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And Baby Makes Three A course on Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives Stephanie Warner Concordia University - Nebraska.

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Presentation on theme: "And Baby Makes Three A course on Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives Stephanie Warner Concordia University - Nebraska."— Presentation transcript:

1 And Baby Makes Three A course on Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives Stephanie Warner Concordia University - Nebraska

2 Overview 6 Session Course on healthy marriages post- baby Supplemental Reading & Book Discussion Offered quarterly in a community center/hospital setting Follow-up offered through evaluation and ongoing communication

3 Marketing Course will be community based, marketed to couples in the 2 nd and 3 rd trimesters of pregnancy Course will be promoted at area hospitals, community centers, OBGYN offices, and churches Course will be marketed through posters, social media, and in new parent information packets

4 Session Content 1.Realize that we’re all in the same soup. 2.Delight in responding to your baby. 3.Cool down your conflicts. 4.Savor each other by building a strong friendship and a zesty sex life. 5.Add warm fathering to the mix. 6.Create an enriching legacy.

5 “We’re All in the Same Soup” Session 1

6 What does the research say? 13 years of research, 130 young families In the first 3 years after a baby is born, 2/3 of parents experience a significant drop in their couple relationship quality Discussion: What do these statistics say about the stress of having a baby? How can they be changed? Couples in trouble are critical, defensive, and and disrespectful with each other, unwilling to compromise and say things they will later regret Sometimes these changes lead to physical violence – “30% of domestic violence begins in pregnancy”

7 “The greatest gift you can give your baby is a happy and strong relationship between the two of you” (Gottman & Gottman, p. 27, 2007)

8 Conclusion We’re all in the same situation when baby arrives! The challenges, stresses, emotions, hassles, the work, and the joys. It’s our choice how we react and cope with the challenges and stress – because we will not be able to eliminate them.

9 Homework Read chapter 2 “Delight in Your Baby”

10 “Delight in Your Baby” Session 2

11 Children and Time Children are on a very different time scale than adults! Everything happens more slowly for children. Kids are much better about “being in the moment” than adults.

12 What do babies need? Physical touch – with baby and with each other as a couple Face-to-face play time Follow baby’s cues Respond to overstimulation

13 Things not to do Don’t move your face in front of the baby’s face wherever they move their head. Don’t move your face too close to the baby’s face. Don’t increase the pace of play or increase stimulation after your baby has given you a sign that they are overstimulated. Don’t switch back and forth between activties quickly. Don’t physically move the baby’s torso so that she is looking at you. Don’t stimulate the baby further by poking them or repeatedly wiping their mouth.

14 Conclusion Stay warm and emotionally available. Stay responsive to your baby’s cues.

15 Homework Read Chapter 3 “Cool Down Your Conflicts” & Chapter 4 “Soften How You Bring Up a Problem” (Chapters 5-11: Supplemental reading)

16 “Cool Down Your Conflicts” Session 3

17 Tips for dealing with conflict when you have a baby Babies should not witness your fights. Have a problem solving meeting time. Don’t discuss problems at mealtime. Know if we slip up, repairs (with our children) will need to be made.

18 Healthy Conflict Management Soften how you start the discussion. Accept influence by recognizing there are two valid viewpoints. Calm down by physiological self-soothing. Compromise. Process and understand the fight later, after you’ve calmed down. Figure out the conversation you need to have, instead of the fight. Move from “gridlock” to “dialogue” when you face unsolvable problems using the “dreams-within-conflict” method.

19 Homework Read Chapter 12 “Savoring Your Friendship” and Chapter 13 “Heat up Your Sex Life”

20 “Savor Your Friendship and Heat Up Your Sex Life” Session 4

21 No class today! Take a handout and $15, and go grab coffee, fast food, or dessert with your spouse and practice the exercises on the handout! Enjoy this time together with your spouse.

22 Homework Read Chapter 14 “Add Warm Fathering”

23 “Warm Fathering” Session 5

24 Self-tests Take the self tests on page 186 and 187 The class will discuss results on the self-tests about perceptions of men and the relationships participants have with their own dads

25 Do We Need Fathers? YES! Fathers’ play is different than the mother’s, helping advance development Dads are sweet and gentle Wives are happier

26 Warm Fathering Exercise Pg. 203

27 Homework Read Chapter 15 “Bake the Bread of Legacy”

28 Creating a Legacy Session 6

29 1 st Strand: Shifting from ME to WE “WE’RE” Pregnant! Transition to becoming a team Me to We exercise (pg. 216)

30 2 nd Strand: Historical Legacy Creation of something new from which we come Share stories Share faith Highlight loved ones in the home through pictures

31 3 rd Strand: Give Meaning to Everyday Events Have dinner together, sharing and talking about the day Create family rituals Determine how “routine” issues get handled (such as sick care)

32 4 th Strand: Create a Special Holiday Cycle How do you want to celebrate holidays? Compromise Informative Exercise (on your own after class – p. 229)

33 5 th Strand: Roles in Life Now How will you balance family, love, and work? Talk!! Use the exercise on p. 232 to discuss how to best support each other.

34 6 th Strand: Define Your Goals What are your shared goals for your family?

35 7 th Strand: Shared Values and Beliefs How do you view your relationship? What do each of you think about faith, religion, family, money, etc? Complete the exercise on p. 238.

36 Follow-up Lunch meetings with Instructor 3-6 months after course (after baby is born) for follow-up discussion on the six sessions and how they are/are not being implemented into daily life Online Discussion Forum for class immediately following conclusion of the course

37 References Gottman, J., & Gottman, J., (2007). And Baby Makes Three. New York, Three Rivers Press.

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