Welcoming a new baby into your family is a big deal and you may worry it will disrupt your connection with your partner. In fact, having a baby can be a great bonding experience, and you may find you and your partner are closer than ever in the months after the baby arrives.
Becoming parents takes your relationship to a whole new level. However, the baby will indeed eat up a lot of your time and energy, especially in the early days. But, fear not; you still have time before the baby arrives, and now is the perfect time to connect with your partner.
Here are seven ways to connect with your partner before birth:
1. Date your partner
If you are expecting your first child, people probably keep telling you to go on dates while you have the chance. This can be frustrating to hear because it seems to imply you’ll be housebound as new parents. But, people just mean that the hassle and cost of finding a babysitter mean you’re more likely to use these occasions for significant events (like weddings and anniversary dinners) than for a trip to your local cinema.
Try to plan regular dates for the final months of your pregnancy. For example, you could catch a movie at your local cinema, go see a play at the theatre or try out that new restaurant in town. It doesn’t need to be expensive; it’s an opportunity to spend some time together before the baby arrives.
2. Exercise together
Daily exercise is great for everyone, but it’s especially important during pregnancy. Staying active throughout pregnancy could improve your birth experience and help you recover sooner after your baby is born. Exercise is also an excellent way to lift your mood, reduce pregnancy aches and pains, and improve your sleep.
Why not enjoy a daily walk together before or after work? This will also give you time to chat away from the distractions in your home. Alternatively, you could try doing yoga together at home. It’s essential to check that the yoga workout you do is suitable for pregnancy, so stick to prenatal yoga for the time being. You could swim, cycle or do any other type of exercise you both enjoy.
This may sound silly, but your communication skills will be more important once you are parents. It’s too easy to fall into bad communication patterns when tired. So improving your communication skills now will serve you well for years to come.
Set aside time to have honest conversations about what keeps you awake at night. You may worry about the birth or how you’ll cope as a new mother. Perhaps you’re worried about money, or the impact motherhood will have on your career. Whatever your anxieties are, keeping them to yourself will only make them bigger.
Be honest with your partner about how you feel. They will have their own anxieties. Give each other space to feel heard. Sometimes it helps to know somebody else is worried about the same thing you are.
4. Ask for a pregnancy massage
Your partner might not know how to give massages, but the internet is full of instructional videos, so don’t accept that as an excuse. Your body is tired and aching from lugging his baby around all day; the least he can do is release some tension for you.
Invest in some pregnancy massage oil and make a pregnancy massage part of your wind-down routine at the end of the day. Dim the lights, get comfy and enjoy having your aches and pains gently massaged away.
If you’re feeling generous, you can even return the favour.
5. Take a hypnobirthing class
Hypnobirthing isn’t as hippy-dippy as it sounds. It’s not about being hypnotised; it’s about staying calm during the birth. A hypnobirthing course will prepare you and your partner for the birth. By the end of the course, you’ll know what to expect from the birth, and you’ll have many ways to stay calm and in the zone during contractions (sorry, surges).
Your partner will play an essential role in the birth room. Not only will they advocate for your needs, but they will also be your primary source of support. The hypnobirthing course will prepare them for this role and give them ideas on how to best support you during the birth.
It will also give you time as a couple to prepare for the birth. A well-informed partner can make a massive difference in the birthing room. By the end of a hypnobirthing course, your partner will know what to say during contractions; they will learn how to offer physical support during contractions and how best to help you have a positive birth experience.
6. Decorate the nursery together
As you switch from partners to parents, your relationship will change. Having a baby is a life-changing event, and you are about to embark on this journey together. Decorating the nursery is one of the first jobs you can tackle together as parents-to-be.
From the planning stages and Pinterest boards to the painting and finishing touches, you can work together to create a nursery your baby will enjoy. However, don’t leave this job to the last minute; it takes a surprising amount of time to pick out baby items because you’ll spend hours reading reviews to get everything right.
7. Go on a babymoon
Take a babymoon before your baby arrives. Go away and relax before becoming parents. Read books, eat exotic foods, and take moonlit walks on the beach. You won’t regret spending this time together before your baby is born.
Book a weekend stay in the country if you can’t afford a holiday. Or use some holidays from work and spend time together at home. The location isn’t important; what matters is that you spend the time relaxing together and recharging your batteries before your baby is born. A babymoon is a chance to spend time together and enjoy each other before life changes forever.
Having a baby will strengthen your relationship and tie you together in a way nothing else can. Very soon, you will be welcoming a new member to the family. You are probably both desperate to meet them, but in the meantime, enjoy these final weeks as a family of two.