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3 Relationship pitfalls after baby

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate statio...

Getting used to baby

Sharing the responsibilities as new parents can help you grow as a couple and feel a deeper connection. Navigate this new territory together and talk through any issues right away!

adding baby to your relationship

The bond you and your partner feel as new parents can make your relationship stronger and bring you closer as a couple. But new responsibilities - emotional, physical, and financial - that come with caring for a new baby can also add strains to your relationship. Now that you're a family, it's time to recognize and work through those tough times you are likely to experience.

Less sleep and alone time together can mean that you disagree more often or aren't as patient as you used to be. Maintaining a relationship demands time and energy - exactly what you have the least of right now!

Things are different

Your relationship will never be exactly the same again, but it could be better than ever! Look at it as being in a new phase instead of wondering if the two of you are off track. Adding a new baby to the family changes the dynamic. You'll have to work harder to schedule alone time together as a couple, and your normal social activities may take a backseat to caring for your newborn. If you're on maternity leave, there could be additional financial pressure. Neither of you will get the amount of rest you're accustomed to, and you may feel that your partner isn't pulling their weight with the extra work such a small person causes: more laundry, less time for household chores, fewer opportunities to get errands done. Don't try to be Superwoman. Ask for help when you need it. You might be surprised at how willing your partner is to share the load.

Interrupted sex life

When the baby first comes home, moms spend most of their time caring for them. And after giving birth, many women find that their sex drive just isn't as strong as it once was. Most often this is due to exhaustion, and the need for healing time after having the baby. You may also feel uncomfortable with the changes in your body that pregnancy and childbirth have caused. Most couples get their sexual relationship back on track in a few months. Doctors usually recommend waiting 4 to 6 weeks before resuming intercourse. Other love play and showing your partner extra care can help until things are back to normal. Let him know that he's still important even if you don't have as much time alone together right away.

No time to talk

Before the baby arrived the two of you had time to talk for hours and made all decisions together. Working on your relationship pays big dividends, especially after you welcome a new baby. With so many new responsibilities in both of your lives, it's critical to talk. Tell your partner how you feel, and stop what you're doing to really listen when he talks to you. Hearing each other out will help keep small issues from escalating into big problems. Schedule the time if you have to, but keep your communications open and natural.

 

More on new parents:

Sex after baby

10 Ways to make time for sex after baby

Caring for your body after baby

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