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The Postpartum Blog

My Relationship Feels Different Since the Birth of Our Baby! How Do I Navigate This?

Becoming a parent is a major life transition and it can have a huge impact on your relationship. The postpartum period can be especially challenging as the demands of parenthood can heighten emotions. In this blog we will explore strategies for navigating the changes in relationships postpartum.

Communication After Baby

Many couples experience an increase in fighting and a decrease in positive interactions after the birth of their baby. Couples who communicate more effectively are more likely to experience greater relationship satisfaction and lower levels of stress. Communication can be especially challenging as you are sleep deprived, overwhelmed and adjusting to your new roles as parents. Consider trying these tips:

  1. Practice active listening.
    When your partner is speaking, listen to what they have to say instead of thinking of your response. It is okay if you need to pause after they speak to think of what you want to say.
  2. Set aside a “connection minute.
    Life with a new baby is very busy. Make it a priority to set aside 5 minutes a day to ask about each other’s days and how your partner is feeling.
  3. Use “I statements”.
    When you are telling your partner how you are feeling use “I statements. This can help prevent feelings of shame and blame. For example you may say “I had a really hard day with the baby.” Instead of “ You were not home to help with the baby.”
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Connection After Baby

Relationships can take the back burner after the baby is born. It can feel that the baby’s needs are the priority over your relationship and that there is little time to connect. Research shows that connection with a partner benefits overall wellbeing and increases relationship satisfaction. 

Postpartum connection tips:

  1. Find an activity that you like to do together.
    This can be an activity that you do with or without the baby. Do you and your partner like going for coffee? Prioritize a once weekly coffee run to spend a few minutes walking to the café and having a moment to sip some coffee together. Are you and your partner movie enthusiasts? Set aside a night to watch part of a movie together.
  2. Express gratitude.
    You are both doing so much for this baby and your baby does not have the verbal capability to thank you yet! This is where your partner’s gratitude voice  comes in. When you notice that your partner is doing something for the baby express gratitude verbally such as “ I love how you give the baby such a gentle bath, look at how the baby looks at you, we are so grateful for a mom like you!” or “ I love how you prioritize tummy time with the baby, thank you so much for playing with him in such a loving way”. Although it might feel silly at first , it can be a powerful way of expressing gratitude in your new roles.

Overall, it is normal to notice changes in your relationship after your baby arrives, however communication and connection are still extremely important. By trying out these tips we hope that your communication and connection improves. If you feel you need some more tips, new techniques to try and a safe space to express who you are as a couple, consider couples counselling. Couples counselling can help your relationship manage this big change, while moving towards the couple that you want to be! Reach out anytime—we are here to help.

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My Relationship Feels Different Since the Birth of Our Baby! How Do I Navigate This?

By: Laura Brunskill MSW, RSW
September 21, 2023

Becoming a parent is a major life transition and it can have a huge impact on your relationship. The postpartum period can be especially challenging as the demands of parenthood can heighten emotions. In this blog we will explore strategies for navigating the changes in relationships postpartum.

Communication After Baby

Many couples experience an increase in fighting and a decrease in positive interactions after the birth of their baby. Couples who communicate more effectively are more likely to experience greater relationship satisfaction and lower levels of stress. Communication can be especially challenging as you are sleep deprived, overwhelmed and adjusting to your new roles as parents. Consider trying these tips:

  1. Practice active listening.
    When your partner is speaking, listen to what they have to say instead of thinking of your response. It is okay if you need to pause after they speak to think of what you want to say.
  2. Set aside a “connection minute.
    Life with a new baby is very busy. Make it a priority to set aside 5 minutes a day to ask about each other’s days and how your partner is feeling.
  3. Use “I statements”.
    When you are telling your partner how you are feeling use “I statements. This can help prevent feelings of shame and blame. For example you may say “I had a really hard day with the baby.” Instead of “ You were not home to help with the baby.”
1080x1080 FB Ad Photos JLF 1 Postpartum Counselling Centre

Connection After Baby

Relationships can take the back burner after the baby is born. It can feel that the baby’s needs are the priority over your relationship and that there is little time to connect. Research shows that connection with a partner benefits overall wellbeing and increases relationship satisfaction. 

Postpartum connection tips:

  1. Find an activity that you like to do together.
    This can be an activity that you do with or without the baby. Do you and your partner like going for coffee? Prioritize a once weekly coffee run to spend a few minutes walking to the café and having a moment to sip some coffee together. Are you and your partner movie enthusiasts? Set aside a night to watch part of a movie together.
  2. Express gratitude.
    You are both doing so much for this baby and your baby does not have the verbal capability to thank you yet! This is where your partner’s gratitude voice  comes in. When you notice that your partner is doing something for the baby express gratitude verbally such as “ I love how you give the baby such a gentle bath, look at how the baby looks at you, we are so grateful for a mom like you!” or “ I love how you prioritize tummy time with the baby, thank you so much for playing with him in such a loving way”. Although it might feel silly at first , it can be a powerful way of expressing gratitude in your new roles.

Overall, it is normal to notice changes in your relationship after your baby arrives, however communication and connection are still extremely important. By trying out these tips we hope that your communication and connection improves. If you feel you need some more tips, new techniques to try and a safe space to express who you are as a couple, consider couples counselling. Couples counselling can help your relationship manage this big change, while moving towards the couple that you want to be! Reach out anytime—we are here to help.

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