Why get pregnant?: your answer can indicate your mothering style

Do you want a baby out of boredom or pure broodiness? Or maybe because you're expected to? Your reasons could say a lot about your future style of motherhood.

Do you want a baby out of boredom or pure broodiness? Or maybe because you're expected to? Your reasons could say a lot about your future style of motherhood.

Most people get pregnant because it's a natural thing to do. "The desire for children tends to be fundamental to most people's self image, even if we are not consciously aware of it," says Dr Miriam Stoppard. "It signifies adulthood you are no longer just your parents' child, you are also a parent."

Fundamental stuff, and when you throw choice, control, career and contraception into the melting pot, it can all get a bit confusing. So why do you want to get pregnant, and does it reveal the sort of mother you'll become?

'I haven't really thought about why'

A recent survey by the Family Planning Association found that many women (across the different social classes) believe that 'biological destiny' will decide whether or not they have a baby. In other words, many of you will leave it to fate!

What sort of mum will you be?

'You may feel unfairly trapped,' says Dr Stoppard. 'Yet, perversely, many women (for whom pregnancy is not a disaster) are aware of an odd pleasure that their fertility has triumphed over their conscious wish.'

A Family Planning Association survey noted that 'unplanned doesn't always mean unwanted'. But remember, it's a big change becoming a mother, and unplanned babies might take some getting used to. 'You have to make time for your relationship, too,' says psychotherapist Pat Thomas.

'It's part of my life plan'

'Lifestyle' mothers are, according to the Family Planning Association, women who are happy about being pregnant, as long as it's part of their plan qualifications, employment, career progression, marriage, house buying! 'When I was 25, I decided to give my career a good 10 years before having kids. Now I'm 35, married, and in a senior position at work. We have one more room to do up in our house, then we'll start trying for a baby,' says Caroline.

What sort of mum will you be?

You could be disappointed. Remember not to put off having a baby for too long, as your age matters. If you do get pregnant easily, you'll probably be very organised and soon get a routine going, but you may find it hard to adapt to the very different role of mother but don't worry, you'll soon learn!

'Because I love my partner'

Well, it does take two. Becoming pregnant will be the natural expression of your love, and part of the grand plan for your life together.

What sort of mum will you be?

Your idealistic view of having a baby could mean you'll find it difficult to cope with the changes it will bring to your relationship. But more than likely, love will overcome any problems.

As psychologist and author Penelope Leach, says, 'In the modern world, where the things we value are freedom, jobs, partying children really get in the way of all that. So for most people, the reason for getting pregnant must be that they really want to have a baby.'

'My baby has told me he wants to be born'

A lot of us instinctively feel this. You can do all the planning you like, but more and more people believe that life begins before birth.

Elisabeth Hallett has her own website dedicated to this subject. Elisabeth is a writer and independent researcher and says, 'Many parents I've spoken to have described a connection that began before conception.' In dreams, meditation or just when relaxing, she says women have felt 'the invisible presence of their unborn child'.

What sort of mum will you be?

Very in tune with your newborn, and probably in a position to spend a lot of time with your child. You're probably the sort of mum who'll try baby massage, and be prepared to take a career break to spend time caring for your baby.

'I want to make my life better'

Many women decide to have a baby when life gets too much and they feel they want to escape. It might be a job you hate, or a relationship that's going wrong (a baby won't make it better), or you might feel the need to replace a loved one who has died.

If any of these reasons sound familiar, be aware of them, and try and deal with any unresolved issues.

What sort of mum will you be?

The grass may stay greener while you're pregnant or on maternity leave, but reality and the issues you've been hiding from will come back to haunt you, which could get in the way of your parenting skills. But remember that creating a new life is such a positive thing that if you do become pregnant, you may be so happy that you'll dote on your child and motivate yourself to sort your problems out.

12:0AM, Feb 10th 2010

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