Thinking about becoming a parent

The first step of bonding with your baby is when you start thinking about them during pregnancy. You will start to make changes in your life and planning for their arrival. It is very common for first-time parents to think about what kind of parent they will be.

Couples often wonder about how they will maintain their relationship. They may worry about how their daily life will be affected.

Even if this is not your first baby, your family is growing and changing. Your parenting style needs to adjust to accommodate the new baby.

Parents-to-be sometimes think about their own childhoods. You might find yourself thinking about family traditions you would like to continue. Or you may wish to be a different kind of parent than your own parents. By thinking about what kind of parent you want to be, you are starting to find your own parenting style.

You may have these thoughts and feelings:

  • What will it be like to be a parent?
  • What kind of parent will I be?
  • What type of parent will my partner be?
  • What type of grandparent will my mother or father be?

Questions to reflect on during pregnancy:

  • What kind of parent would I like to be?
  • What might make it hard to be this kind of parent?
  • What might help me to be the parent I would like to be?
  • Are there any challenges in my life that might make parenting difficult?
  • What will my baby be like?

It’s very common to have an idea of what kind of baby you might like, such as gender or hair and eye colour. Imagining what your baby will be like is a nice way to bond before birth. But it's important to be aware that you are only imagining . When your baby arrives, the reality may be different to what you imagined. Every baby is unique.

Having ongoing intense negative thoughts about your pregnancy or baby may affect you bonding with your baby. Talk to your GP, midwife or obstetrician about these feelings.

Page last reviewed: 18 June 2019
Next review due: 18 June 2022