Preparing yourself both emotionally and physically is a key aspect of getting ready for pregnancy. While you are preparing for your baby, it's a good idea to begin preparing your marriage for the changes in your relationship a baby will add to the mix.

Once your baby is born you pass over to the land of parenthood. And the days of throwing up, labor pains, and I'll never do this again are bygone days that fade into the twilight of your memory. There is something about holding that precious baby in your arms that makes it all worth it.

And while a baby can bring joy into your life, that little bundle can put a strain on even the strongest of relationships. Your first child has the affect of changing the dynamics of the relationship between you and your mate. New moms tend to think that dads just don't get it, there is so much that needs to be done, and the baby takes up so much time. And new dad's think that moms spend too much time with the baby and they don't matter any more. Thus begins the transition from couple to family.

Helpful Hints

• Men and women respond differently to becoming parents. For a woman, the mommy drive is on 24/7. It's a hard drive and can't be erased or altered. Mom's worry about all of those little mundane things, they can't help it, and then they get upset because dad doesn't get it and they don't go ga ga over cute little baby clothes, or strollers or fixing up the nursery. Sorry ladies, but they just don't get it, and that is okay. The important thing is that they will love the baby just as much as you do, but they will show their love in different ways then you do, and don't worry they'll be going ga ga soon enough!

• Your mate isn't going to "get it," when it comes to the amount of care involved with a baby. So you may need to let him have the baby for the weekend. Take a weekend off and pamper yourself and leave dad in charge. There is no better eye opener than hands on. If he has to do it himself and figure things out for himself, he will appreciate all that you do and may even surprise you by contributing more.

• Try to relax. Its okay if your guy doesn't do everything exactly the same way that you do. It's okay to step back and let him do it his way. The important thing to remember is that he is trying, he wants to be involved, and you both have the best interests of you baby at heart.

No worries! You'll both be great parents. You'll give your new baby everything that he or she needs to be happy. Just remember that having a strong, happy and loving marriage is one of the best things that you can do for your children.

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