Nurturing Your Love Before and After Baby

Before and after baby can be a tenuous time for a couple. So many things are changing at such a rapid pace it can catch a couple off-guard. It’s easy to get swallowed up in the preparations for a new life, that the current life may take a hit and feel less than exciting. You had a spark when you brought this new life to be, so where is it now? How can you find it and keep it?
Patrick A. Coleman wrote on eight simple ways to keep the spark alive during pregnancy. He suggests talking about something besides pregnancy. This is important for both parties. You need to remember you are people as well as being part of a pregnancy. Going on dates, having sex and taking a “baby moon” (a trip before the baby) are also excellent suggestions to keep having fun and enjoying each other’s company. Communication is a critical part of each of these suggestions. The better your communication is before the baby, the better the communication will be after the baby. Patience is another underappreciated, yet vital trait. Be kind with one another as you grow, change and become new parents. The changes don’t stop here!
Many couples worry about sexual activity after the baby. Patience and communication is essential to this transition as well. Viola Polomeno, RN, BSc, MSc(A), PhD, conducted a study where couples voiced their biggest worries about postnatal sex, including physical matters, psychological issues, adaptation issues and anticipatory planning. Take comfort in knowing that concerns and questions about this topic are very normal for many couples. Explain your fears and get full support from your partner to help reduce your anxiety. Planning ahead to keep romance and eroticism in the relationship will keep couples on track with goals for their personal lives. Consider taking a class or reading a book together about postnatal sexual activity and birth control to help start these conversations. 
Author Max Luscher (“Colors of Love,” 1996) defines love as “a garden where feelings of understanding, unity, attention, helpfulness, respect, and responsibility must be sown before they are reaped.” Both parties should be invested in loving and sustaining each other during these transitions. Knowing that your life changes will ebb and flow helps to weather the bumpy parts of the road. Keeping the spark alive and having healthy sexual activity after baby are both very possible endeavors with planning, love and patience. 
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