10 Ways Pregnancy May Change Your Relationship
Having a baby is one of the most life-changing events you will go through. Not only will it affect your life, it will affect your partner and any other children you might already have. It is so easy to see or talk about the physical changes your body will go through but it seems like no one ever really talks about how your relationship will change. Pregnancy and having your baby is such an amazing experience, but it's a wild ride so hold on tight!
10 ways pregnancy may change your relationship with your partner.
Drive ChangesYup. We said it. You need to have a go-with-the-flow attitude and sense of humor about sex. Positions are awkward and libidos ebb and flow. You and your partner might not be on the same page. Try to be patient with one another and find new ways of expressing physical affection. Things will likely normalize after the newborn period is over.
Partner May Feel Left OutAs your priority shifts from your partner to your baby, your partner may feel left out. Everything is happening to you and they can't exactly help you grow the baby. Many parents find this transition difficult. Taking a baby moon and having date nights are a great way to stay connected as a couple.
IntimacyYou will learn more about your body than you thought possible. You may experience stretch marks, varicose veins, changes in bodily fluids, all while learning the nitty gritty about labor and delivery. As if that isn't enough, your partner will also become familiar with what you are experiencing, if they plan to be involved in even the smallest of ways. This may make you feel closer than ever! You will both also experience a heightened state of emotion during pregnancy and you and your partner will be able to connect on that level. Talk about your worries and fears.
Bonding with BabyThe bonding process with baby typically begins immediately for momma and it may not happen for your partner until the baby arrives. Don't be discouraged if they don't seem as excited as you at first. Be patient. While you likely already feel like a mother, remember that your partner may not actually feel like a parent until they're actually able to hold their little one in their own arms.
True ColorsYou will be able to see how your partner really handles stressful, intense, and sometimes uncomfortable moments. On the flip side, you will also be able to see how they step up as a parent. It may make you feel better to know that typically you and your partner's instinctual nurturing abilities will shine through during this time.
CommunicationIt is important to talk to your partner about roles and responsibilities before baby arrives. Some couples find that they have different views when it comes to labor/delivery and parenting which can cause conflict. Make time to talk when you are both calm, listen and try to understand each other's perspective, and try to avoid criticism.
HormonesBelieve it or not, your partner's hormones change to mimic what you are experiencing. Some studies show that men's testosterone levels decrease during pregnancy. Sympathy weight is real! Your partner may also experience nausea, anxiety, mood swings, drive changes, and aches and pains.
Prenatal/Postpartum DepressionStress of having a baby can cause prenatal and postpartum depression not only in women but in men as well. This can have a huge impact on your relationship. Supporting each other and finding help is important if you suspect that either of you are experiencing depression. (More info on this in our upcoming mental health videos!)
Planning for the FutureAs we've stated, having a child is a life-changing event. You and your partner will have to think about and discuss financial changes. Such changes include health insurance, life insurance, child care costs, saving for their future, and medical bills. These things can be stressful and may impact the way of life your used to.
ResentmentYou may experience some feelings of resentment toward your partner. Along with carrying a child comes restrictions, discomforts, and fatigue. Being pregnant isn't easy so it is totally normal to be a little jealous that your partner gets to eat and drink what they want, get a good night's sleep without having to wake up all the time to pee, doesn't have to deal with morning sickness, and can still see their feet. Try to keep in mind that your partner isn't trying to rub their non pregnant lifestyle in your face. It is easy for them to forget that you may be extra sensitive to these things.
You will experience a whirlwind of changes during pregnancy with your relationship being one. Knowing what changes you might experience will help you feel more equipped to handle those changes.
What changes did you and your partner's relationship go through? Let us know below!