Having a baby can be amazing but can also feel like a crisis. More importantly your life is never going to be the same again and we all handle this in different ways. As a result, your relationship with your partner can be put under pressure therefore it is important to acknowledge that this might happen and be ready for some adjustments after your baby is born.
Coming home with a new baby is very stressful. You are probably both deprived of sleep and in addition you can both be left reeling from the intensity of what just happened. For some the birth meets all their expectations of feeling like the ‘best day of their lives’ however it can also leave both women and men feeling traumatised. Both of you may feel as though things were out of control for example if you had an emergency Caesarean section. L
ikewise, even if on paper you have had the most straight forward of births the experience can feel very scary.
The first weeks with a baby are probably the steepest learning curve that you will ever know and above all you do not really have any time in which to practice and therefore you make many mistakes along the way. For some this can further add to their stress and feelings of failure and subsequently, if you had expectations of everything being perfect it can leave you both feeling as though you have made a huge mistake.
If you are experiencing any of the above but you don’t feel that you can tell the other person that you feeling this way these difficult feelings may escalate. Therefore,
expressing how you are both feeling is key to being able to eventually getting back to normality. But how can you approach this?
The Charity Relate https://www.
relate.org.uk/relationship- help/help-family-life-and- parenting/new-parents/how- maintain-healthy-relationship- after-baby-has-been-born suggests trying to make time to actively listen to how each other is feeling by setting a timer for 3 minutes and taking it in turns to talk. In addition, it is recommended that you are as honest as possible, for example you might be feeling jealous that the baby is taking away time that your partner used to spend with you, similarly you could be feeling grief for the life that you have lost.
As human beings we need to meet basic needs to enable us to function. These include eating, sleeping, comfort of home as well as emotional needs, therefore it is important to talk about how you are both going to allow these to be met in the early days.
Take it in turns to sleep even if this in in the daytime in the early days.
Ensure you are both eating and try to keep to your normal eating routine. Get online shopping. Eat easily prepared meals and/or a takeaway if necessary. Use family and friends to help if you can. Some of your ideals for healthy home prepared meals may have to go by the wayside in the early days until you get back on track.
You don’t have to be perfect and it certainly won’t be in the first months with a baby. By the same token don’t try and do everything yourself as this will be very hard and can isolate your partner from you. Ask for help and admit how you are feeling. This usually serves to bring you closer together.
When the dust settles it may help to make a commitment to spend some time with each other. If you are lucky enough to have a family member or friend to stay with your baby even for a short time it can be invigorating to just have some time being just the two of you again and reconnecting as a couple.
Sex after having a baby is different for every person. There is no set time to wait to have sex again but it has to be when you both feel ready. Your body can feel very different following birth. You may feel less confident about how you look, additionally you might take some time to heal from stitches or still be bleeding.
The key again is communication. You can still have intimacy while not having a full-blown night of passion and talking to each other about how you feel should ensure that you can both feel comfortable and satisfied that you are still able to connect on that level.
In conclusion, having a baby changes your life forever and subsequently your relationship with your partner goes through a change too. Although the first months can be full of emotional turmoil and physical challenges, keeping an open communication with your partner will only serve to improve the situation. It may take a bit of work to facilitate this new way of living but if you go into it with commitment to be open with each other your relationship will grow for the better.