Pregnancy can be the most magical time in the lives of some couples. For others, it can feel like an emotional roller-coaster of stress, excitement, and fear. Once sitting on that ride, there is no turning back anymore and that can be an overwhelming feeling for a lot of couples. While pregnancy usually brings happy couples closer together, sometimes it can be the cause of a lot of tension and strife in a relationship. Emotions are high and it can be difficult to get on the same wavelength.
It’s important to remember that you and your partner are in this together and you guys have each other. Instead of isolating yourself during times of struggle, learn to lean on each other for the support that you need.
When you guys work as a team, you will be ten times stronger than what you could do on your own. Staying mindful of the situation you are in and focusing on positivity is a great way to keep a strong relationship over the nine-month journey. Just like anything worth having in life, remaining close as a couple during pregnancy is going to take a lot of work. However, it is definitely possible, and here are 15 ways to do it.
15 You’ll Get Scared Together
Let’s be honest. No matter how much you wanted to have a baby, once you see that positive pregnancy test, the fear starts to set in. You will begin to ask yourself if you made the right decision. Are you really ready to become a mom? What if you don’t know what to do? The great thing about having a partner in crime is that you guys can get scared together. It is so important not to hide the fears that you guys have, but to talk openly about them instead.
According to Health & Parenting, all pregnant women feel scared at some point.
Sometimes that fear comes from the idea of the horrific pain that labor and delivery will bring. Other times, that fear is simply questioning your worth as a mother. While a little fear during pregnancy is normal and usually comes and goes, it is still good to talk about it. If you keep it all to yourself, nobody will be able to tell you that what you’re feeling is normal. And, your partner might be able to comfort you by explaining that he has all those same fears too. Maybe he is worried about your labor because he is worried about you! Either way, you are not alone!
14 Go On A ‘Babymoon’
Babymoons are fun and exciting getaways that many expecting couples take a little before their little one is expected to arrive. It is one last chance to bond and reconnect as a couple before adding to your growing family. There are many reasons that babymoons are sought after but MamaNatural.com lists the first reason to be because you can. If you don’t have kids yet, and the doctor has cleared you for traveling, there is nothing holding you back from taking a mini vacation. It will give you and your partner some much-needed sleep and relaxation before your baby arrives, and it will allow you two to get out of your daily grinds and decompress a little.
Gaining perspective on your life is also a really valuable thing to do, and going on a babymoon will provide you with an opportunity to think about how you want to raise your child and what future you want to provide for them. Also, throwing in a little bit of romance into the trip will rekindle the spark between you and your partner and provide you with some awesome quality time. And, if you are lucky, you can probably take some super cute maternity photos.
13 More Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy is not something that needs to stop just because there is a bun in the oven. According to WebMD, pregnancy doesn’t actually always bring couples together. It is not uncommon for happy couples to actually come apart at the emotional seams once a pregnancy begins. A lot of this has to do with the fact that physical intimacy usually comes to a dead halt but neither partner understands why.
While doing the deed itself might not be an option during parts of your pregnancy, that doesn’t mean the physical intimacy needs to stop. According to the experts, it just involves a slight shift in thinking.
Apparently, couples assume that if they can’t be physical then they have to stay away from each other altogether.
In reality, there are many other ways to experience intimacy and stay close to your partner during this time. You simply have to get creative and brainstorm what you guys would like to do together.
It is important for couples to realize that intercourse and climaxes are not the only way for them to remain physically intimate. Dennis Sugrue, past president of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, and co-author of Sex Matters For Women says that “stroking and caressing, and sometimes just getting undressed together and sharing the way that vulnerability feels, can help keep bonds of intimacy strong between partners -- even if intercourse isn't occurring.”
12 Tell Each Other Everything
There is no doubt that a pregnancy adds a little bit of stress to any relationship. You guys are bringing another human being into this world. It is no longer just going to be the two of you anymore. The anticipation of your little one’s arrival can actually bring a lot of anxiety into many aspects of your relationship. Healthy relationships rely on a good amount of open communication. According to NCBI.gov, good communication skills are vital to raising a family. And, for the couples who already enjoy the aspects of healthy communication, parenthood will be a very fun and pleasant experience.
Communication skills within couples is actually a major influence in pregnancy anxiety. Women who have a less positive relationship with their pregnancy partner have higher rates of anxiety during their pregnancy. It makes sense when you really think about it. Communication is the key to so many components of our life. If there is no outlet to discuss things that are bothering you or to talk about the positive aspects of your day, all the emotions will just build up.
When you have someone as a partner that you can truly trust and open up to, it will make your life and pregnancy much more positive. Open and honest communication usually makes us feel better once it’s all said and done, but everything is magnified when you are pregnant.
11 Let Your Guard Down
Let’s face it, we all have walls up in relationships that we are in. Slowly, once we become more comfortable with our partner, those walls begin to come down. For a lot of us, we think that pregnancy is a sign that a couple is totally comfortable with each other. However, you might be surprised to know that some people actually put their guard back up when a baby is conceived. According to Verily.com, it is very important to let your partner in and ask them for help during your pregnancy because this will lead over to after having the baby as well.
For many of us, asking for help is something that we are not used to. When we are stressed or have a lot on our mind, many of us shut down, close ourselves off, and try to solve all of our problems on our own.
It is important to make a conscious decision to include your partner in your decisions and your emotional journey. The closer you guys can become while the baby is growing, the stronger you will be once that baby arrives. Just think about it, you don’t want to have all these walls up with your partner when you are dead tired and struggling to feed your baby in the middle of the night. You want your guard to be down because that vulnerability will help you two grow even closer during this time.
10 'Icky' Takes On A Whole New Meaning
In the early stages of relationships or even marriage in general, sometimes couples will still be in this “best behavior” stage. This is where they still try not to do gross things around each other because they are worried about how they will be perceived. Once that barrier comes down there is truly no going back. And, one of the easiest ways to destroy that barrier is pregnancy. Pregnancy is a magical and beautiful experience. But, it is also brutal, and extremely gross at times.
One woman I knew took medicine for her labor pains but the medicine actually made her sick. She wound up vomiting and having diarrhea while trying to push out a baby. Talk about nothing grossing you out after that. Another friend of mine who recently gave birth actually needed a little help getting the baby out. They used a sort of suction method that actually caused her to rip completely open down there.
She lost so much blood that she almost needed a blood transfusion. And, her fiance watched the whole thing unfold. Once you get past all the aspects of pregnancy and labor, it’s fair to say that you and your partner will not be grossed out by much after that.
9 Fit Together Like Spoons
Spooning is a super easy way to feel close and intimate with your partner. Many couples spoon while they fall asleep at night simply because they like feeling their partner’s body so close to them. Spooning is simply when a couple lays front to back and fit together like spoons. However, it is not just a way to cuddle with your partner. A lot of people actually enjoy spooning as an intimate position and the great thing about it is that it works wonderfully when you are pregnant.
According to Parents.com,
the spoon position can be very cozy and intimate. It is also a great option for late pregnancy because it allows you to control the angle and keep some weight off of your belly.
Some women even choose to put a pillow between their legs to release stress from their knees. Because intercourse can be a scary thing for some women as their pregnancy progresses, the spoon position remains a favorite for many reasons. She doesn’t have to worry about intense thrusting or even being uncomfortable with someone on top of you. Spooning allows both people to lay comfortably on their side, while also enjoying an intimate moment together.
8 You And Your Partner Will Grow As A Team
According to Health & Parenting, it is very normal to feel isolated during the first few months of your pregnancy because it is common not to share the news publicly when you are so early along. It can be extremely difficult not turning to your friends for advice or shouting to the world that a little baby is on the way. However, this actually provides you with some amazing quality time for you and your partner to grow. Parenting is all about teamwork and it is a very difficult job to do all on your own. That is why relying on your partner as a solid teammate is so crucial.
You both are about to become parents and have this lifelong journey to prepare for. So, prepare for it together. Talk about everything. Tell each other your fears and your hopes and dreams. Comfort each other and enjoy this little secret that you have together. Before long, everyone will know that you guys are expecting a baby and it won’t be something just between the two of you any longer. However, pregnancy is a long journey and you will need a teammate with you through most of the ups and downs. The nine months will go by fast, so truly focus on growing stronger with your partner during this time.
7 Your Bodies Will Grow Together
According to Fatherly.com, men gaining sympathy weight during pregnancy is totally normal. Just because the male is not the one carrying the growing little baby, it doesn’t mean that the nine-month journey will not result in some added pounds. Just think about it. Their woman will have pregnancy cravings and probably demand In-N-Out burgers at midnight more than once. She will be eating for two, but the guys are not.
The other thing that a lot of people seem to forget is that stress eating is a totally real and normal thing. The idea of becoming a father is actually pretty scary and stressful for a lot of guys, even if it was what they wanted and planned for.
Pregnancy is a journey that both mom and dad go on, but this also makes the post-baby weight loss journey something that you two can do together as well.
But, if you want to take action before your little sprout is even born, Fatherly.com recommends doing more outdoor activities that are still pregnancy friendly. For example, the two of you can do daily walks, light swimming, or even daily stretches and yoga. The key is to stay active and you both will actually feel better this way. Plus, it will make that extra baby weight much easier to shed.
6 Allow Your Emotions To Grow Deeper
Pregnancy is a very vulnerable time in many people’s lives. It is a dramatic shift in daily routines, future plans, and your entire outlook on life. For those of us who are lucky enough to be on this pregnancy journey with a partner, it is a wonderful time to allow your emotions to grow deeper with each other. Both of you are in this vulnerable state that will allow for more depth in your relationship. According to TalkSpace.com, pregnancy inevitable changes the way relationships work, but this does not have to be a bad thing. This could actually be a really great change.
Again, communication is the key to allowing your emotions to truly grow deeper. You both can discuss your hopes and dreams for your family’s future. You can talk about your fears and how you will work through them together. Simply knowing that you have a partner in crime with you who will be there forever is such a warm and comforting feeling. It is such an easy way to allow you both to get even closer before the baby arrives. Consider planning out times to talk throughout your day or week in order to stay connected amidst your busy schedules.
5 Be Honest About Your Expectations
This one is so important if you truly want to avoid fights and disagreements during your pregnancy. Often times, us girls just naturally assume that guys should know what we want before we even mention it. We think they should be able to read our minds. This is very common, but it is also very unfair for the guys. Often times, there are men in our lives who are more than willing to do whatever we ask of them. All they want us to do is ask! And, that shouldn’t be too much for us. Primer Magazine made it clear that pregnancy is not always fun. The guys have it exceptionally easy, and they know this.
Being honest about your expectations from the beginning will help your pregnancy run smoothly. For example, if you really want your man at every single doctor's appointment with you, you better make that clear up front.
He needs to know that it is a priority for you. Or, if all you really care about is him running out in the middle of the night to feed your crazy pregnancy cravings, let him know that you really need him to step up and do that for nine months. Whatever your expectations are, make sure that he is on the same page and understand what you need.
4 Give Your Guy The Credit He Deserves
We know we know, guys have it way too easy when it comes to pregnancy. It is really not fair. But, what are we girls supposed to do? Blame them for their biology? It’s not their fault that they can’t give birth to a child. And, for a lot of loving and supportive fathers-to-be, they will do everything they possibly can to make sure their baby mama is taken care of and comfortable. Sometimes they go above and beyond what is expected simply because they love and care about us that much. However, with all the crazy pregnancy hormones and mood swings, we can easily ignore these acts of kindness and not show them the gratitude that they deserve.
Primer Magazine points out that pregnancy can still be a very emotional and stressful time for guys as well. And, just because they aren’t in the pain that pregnant women are, does not mean that their feelings are invalid. So, give them credit for what they do right. Show that you appreciate them and are happy to have someone around that you can rely on. Guys love getting kudos for things, so even if it was just a simple act of kindness, don’t forget to show your appreciation.
3 Don’t Neglect Each Other Because Of The Baby
Having a new baby around can make it very easy for parents to shift their focus on what they think really matters, which would be the new baby. However, EveryDayFamily.com put it best when they said, “You’re exhausted, and you just want to sleep. But if your spouse is feeling neglected and you don’t address it now, you’ll have bigger problems as the chaos of the first year subsides.”
Spousal neglect may sound petty and childish but it is so real with couples who have recently brought a new baby into this world.
Before the baby arrived, if your husband was craving a little bit of attention and some affection, you would have happily given it to him. However, now you are tired and cranky because you’ve been taking care of a baby all night and you don’t want to deal with another one. Of course, this is the wrong mindset to have. Don’t get annoyed or frustrated just because your partner wants to feel a little bit of love from you.
So, in these situations, do your best to show that you love your partner and are not neglecting them. Even in the midst of your exhaustion, a simple hug or cuddle can make a world of a difference.
2 Read Parenting Books Together
Some people think parenting books are overrated, but this could not be further from the truth. Parenting books have amazing content and information that will really help you down the line. However, reading these parenting books together is actually a great idea for many reasons. Mostly because, if both of you have the information in your brain, you won’t feel like the expert while your partner is the novice. You both want to feel equally ready and prepared for this baby and the best way to prepare is with loads of information.
Of course, if reading together at night isn’t really working out with your schedules, another possibility is to simply set aside some time for each of you to discuss what you learned in the different books that you are reading. This way, you both receive the valuable information but you don’t have to read the same books. LitHub.com said it best when they explained that reading a bunch of parenting books won’t make you an expert on the subject, but it will help prepare you for this new change in your life. Parenting is like becoming a new person: a mother or a father. And there is a lot out there to learn about that lifestyle shift.
1 Go Out Of Your Way To Be Sweet
When we are in the early stages of our relationships, we usually go out of our way to be extra sweet. We surprise our person with donuts in the morning. We give them massages after work. We even let them pick which show they want to watch because we just want them to be happy.
However, as time goes on and we get more comfortable in our relationships, we naturally start to get a little selfish again.
We start wanting the massages and we start wanting to pick the restaurant or the movie. While this is totally normal, it is also important to keep in mind that a little bit of sweetness can go along way in a relationship no matter what stage of life you are in.
During pregnancy, emotions are heightened and MomJunction.com explains that many women are easily irked during stages of pregnancy. However, it is important to try to keep these under control and to just show kindness and happiness to those around you. This is because if you are rude to people or your partner, you will feel bad about it later and that will cause you to be unhappy. Therefore, focusing on positivity is a win-win for everyone.