13 Signs You May Be Pregnant

What are the earliest signs of pregnancy? Although many of these factors occur at the end of your cycle, they're also pregnancy symptoms. Feeling crampy or exhausted? These and other pregnancy signs could mean you're pregnant -- even before your missed period!

When One Partner Isn't Ready

What if only one of you is ready to become a parent?

Maybe you never talked about having a baby. Or you said that you wanted kids -- sometime. You might even have agreed to have your first child at 25 (or 30, or 35). But now one of you is ready to move ahead -- and the other isn't so sure.

Ambivalence about making the leap into parenthood is extremely common, according to Austin E. Galvin, CSW, a New York-based psychoanalyst whose practice includes many couples "on the brink." According to Galvin, the first question to ask isn't "Why worry?" but "What's your hurry?"

Galvin notes that when one partner is suddenly desperate for a baby, it may have more to do with the marriage than with the desire to be a parent. He suggests that maybe the desperate partner is hoping to solidify a shaky relationship by drawing his or her spouse in more deeply. Maybe on some level, there's a hope that the baby will provide a level of trust, or intimacy, that's currently lacking in the marriage, he suggests.

On the other hand, if the baby was planned and one spouse suddenly starts throwing up roadblocks, there could be childhood issues at stake. Galvin notes that the resistant partner may need to work through unresolved feelings about his or her own parents.

So how can you figure out what's really going on, and decide on the next steps?

Ready for More Children? Consider the Pros and Cons First

If you're thinking of adding another baby to your cozy clan, consider the pros and cons before you get busy.

Just when you thought you were done with the incessant "When are you going to have a baby?" question, along comes the follow-up: "When will you give that precious little one a brother or sister?" Sheesh!

Of course, there's no universally ideal spacing between siblings. There's also nothing wrong with stopping at one bundle if you want. The number of single-child families has nearly doubled, to about 1 in 5, since the '70s, and, despite the stigma, research suggests that onlies are as happy and social as kids with siblings are. "It's about knowing in your gut that the choice you make will allow you to be a great parent," says Susan Stiffelman, a psychotherapist in Malibu, California, and author of Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm and Connected. If you do want to expand your fam, but are unsure of when, we've highlighted the reasons to space your kids out or have them close together.

The Best Time to Have #2 (or 3)

Should you wait or have another baby now? Been-there moms spill on the pros and cons of having kids close in age or farther apart.

Spacing Siblings
Not long after the babies in my daughter Mirabel's playgroup turned 1, several moms stopped losing their baby weight and started, well, expanding again. As one woman after another announced that she was pregnant with Baby #2, the rest started wondering aloud: Is it too soon to have the next one? If not now, when? It seemed as if some of us just took the plunge, while others were trying to figure out the optimum timing.

No one needed to ask my opinion -- I was already sporting maternity cargo pants at Mirabel's first-birthday party. I can't claim to have been intentionally ahead of the curve on family planning; I just got, ahem, surprised. But happily so. While I initially panicked about the effects that the arrival of a new baby would have on my family at that point -- will Mirabel be shortchanged on attention? Will I get eight hours of sleep any time in this decade? -- I'm relieved by how well all of us have adapted. Granted, there were some crazy days (and nights), but nearly two years later my daughters are fun-loving buddies, the Lucy and Ethel of the preschool set.

Dad-to-Be Confessions: 10 Things He's Thinking Right Now

Here's what your guy might be secretly thinking about during your pregnancy.

Dads-to-be think the wildest things. We know because we asked around. Chances are, moms-to-be, your guy is thinking something similar to what was on these guys' minds.

"With our first baby, my wife had horrible morning sickness for the first couple of months, to the point of her always needing to keep a container next to her, just in case. And of course, her pregnant appetite was still there, but if she ate something and it made her sick, she didn't want to eat anything similar any time soon. I was constantly going back and forth to the store, trying to find something, anything, that she would like and could eat and keep down. Her morning sickness got to be so commonplace that she could lean over and puke, and it didn't even phase me. The only things that kept me going were that I loved my wife so much I would do anything for her, and the other was the thought that 'It surely can't last forever, and we'll end up with a beautiful baby at the end of it.' And it was true -- by the middle of her pregnancy, her nausea and morning sickness were mostly gone, the rest of her pregnancy went smoothly, and we ended up having a healthy baby girl." -- Derek Markham

7 Ways to Be an Awesome New Dad

As you embark on the new adventure of fatherhood, follow your instincts and our seven tips and you'll be on your way to awesome status in your kid's eyes.

Sacrifice your time and embrace your new routine.
Giving up a few (or many) things is perhaps the most obvious, fundamental rule in being an awesome dad. Without sacrificing your time, you wouldn't be able to pull off all of the other keys to becoming great. You trade in your relaxing after-work "zone-out time" for "zone-in time" with your wife and baby, but the key to giving up your time isn't as simple as just being there-- it's a matter of making yourself as involved as possible while you are there.

7 Must-Reads for Dads-to-Be

Navigating pregnancy and the earliest weeks of fatherhood can be nerve-racking and confusing for even the most excited father-to-be. Here are a few books that can help make the journey a bit easier to manage.

The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-be
By Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash

For a thoroughly modern dad-to-be, The Expectant Father presents a wealth of information on pregnancy and life after baby, including tips for those considering becoming stay-at-home fathers. Throughout the month-by-month chapters Brott and Ash are dedicated to helping the expectant dad figure out his role and understand how all the impending changes will affect him--all while supporting his partner, of course. Feeling overwhelmed or stressed out by the pregnancy? Start a journal in your free time, they suggest. Topics such as encouraging mom-to-be through pregnancy and labor, monitoring her diet (with a few recipes included, should you be so inclined to cook for her), finances, adoptions, choosing baby names, and juggling work and family are peppered with New Yorker-style cartoons to keep the book from feeling too text-heavy.

An Open Letter to You, Dad-to-Be

Don't stress, dad-to-be! Here are some tips to start off fatherhood right.

Hey, man --

In about five seconds, you're going to be a dad. I know: Her due date isn't for five months -- or three weeks, or whatever. That's immaterial. In dad-to-be time, it is five seconds.

We're talking about the amount of time it takes to remove 20 bucks from the ATM. A mere blip.

But these five seconds are precious. (Fact is, you don't know what "precious" means until you hold the warm, gurgling bundle of your own tiny baby.) Savor these seconds. Cherish them. Luxuriate in them, dude, because you'll never have this much quiet or relaxation or freedom or domestic peace or relative lack of stress ever again. And that's good.

Being a dad-to-be is way different than being a dad. You're about to become much less important (suddenly you're no longer the key person in your world) and much more important (you're about to become someone's father!) Note: It'll take some time to comprehend this completely. I speak from experience; I've got two kids. My first child was born in 2002, and my place in the universe is just becoming apparent to me right...about...now.

Best Apps for Dads-To-Be

From delivery room tips to easy recipes, here are 10 must-have apps for dads-to-be.

Pregnancy For Men
Cost: $0.99

This app, based on the best-selling book of the same name, offers helpful advice and information geared toward the dad-to-be, mostly centered on pregnancy milestones. It offers a month-by-month look at what's going on inside the belly and with pregnant women in general. It offers glimpses of current pregnancy news, and has pretty hilarious and honest audios of men offering advice. It's not the only pregnancy app dad-to-be will want, but it is informative and just about the right amount of info for men to understand what's going on without delving into too much of the nitty-gritty.

5 Common Fears About Fatherhood

Why is your partner is so nervous about becoming a dad?

Such a huge life change is thrilling and scary to both prospective parents. While couples share many of the concerns about having children (number one on the list is that the baby be born healthy), men have their own distinct worries.

Much of their concern stems from not having a role model to teach them how to be the father they want to be. Today's dads want to be more involved than their fathers were a generation ago, notes William Pollack, PhD, director of the Center for Men and Young Men at McClean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. Their fathers may not have spent as much time interacting with a newborn, for example. So jumping into the unknown causes panic.

Syndicate content