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Postpartum Changes in your relationship with your partner

Having a baby causes a huge change in your relationship with your partner.

Added to that are the stress and anxiety related to becoming new parents and a sleeping schedule that is different from what both of you are used to. This is a time when you have to keep your communication open, honest and constructive. Regularly discuss, calmly and normally, things like who will be changing diapers, doing chores and soothing a crying baby. Be clear about when you need help or expect your partner to step up – don’t expect them to see it and react without asking. When you are having a rough time or argument, it’s important to give yourself some time to cool off before responding
- it’s more important to talk about what made you angry and working on how to solve the problem than to have a heated argument about why you’re angry. It’s normal for your emotions bubble up occasionally – it’s tough to keep your nerves and practice empathy when you’re exhausted or unsure if everything is alright with the baby. If you feel things are getting out of hand or if you feel you have some issues you need to discuss and work through, couples therapy can be very valuable.

Always remember that you have to give your partner the space and time to grow into becoming a parent. He or she will not do things exactly the same way that you will and that’s ok as long as you share the same overall values.

Making time for yourself and your partner
Although it is challenging in the first few weeks postpartum, it’s important over the longer term to make sure to make time for yourself but also time for your relationship with your partner (if you have one).
This can be simple - enjoying a cup of coffee or tea together, a walk around the neighbourhood or going out while grandparents mind your sleeping baby.
In the first three weeks postpartum you probably won’t want to be having sex. Your body is still sore, you are still bleeding after birth and you likely aren’t sleeping much. There are other ways to be intimate and express love with your partner, like cuddling, enjoying each other’s company, massage or non-penetrative sex. Whatever works for you, be gentle with yourself and don’t feel pressured into anything and don’t feel like you have to do something you aren’t ready for.
Sex will be different after having a baby, you will need to take things slowly and gently and likely use lubricant. It’s a good idea to initiate sex when you know that baby has been fed and will probably sleep for at least an hour before stirring. Remember that you will ovulate before you get your first period so if you’re having penetrative sex, you also have to consider contraception that is compatible with breastfeeding. Even if you’d like to have another baby soon, give your body time to recover
and recuperate before another pregnancy, give yourself time to rest and recuperate and to devote to the baby you have now. There is no rush.