Useful information on how to reasure your partner about your pregnancy and the imminent birth of your baby.
Your partner could be harbouring secret fears about your pregnancy and the imminent birth of your baby. Common worries are:
Is my partner/baby all right?
While you have constant physical evidence of your pregnancy, your partner does not. He might feel ignorant of what's happening and that he'll look silly if he asks questions. It may help if you encourage him to attend antenatal appointments with you.
How do I feel about the baby?
Seeing a scan and hearing your baby's heartbeat can reassure your partner and help him to connect with your unborn child.
Will I ever see the inside of a pub again?
Being pregnant does not mean cancelling your social life. You can still have nights out and conversations that do not revolve around your pregnancy. It might seem too soon to talk about babysitters, but it's worth discussing your prospective support system (grandparents, neighbours or friends) with your partner, and working out how you will manage time together. Bear in mind that small babies are extremely portable and friends can always come round to your place.
Why is she so grumpy?
Mood swings are caused by hormonal changes and are completely normal in pregnancy. You may be acting hypercritical and irritable, your reactions to minor events will be exaggerated, you will feel unsure of yourself and panicky sometimes, and you may even have bouts of depression and crying. None of which add up to a happy relationship. Try to smooth the waters by confiding in your partner, letting him in on your feelings may make him less likely to feel shut out.
Will we ever have sex again?
Sex need not stop because you are pregnant. Experts say that, during a complication-free pregnancy, you can enjoy gentle love-making right up to the point at which waters break.
Most couples start their partnership as equals, but with the birth of a child the balance of the relationship changes. Both of you bring unspoken expectations of the roles of "mother" and "father" from your own childhoods. Half the couples interviewed in a survey felt their relationship had declined in the year after the birth of their first child, while the other half felt it was stable or had improved. The longer the marriage continued though, the more the children were felt to be a binding force.
Top tips to protect your relationship
- Practise the art of compromise.
- Accept each other as you are not as you think you ought to be.
- Remember why you got together in the first place.
- Enjoy all the good things about being a family.
- Nurture each other as well as the baby./li>
- Talk. talk, talk to each other.
- If you need more help, try contacting Relate.