“8 Ways to Keep the Spark in Your Relationship Lit During Pregnancy” originally appeared on Fatherly, and was reprinted with permission.
In the soft light of the morning your beautiful partner blinks her tired eyes, gives a sleepy little stretch … and then leaps out of bed to hurl the contents of her stomach into the toilet. Pregnancy isn’t particularly sexy. And between the nausea, worry, stress, doctors appointments, and nesting it can feel pretty damn hard to keep a spark alive.
But the spark needs to be kept alive. Because when the kid arrives intimacy will become a joke for awhile. Something like:
What did the new mom say to her partner before they had sex?
Nothing. That never happened. You’d be insane to think it would.
So keep the romance far from life-support with these tips. Even the vomit on her nightgown won’t be able to stop the love …
1. Talk about things other than pregnancy.
According to women who write about this kind of thing frequently, baby and pregnancy talk get old. After awhile she might begin to feel like she’s only a pregnancy and not a person. You can fix that by talking about something else. Anything else. Except maybe your fantasy football league (unless she’s in it and kicking your ass), or politics (because … ughhhhh). In fact, maybe steer the conversation to something like how awesome you are together! Because, obviously!
2. Go on dates.
While you’re probably always talking about the impending kid, you’re also likely always doing crap for the impending kid. Another trip to Babies ‘R’ Us? Okay. Really? That can get old, real quick. You need to make some dates happen, pronto. Hit the movies, go out to dinner, or maybe even take a quiet walk nowhere close to a shopping center. And if you have to tag it onto your next trip to comparison shop high-chairs, then do that. Or just check out this guide, and then take her to a concert.
3. Don’t be afraid of having sex.
Fact is, sex can be accomplished without any detrimental effects up until the day of delivery, basically. You both just need to be open to it. Just be aware that she might not want you grabbing sore breasts, and she might need certain positions and some extra attention to get going. But you were already aware of that and super cool anyway. Right, champ?
4. Don’t be afraid to not have sex.
The thing about intimacy? It’s not just sex. There’s all sorts of touching, massaging, and cuddling that can be done to keep you physically intimate and close without getting too far into each other’s business. And if yours is poking her in the small of the back? Maybe just move to another cuddling position for politeness’ sake.
5. Take a babymoon.
The nine months prior to the kid’s arrival are a good time to get out on a romantic adventure (however the two of you choose to define that). After all, you’re probably going to want to hunker down awhile when the kid arrives. She’s good to travel up to 24 weeks, so make like a hockey player and get the puck out of there.
6. Be patient.
With her hormonal turmoil, you’ll want to practice heroic empathy. Think of stuff before you say it and just generally allow her to be who she needs to be right now. Which is not to say you can’t flirt. She totally needs to know you think she’s still hot. Which she literally is, considering her core temperature is now at least a degree higher on the reg.
7. Do some extra lifting.
Some ladies say that there is nothing sexier than a dude doing the laundry. So maybe do the laundry, or something else you might not normally do. And to put a fine point on it, do it only in your socks. There you go, Mr. Irresistible.
This may seem a little obvious, but it’s totally not. The more you both communicate about how you’re feeling during this time, the better. And if you’re having trouble doing that, there are people who can totally help. Fact is, the stronger your relationship is before the kid, the stronger it’ll be after the kid.
Because even if she stops puking, there will be somebody else to pick up where she left off. Awwwww. Cute!
More from Fatherly:
- Meet the therapist who tells parents it’s OK to say “eff you” to feelings
- Sex during pregnancy: 4 things to know about the third trimester
- 10 world-changing baby names inspired by inventors