When it comes to starting your journey to parenthood, we know you have questions. No, seriously: We told you to ask away on social media, and you didn't disappoint. From broad ("How much does it cost to have a kid?") to specific ("Can I eat feta cheese when I'm pregnant?"), those questions illustrated just how much there is to consider when you're expecting. So naturally, it only felt right to pass them along to our team of experts.
Whether you're already counting down the days til your due date or are just starting to think about becoming a parent, find the answers to some of your burning questions below.
Important Q: Is it true women need to avoid cheese when pregnant?
Great news: Many types of cheese are totally fine to eat during pregnancy. “Just make sure that the cheese is made from pasteurized milk,” advises our resident nutrition expert Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, R.D.
How much money do you need for a baby?
Having a kid definitely isn’t cheap—a 2010 USDA report estimates that the average middle-income family will spend roughly $12,000 on baby-related expenses in their first year of life. (That includes diapers, food, medical expenses, childcare, clothes, and more.) The good news is that awareness is the first step—now that you know, you can plan ahead and start saving. (1)
When should women start taking a prenatal?
Even when just thinking about getting pregnant, it’s not a bad idea to start taking a prenatal. Our science team recommends aiming for three months before pregnancy (but it’s never too late to start!).*
I follow a plant-based diet. Will that have an impact?
The trick is to make sure your diet is nutritionally balanced—which is something to strive for whether you’re pregnant or not—and take a high-quality prenatal multivitamin to help fill gaps. That said, there are certain nutrients that should be top of mind for someone who identifies as vegan or vegetarian. “Vitamin B12 and vitamin D are nutrients of most importance [for a plant-based diet],” says Dr. Luke Bucci, Ph.D, CCN, CNS. “Iodine and Omega-3 DHA are right behind them.”
Is it okay to drink alcohol?
Just to be safe, probably not. “Alcohol can cause problems for your developing baby throughout your pregnancy, including before you know you are pregnant,” says Dr. Mastaneh. The Center of Disease Control maintains that no amount of alcohol is totally safe during pregnancy, so it’s best to refrain altogether.*