Pregnancy's Ups and Downs
Pregnancy can have problems and trouble-free periods -- and either situation is normal.
Evaluating Yourself, Relationships
During her pregnancy, Angela Soos fell deeper in love with her
husband, Michael, and they both seemed closer than ever. "I was so happy he
had given me a baby," says the 30-year-old Holmdel, N.J. resident.
"This was something I had always wanted."
Soos appears to be one of the lucky ones. Some expectant
mothers report unwanted changes in relationships with their partners. Their
significant others may seem unsympathetic, or distant. Or the men may choose to
forgo sex with their wives during pregnancy for a host of reasons, including
being afraid to hurt the baby.
"Dads go through emotional changes as well," says Diane
Sanford, PhD, president of the Women's Healthcare Partnership in St. Louis, Mo.
She says it is crucial to continue to address issues with one's partner to come
up with solutions that are agreeable to both parties. "For example,"
she explains, "If he's afraid of having sex during pregnancy, the two of
you might want to take daily walks together to stay close."
Sanford also says it helps to think ahead. If you evaluate who
you are and who your partner is, you could possibly predict future challenges.
"Things don't come out of the blue," she says.
Good couldn't agree more. He says people and their
relationships generally remain the same during, as before, pregnancy. Women who
tend to be critical of their bodies, for example, may lament over how fat
they're getting, while those who are comfortable with themselves, may love the
way their swollen belly looks.
By the same token, the dynamic between couples during pregnancy
usually reflects their relationship beforehand. Good says partners may think
things have changed, but really, people's true nature comes out in times of
crisis. In this case, the crisis is pregnancy.
SOURCES: Arlene Robles. Bobbie No. Diane Ross
Glazer, PhD, psychotherapist, Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center. Raphael
Good, MD, professor of psychiatry and ob-gyn, University of Miami School of
Medicine. Angela Soos. Diane Sanford, PhD, president, Women's Healthcare
Partnership, St. Louis, Mo.