1. Pregnancy
  2. Dads Guide to Pregnancy
  3. Middle pregnancy

Building your relationship in pregnancy: dads

The middle months of pregnancy can be a time to enjoy with your partner and to strengthen your relationship.

Building a strong relationship in mid-pregnancy

Even when your relationship is strong, mid-pregnancy is a good time to put extra effort into communicating openly, working out your roles and sharing expectations. This is good practice for parenting and staying connected as a couple. This ‘relationship work’ can be everything from deciding on paid work arrangements to talking about who cooks dinner.

If you have other children, there could be even more to juggle and work out together.

These kinds of discussions are also part of giving support to your partner during pregnancy. It will really help her with mentally preparing to be a mum, as well as labour, breastfeeding and connecting with your newborn baby.

It also helps to know that relationship changes during pregnancy and after birth are normal. But if you’re arguing with your partner more than usual, avoiding discussion, and feeling angry or disconnected, it’s a good idea to get some professional help to work things out with your partner.

Spending time together as a couple

Pregnancy is a great time to be together as a couple and do some things that you’ll have less time for in the early months after baby arrives. Sleeping in, watching a movie, going out for a meal and visiting friends and family are just some ideas.

Your memories of these times could remind you of the strength of your relationship when you’re in the thick of baby care – and sleep-ins are long forgotten.

Your hopes and dreams

The middle months of pregnancy are still a long way from birth. This means that you and your partner have the chance to think about your hopes and dreams as parents, without worrying so much about the practical side of things.

For example, what values would you like your child to learn? Do you have any skills or abilities that you hope to teach your child? How do you want to be as a parent? Are there particular people, communities or groups that you’d like to be involved with your child?

These hopes and dreams can be really exciting, and bring you and your partner closer together.

Nesting

In the later stages of pregnancy your partner might want to start building the ‘nest’ for when the baby or babies arrive. Some couples even start renovating or looking for a new place to live.

If your partner is nesting, you can strengthen your relationship by being patient and helpful and joining in the home preparations.

And it’s good preparation for the final months of pregnancy, when the nesting instinct can get even stronger. 

Things you can do

  • Ask your partner what hopes and dreams she has as a parent and share your own.
  • Get involved in the nesting and home preparations. It can be a good way to spend time with your partner just now.
  • If you think your relationship needs some work, bring it up with your partner. Start finding ways to work with each other’s differences and negotiate solutions when problems arise. For example, ‘I’ve noticed we think differently about getting stuff ready for baby. Can we talk about how to get our home ready in a way we’re both happy with?’
  • If you think you need some professional help to work things out with your partner, call MensLine on 1300 789 978, Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 or the Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321.

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Last updated or reviewed
09-08-2016

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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