After Pregnancy

Keeping Romance Alive After Pregnancy

Many couples have a hard time keeping the romance alive in their relationship during pregnancy and after the baby arrives. Sometimes, the problem is simply that couples can't find the time or energy to do all the things they used to do. In other cases, the issues become more serious, and couples end up growing apart at a crucial time in their relationship, when they should be becoming closer than ever.

Mood changes don't necessarily stop when the baby is born and the woman's hormones start to normalize. Postpartum depression, if and when it strikes, can have a major impact on your relationship. Many women also struggle with body image issues during and after pregnancy, feeling less desirable because of the weight they had to gain to ensure a healthy baby.

The Impact of Post-Pregnancy Life Changes

While the nature of the problem is different for every couple, there are contributing factors that many couples face. During pregnancy, the physical and hormonal changes that are occurring in a woman's body can leave her subject to fatigue, irritability, mood swings and lethargy. When one partner's energy level is much higher than the other's, it's natural for some conflicts to arise. Female partners may also feel like they're bearing the brunt of the burden of pregnancy alone, while the male partner's day-to-day life is largely unchanged. And both partners may feel stressed out over all of the new baby expenses. Resentment can build and lead to arguments.

Sexual intimacy also changes during pregnancy. The female partner must take extra caution not to engage in any activities that cause her discomfort or may injure or disrupt the baby; this can take some of the spontaneity out of physical romance, and sex is sometimes uncomfortable for one or both partners. Pregnancy can also have unpredictable effects on the female sex drive: some women report increased libido, while others see a sharp reduction in their desire for sex. Unevenness in desires for sexual activity can wreak havoc on a relationship that may already be strained by other factors.

Needless to say, most couples have to make an extra effort to keep the romance alive during pregnancy and after the baby is born. Children create added pressure in any relationship. However, it's doubly important that you and your partner work through any issues in a productive, rational and healthy manner to ensure you give your children a love-filled and positive environment to grow up in.