Having a baby can be a truly magical experience. From pregnancy all the way through to when you hold that little baby for the first time, families feel excitement and euphoria. Not just the parents…extended family and friends all join in on the enthusiasm. After the baby is born, things may feel different. This can be unexpected. Hormonal changes can make a new mother feel depressed or helpless, causing anxiety and questioning her ability to take care of her new baby. Partners may feel confused, unsure of what is happening, only aware that things have changed.
It is important to remember that relationships change when you add a baby to the mix. When I say this, I do not mean that relationships have to change for the worse. It’s just different. A new mother might view the relationship with her own mother as changed – she may now see her mother as more of an equal. They now have a common bond that was not there before. Relationships with providers may feel different, more trusting and intimate. Her relationship with her partner might feel different as well; this is no longer just a lover or best friend, they are now co parents.
It is hard to imagine what it feels like to be a parent before you actually become one. It is even harder to know how your partner will react to this new role until it happens. Because of this, it can be hard to prepare. Some new families find that connecting with each other, understanding each other and nurturing one another is not as easy as it was before the baby was born. How do you keep it going? Some couples worry about what their sex life will be like after baby. My concern has always been more about the relationship itself. It is so important to find the time to connect in other ways, and these little things can get lost when you are figuring out life with a newborn.
We talk about this a lot in our Parenting Village circle group called Out of the Blue. Admitting that your needs are different, talking openly about concerns and having empathy for your partner can go a long way. Check out the link below for some great ideas on how to cultivate your relationship and make the adjustment a little easier on both of you.