How to Handle Relationship Stress During Pregnancy: 10 Ways
In This Article
Pregnancy is a glowing phase for many couples alike. This is the time that couples bond and come closer to each other.
It is the time when two people realize that they will be bringing and raising another human life, and the woes of pregnancy and the expectations that come with a baby are bound to change the relationship dynamics.
Relationship stress during pregnancy is quite normal. The changes in your body, the obvious curves, your bulging tummy, and the raging hormones you might experience can throw you off balance when nurturing your relationship during pregnancy with your partner.
You and your partner may feel connected at one point, and at another moment, you may feel emotionally exhausted and isolated.
If you and your husband cannot agree on even one thing and are constantly fighting, then don’t worry because these fights are common.
Having a baby is a life-changing event and can drastically change a couple’s relationship during pregnancy.
At the same time, a supportive relationship matters during pregnancy. The pregnancy hormones can impact would-be mothers differently. Some might experience a mix of high and low emotions, while a few others might feel vulnerable or anxious.
Such stress during pregnancy can affect the otherwise healthy and hearty relationship between the couples.
How does your relationship change during pregnancy
Deciding to have a baby is as easy as preparing for the new member of your family. The moment you realize you’re expecting, changes will follow.
If it’s your first time, you know it’s nothing you’ve ever expected. This is where relationship stress during pregnancy occurs.
Everything about your relationship changes when you’re having a baby. Here are just some things that will change.
– It changes how you look
– How you see yourself
– You always think about the worst-case scenario
– You become worrisome about the future
– Priorities change
– Sex will change
If you want to know how to deal with the changes, you can read more here.
Why do relationships fall apart during pregnancy?
We have to understand that relationship stress during pregnancy is normal. It’s not just the woman’s body that’s changing; even the partner will undergo changes as well.
These changes could cause a stressful relationship during pregnancy, but if the couple knows how to deal with relationship stress and work together, it could strengthen them.
However, a relationship during pregnancy could also fall apart. This is when there’s constant fighting during pregnancy, stress, misunderstandings, and resentment.
If the couple continues to pile up these negative emotions, combined with the growing changes in their relationship, then there’s a greater chance that they might choose to give up on their relationship.
Let’s dig deeper why relationships fall apart during pregnancy.
How does relationship stress affect pregnancy?
Relationship stress during pregnancy can have a significant negative effect on both the physical and emotional health of the person carrying the unborn child.
Studies have proven that relationship stress is associated with a higher risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and other complications. All the negative emotions and stress can also contribute to emotional distress for the pregnant woman, thus leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Stress can also affect the couple’s relationship, leading to more stress and strain. Therefore, learning how to stop stressing during pregnancy is important.
What types of stress can cause pregnancy problems?
Stressing while pregnant can’t be avoided, but some factors lead to pregnancy problems. If not dealt with properly, this could lead to a relationship breakdown.
Let’s first understand what types of stress can cause pregnancy problems.
– Pregnant women can feel needy and clingy. They can’t help it as their bodies are experiencing drastic changes. This can put pressure on their partners, and sometimes, when needs are not met, they could cause stress.
– Each partner will experience distinct changes; sometimes, because these changes are so different, we feel like we’re not being understood. Adding the daily stress of work and responsibilities can all lead to resentment.
– Sudden changes in your sex life and intimacy will also significantly affect a couple who’s expecting.
– If you’re not financially ready, issues about finances, added cost of checkups and vitamins, and the incoming cost of giving birth can also put pressure and stress on the couple.
These are just some of the most common types of stress that can cause pregnancy issues between couples.
10 ways to deal with stressful relationship during pregnancy
Breaking up during pregnancy is not unheard of. Couples who are unable to cope with stressful relationships can end up parting ways post-pregnancy. Marriage problems during pregnancy are common.
Partners must understand that relationships change during pregnancy and find ways to reduce stress during pregnancy and deal with relationship stress easily.
So if you are dealing with a stressful relationship during pregnancy, then don’t worry because
mentioned below are some tips to help you handle relationship stress during pregnancy.
1. Keep in mind that communication is key
Since this event is life-changing and can drastically impact your relationship with your
partner, you must keep the doors of communication wide open. If you and your partner do not talk or communicate and keep your feelings and problems to yourself, then your relationship is bound to be stressful.
To deal with relationship stress during pregnancy, you must communicate and tell your partner how you are feeling and what you want and your partner. In addition, you should focus on your feelings and consider your situation.
Now, you have to understand there are hardly any scripted guidelines on how to avoid stress during pregnancy. It depends entirely on the partners to find out how to deal with pregnancy stress.
Communication is the only key to addressing relationship problems while pregnant to smartly handle relationship stress during pregnancy.
2. Make time for each other
Amidst the visit to the hospital, gynecologist, and Lamaze classes, it is essential that you and your partner take some time out of your busy day and spend that time with each other.
Remember that even though you are carrying the baby, your partner is also going through changes, such as the feeling of having a baby and being a father.
It is important that you talk to each other and spend time with each other to let the other person know that they are not alone. Go out for a movie or a romantic dinner in a fancy restaurant and enjoy being with each other.
3. Give space
On the other hand, you don’t want to be continually breathing down your partner’s neck. If you are
pregnant and stressed by your husband constantly, you need to ask yourself whether you are bothering him too much.
Arguments and fights will not help; rather such conflicts will only add to the relationship stress during pregnancy. Enjoy the time you spend together but also spend some time apart and give the other space.
This is how you can easily deal with relationship issues during pregnancy.
4. Breathe before you speak
It is no surprise that pregnancy hormones can make you moody, cranky, and emotional, so when you feel a mood swing taking place, stop, breathe and ask yourself, “Is this really who I am?”. This simple trick can prevent a lot of arguments and issues and can help you deal with stress even before it starts.
5. Change your routine
Rather than being hell-bent on what you and your partner used to do and arguing over it, try to be flexible and modify your routine. Unsurprisingly, things are bound to change, so what is the point in arguing about it?
Instead of doing the activities you used to, such as golfing or swimming, try to do more relaxing activities, such as spa sessions or getting couples massages. Choose activities that you both can enjoy.
6. Keep intimacy alive
Unsurprisingly, the intimacy level during pregnancy between you and your partner can go down drastically. This is one of the most common reasons for relationship stress during pregnancy. In the first few months, you are busy with morning sickness, dealing with exhaustion and mood swings, so that sex can be the last thing on your mind.
Related Reading: 8 Ways to Help You Overcome Intimacy Problems During Pregnancy
7. Prioritize self-care
Help yourself relieve relationship stress during pregnancy by finding ways to relax while pregnant. Start with self-care.
As your pregnancy progresses, your hormones will kick in and you’ll feel stressed, tired, and emotional. Learn to cope by treating yourself better.
Sometimes, self-care is when you take a nap despite having tons of laundry, giving in to your pregnancy cravings, or just staying in bed the whole day without feeling guilty.
The same goes for your partner. The pressure and stress could also take a toll on them. Allow them some time off to relax and focus on themselves occasionally. If you both do this, we can minimize the chances of breakdowns.
Did you know your body has a built-in, natural ability to calm anxiety? That’s good news, right?
Emma McAdam, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, explains how you can calm anxiety with your built-in anti-anxiety responses.
8. Spend time with your family and friends
Some women become paranoid during pregnancy, and sometimes, their partners become too confused with this new emotion that they fight and have issues to resolve during pregnancy.
This is again because of hormones. So, to prevent misunderstanding, you can have some time off and visit your family or friends. Go out, breathe fresh air, and have other people to talk to.
Because you have more people to talk to, the fewer chances that you’ll feel suspicious, neglected and paranoid about your partner.
Your partner will also enjoy unwinding with their friends and family.
9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Pregnancy itself can be tough, and so is dealing with relationship stress during pregnancy. So, don’t handle it alone. You and your partner should ask for help if you need it.
Refrain from facing everything on your own. Your family and friends would be very much willing to help and assist you in your beautiful journey to parenthood.
There are also times when stress might be too much, so seeking professional aid can also be helpful. Remember that reaching out for help doesn’t mean you can’t deal with your life or are not fit parents.
It just means that you and your partner will appreciate additional help for you and your future bundle of joy.
10. Enroll in childbirth classes
Relationship stress during pregnancy can be overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. So, if you’re expecting for the first time, remember to enroll in childbirth courses.
All your anxiety, worries, and questions about your pregnancy, childbirth and childcare will be answered here. Aside from that, most childbirth cases will include your spouse, so it’s a wonderful experience for the two of you.
Instead of being caught up with issues, stress, and misunderstandings, you can spend quality time when you enroll in these classes. This will also help you become more confident parents.
You get to bond, learn, and understand more about your pregnancy and what to expect when the baby is born.
Some commonly asked questions
Here are some answers to questions that might have come to your mind when considering relationship stress during pregnancy.
Is it normal to have relationship problems during pregnancy?
Yes! It’s quite common for expecting parents to experience relationship stress during pregnancy. This is because pregnancy can cause significant physical and emotional stress for both partners.
It’s not just the woman who will change; her partner will also work. Most of the time, these changes can take a toll and could cause relationship problems while pregnant and expecting.
Changes during pregnancy, such as hormonal fluctuations, physical changes, and the anticipation of a new family member, can create tension and misunderstandings.
Do a lot of couples break up during pregnancy?
Breakups and relationship changes during pregnancy can happen. As we’ve discussed, pregnancy could bring major adjustments and life changes in a relationship and without the proper guidance and support, some couples cannot solve their problems.
This could make them feel physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, which can drive them to end the relationship for good.
We just have to remember that every relationship is unique, and many factors can contribute to a couple’s decision to end their relationship during pregnancy.
Why do I feel so insecure in my relationship while pregnant?
Pregnancy can be a time of significant change and uncertainty. Because of the changes happening in your body, you might feel insecure. Hormones, physical changes, fear of the unknown, and the feeling that you’re drifting apart could all contribute to these negative feelings.
Don’t feel hurt if you’re feeling like this. Instead, find ways to relax while pregnant and don’t forget to talk to your partner about these feelings. Don’t allow these mixed feelings to harbor resentment toward your partner.
Your partner might not know what you’re dealing with, so it’s important to talk about it. Again, you’re both experiencing changes here.
Talking, self-love, and self-care could help you with your stress and replace them with positive thoughts that will benefit you and the unborn baby.
How do I deal with a breakup while pregnant?
Sometimes, a stressful relationship during pregnancy could lead to a breakup. The woman carrying the unborn child may experience emotional difficulties in this challenging time.
The child and the mother could be in danger if stress is not managed, but how do you do it? How can someone who’s pregnant deal with a breakup?
- Seek immediate support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family. It would help if you had them now more than ever.
- Take care of yourself. Don’t skip meals; continue your prenatal checkups, and sleep. You have a baby inside you.
- Allow yourself to grieve. It’s not wrong to grieve. It may help you move on. Allow yourself to feel the pain, but don’t dwell on it.
- Focus on your baby. Remember that your unborn child needs you. Reassess your priorities and be strong.
- Seek professional help. If you have difficulty coping with the breakup, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Remember to focus on healing and then focus on yourself and your baby. You have a whole new life ahead of you.
In a nutshell
As months pass by, your baby bump becomes more and more evident and finding the right position for intercourse that will be pleasurable to you and your partner can be even more difficult. In such situations, it is advised to discuss how to make it work with your partner. Moments such as farting and barfing should be taken lightly and dismissed as a joke.
After all, pregnancy and relationship problems are common, and every married couple has to pass through this phase during their marriage if they have a baby. So, it would help if you learned how to reduce stress during pregnancy. Hence, remember to talk to your partner and spark the romance.
You and your partner must remain calm and cooperative during this hard time. Women should remember that even though they undergo many physical changes, their partner is also undergoing mental changes, so that they may feel stressed and scared.
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey for two people who are in love. But the relationship stress during pregnancy that can come with this life-changing experience will disappear when you see your little one sleeping in a crib next to you!
It entirely depends on you and your partner and how you learn to handle relationship stress during pregnancy and enjoy the phase with your partner.
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