Pregnancy can be stressful on even the most solid relationships. And once your baby's born, it's almost guaranteed you'll experience some disharmony. Only about a third of couples weather the transition completely unscathed, say researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle.
One of the biggest reasons couples hit rough patches is that priorities shift during pregnancy and after the birth of child. Your partner may be feeling pushed to the sidelines now and that will only get worse once your baby arrives. "In some cases it can take years for a man to recover from the resentments he started to feel during pregnancy," says Sheldon Walker, a marriage and family therapist in Calgary, Canada. "Those feelings can get stronger after the baby comes home." What can you do now to strengthen your bond?
1. Talk a lot. "Before your baby is born, talk about the roles that you'd each like to take as parents," suggests Walker. Will you be breastfeeding? Then maybe Dad can handle all the middle-of-the-night diaper changes? "It might sound silly to lay these roles out now, especially since things will almost certainly change once the baby actually arrives," says Walker. "But just having discussions about expectations will help prevent some arguments down the road."(Ye, betul.. agihan tugas kene ade)
2. Ask your partner what his dreams are for the baby. "Women tend to talk about what they hope for their children, but men aren't always as open about it," says Walker. Asking your partner what he wants for the baby — does he dream of coaching your son in Little League, or want to teach your daughter to play guitar? — will help him feel more essential to the whole experience.(Jangan harap la nak ajar anak kite main Bowling ye. No.. no .. No!)
3. "Every couple of days, check in on the state of your union," suggests Walker. Ask questions like: Are you feeling tired, left out, overwhelmed, irritated, satisfied? "Just touching base every two days or so — and, of course, doing what you can to help your partner — can actually preserve a relationship," he says. (Betul tuh.. dengar cakap En Walter nih)