Your identity changes during pregnancy, particularly if it's your first pregnancy. You start it as a woman and you end it as a mother. That's a transformation that's so big and encompassing that you might forget sometimes that your partner is making a huge transformation too. Your relationship with each other changes during pregnancy too as you make the shift from being a couple to being a family (or a bigger family, if you have other children).
Although it's not the case with every couple, women tend to think more about life changes before they happen; men are more likely to respond to them after they occur.
You and your partner may be at different stages in your thoughts about parenthood. It's important to communicate about what you're going through. Talk with your partner about the expectations and fears you both have of parenthood. Let him know what you're thinking and feeling and ask him to reveal his thoughts and feelings too.
One of his fears may be that when you become a mother, he'll have to share you with the baby. He may also worry that when you have a baby you'll have less interest in the sexual part of your relationship. It's best to talk openly and patiently about these issues before your baby is born because life gets pretty hectic after delivery, and finding time to sit down for a heart-to-heart isn't as easy.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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