the first year

5 Ways Your Relationship May Get Better After You Become Parents

Posted by Kate Drummond

If you and your partner are about to become parents for the first time, you've likely heard the same lament from friends with kids: prepare for your relationship to change forever.

It's true, your relationship does change the instant you welcome a child into your family. And, yes, there are sleepless nights, and date nights might take more planning ahead than they used to, but your relationship will change in awesome ways too. Here are a few things couples can look forward to once they become parents.

1. The joy of seeing your partner with your baby. Your heart will swell with love when you see your partner hold, rock, soothe, kiss, tickle, and comfort your baby, that little human you've created together.

2. Family cuddles. This is one of the greatest perks of being new parents: pile into bed together and just cuddle, letting the effects of oxytocin, known as the "feel-good" hormone, lull you into a nap.

3. Sharing the wonder of watching your child develop. That little newborn you're cradling will be crawling, blabbering, and then walking before you know it. It's a joy to watch your child achieve these milestones together.

4. A sense of shared accomplishment. Most couples have been through ups and downs before they have a baby, but this is likely to be the biggest life change you've experienced together. While it has its challenges, parenting is a great way for couples to demonstrate their stellar teamwork skills. Tackling challenges together can strengthen a couple's bond.

5. Your sex life could be hotter than ever. Couples might fear that sex will be DOA after a vaginal delivery, but some women have reported experiencing longer, more intense orgasms after childbirth (once they've fully recovered from delivery and got clearance from their doctor, of course). Other women feel more connected to their partners, which adds more intimacy to their sex lives. Having a baby puts a temporary hold on your sex life, but don't worry; it'll recover in due time.

Image: Hay Alexandra Photography