8 Things to Know About Your Relationship After Having a Newborn

A pregnant, smiling couple sit on a couch and talk about marriage after newborn

Having a baby is a happy occasion – but it changes everything, including your relationship with your spouse. Here are some things to know about marriage after newborn.

Key takeaways:

  • Two-thirds of couples report a decline in relationship satisfaction after having a newborn.

  • Many couples work diligently at baby-proofing their homes, but don’t put as much thought into baby-proofing their relationships.

  • There are some common areas where new parents struggle, like ensuring a fair division of labor, consistent parenting styles, and rebuilding intimacy post-partum.

  • Having weekly check-ins and using active listening can help couples iron out some of these relationship difficulties.

  • Couples counseling is a great option for any couple going through a major life transition and/or wanting to improve their communication and strengthen their relationship.

When the stork shows up, sometimes other issues do, too. Although having a baby is supposed to be a happy and joyous occasion, two-thirds of couples report a decline in overall relationship satisfaction for up to three years after the baby’s birth. While many make painstaking plans for all things baby, and baby-proof their homes, very few couples put a lot of effort into safeguarding and baby-proofing their relationship.

Having a baby changes everything. It changes the family dynamic, the roles and responsibilities, and even how you interact with outside support systems. Many people fail to plan for these changes, later leading to conflict and relationship distress. Here are some things to watch and plan for.

The division of labor

One of the biggest sources of conflict following a newborn is the division of labor. A newborn is a lot of work! There are likely to be big changes to your routines and lifestyles. Coming up with a plan to fairly delegate household labor and childcare is essential to keeping the household – and your relationship – running smoothly.

Weekly check-ins

Couples who communicate regularly fare much better than couples who struggle with communication. One of the things you should implement with your partner is a weekly check-in. This can just be 15 minutes you set aside each week to ask and share how things are really going – what went well, what didn’t go so well, what’s coming up in the week ahead – and identify ways to support each other.

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