“If I knew that having a baby brings the blues, I would have figured it out instead of feeling useless.” It commonly happens to new parents who have just had a baby. It is something that you don’t expect to happen. But the world runs it to you unconditionally.
Relationships come with their ups and downs. Though, you finally proposed and found the best day to marry her. Marriage can be an intimate union for both of you.
That’s why your neuron takes you to imagine and expect things to carry up a great marriage story forward. The pictures in your brain seem filled with ease and joy.
Like everybody else’s marriage, your marriage also has its own obstacles that you and your partner need to tackle.
For example, childbirth is one of the most common marriage obstacles.
How Does Marriage Change After a Baby?
You may expect marriage as the source of happiness until the pregnancy or childbirth phase takes place. As a husband, it is a pleasant moment to know that you will be a dad.
But, there are things both of you have to go through, especially your wife.
Pregnancy is a tremendous transformation for a woman as she will find so many changes in her body. She may not see herself as attractive as she used to be.
In most cases, she will gain more weight due to pregnancy. The body weight change is not entirely tied to the baby’s weight. It can be affected by your wife’s body type and eating habits during pregnancy.
Nevertheless, many changes are apparent to your wife, and she may see her belly, thighs, and arms are fatter and flabby.
We all know that it is such a massive effort to keep your body fit. Your wife may have been going regularly to a gym, running on the treadmill, or taking a pilates or yoga class. Your wife appeared fit and healthy as she makes you fall for her.
Constant Mood Shift After Childbirth
Apart from physical changes, as a new mom, your wife will also have emotional changes. Due to childbirth and many chemical changes in her brain, she is likely to become a moody person.
Sometimes, your wife can be so kind and calm but then feeling sad and mean for no reason. It can be difficult for you to comprehend a situation where you have no idea what to do.
Here, the statement of Dr. Ariel Dalfen, psychiatrist and a writer of When baby brings the blues: Solutions for postpartum depression may answer what is going on with your wife.
She says that new mothers frequently experience postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety disorder that ignites tons of emotional changes. In the book, she mentioned a statistic that says these conditions come up to 20% of new mothers.
However, these disorders are not only limited to mothers. Research estimates the symptoms impact 1% to 21% of new fathers. It means postpartum depression and anxiety disorder can affect you as well.
You are likely to feel a lack of love, and it may affect you to talk less to your wife. You may find it occurring for about 6 months to 1 year after childbirth until your relationship goes back to the right track.
The good news?
Those two symptoms are treatable, and once you understand them, it will be easier for you to deal with them.
First, you need to recognize the symptoms and educate yourself by asking experts or reading relatable books. Otherwise, when the symptoms come, and you cannot distinguish them, chances are your relationship with your spouse will greatly suffer.
How Your Wife May See Herself After Childbirth
To become a new mother, your wife has to face a new life. As you might already know, she was tied up with her career, making plans, and being successful. Now she may feel like losing her game and have to handle the baby eventually.
A sudden shift from a career woman to a stay-at-home mom can be overwhelming. She needs to do all mom-things such as feeding the baby, burping them, checking and changing the diapers, and putting the baby to sleep.
Those are the reasons why a new mom needs all the help she can get. Either from her parents, your parents, friends, or relatives. Otherwise. she barely has free time on her own.
It is also your job as a husband to pay more attention to your wife. Please note that a cesarean section or C-section birth can take a longer time to heal than natural childbirth.
If she has been through a cesarean birth, you want her to have bed rest instead of roaming around and doing errands. Ask her if she needs something and what she wants you to do.
Sometimes, her deep down heart wants to tell you that she needs your help to conquer the situation. But she won’t request as she may be afraid of being judged and ashamed.
Every mother is eager to be considered a strong mother who can deal with any circumstances and nicely take care of the baby. But she is still your wife who can feel hurt, lost, and in pain.
You might think that having a baby is a massive shift for both of you. The worst thing about this is that you become less affectionate toward her—both for her physical and emotional changes.
When you are struggling and wondering about leaving her because of her physical and emotional change, think again.
Those are the reasons why 67% of couples divorce after childbirth, but don’t let it be your reason too.
Yes, marriage will shake up a bit after childbirth, and that is why it takes a lot of courage to start a family. In this trying time, look back and remember the best moments you have with your wife. Picture the cute moments you will take with your camera as your baby grows.
Suppose you decide to divorce her after childbirth. It will only turn up to disaster for your new-growing family. I understand that it is not easy for you. There are so many changes happening. But it isn’t easy for your wife either.
Instead of running away, take this chance to grow personally and emotionally. Bear the responsibility of being a husband, a father, and a partner for your wife. Be sensible and keep the family well-going.
Dead Bedroom, Lack of Sex After Childbirth
As a husband, the frustrating situation in the bedroom may contribute to build-up tension between you and your spouse. Just after childbirth, your wife is unavailable for bedroom intimacy for a while.
Well, sex may be the furthest thing she can think about at the moment since it’s the very first thing that got her into a painful labor.
Before having a baby, you had so much enjoyment of being in the bedroom with your wife. You did the sexual routine according to your liking.
But now, you are concerned and might think that she has no interest in doing that again.
The baby came, but the sex went.
It may lead you to think that your baby has destroyed your life. You may believe that once the baby is born, your private space is now limited. Forget about the romantic date night; you may be spending date night at Walmart, shopping for diapers.
Eventually, a lack of affection between partners after childbirth emerges into a dead bedroom.
There’s a time you want to have sex, but it doesn’t happen.
It can range from the fact that your wife is busy with the new baby, she doesn’t get into the mood easily, or she is worried that something happened to the baby while both of you are having fun.
Not to mention that many relatives or family come to help her after childbirth and stay with you. She may not be comfortable doing intercourse with other people staying in the same house.
When intimacy and the obstacles are not communicated, they can lead to more significant problems.
In your head, you may think that she chooses the baby than you. Of course, you can’t do anything about it. The baby needs more attention. You don’t want your wife to think that you are selfish.
But at the same time, you also wish that your wife will pay as much attention as she used to. Unconsciously, you start to think your wife is ignorant of your needs.
Buried up feelings and thoughts are some of the reasons why you start disliking her. Over time, you may end up not wanting to have any sexual interaction with your wife, which will only put misery on both of you.
Besides her changing in priority, medical reasons can also contribute to a dead bedroom. The release of prolactin while breastfeeding can depress your wife’s libido.
You may also realize that her way of thinking about sex has changed. It can be due to her train of thought that when she thinks about sex, it is now about the tiresome pregnancy.
Now that you’ve understood what your wife has been going through and how childbirth may affect your marriage, it’s time to fix it.
Reviving the Love
There are so many things you need to change to reignite the love between you and your spouse. This approach requires you to go back in time. You need to go to the past that carried up your cherished moment with your wife.
Let’s be real.
Time goes on. You can’t stop or avoid these situations, doesn’t matter how much you try to evade them. Although childbirth brings joy to most people, there is also a set of risks that comes.
Now, what you need to do is fix the problems and resolve the situation by doing these things below to help your relationship go bright again.
You may have realized that it requires hard work to get back to your everyday life while managing to have a happy family at the same time. It’s not easy, and there is no guarantee that your life will be the same.
But, there’s always a way for those who seek it.
Here are 4 ways to revive the love between you and your wife after the baby came.
#1. Communication and Appreciation
Saying “You look great today” can be so empowering for your wife.
Communication is not only about greetings and delivers messages. It’s also about how to impress the person you are talking to and let them know what you feel and think.
After enduring pregnancy and childbirth, your wife needs an appreciation, especially moments after giving birth where she feels that her look is not the best according to some standard.
After a long hour nurturing the baby, she needs to be ensured that she still looks great to you, even though she hasn’t combed her hair for days and she smells like milk.
Find good things in your wife, and make sure you mention those.
Alongside, your wife expects you to listen to her. You may have to pay attention to what she’s saying, although it can sound too much to hear.
But, it will help you to gain a more empathic understanding and increase her affection toward you. You will know her exact feelings at that moment, and it helps her to get through it.
It doesn’t mean that you need to curb your feelings to make a place for hers. Share your worries and fears with your wife. You don’t need to be strong when you are not. It’s okay to cry together with your wife because neither of you knows how to take care of a baby.
When that moment comes, it’s time to ask for help from family, relatives, or friends. Ask them to give you a hand in handling the household chores, errands, or teach both of you to give a bath to a baby.
On a side note, making body contact is also helpful to spark love again. For instance, if your wife’s upset, try to calm her down by hugging her gently. Ask her about the problem so that you can help her to figure it out together.
#2. Visual your first date and the things that made you chose her
You were happy to meet her at that time. Did you remember how you want to have her number? Once you did, both of you texted all night on the phone.
There was the time when you began to encourage yourself to take her for a date, then she replied, “yes.” That was when you realized that you are gifted by having a real angel beside you. Then, it went into a more serious relationship as a marriage proposal came along.
There must be a reason for your decision before going to a wedding. You might adore your wife’s personality, beauty, or cleverness.
Remember how she had put up with you so far.
Didn’t she deal with you all the time? Didn’t she negotiate for you? How many times had she put herself aside to help you?
Visualize how she took care of you and helped you to be the person you are now. Try to recall the best thing that she was and remember that she is still that same person.
This method can help you construct your brain about putting your trust in her for being a good wife for the whole family. It can also help you understand that you are not the only one struggling and to help you remember not to take your wife for granted.
#3. Seek help from professionals
There are times where things are getting out of hand. When you find a severe problem, it’s time to ask for help from professionals.
For example, your wife may struggle with her mental health after childbirth, and it ruins her ability to function and take care of the baby. In this case, talking to a therapist can help you and your wife understand the situation better.
Notice the critical signs of baby blues when one of you:
- cannot function properly
- speaks and talks less
- thinks about suicide
- thinks about harming the baby
- develops anxiety
- does not eat properly
- does not get proper sleep
- feels guilty, worthless, or overwhelmed
- experiences extreme agitation and anxiety
- has hallucinations
- engages in bizarre behavior
You need the right experts to solve your problem. Postpartum depression is a severe issue, and it is better and safer when you reach professional help to get you through it.
#4. Avoid the same mistakes
Your parents can be a great example of what you should and should not do. Learn from your childhood and nitpick some of those experiences you want to pass on to your child.
Avoid making the same mistakes that your parents did. Instead, learn from professionals. If necessary, take a class to learn about parenting.
The fact that you are here now and reading Parenting-Hub is a good start. Ask your friends and family about their tips to manage the balance between fatherhood, marriage life, and career.
Gather all the sources you need to be the father you want to be. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s a lot of hard work to get there. But, if you are now in deep misery, the good times are about to come.
This Too, Shall Pass
Do you want your child to think that you’re a great dad? If so, it’s time to take a deep breath and calm down.
It takes a lot to have a baby, and you’ve been doing great so far. Negative feelings and problems you are facing at the moment will pass. All you need to do is bear patience, ask for help from people you know, and be with your wife.
She needs you more at this moment. It doesn’t matter if the baby and childbirth have altered her body shape. With your help, she can get back in shape in no time.
With professional help, she can have healthier mental well-being, and you will soon get the wife you know back. Plus the cute little mini-me who tries to walk by your side.