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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

7 useful tips for every parent-to-be. Don’t make these rookie mistakes

Having a child for the first time is a life-changing experience. Your priorities get shuffled, you become more hands-on, and you begin thinking about saving money for the future. Here’s how to prepare for the roller coaster ride!

sex-and-relationships Updated: Aug 23, 2017 13:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
After the birth of your first child, you tend to become more responsible and mature.
After the birth of your first child, you tend to become more responsible and mature.(Shutterstock)

Awaiting the birth of your first child is an exciting time. You feel a whirlwind of emotions ranging from eagerness to anxiety. After you turn parents, you’ll find your world to be turned completely on its head. Right from how you interact as a couple to how you view your own family members and colleagues, everything will seem different. Clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany tells you what to expect:

1) Relationship with self: This is a key point. You don’t realise how much your relationship with your own self shifts after you have a child. You become more mature and hands-on. Also, your freedom gets curtailed. You can’t go out whenever and wherever you want. Even if you have a nanny, you are still responsible for the baby. For new mothers especially, your body image changes along with your changing weight. So ask yourself if you’re ready for it, and do go in for pre-pregnancy counselling.

2) Relationship with spouse: Right from the start of the pregnancy, there’s a chance that romance will go out of the window. Impromptu dinners may not be possible at times. After the delivery, post-partum depression is common, so moms need to be careful and self-aware. A common mistake women make is to focus exclusively on the new born, and ignore the husband in the process. And men, you need to be empathetic towards your wife as her body changes.

Caring after the child will take up a lot of your time even if you have a nanny.
Caring after the child will take up a lot of your time even if you have a nanny. ( Shutterstock )

3) Family dynamics: After the birth of your first child, sometimes it so happens that your sister-in-law or mother-in-law don’t seem important. You suddenly don’t have the time to call up your own siblings either. It’s true that new parents get caught up so don’t be over sensitive when relatives say you don’t give them enough time.

4) Workplace equations: Many women who are used to working find it difficult to cope with the maternity leave. You might feel develop a complex or feel your colleagues are moving ahead. But it’s just a phase. Trust yourself. For men too, after having a baby, you might need to spend long hours at the paediatrician or go on multiple errands, which might keep you from work. Be prepared for that and adjust your schedule accordingly.

Romance might take a back seat but work on keeping the spark alive.
Romance might take a back seat but work on keeping the spark alive. ( Imagesbazaar )

5) Changes in body: Women are faced with a lot of questions after the delivery. Should I consult a dietician? Should I get liposuction? However, all of that can wait at least till the time you are breastfeeding. Don’t be unrealistic, and enjoy the process. Weight gain is natural! Often, men also put on weight during or after the wife’s pregnancy as they too end up gorging on excess food along with her.

6) Finance: Looking after a child brings with it a whole lot of bills. You might hire a nanny, you’ll need to save for the child’s education and future, etc. Ideally, a couple should sit down beforehand and figure out expectations and budgets. Communication is key here.

7) Intimacy issues: You might find that your bedroom dynamics are different. Whether it’s the child crying in the middle of the night, to feeling too tired after a long day to make love. Also, the wife’s changing body image might play a factor too. At times like these, even basic things like hugging and kissing can make sure that the bond between the couple doesn’t weaken. A couple’s sex life eventually bounces back to normal in most cases.

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First Published: Aug 23, 2017 13:53 IST

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