COUPLE RELATIONSHIP DURING PREGNANCY: Changes & challenges

A positive relationship between the pregnant woman and her partner plays a vital role during the transition to parenthood. A poor relationship can contribute to mental health disorders during pregnancy and post-childbirth period.

Factors that contribute to a decline in a couples relationship:

1.Lack of sleep & exhaustion: Children are needed to be taken care of by the parents round-the-clock. This could lead to tiredness, exhaustion, and insomnia. Research has shown that fatigue/ tiredness/sleep disturbances can impair the couple relationship after the childbirth.(Ref 1)

2.Increasing conflict: A common reason for conflict is the sharing of the household work. After the childbirth, women often have to take up more responsibility in the household. The perception of unfair distribution of household duties could lead to argument and conflict.

3.Less time together: While meeting the demands of childcare responsibilities and household work, couples often do not find much time to spend together to share values and support each other. As a result, either of the spouses might feel lonely, isolated and less supported.

4.Financial problems: This could lead to stress and feelings of insecurity for the future.

What can help to prevent a decline in the couple relationship?

1.Preparing for parenthood programme: A structured programme for the couples could help them to provide a realistic expectation of parenthood also to deal with common relationship difficulties such as conflict resolution and communication skills. ASTER NURTURE programme help couples during such situations, for more information please connect with us at http://www.asternurture.com/ and take this opportunity to attend the free sessions provided.

2.Spending together more quality time: Spending some time together to discuss and appreciate each other’s happy moments, challenges and difficulties of parenthood would ease relationship challenges.

3.Getting Good social support: Support from the family, friends and healthcare professionals could be helpful in reducing the stress of parenthood.

Dr. Jisha Pradeep

Specialist Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Aster Hospital, Mankhool

Reference:

1.Medina, A.M., Lederhos, C.L. and Lillis, T.A., 2009. Sleep disruption and decline in marital satisfaction across the transition to parenthood. Fam Syst Health 27, 153–160.