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Are You Ready for Pregnancy

Prenatal experts offer advice to parents-to-be on emotionally preparing for a baby.

Prepare to Be Surprised continued...

But while it might seem backward to think about being a parent before you're even pregnant, experts say good parenting doesn't just happen. It's learned. "It's hard for parents to take it as seriously as it needs to be taken -- how much time it takes to parent, how much energy, how difficult, how important -- when we're raised with these ideas that anybody can have a child, anybody can raise a child, and that somehow you can make it work if you just try hard enough," says Wolfe. "It's not true."

And don't fret if preconception planning doesn't yield all the answers. Pre-baby is a good stage to start the process, but it's still a process. "Fortunately new babies really need very little -- they need to be fed, nurtured, and cleaned," says Schofield. "But that's the beauty of it. We really don't need to have all the answers at the outset. We can just make our first year easier by beginning to look at the issues early."

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