Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What every dad-to-be needs to know and no one ever talks about.

Photo Credit: Jenny Quicksall Photography

Why didn’t anybody tell us this before our baby was born? This is the most common complaint that we hear from new parents! When couples are expecting a baby, they spend plenty of time researching doctors, taking childbirth preparation and baby care classes, and getting their home ready for their new arrival. All those things are certainly important, but what is even more important is that both partners have realistic expectations about pregnancy, the day of baby’s birth, and what life is going to be like once baby arrives. Having a plan and preparing yourself for the challenges ahead can make a big difference in how you feel about and handle things later on. New dads are just as vulnerable as new moms when it comes to navigating the life changes that a baby will bring. In some ways, we believe that men in particular can be at a disadvantage, because women are more likely than men to reach out for support after baby arrives.

There are so many things that will need to be renegotiated in your relationship with your partner after the arrival of a baby. For example, many couples of newborns find that as domestic duties double, so do fighting over them. Couples often start keeping score over who did what chore last, and who has been contributing more than the other. Most likely both partners are sleep deprived and feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Research shows that women tend to think that if they point out what needs to be taken care of, their partner will volunteer to do it. But men often respond much better to direct requests. This different way of communicating can increase dissatisfaction in one another and lead to distancing and arguing in the relationship. People rarely talk about the fact that couples’ satisfaction in their marriage drops after their first child is born and studies support the fact that the risk of depression rises in new fathers that do not feel close to their spouse during this time period.

We wholehearted believe that if we can begin to discuss and explore ahead of time what your expectations and needs will be after your baby is born, we will help you make that big adjustment to parenthood go a lot smoother. "Just for Expectant Dads," is a new workshop designed by a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified doula and childbirth educator to do just that. It is also a great way to meet other dads-to-be and start building your community now.

Pre-Natal Just for Expectant Dads Class - Now enrolling. 6-9pm in Santa Monica
Click here to enroll!

About Dr. Jill Campbell
Dr. Jill Campbell is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience specializing in early child development, parenting and women’s issues. She received her B.S. from Boston University, her M.A. from New York University, and her Psy.D. from Ryokan College. As an intern at The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, Jill worked in their therapeutic nursery school with special-needs preschoolers. Dr. Campbell completed her post-doctoral training at Cedars Sinai Early Childhood Center in Los Angeles where she worked with parents of infants and toddlers. Jill has worked in private practice and for a group pediatric practice in Encino. In addition, she has been a guest speaker on different parenting topics for preschools and parenting events in the Los Angeles area. Jill has worked on body image and self-esteem issues for girls in schools in Los Angeles, and spent many years as a group facilitator for New Directions Eating Disorder Center in Sherman Oaks. Currently Dr. Campbell is the staff psychologist at The Pump Station and Nurtury®. She provides a variety of services to mothers and their families including psychotherapy sessions, parenting consultations, and classes.