Flexibility in planning and preparation for parenthood
Pregnancy and early parenthood is an exciting yet unpredictable time. To help parents manage unpredictability, it is important to include flexibility in planning and decision-making. Parents may need to change their plans around many things due to circumstances that are out of their control. It is normal to feel disappointed and worried if this happens. However, recognising that this is part of the new parenting experience can help new parents adapt to changes without feeling a strong sense of failure. It may even be good practice for parenthood as things can change daily!
Flexible thinking and planning is often useful during pregnancy when considering topics such as birth plans, parental leave, feeding and settling, routine and domestic duties.
If the thought of plans changing brings up feelings of distress, this might be a topic to discuss with a trusted person such as friend, family member or health professional.
Thinking Ahead: Complexity of Expectations and the Transition to Parenthood. Pancer et al. (2000)
Becoming a parent: The relation between prenatal expectations and postnatal experience. Delmore-Ko et al. (2000)