Babies Can Be Hard On A Marriage.

Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything in Between and The Mother of All Baby Books: The Ultimate Guide to Your Baby's First Year, is here at Pregnancy & Baby! Read Ann's advice on everything from keeping romance alive amidst the structure and stress of baby-making to weathering the storms of morning sickness to preparing for the birth of your dreams.
Ann Douglas

More Mom's the Word by Ann Douglas

Babyproof more than the house!
You already know how important it is to babyproof your home before your new baby arrives on the scene. What you might not realize is that it's important to "babyproof" your relationship with your partner, too. Here are some sure-fire strategies for staying connected with your partner when baby makes three.

Stockpile lots of memories before your baby arrives
Enjoy dinner out in a fancy restaurant, schedule one last pre-baby weekend getaway and have plenty of spontaneous sex. The special memories that you stockpile during the weeks leading up to your baby's birth will help the two of you to weather any relationship challenges that you may face during the months ahead.

Be prepared for a bit of a rough ride after the baby is born
While a lot of couples find that their shared excitement about the pregnancy brings them closer together during the months leading up to their baby's birth, some of that closeness can be lost during the weeks after the baby's birth.

Both parents may be so preoccupied with caring for the new baby that they allow their relationship to take a back seat for the time being. It's perfectly normal for the focus to shift to the baby, but don't fall into the all-too-common trap of allowing your love for your baby to totally eclipse your love for your partner.

Make time for each other
Start thinking about ways the two of you will be able to fit "couple time" into your post-baby schedule. Plan to make spending time with your partner a priority, even if that means keeping your eyes open for an extra hour after the baby goes to bed or asking a friend or relative to stay with the baby for an hour or two so that you and your partner can have dinner out at a favorite restaurant.

Hint: If you can't bear the thought of being away from your baby quite yet, plan to have "date night" at home. Just one word of warning: you have to be prepared to roll with the punches. It's impossible to predict ahead of time whether the first hot-and-heavy kiss you've enjoyed in weeks will be preempted by the cries of a hungry baby!

Give it time to get back on track
Accept the fact that it may take time to get your sexual relationship back on track. A University of Wisconsin study of 570 new parents found that it typically takes bottle-feeding parents about seven weeks and breastfeeding parents about eight weeks to start having sexual intercourse again. Only 17 percent of couples who were surveyed reported having sex during the month after childbirth.

Remind yourself and your partner that this too shall pass
Until you hit the so-called "reward period" of parenting, try to lower your expectations of yourself and your partner so there will be less friction between the two of you.

Keep your sense of humor
A shared laugh at the end of a particularly rough day can work wonders by cementing the ties between you and your partner and relieving some of the tension of the early weeks of parenthood. Laughter is truly the best medicine, so make sure you keep a large bottle on

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