If you or your partner are pregnant with your first child, your priorities in life may have subtlety shifted. Perhaps you’re thinking about saving more money and this has become a higher priority than buying clothes, or maybe you are trying to eat more healthily and are starting to spend more time cooking. Has your home become a nest that you’re furiously trying to organise and clean instead of relaxing on the sofa?
For many couples, this is a journey they are skipping along, excitedly preparing for the birth of their precious bump. However, with the impact of the baby’s arrival, which has been likened to ‘throwing a hand grenade into a relationship’, your priority reshuffle may be more like a big shake up.
Somewhere in the top three priorities, will be sleep. That seems to be universal. Other than this I don’t want to make too many generalisations. Perhaps personal hygiene slips to number nine on your list, sleep moves to number two, and baby takes first place. Or maybe you will be eagerly working extra hours to give your family a better future, moving work to your priority hotspot and sliding everything else down. Will sex even make it in the top ten anymore? And will caring about your appearance be demoted after your baby vomits on you for the second time in a morning.
For many women this reshuffle can be bigger than a man’s. The physical changes on your body alone can have a huge impact. It’s really important to communicate how you’re feeling and it’s vital you both have patience with each other as you go through this. If you’re feeling particularly exhausted and sleep is all you want to do, it’s understandable and it’s ok to ask for that support. Likewise, if sex has drifted way down on your list and your partner is feeling unloved it’s ok to acknowledge this. Being open about stuff has got to be better than pretending everything is fine.
In the first months and years of your baby’s life it’s easy to feel like you’ve lost your identity. However, maybe it’s not as serious as that, perhaps it’s just a priority reshuffle that needs to happen. The change can take a while to settle, to organise itself, and as sleep goes back to its original place, so other things will move around. You’ll have become a person with more responsibility, a busier schedule, you will have grown, and you’ll have so much more love in your life. The reshuffle can be tough, however it is worth it.
Hypnobirthing prepares you for the birth of your baby and some of these stress management skills will stick with you throughout parenthood. Many hypnobirthers continue to use the visualisation and relaxation techniques they’ve learnt through hypnobirthing.
If you’d like some help to prepare for your baby’s birth, or help coping with stress now that your baby has arrived, please get in touch via my contact page.