Did you – or do you plan to – try to time your pregnancy carefully, ticking off a whole set of lifetime goals – from travelling the world to passing your driving test – before even thinking of having a baby?


Well, you're not alone. It seems that most of us have a bucket list of pre-baby tasks, including getting that promotion, paying off our debts and shifting some weight.

In fact, over 60 per cent of us even go so far as to plan the precise month of conception, preferring to aim for a baby born in the summer, according to a survey carried out for OvuSense, a real-time fertility monitor.

A quarter of us even stop trying to conceive at certain points of the year to make sure there won't be a newborn arriving at Christmas or just when work commitments are at their heaviest or when a friend is getting married.

Interestingly, the survey results show many of the 'must-dos' on our pre-pregnancy lists are work-related. "Making the decision to have a baby is huge, especially the first time around," says Rob Milnes, CEO of the creators of OvuSense. "It’s understandable that many women have certain things they want to accomplish before starting a family."

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For the survey, 1,000 women, all of whom had had a baby in the past year or plan to have a baby in the next two years, were asked what they'd put at the top of their pre-pregnancy to-do list. Here are their top 25 'must-dos'...

The pre-pregnancy must-do list. How many of these could you tick off?

1. Be married

2. Own my own house

3. Matured enough to be a mother

4. Have travelled

5. Cleared my debts

6. Completed further education / got qualifications

7. Have a garden

8. Been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday

9. Passed my driving test

10. Own a nice car

11. Have £10,000 in savings

12. Said goodbye to my party days

13. Lost weight

14. Earning £30,000

15. Reached management level

16. Got a long-awaited promotion

17. Reached the top of my game at work

18. Own my own business

19. Cut down on my alcohol intake

20. Earning £40,000

21. Paid off my student loan

22. Earning £50,000+

23. Moved back to be near my parents

24. Completed a sporting accomplishment

25. Earned enough to afford a nanny

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Magda Ibrahim is a freelance writer who has written for publications including The Times and Sunday Times, The Sun, Time Out, and the London Evening Standard, as well for MadeForMums.