In sixteen separate studies conducted on parents before and after their child’s birth, The Gottman Institute discovered the following:
- Though both parents work much harder after the birth of their baby, they both feel unappreciated with the extra work they are doing.
- In the year following bringing a baby home, the frequency and intensity of fighting & conflict increases significantly.
- Mums sexual desire tends to drop considerably, normally staying low throughout the first year of baby’s life, particularly if she is breastfeeding. As a result, frequency of sex & intimacy declines dramatically.
- Mums usually get very involved with the baby on many levels, and as a result are too fatigued to offer their partners the emotional connection that they need or were used to.
- Mums and dads both undergo enormous changes in identity – thinking of themselves not only as parents and partners, but they now are very aware of how they evolve into their extended family as brothers, sisters, nieces etc.
- Parents often find their long held values change dramatically, along with their goals in life.
- Couples want to be better parents to their children than their own parents were with them.
- As time evolves, it begins to take on a different life: “Before Baby” and “After Baby.”
- As soon as Baby is born, Mum’s friends and extended family arrive on the scene, a society of women who have come to help. New dads can often feel excluded and inadequate, and are likely to respond by removing themselves from the situation. They often withdraw from the baby and from Mum, working more, while trying to avoid conflict.
- When Mum is unhappy, her baby does not retreat. The same is not true for Dad. A child tends to withdraw emotionally from a father who is unhappy in his relationship with Mum – a tragic divide grows between him and his child.
- Masters of transition to parenthood were able to navigate the stressors and life changes accompanying the birth of their baby with success. They found ways of dealing with the normal challenges of new parenthood, while the unhappy “disaster” couples could not. They were overwhelmed.
So, with this research and these all important discoveries, John & Julie Gottman wrote their acclaimed book, And Baby Makes Three. In it, they provided new parents with the much-needed skills to navigate these changes and adopt the Masters approach to successful relationships when bringing a baby home.
With the success of the book, The Gottman Institute then developed the ‘Bringing Baby Home’ program to educate and empower all new and expecting parents around the globe.
It is available to anyone thinking of having a baby, pregnant, or with an already growing family with children under the age of 3, and is now downloadable to make it within reach of every couple around the world.