With pregnancy comes an onslaught of decision-making points. As someone who often struggles with making decisions on the silliest of things (I was the type of pregnant person to Google tbe stats on which pregnancy tests were most accurate and least expensive), I remember feeling overwhelmed with the number of decisions that had to be made. And of course, there were times when my husband and I needed to make a decision together. Sometimes he helped with my tendency toward indecisiveness, and other times the joint decision making created for some long arguments discussions. Looking back, there are things I wish we would have approached differently together. So what is the best way to deal with the [likely] inevitable disagreements surrounding things like which prenatal tests to have, where to give birth, baby names, circumcision, hiring a doula, taking a childbirth class together, and other potentially heated topics? Let's take a look.
Handling Decisions During Pregnancy When You & Your Partner Disagree
Timing. If it's not an urgent decision to be made, consider the timing for when you discuss. For example, late on a Friday night after both of you have worked a full week may not be the best time to hash out the particulars of home birth vs. hospital birth. Pick a time when you both are mostly rested and fresh -- schedule a time/date on your calendar if you need to!
Be prepared. If the decision is one you know you disagree on, prepare yourself to discuss it based on research. Task your partner to do the same. It's important to present facts and evidence, as well as personal and emotional reasons for your decision.
Really listen. While you're always eager to present your case first and dig in deep, it's important to let your partner know that they will be heard -- in entirety, with respect, and without interruption -- and that their feelings are valid, no matter if you disagree on action.
Disagree respectfully. It's easy for things to get out of hand quickly during a heated discussion. Take a breather if necessary, and try not to call names or put the other person down for their opinion. It may be necessary to table the discussion and come back to it when you both are calm.
Consult with a professional. Maybe you need to open a discussion with your doctor or midwife to weigh in. Or, perhaps it would help to involve a couple's counselor or therapist to assist with communication. Either way, if it feels like a mutual decision is beyond your reach, seek out professionals to help. In most cases, it's best to avoid involving other family members and instead seek less biased support.