Nurturing Your Relationship During Pregnancy
Quick: What's the single most significant relationship you'll have in your new life as a parent? Surprise: It's not the one you'll share with that beautiful baby you'll be bringing home. It's the one you share — and will continue to share — with your spouse, a fact baby-crazed pregnancy couples can be quick to forget.
After all, fetuses grow into babies, who grow up into older children, who grow up and move out of the house (and it happens a lot faster than you can even imagine…trust me!). But a spouse is with you into old age, with a little luck and a lot of hard work. So it's extra important (and challenging) to keep the love alive and maintain a strong relationship during pregnancy.
That said, there are sure to be some changes in the dynamics of your twosome once baby makes three. These shifts and potential strains on a couple’s relationship during a pregnancy are inevitable — because in spite of how little they are, babies tend to make a big impact on their parents' lives! But if you play your cards right from the start, they can actually be changes for the better.
The first thing you guys will need to do is to start thinking of yourselves as a couple again — instead of just a couple of parents-to-be. Of course, you'll want to focus plenty of attention on your pregnancy and on your baby — and you should, as long as you remember to keep your relationship front-and-center rather than on the back burner. Your baby doesn't have to come between you (though your growing belly definitely will!).
Wondering just how to nurture your relationship? You probably have some pretty good romantic tricks you can pull out of storage, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Schedule in romance. Now's a good time to start a weekly date night — something you'd be smart to continue after baby's on board (though in the first few months, you may be having those dates at home.…).
- Good, easy date night ideas: 5 Date Night Ideas
- Be spontaneous. As often as you can, for absolutely no reason at all, surprise your partner with an affectionate touch or kiss, a flirty compliment, or an impromptu jump into bed. Feel free to get frisky and adventurous. Just make sure you keep pregnancy sex safe and fun.
- Mix baby business with relationship pleasure. Cap a trip to the baby store with dinner and a movie (and don't forget to hold hands in the dark) or follow that ultrasound appointment with lunch at your favorite al fresco spot.
- Be naughty. Amp up the passion! Leave him suggestive messages he'll find in his pocket that will make him think of you (and think of you, and think of you).
- Chat him up. As often as you can, put your relationship first. Don't just email him 20 times a day to ask him if he's remembered to pick up the dry cleaning or those paint samples for the nursery, write to him sometimes just to tell him you love him and can't wait to see him.
- Remember the other four-letter word: Talk. Communication is always important in a relationship, but it's especially essential for couples during pregnancy, since things between them can change pretty quickly. Be sure to talk through changes instead of just letting them happen. And keep the lines of communication open even once baby's on the scene, when talking uninterrupted will be more challenging but but also more crucial than ever.
- Get away while you still can. Plan a romantic getaway before baby makes a trip for two a lot trickier, and if you plan to fly during your pregnancy just get the okay from your doctor before you hit the open skies. Pick a place with comfortable beds and room service (wink, wink).