Pregnancy and your relationship
During pregnancy your relationship will change. Even if you are both looking forward to the arrival of your baby with enthusiastic excitement, the mix of expectation, anxiety about the relatively unknown territory of parenthood and, of course, those unpredictable hormones can all add up to the occasional relationship drama.
Don't blame it all on pregnancy, though! In most relationships, some occasional arguments are a normal part of being a couple - with negotiations over everything from whose turn it is to put the bins out to what channel to watch on TV - sometimes causing friction that turn calm words into angry shouts.
Take a step back to really examine what you are arguing about and why - then try to work out a way to make it better.
As parenthood looms ever closer, it is natural for both you and your partner to have occasional worries - fears over changing finances, perhaps, or simple the realisation that certain freedoms won't ever be quite the same again.
Certain aspects of the pregnancy experience may bring up different emotions. For many, fears over how you will cope with labour can be enough to make tempers fray. Writing a birth plan together could be one positive way to be involved as a couple in important aspects of the decision-making surrounding the birth of your baby. Make sure your partner knows what you would like to happen for you and be sure to explain why you have made the choices you have. The labour ward is not a great place to start an argument!
Your partner's feelings
Try to imagine what your partner is feeling at this time in your life. Although he is not experiencing the physical side of your pregnancy, many of the emotions run just as strong.
His fears about labour may be different - worries that he may not be able to cope with supporting you properly while seeing you in pain - but they are still real. He may have worries about how he is going to provide for you and your new baby on just one income, or he might simply be worrying about whether he will be able to change a nappy properly.
Try not to diminish anything he is feeling and accept that, although it is different, his concerns are still important to him. As well as encouraging him to listen to you, make sure you give him time to talk about what he is feeling.
you are going through this together.
Sex and pregnancy
For some women, pregnancy is a time when your sex drive runs at an all-time high. For others, sex is forgotten. Often it is simply the tiredness and nausea in the first trimester that can see your sex drive wane - many women who have been disinterested for the first few months find that things get back to normal within the second trimester. Physically, provided your pregnancy is free from complications, there is no reason why you can't enjoy your usual level of sexual activity throughout.
Don't worry about sex during pregnancy harming your baby - the muscles of your cervix ensure that your uterus is sealed. Try not to let concerns over your body shape affect your sexual self-esteem. Many men believe that a pregnant woman is incredibly sexy. Your own confidence can have a huge impact. Enjoy your fullness and he probably will too.
During different stages of your pregnancy you may need to re-think some favourite positions - the tender breasts typical of the first trimester can make missionary position uncomfortable, while deep penetration in later stages of pregnancy can also be uncomfortable. Side-by-side positions often work best and are great for cuddling, too.
Even if sex is the last thing on your mid, try to make the effort to connect physically with your partner in other ways - holding hands, massage, or kissing. You are about to take the biggest journey of your lives - enjoy it together.
This article was written by Claire Halliday for Kidspot. Sources include Relationships Australia.