You may have thought that having a baby with your partner will draw you
even closer together. But even the strongest of bonds are tested during
this transition to your new roles as parents and the stress and
responsibilities that go along with that.
So today, grab your other half and let’s talk a little about couples' self
care for your relationship!
According to a study by the Gottman Institute around 67% of
couples are unhappy in their relationship after having a baby .
This can be even until 3 years after the birth!
You are not alone in this. Most of us may expect an experience out of the
movies with relationships getting stronger and deeper than ever after a
magical birth. Well, the reality is that when you throw in lots of sleepless
nights, feeding frustrations and the time and attention that it takes to be
a new parent you are more likely to have some challenges.
According to new studies, one-fifth of parents split
within the first year of having a child. It is important to recognize when
you need support and to give attention and time to your relationship.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Engage the services of a postpartum doula.
Enlist some support. Birth doulas are well-known among many couples.
Postpartum doulas provide postpartum care to mothers and couples. A
postpartum doula is a non-medical practitioner who has been qualified to
"mother the mother."
Postpartum doulas have received instruction in newborn care and
breastfeeding and lead parents through the highs and lows over the first
few months. This can take some pressure off you both and give you both time
Spend more time listening to each other.
Your spouse can't read your thoughts, regardless of how close you were
before the baby arrived. Your lives are changing, and you both need to
learn about it.
If you're resentful, furious, or frustrated, you and your partner need to
communicate this to each other.
Ask if this is a good time to talk, if not give an alternative time.
Be open with your needs: do you want a hug or to feel understood?
Use active listening which is a technique that requires the
listener to thoroughly absorb, understand, respond, and retain
what's being said. Which means you need to listen while your
partner talks instead of thinking of what you are going to say
Feeling hurt, try to practice “I feel” “ I think” “I’d like”
statements to focus on your own feelings rather than pointing
fingers at the other person.
Pick a weekly time to talk about the difficult things .
Carve out alone time.
If this is your first child, you will be astounded by the amount of
attention a new baby necessitates—as well as your newfound loss of freedom.
Enlist your family, friend or a babysitter to help you have some alone time
together. Curling up with your favorite TV show for half an hour, heading
for a stroll, or relaxing down in a café with a cup of coffee is
Prioritize Your Well-Being and Focus on The Basics
Each of you should have some “me” time built in . Use your weekly
“meetings” or “check ins” to schedule some of this for yourselves.
Focus on the essentials to help care for your emotional well-being so you
can be a good partner. Those fundamentals include:
Friends and Family support network
Practice Gratitude and Kindness
Simply saying thank you to each other at least daily and speaking with
kindness can be a great start.
You can even share three things you love about your partner and three
things you're grateful for with your partner to turn that gratitude into a
shared experience. Try this weekly or even daily.
Sometimes things are taken too seriously! Lighten up and find moment’s to
laugh together as you both are on this journey of parenthood together.
You are not a relationship failure if you encounter some challenges.
Remember most couples go through this. Be proactive in safeguarding your
relationship with some of these tips. Your marriage after childbirth may be
different but can be one of compassion, affection, and maturity.
Please reach out to our MaternalWell couples counselor if you would like a
session to discuss strategies on strengthening your relationship before or