Impact of Pregnancy on Relationships
Getting pregnant – planned or unplanned – is a huge challenge for any relationship. Joy and excitement are matched by fear of the unknown and possible worries about whether or not they’ll make good parents, can afford this life change, or even that they will both want to be together forever as a commitment to this new life. ‘Silly’ worries may play on the mind but seem too small to voice, and then all of the sudden they become big worries usually just because he/she hasn’t bounced them around in discussion with his/her partner. Before starting to try for a baby, or once a couple sits down and realizes it’s real, they should discuss potential pitfalls and how they might overcome these together.
Pregnant women, not all but many, find that the changes to their hormones, plus subliminal worries about this huge event to come – the birth – take a toll on their emotions. They should look for natural remedies to stress and bad moods where they can. If the male partner makes small jibes, it might be because he is anxious about the birth in some way.
Almost all relationships these days are far more equal, so men shouldn’t be afraid to voice worries to their partner. It will help them get some better perspective. Also they shouldn’t feel redundant – they are going to have a huge job helping their partner through the birth. They should take time to find out about pain relief, birth options, which hospital to use, etc. with their partner.
Once the baby arrives there will be new challenges; both partners will have less time for work, for themselves, and for each other. But if each partner is honest with the fact that being a parent is a wonderful but serious deal, they can really begin to relax and enjoy it.
Mom’s have their own challenges to confront. Pregnancy temporarily robs them of the bodies they’re used to; a couple of extra pounds and dark circles under the eyes from late-night feedings can make a woman feel self-conscious and less attractive to her partner.
Suddenly relatives and even acquaintances have endless stories and advice about child rearing. Family members may drop by unexpectedly or schedule regular visits to see your baby. Although you know they just want the best for the baby, their constant pressure can make you feel even less in control of your own life and household.
Communication is the best tool to defuse anger and prevent arguments. Partners should be honest with each other, but try to maintain a sense of humor. They should be willing to compromise too. When disagreements arise, the conflict can be resolved by making time to discuss the issues, and each partner explaining clearly why he or she is upset. Even though the baby has made a family of three, the two parents still need time together as a couple to keep that relationship strong.
Compiled by Rebekah Weagraff, dramaturg.