When you suddenly find yourself face-to-face with a positive pregnancy test, your entire world changes. For one, you have to decide whether or not you want to keep the pregnancy. Then, if you decide to keep it, you have to start asking yourself a ton of questions. Will you aim for an unmedicated birth, or do you plan on getting an epidural? Will you breastfeed exclusively, bottle feed, or see how it goes? Will you be co-parenting with anyone, or going solo? Then there are all the things you should ask your partner once you’re pregnant.
Before telling your partner about your pregnancy, it’s wise to make a few decisions on your own and for yourself. For one, you’ll have to decide which issues you have some flexibility on. For some parents-to-be, what you name your kid might be something that’s up for discussion. But other folks may have decided long ago what they would name their future children. Then there are matters in which your partner doesn’t really have a say in, like whether you’d prefer an OB-GYN or midwife. As the one giving birth, this is solely your choice, and you’ll need to make sure your partner recognizes and respects that.
There certainly are other topics in which they’re free to chime in on, too, and these conversations can be as complicated as they are necessary. So, with that in mind, here are a few questions you should ask your partner when that pregnancy txt comes back positive.
"How Do You Feel About Having Children Right Now?"
Let me start by stating that it is 100 percent your choice whether or not to go through with this pregnancy. That said, should you decide to continue with the pregnancy, it’s a good idea to ask your partner how they feel about having kids right now. This will help determine the need for the next few questions.
"Do You Want To Be Active In This Baby's Life?"
Some partners will be unwilling to be a parents at this particular time. If that's the case, they likely will not want to be a part of the child’s life. If your partner is on board, you’ll have to find out how much of an active role they want to take on.
"What Are Your Thoughts Are On Abortion In The Event Of Abnormal Test Results?"
Many parents-to-be choose to undergo fetal anomaly scans halfway through their pregnancy. These scans can help identify certain anomalies that make life outside the womb unviable. Some folks choose to terminate their pregnancy in the presence of some of these conditions (especially in cases where there is a high mortality rate). You’ll want to know if your partner is on board with this or not.
"How Do You Plan On Supporting This Child?"
Financial matters tend to get much more serious upon having a child. Whether or not your partner plans to co-parent or not, they still should have some sort of financial responsibility over them (whether that means paying child support or something else). It’s important to figure out how this will work ahead of time.
"How Do You Feel About Vaccines?"
Vaccines are a hot button issue for a variety of reasons. Therefore, it is essential that both parents are on the same page. Some vaccine choices, like the annual flu shot or staggering vaccines more, can be considered debatable.
"What Procedures, If Any, Are You OK With Our Newborn Undergoing?"
Shortly after birth, a baby will usually be given a vitamin K shot as well as eye drops. Let your partner know whether you’re comfortable with this or not. Ask them how they feel about it (as there is some debate as to whether all these procedures need to occur right away), but remember you have final say.
"What Are Your Thoughts On Circumcision?"
If your child has a penis, you’ll likely be asked whether or not you want to circumcise them. Some parents feel that it’s an important tradition or religious practice to uphold. Others feel it is on par with other forms of genital mutilation. Regardless, you’ll want to make sure you both have the same feelings on foreskin.
"Do You Realize Gender Is A Social Construct?"
Some parents choose to raise their kids within rigid gender roles (pink bows on girls only, for example). Others understand that gender is a social construct, children should be allowed to make many of their own choices, and toys and colors and activities need not be gendered. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page.
(And How That Includes Antiquated, Gender-Based Parenting Roles)
Figuring out how you’ll divide the childcare and housework is incredibly important. Settling this now will prevent lots of resentment in the future. Figure out what works best for your family, whether that’s having a stay-at-home dad, two parents who work outside the home but also take turns putting their kid to bed, etc.
"How Would You Feel If Our Child Was Queer Or Transgender?"
While this is not something you’ll have to be concerned with immediately after birth, it’s an important conversation to have. You’ll want to be sure your partner doesn’t harbor any homophobic or transphobic thoughts or feelings. You’ll want to be certain that you’ll both accept your child for who they are at all times.
"How Do You Feel About Ear Piercing?"
While ear piercings aren’t as severe a body modification as circumcision, it’s still a good idea to discuss with your partner. Many parents opt to pierce the ears of their daughters while they are still quite young. Others are fully against any piercings until their child is much older and can make that decision for themselves. Then, of course, there's always the question of why are we piercing girls ears and not boys?
"What Are Our Childcare Options?"
In an ideal world, all parents would have the option to stay home with their children at all times. Unfortunately, most of us have a limited amount of maternity or paternity leave. You’ll want to figure out if you’ll both be working within three months of your child’s birth, or if one will stay home, or something else.
"How Do You Feel About Co-Sleeping Or Bed-Sharing?"
You may want to snuggle every night with your baby. Your significant other, however, might prefer the privacy of their bedroom sans children. Figure out what works for both of you (but, you know, do what makes you most comfortable at the end of the day).
"Do You Want To Raise Our Child With Or Without Religion?"
As an agnostic atheist, I always knew I would never actually raise my child within any one specific religion. My plan is to introduce my son to all the beliefs I can find and let him make his own choice. This might work for you, or something else might, too.
"What Languages Do You Want To Teach Our Little?"
Because I am a bilingual latinx, I always knew that I would be teaching my son Spanish as well as English. My husband understands how important it is to me to raise a bilingual child (even if he himself doesn’t speak it all that much). At the end of the day, more languages is usually better than less.
"What Type Of Discipline Should We Use?"
Many studies have linked spanking children to mental health and social issues in those same children the long run. That said, many parents these days still advocate the occasional spanking of children. Discuss at length what you and your partner feel works as the best form of discipline for your child.