood is not always as expected. Sometimes it takes us by surprise. Sometimes the journey is longer and bumpier than expected.
There does seem to be a lot of pressure when a plan is put in place, and it can cause stress, anxiety, and heartache when things don't go to plan. This got me thinking, how did my mum, aunty, and grandmother deal with these pressures?
I asked them, how did you know it was the right time to start trying for a baby? Did you do anything to prepare your body for pregnancy? Did it go to plan? Their answers surprised me.
My nan said, "I did not take any vitamins, Phillip just had to look at me, and I was pregnant. I did not have any plans at all; it just happened. I was one of the lucky ones."
Great, my nan was lucky but what about my mum? "When I fell pregnant with you, it just happened. There was no planning at all, she said. Really? So, I asked about her pregnancy with my sister. "No, it just happened."
Two in a row, no plans, and no preparing for pregnancy. I asked my aunty, "I didn't plan it either." This got me thinking, do I have free-spirited, extremely fertile women in my family, or is it different today?
I asked others, and yes, a few were happily surprised and had unexpected pregnancies, but a lot had planned for their pregnancy. They had started trying when they thought the time with the right for them.
Why are we planning for pregnancy more today than previous generations? Are the pressures of today different from previous generations? Maybe.
Financial factors are often a deciding factor in planning for pregnancy. The goal of owning a home is getting harder to achieve. In the 1970s, a Sydney house was 2 or 3 times the average income; today, it is 12 to 14 times the average income. This puts a lot of additional financial pressure on household incomes.
Women are more likely to have a career today than in the previous generation. In the 1950s, women made up 23% of those employed, there as today, women make up over 47% of those employed in Australia.
We are also having babies a lot later in life. My nan and mum both had their first baby at 21, whereas the average age of a women with her first child in Australia today is between 30-34 years. Assisted Reproductive Technology makes up 1 in 20 births in Australia and 1 in 10 for women conceiving over 35.
Whatever the reason, we are more inclined to plan for pregnancy today; life is different.
We work more, study more, travel more, and make life choices different from previous generations.
The great news is that when you do decide that the time is right for you, Eius has your back.
Please follow us on Instagram for information on our products, pregnancy health, and other women's stories. Our website is also full of resources available to you; we have a checklist – Preparing for Pregnancy (click here for the link); we have information on ovulation (click here) and an ovulation calculator link. We also recommend starting a prenatal multivitamin with Folic Acid before you start trying to conceive (click here to see Eius Prenatal AM and PM).
Good luck on this beautiful adventure to motherhood. Please be kind to yourself and know that everyone's journey is different xxx