Our latest episode of the show is all about how to fortify your relationship before baby arrives. We speak with Marisa Belger who is the co-author of The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother about important topics soon-to-be parents can discuss together.
Marisa makes an observation that it is common for women to expect that once the baby is born, everything (body, relationships, social life, etc.) will eventually go back to the way it was before the pregnancy. "There's no going back," she says, "only through". Having your expectations out on the table will allow you and your partner to embark on the adventure of parenthood with eyes wide open. Becoming parents together changes relationships in many ways. Proactively addressing those changes will empower you to strengthen and enrich your relationship even if you and your partner don't necessarily have the same definition of how things will be.
Here's an excerpt from the book of the "Four relationship-saving questions" that we discuss on the program:
Fortify Your Relationship
In the third trimester—that’s right now!—make some time to ask each other four essential questions that can help avoid unnecessary stress. You may not have the exact answers, but simply bringing these topics to the table before baby gets here can set the foundation for a strong relationship later.
- How will we divvy up baby-caring responsibilities?
- How will our finances be influenced by baby’s arrival? (This includes the time, if any, that the mother will be taking off from work and any professionals that will be hired to help.)
- How will our sex life be affected by the addition of a newborn?
- How will our social lives change once baby is here?
Why is it a good idea to talk about these things before you have your baby?
- You'll have more time and attention to dedicate to hearing your spouse or partner's feelings and ideas. It's tougher to have detailed discussions about complex issues when there's an infant in someone's arms.
- There's more time to make any necessary preparations (e.g. hiring a house cleaner, arranging for friends to pick up other kids from school)
Listen to Marisa on episode 19 of the Fourth Trimester Podcast:
(If the Google Play link does not work for you, check out our recommended alternative here: https://www.ottoradio.com/podcast/fourth-trimester-podcast--the-first-months-and-bey)
And do make sure to add this book to your baby registry, or buy it for the soon-to-be parent in your life: