Changes in your relationship during pregnancy

Pregnancy starts a new phase of your relationship with your partner. You can expect a natural shift in roles as well as attention to and expectations of each other.

  • If you are new to parenthood as a couple, you will notice that your focus on each other is evolving into something new—attention to a third party, your future child. After the birth, you will get to know each other in new ways, as parents.
  • If you have one or more children already, you are already familiar with the limited couple time available to parents. In the face of increased parenting demands, also give your adult time together high priority.

For many couples, pregnancy is an exciting time of change. Along with change, however, can come stress and new challenges. Many couples find that pregnancy poses new financial and emotional concerns that they hadn't anticipated. Some couples find it useful to see a counselor before or after the birth, to help achieve a healthy transition from "couple" to "family," or from "family" to "larger family."

Although pregnancy is generally considered to be a happy time for couples, 1 in 6 women experience domestic violence while pregnant.1 See physical abuse during pregnancy if you are concerned for your safety.

Citations

  1. Cunningham FG, et al. (2005). Preconceptual counseling. In Williams Obstetrics, 22nd ed., pp. 189–200. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Last Updated: November 28, 2008

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