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Bringing a new baby home, especially when it is your first, means you have to be prepared to live a whole different lifestyle. This lifestyle can also have some pretty profound effects on your relationship with your spouse if you aren’t properly prepared for it.

Before bringing your new baby home, you will need to strengthen the bond between yourself and your partner so that when the time comes, which it will, you will be able to regulate conflict in a constructive way, increase or at least maintain your intimacy, and create an equal bond among your new family. Because both parents play a vital role in the parenting of a new baby, you will both need to have the same understanding of what is expected of the other in regard to being involved with the emotional and psychological needs of your baby. Realizing that being a good partner helps you to become a good parent is the first step. Once you both understand that, then you can continue to build and strengthen your bond.

A recent poll found that almost 70% of new parents experienced a noticeable decrease in their satisfaction in their relationships after their baby was born.”

Luckily, there are some ways that you can help prevent becoming one of those statistics. Before you bring baby home, you should have several serious talks about what you both expect when the baby finally arrives. You will need to discuss how the household duties will be distributed and who will be responsible for what aspects of baby care or if you will equally share them. While it is not possible for every couple, you should consider asking your partner to see if it is possible to take a parental leave of absence from his job, just for a short while right after the baby comes home.

While it does not occur in all women, many women experience a decreased interest in sexual activity after the baby is born. This decrease usually lasts from two to three weeks, so be sure your partner is aware that this is something that commonly occurs after pregnancy. This helps ensure that both of you are on the same page and he knows that it is nothing personal, just a fact of life.

If you have any concerns or fears about your ability to be a good parent or your partner’s ability to be a good parent, the time to bring it up is BEFORE you bring baby home. This will help prevent a lot of arguments from occurring during the stressful couple of weeks after bringing your baby home. During this time, you’re likely to experience a roller coaster of emotions, so starting with a strong foundation and belief in the parenting abilities of both you and your partner can really help make it easier.