Bringing home a newborn baby can really shake up your world. Your growing family means growing pains and that includes the relationship between yourself and your partner.

Your priorities are shifting and you are adjusting to your new role as a parent. And this goes for your partner too.

The birth a child tends to have an overall negative impact on new parents satisfaction with their relationship with their partner or spouse.

And its no surprise, between recovering from pregnancy and labor and figuring out breastfeeding and newborn care between everyday life, it can be so easy to put intimacy and connection on the back burner when you just want to take a shower and a nap.

Talk openly about expectations and goals.

Its fun to imagine what life will be lie when your baby arrives. Spend some time imagining how your normal routine will flow now with your new baby.  Talk about challenges you think you may face and how your partner can most effectively support you. Do the same for challenges your partner feels may arise. Discuss roles and who will be responsible for each aspect of newborn baby and mom care.

Stay flexible and let it go.

Encourage and remind each other to stay flexible and adaptable.  Be prepared for things to change from minute to minute and day to day. Recognize that your baby and postpartum time will most likely not meet your expectations and that this is not a bad or good thing. Your postpartum time will be. And you can just survive it or you can plan ahead and thrive.

Keep the lines of communication open and clear and say what you need.

Now is not the time to wait for someone to read your mind, assume what you need or “just know.” Say what you need and say it explicitly. Find strength in using your voice to get your needs met. If someone is offering help or support that does not align with your goals as a parent it is ok to say “no.”

Remember that you are on the same team with the same goal.

Its easy to feel alone on this journey but remember you have team mate right by your side. If you are feeling discouraged talk to your partner and let them know how you feel. If you have to, schedule time to reconnect, take a walk or do something special at home that puts the focus on your relationship.

Get a hobby or explore new interest together.

Get bonding hormone flowing for both of you by taking on a new endeavor together. Whether its something physical like hiking or something as simple as exploring new music, books or movies together. Introducing fresh, new interest together will help strengthen your connection.

Get professional, unbiased support.

And if you are still feeling alone, or like your partner just isn’t getting it you can try getting the help of an unbiased professional. Professionals like a mediator, therapist, or professional counselor to help you sort through issues while someone like a postpartum doula or housekeeper can help you get more practical, everyday support in your home.

Postpartum is a time of transformation. You are becoming a newer, better, parenting, version of yourself and it takes some time for EVERYONE to get used to.