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What issues are imperative for couples to discuss prior to conceiving a child and what ways should the father be involved in the pregnancy and birth?

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The main issues that couples must discuss before conceiving a child have to do with the rearing of the child and with how prepared the couple is to engage in this important process.

The first thing that the couple has to be sure of is that they both want to have a child.  It is sometimes the case that only one member of a couple is truly committed to having a child.  This is a recipe for trouble if the couple conceives without working the issue out.

The next thing that the couple has to discuss is how they will raise the child.  Will one of the partners stay home to care for the child?  If so, which one?  If not, are they willing to have their child be raised by day care providers?  In addition, it is important to discuss to some degree how the couple feels that children should be raised.  They have to be sure that they are at least somewhat in agreement over important issues such as the issue of discipline.  Will they agree on whether spanking is acceptable?  Will they agree on things like how many toys the child should have?  These are all issues that can lead to a great deal of conflict if they are not at least discussed before the child is conceived.

Thus, the couple must discuss whether they are really ready to have a child and they must discuss issues of how the child will be raised and who will raise it.  They should continue to have these discussions after the child is conceived and after it is born.

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