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To say having a child won’t impact your relationship just wouldn’t be true. It’s a major change that means major adjustments to your life with your spouse or partner. But this change isn’t a bad thing, you just have to know it’s coming and make sure to acknowledge and adjust when it does.

First of all, having a baby will impact intimacy. From the physical changes associated with pregnancy and delivery that make intercourse uncomfortable or impossible to the drastic altering of your schedule that makes finding the time (or energy) difficult, you have to work to keep the passion there. Find other ways to be intimate and show each other you care, like giving one another a massage, and be appreciative of each other’s efforts and limitations.

Second, bringing a child into your family will impact your schedule, and this means  less one-on-one time with your spouse or partner as well as  reducing your alone time. Your child will demand constant attention from day one and that doesn’t always leave much time for doing things together like you used to. This is why it’s important to ask for help from those you love and trust, to allow you some time to get out of the house, recharge, connect and spend time with your friends both as a couple and as individuals.

Third, expanding your family will impact how you deal with challenges and this one, for sure, is a good thing from the get-go. Nothing helps you learn to problem solve and think on your feet like having a baby. You’ll be amazed at how resourceful you become, to keep that little one happy and you and your partner sane. Just be sure to do what you can to keep your stress levels in check by giving each other time to unwind, especially in the early days. Positive praise for each other’s good ideas also goes a very long way.

The fourth way deciding to have a baby will impact your relationship is how you communicate. It’s a challenging experience in so many ways — from preparing for the arrival to coping with midnight feedings and then choosing a pre-school — and the importance of open and honest communication really becomes clear. Keeping those lines of communication open allows both members of the relationship to express their emotions, fears and hopes, which can only strengthen a relationship.

Lastly, having a baby will bond you forever in such a unique and special way. Your relationship is no longer about the two of you, and considering the bigger picture becomes that much more important. Learning to work together and support each other throughout parenthood creates a bond rooted in so much more than common interests. Children are incredibly perceptive and can pick up on the dynamic between their parents. Doing what you can to be strong, positive and supportive in front of them makes them feel safe and will help them succeed.

These changes to your relationship may seem like tests at first, but as your family grows, your relationship will continue to evolve. Respecting each other and acknowledging each other’s contributions and needs will help to reinforce the foundation of your partnership for years to come.

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