Looking to safeguard your marriage in the first year of parenthood? Here’s how finding your tribe through antenatal classes can help!
Did you know that marriage quality tends to peak in your last trimester of pregnancy?! The bad news: it can decrease by 67%* in an infant’s first year, even among relatively satisfied couples! That’s why we turned to Natasha Cullen, UK certified midwife, and founder of Beloved Bumps, to understand why building your tribe is so important. Beloved Bumps, run by a team of midwives and health professionals, provides antenatal and postnatal services with an emphasis on building support networks and creating a community for couples in Singapore.
So why do couples fight in the first year of parenthood?
Four common reasons: sleep loss, depression, social isolation and unequal workload. Becoming a parent is one of the biggest transitions you’re ever going to make. You don’t really understand what the phrase ‘it takes a village’ means until you need one – and having a tribe can make all the difference!
How does parenthood affect men?
According to the esteemed Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 26% of men show signs of depression during the three to six-month period after their baby is born. It’s important to remember that men go through a massive transition during parenthood as well. And unfortunately, they often don’t get the same attention and opportunities to connect with other men and to talk about the road ahead.
With this in mind, Beloved Bumps has created multiple meet-up groups just for dads, from the antenatal stage right through to Daddy & Me playgroups.
What strategies can we take while pregnant?
Start by building a network when you’re expecting! For you AND your partner! This is incredibly important when it comes to depression and social isolation. So where do you go when you’re trying to meet pregnant couples? Tapping into antenatal or prenatal classes, exercise and events is the perfect starting point to not only get info about your upcoming birth and baby, but also to find couples on the same journey. It’s truly important find antenatal services that put building relationships and the birth partners’ role at the center of their classes – and not as an afterthought!
What’s the best thing to do if my baby is already here?
It’s NEVER too late to start building a network, mama! Find baby playgroups, coffee mornings and parent meetups that happen regularly and make sure to go! There’s nothing better than talking to another mum or dad who can respond with, “Oh boy, do I get you. I’m having the same exact problem!”
Does this apply to couples who have more than one child?
A tribe is important when you have one kid, but it’s VITAL when you have two or more. Balancing the needs of multiple children (on top of everything else) is stressful. And research has shown that there could be a correlation between marital satisfaction and number of children. It makes sense: more kids = less time and less time = less time as a couple. But having a tribe of “friends with kids” makes it easier to get out of your PJs on a Friday night and enjoy an adult activity as a couple.
When should I get help?
Becoming a parent and co-managing a little human is hard! But there’s no need to struggle on the journey — get support from professionals that are unbiased and know how to park their judgment at the door. Midwife support as well as postnatal talks on sleep, mental health and your relationship after kids can give you the tools to support your evolving relationship. Remember: you and your relationship can’t simply go on autopilot once they’re here. Build your tribe, get professional support and always remember to make time for each other.
Book Beloved Bumps’ 5-star rated antenatal course (with happiness guaranteed!) by the end of March and get 10% off. Use coupon code “SASSY” at checkout.
Beloved Bumps offers award-winning pre and postnatal services from a team of midwives and health professionals from the UK, France and Australia.
- Private antenatal classes
- Group antenatal/prenatal classes
- Midwife home visits
- A team of doulas (who are also midwives)
- Prenatal and postnatal exercise and yoga
- First aid for parents and helpers
- Natural Birth Workshop
- Baby playgroups for mums, dads and helpers