Resenting your partner after pregnancy? Here's why that's happening

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The early months after pregnancy can get nerve-wracking. The baby is a handful and you are still recovering from the stress and pain of childbirth. If it was a C-section delivery, there's also the wait for your stitches to heal.

Meanwhile, odds are your partner has been supportive but has clearly not gone through the same physical and mental ordeal as you when it comes to delivering the baby. He goes about his day like before, does not need to breastfeed, and isn't worried about post-pregnancy complications.

Or maybe he's too hands-on when it comes to taking care of the baby, lets you sleep at night on occasion, and has been able to master the art of changing a diaper in record time.

Both of these instances can be annoying for a new mum. Sometimes, things as simple as talking, chewing or even leaving the room can irritate you. You tend to get angry at him without any real explanation.

This is resentment and more often it's a common but complicated part of your relationship after baby. This is not to say you don't love the father of your child.

However at present, they may not be the most likeable person for you. But why does this happen?

Resenting your partner after the birth of your baby

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A lot of this has to do with how you feel after childbirth. You're in recovery mode and have a new life to take care of. You probably look different compared to the person you were about nine months ago. And there is the realisation that your life has transformed for good.

The realisation of this can be an overwhelming moment for any new mum. And it doesn't end within the span of a day or two.

This is genuinely a big learning curve for any individual and it may leave you feeling resentful and angry at your partner after delivery. Your romantic relationship goes for a toss in the midst of things.

Nevertheless, it is a common issue and something that's treatable in many ways.

Why you resent your partner

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Resentment in any relationship begins with ambiguity. Post-delivery, you are still figuring out this little process called parenting. And that can turn out to be a test bed for many relationships.

There is also the physical pain of having a baby that will leave you mentally and physically exhausted.

When you're parenting a newborn, you switch to survival mode, saving and efficiently spending energy throughout the day. And with all that babies need in a day, there will be an imbalance of responsibility between any couple, triggering that resentment.

What can you do to avoid resenting your partner?

A change in perspective is your first step towards not resenting your partner. And this is something that needs to happen both ways in the relationship after a baby is born.

While the mum is still recovering from the delivery and taking care of the baby 24/7, the partner will need to be more patient and understanding about the whole situation.

And while they are doing that, you dear mum, will have to do some introspection of your own. Get to the root of why are you feeling resentful towards your partner. Understand that you experience mood swings and in most cases, your partner has nothing to do with that.

At times, you may snap at your partner for no fault of their own. If it's happening too often, you may want to check if there's something wrong hormonally and physiologically.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Are you drinking enough water?
  • Do you eat well?
  • Do you give yourself a break from being a mum?

These may seem simple questions but can have a major effect on how you're feeling. Lack of sleep causes stress. Dehydration can result in anxiety and irritability. Lack of enough protein and calcium in your diet can make you weak and cranky.

All of these contribute to your mental and physical wellbeing. When you don't feel good from the inside, you tend to remove that frustration elsewhere. Sadly, your partner may be caught in the crossfire.

How to maintain a healthy relationship after a baby

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Tell your partner about you feel about things — good, bad, and ugly. Instead of fighting it out on things you don't like, be clear, direct and honest about what bothers you.

Instead of complaining, try voicing your issue and ask them to take over in terms of parenting responsibilities, so you can catch a break.

Plan for resentment

Resentment post-birth will be a big part of pregnancy and you need to speak to your partner about it beforehand.

You can even ask your gynaecologist to chime in, so your partner is prepared to handle this sudden outburst of emotions and frustrations.

It will only help the both of you tackle this period maturely and build a stronger bond.

Get professional help

If you've been fighting constantly with your partner or having negative thoughts about yourself and the baby, you may want to get professional help.

These could be symptoms of postpartum depression and the more you leave it untreated, the more complications it will cause.

Reach out to your doctor immediately and they will guide you on what to do next.

Your relationship with your partner after baby will go through several ups and downs, but it's important to not lose sight of the bigger picture.

This article was first published in theAsianparent.