Congratulations, you’re expecting!!! All this excitement brings a to-do list: prenatal classes, getting the room ready, appointments, packing your hospital bag, reading and talking to others about what to expect for labor and delivery as well as looking after your baby. Whew! I’m going to recommend one more thing to add to your to-do list: getting your relationship ready for this transition.
For some couples, they glide through this transition with ease and it makes their relationship stronger. This happens in about one-third of couples. The other two-thirds of relationships end up struggling and that struggle then takes a toll on the relationship with baby, as well as being a contributing factor to post partum depression.
The Gottman Institute in Seattle Washington is one of the most well know sources of quality research on what makes relationships work and what causes them to fail. They have a love lab where they watch couples in action and then follow them to see what happens. About 25 years ago, they started focusing more specifically some of their research on this transition in a couple’s life. Based on that research they have designed a workshop to give couples the opportunity to spend some time looking at their relationship and strengthening it in very specific ways. The end result has been shown to be an improvement in the quality of life for babies and children.
A few of the other results that were found in those couples who participated in this program were:
- A significantly lower rate of postpartum mood disorders and depression
- A decrease in relationship hostility
- A higher level of relationship satisfaction
- A decreased likelihood of divorce
I am super excited to be bringing this program to the Lucina Centre in Edmonton’s West End on November 4 and 5th. The program is open to couples who are either currently pregnant, or have recently had a baby (babies are welcome who aren’t crawlers yet). It is from 9am to 4 pm each day with lunch and snacks and course material provided. The cost is $297, and some insurance providers are able to cover some of the cost. I hope you’ll consider spending the weekend turning towards your relationship and really setting the foundation for the family you are building.
Claire Wilde, M.Ed., R.Psych