Nina Chen, Ph.D., CFLE, Human Development Specialist, Jackson County, University of Missouri Extension
It is challenging for new parents to manage their new parenting role and their couple relationship. The joy of having a baby leads to a transition for couples that can strain even the best relationships. A study conducted by John Gottman and associates from the University of Washington reveals that more than two-thirds of mothers experience a decrease in relationship satisfaction six months after the birth of the baby. Men experience the same decrease in relationship satisfaction during the first year as fathers…
Feeling overwhelmed is a common emotion for new mothers and fathers. Distress in couple relationships not only affects marital satisfaction and emotional intimacy, but also the quality of care for the infants. New parents need to rethink their priorities, make adjustments and be flexible to juggle their family roles.
For suggestions that can help new parents maintain loving couple relationships while enjoying their baby, see the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/