YOUNG parents in the Tamworth area are finding it hard to maintain relationships with their spouse once their first child is born, a mental health expert has said.
With concerns raised by local health professionals about the wellbeing of parents and their relationship once their first child arrives, one of the region's leading mental health organisations is bringing a program to the city to teach them how to cope.
CentaCare will host its first ever Bringing Baby Home program next month aimed at boosting relationships and easing the strain on young families from the shock to the system that is those first few months of parenthood.
Program facilitator Pedro Sousa said relationship breakdowns were common due to the constraints and pressures that parenthood can bring.
He’s encouraging people who are expecting a child to consider the benefits the program might have on what happens after birth.
“It’s an accredited program based on 40 years of research into relationships and what works. It’s from a US study which states figures of 67 per cent of parents, especially with a first child, say their happiness goes down in their relationship with each other,” he said.
They're not sleeping, they’re dealing with a new bub ... no one prepares you for that.Pedro Sousa
“They're not sleeping, they’re dealing with a new bub and they're not prepared for it – no one prepares you for that.”
Mr Sousa said while there was often help in relation to the physical aspects of looking after a newborn, emotional support was scarce.
“It’s about how to maintain a relationship and having that satisfaction after having a baby, reducing relationship hostility and increasing affection and staying strong as a couple.
“The Division of General Practitioners in Tamworth identified that it was needed.
“They contacted us and asked if we can do something about early intervention, so before mum and dad have a child they know what to do for the baby emotionally and to keep strong as a couple.”
The program will be held in October. For more information or to register, call CentaCare on 1800 372 826