You’ll both ride the highs and lows of expecting a child ― dealing with happy moments, as well as potentially scary ones. During your journey to maternity, you’ll discover new things about your significant other, too, some of which may surprise you.
The way your husband responds to your needs ― such as food cravings or emotional breakdowns ― may also set the tone for your relationship during the pregnancy. “Husband should remain calm and supportive, especially when their wife complains of physical changes, pain, fatigue and lack of energy,” advises Dr Jessica Leong, a psychotherapist at JC Integra.
We list ways in which your relationship with your husband will change during those momentous nine months.
1. You’ll share a deeper connection
This comes as no surprise. After all, you’ve created a new life together and your unborn child has both your DNA running through its veins!
“Both husband and wife now have a common goal ― the impending arrival of the child,” Dr Leong adds. “This common goal creates similar interests and topics for discussion.”
The special moments you will share, such as seeing that positive pregnancy result, looking at your unborn baby on the ultrasound scan or feeling the baby move in your tummy will deepen that bond between the both of you.
“Upon learning that one’s wife is pregnant, a husband may suddenly feel that he is now genetically more connected to the wife through the unborn child.”
2. You’ll see how dedicated your husband is
Your hubby may already be responsible and caring before you fell pregnant, but once he learns the wonderful news, he’s likely to show his dedication even more.
“Pregnancy usually triggers a husband’s care and concern, especially when he notices his wife’s poor appetite and worries it may affect the unborn child,” Dr Leong notes.
So, don’t be surprised if your spouse starts googling healthy recipes online, making them for you and nagging at you to eat regularly. He may also do late-night runs to buy your favourite food just because you have a sudden craving for that dish.
Other ways your husband may show his dedication are by giving you massages when you complain of aches, checking up on you even when he’s swamped at work or surprising you with random gifts.
3. You’ll see a whole different side to your man
Aside from going out of his way to ensure your well-being, your husband may also display a personality change. He may have always been a laid-back guy, who would much rather kick back with a beer in front of the TV rather than run errands.
But now, he’s suddenly turned into Dadzilla and has become super on-the-ball and perhaps even obsessed with the baby’s arrival. This may include coming up with to-do-lists for baby-related errands, reading all kinds of parenting material and researching potential baby classes that will benefit your little one.
Though this change may seem jarring, do remember that your pregnancy may be just as stressful on your spouse. So, if he’s suddenly freaking out over your pregnancy diet or how to arrange the nursery, calm him down and show your support.
And when he takes initiative to do all the housework so that you can rest, remind him how much you appreciate his hard work.
4. Both your priorities will shift
While your hubby may have previously been extremely career-driven and spent lots of late nights in the office, he now realises this lifestyle leaves little time for family. As such, he may even speak to you about a career change, and find a less demanding job.
Your own priorities will shift as well. Climbing the career ladder relentlessly may have been attractive to you in the past, but now that you’re expecting, you just can’t imagine working so much that you have no time for your mini-me.
“Career opportunities that involve travelling overseas and working long hours might not be suitable when it comes to raising a family,” notes Dr Leong. “Therefore, a couple must review their time commitment (to work) before the baby arrives.”
5. You’ll spend more time together
Not only does pregnancy create a more profound connection between husband and wife, it also creates opportunities to spend more time together.
Given how hectic life in Singapore is, carving out time for each other is easier said than done. But with a baby in the works, you are forced (in a good way, of course!) to do activities together to prepare for your unborn child.
“Many couples definitely spend more quality time together once they are expecting,” says Dr Leong. “For example, shopping for baby products, surfing the Internet to order items in preparation for the baby’s room, attending prenatal medical appointments and having more dinners together.”
You may even consider taking a babymoon once your pregnancy has stabilised. Travelling will certain be tougher with baby in tow, so seize this chance to holiday together when it’s still just the two of you.
6. Your relationship becomes a lot more emotional
Whether it’s your hormones or baby-related anxiety, your emotions are bound to be all over the place now that you’re expecting. So, your relationship with your husband may get a lot more emotional as well.
“Many couples definitely spend more quality time together once they are expecting. For example, shopping for baby products…attending prenatal medical appointments and having more dinners together.”
Given your heightened sensitivity, you may find yourself flaring up at every little thing he says or does. This could affect your relationship adversely, too, especially if things get heated when he argues back.
Therefore, be extra mindful of how you treat your spouse during this period. If he upsets you, resist retaliating immediately. Take a deep breath and give yourself time to calm down, before stating your views and telling him how you feel. Ultimately, aim to have honest conversations because you want to work things out.
7. You may become less intimate
If you belong to the latter group, then it's only natural that sex will take a backseat during this period. However, not having sex doesn’t mean you can’t be intimate in other ways. You can still give each other plenty of hugs, kisses, cuddles and encouraging words.
8. You’ll grow closer to your in-laws
When a baby is about to join the family, a couple may spend more time with their in-laws, and this would improve their bond with the extended family members, Dr Leong says.
Your in-laws may pop over to your place more frequently to send baby items, home-cooked meals or simply to get updates on how your pregnancy is coming along. Not wanting you to exert yourself during your pregnancy, they may also offer you rides to work or doctor’s appointments.
Therefore, you’ll probably get to know your in-laws even better, and appreciate them for showering so much care on you.
However, if it gets to a point where things become intrusive or overwhelming, be sure to voice your concern to your hubby. Avoid a situation where your relationship with the husband and in-laws is strained because of your frustration over their constant meddling.
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