One of the biggest factors leading to tension and issues in relationships after childbirth is tiredness. Lack of sleep can have a huge impact on day-to-day life and it’s useful to consider options for managing this. For example, when sleep deprivation kicks in, one parent may need to take some time sleeping in another room to catch up. New parents are often short of time too. The hours previously used for socialising, relaxing and domestic tasks can be sharply reduced, and this can change the dynamics of a relationship. Money — or lack of it — can also be a cause of stress for couples. For many new parents, adjusting to life on a reduced income or one salary can be especially challenging. Often, there are emotional issues underpinning money rows, such as the loss of financial independence or feeling the pressure of having to provide for the family. One partner may also be adjusting to life at home with a baby rather than being at work. It can help to recognise the underlying issues fuelling the tension and try to address that. The physical side of a relationship can also change dramatically — thanks to exhaustion, dealing with the physical and emotional impact of the birth, and the demands of life with a newborn. It can take time to feel like having sex again after birth. A positive approach is patience, a sense of humour, understanding, and a willingness to find new ways of expressing physical affection until you both feel ready to have sex again.