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Starting a Family Takes Some Thought

Starting a family can be exciting, stressful, joyful, and daunting - all rolled into one. As with most endeavors, a little foresight and planning can go a long way.

Prior to a newborn's arrival, know the facts about what and how much your health insurance will cover. Give some thought as to whether you want a doctor or midwife to provide prenatal care and deliver the baby. Choose a pediatrician before a baby's birth.

In the workplace, find out how much maternity leave can be taken and how much of it will be paid. Inquire as to your employer's policies on taking time off for doctor's appointments or to prepare for adoption. Consider the steps you must take to get health insurance coverage for your bundle-of-joy-to-be.

Research the safest baby products available and which ones to avoid. Is your home free of hazards? Do your homework on child safety seats. Know your legal rights to nurse in public. When returning to work after the birth, be informed on what your rights are in taking time off to care for your child or attend their activities (e.g., parent-teacher conference). Ask about your company's policy on pumping breast milk at work. Some companies might offer new work arrangements, such as flex time or job sharing - it doesn't hurt to ask.

Key matters concerning your child's future include naming a guardian, writing a will, purchasing life insurance, and saving for their education. Family-law attorneys, estate attorneys, and financial planners can lend you expert assistance.

Starting a family involves many important decisions. The better your decisions, the more rewarding your parenting experience will be.


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