Yes, You Still Have a Relationship After Having a Baby
At Tribeca Maternity, we’re the first to acknowledge that a newborn is a major disruption in your relationship: you’re exhausted, mad at each other, and nobody’s getting enough sleep or feeling that sexy right now. Meanwhile, extended family and the culture at large can put pressure on couples to adjust too quickly.
The reality is that you and your partner may not know how to navigate this new phase yet. And that’s okay. In therapy, we understand that your relationship is now different. Rather than getting back to what your relationship used to be, we help you build what your partnership is now.
With a Newborn, the Stakes in Your Relationship Matter in a New Way
After having a baby (or another baby), partners are connected in a more permanent and concrete way. In therapy at our Lower Manhattan offices, as well as phone and video therapy, we help couples:
- Understand the complexities of this new phase in your relationship
- Accept and navigate the new lack of flexibility in your relationship
- Work through problems that may have been previously hidden but are now brought to the surface
- Meet each other’s new and changing needs
This work can be done before the baby comes—even before pregnancy—or after you have a baby.
We Help You Create New Roles Rather Than Fight Against Change
Becoming parents together is complicated. Not only does your relationship need attention that you may not have time to give, but you also need each other in different ways. You’re adding co-parent, baby feeder, rock-to-sleeper, and diaper changer to lover, partner, co-payee, roommate, and other roles you play in your relationship. We help partners accept these changes and work within their new roles to reorganize and rebuild their relationship as it is now.
Love and Sexiness Might Also Look Different
Your love for your partner may also change with a newborn, as could what you or your partner find sexy and your own feeling of sexiness. There’s a presumption that raising children isn’t sexy or romantic, but there can be amazing intimacy in caring for children. But that intimacy is different from what you had before. Maybe what becomes sexy now is getting the kids to bed early because you have time together after reaching a shared goal. In therapy, we’ll help you and your partner discover a different definition of sexiness.
Parenting Brings Socially Imposed Gender Norms Front and Center, No Matter How You Organize Your Relationship
Whether partners are nonbinary or cisgender, queer or straight, the gender roles you may have navigated in your relationship previously may be uprooted. When parenting, your relationship faces society’s gender-related pressure head-on: Who was pregnant? Who went on maternity leave? Who went back to work? Who normally leads in sex versus who is able to lead now, especially if a partner is recovering from pregnancy? In therapy with both individuals and couples, we talk about your choice in how you navigate gender roles and how this shows up in your relationship.