There’s no denying that life changes after having a baby. And even with all the strides we’ve made toward gender equality (and the sweetest partner on the planet), the truth is that the burden of child-rearing typically falls to mom. If only there were a way to ensure a fair division of labor… Oh, but there is. Introducing the pregnancy contract.
Sort of like a prenup, a pregnancy contract (aka a pre-pup) outlines what is expected from each party during the pregnancy and after the baby is born.
Meghan Markle allegedly made her ex-husband, Trevor Engelson, sign one that stated that he would pay for a personal trainer and nutritionist if and when she got pregnant. (Not too shabby.) According to the story’s source (a “close friend” of Markle's who spoke to Daily Mail TV), the contract also mentioned how they would handle child care and nannies. And per Vanity Fair, Donald Trump had a similar contract with his wife Melania.
Honestly? It’s not such a terrible idea. And look, maybe you don’t need to formalize it in a contract (the legal fees alone are enough to put us off), but having a discussion with your spouse about expectations and potential pitfalls before the baby arrives is actually pretty smart.
Relationship expert Dr. Terri Orbuch suggests discussing everything from dividing up responsibilities to how dynamics will change. This includes division of labor (think: changing diapers, night feeds, daycare and bedtime), finances (like creating a budget and figuring out how to save for expenses and education) and how this will or won’t affect your relationship. You might change your mind, but now’s the time to talk things over before you’re both covered in spit-up and can barely keep your eyes open. “Adding a third person to your mix is going to make things a little different. But don’t panic! Just be sure to discuss your hopes and fears together so you’re on the same page,” notes Orbuch.
And sure, there’s no guarantee that each party will stick to their side of the bargain, but it can’t hurt to have an honest exchange about how it’s going to go down when the baby is up and crying at 2 a.m.…and 4 a.m.…and 6 a.m.