Parent-proof your relationship

Make sure you're both ready for when the baby arrives

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  • We promise...

    ...To talk about our birth plan
    Your baby's birth will be one of the most treasured memories you share with your partner, and it's a good time to make sure he's as involved as possible. 'He's likely to have his own opinions and fears about labour, so discuss your birth plan together with your midwife,' says midwife Nikki Khan. Your partner will also be your best support in the early days after the birth of your baby.

  • We promise...

    ...To devote time to our relationship
    A seismic shift is about to occur in your life together, but it doesn't have to have a negative impact on your relationship. Talking about how your lives are going to change will bring you closer and make you more of a team when the baby comes, says Relate counsellor, Christine Northam. 'Agree to talk regularly about how things are going and find time to empathise with each other.' And now is a good time to prepare for how your sex life may change after the birth!

  • We promise...

    ...To dicuss our new-baby routine
    Discuss the importance of your partner's role with him, says Suzie Hayman, an author and trustee of Family Lives, a charity that supports families. 'Men often feel sidelined, so talk about how you'll both be beginners when your first hold, feed and change your baby and how you can learn together.' Also, discuss who'll do the feeds, nappy changes and bedtime routine.

  • We promise...

    ...To tackle our finances together
    This could be the first time you sit down and analyse your finances as a family. 'Identify your money priorities and create an action plan for the future,' advises Jackie Spencer of the Money Advice Service. 'There are lots of different bank accounts to suit every family.' Remember you may be able to find better deals on utilities or insurance now you're a family. 'Research the benefits, tax credits, and help with childcare costs that are on offer, and sign up to parenting clubs for vouchers,' says Jackie.

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  • We promise...

    ...To create the right work/life balance
    Talking about your career hopes now will help you both work towards them as a team once your baby arrives, says Mandy Garner from workingmums.co.uk. The good news is that there are lots of ways to find the right balance for your family. 'New parenting legislation allows men to share maternity leave. You could also both ask for flexible working hours, so you can share childcare or nursery pick-ups.'

  • We promise...

    ...To agree on our parenting style
    Discuss the kind of parents you want to be. Start by talking about your own upbringing - whether you're looking to copy your parents' style or do something quite different, says Suzie. 'Don't panic if you have slightly different beliefs. If you can learn now how to discuss and resolve a difference in opinion together, it will be a great lesson for your children as they grow.'

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