The Vital Role of the Bringing Baby Home Programme in Supporting New Parents
Evelyne L. Thomas
January 18, 2024
The Vital Role of the Bringing Baby Home Programme in Supporting New Parents
A New Baby! Congratulations!
Becoming a parent is a profound and transformative experience, filled with joy, love, and challenges. However, the initial days and weeks after bringing a newborn home can be overwhelming for new parents as they navigate the uncharted territory of parenthood.
My own children are now well in their 30s, however I still remember bringing my first baby home. There was so much excitement but also anxiety: ‘Would I be able to look after this new person? Would I know what to do? Will I love her? Will she love me?’
Ante-natal classes had prepared me for the birth and the practicality of looking after my baby, but not for the emotional rollercoaster I was going to go through as I was left alone all day with this little baby who had her own needs and personality. Many times, I cried in frustration and desperation, as I could not soothe her as I did not know what she wanted. I felt alone, and quite worried. And this went on for quite a while!
I wish I had been more prepared for what was going on. I wish my husband and I had been more of a team on this new journey, I wish that I had had more professional support and preparation.
In this crucial phase, a well-structured and comprehensive programme such as the Bringing Baby Home (BBH) Programme, can play a vital role in providing support, guidance, and resources for new parents.
Understanding the Transition
The transition to parenthood is a monumental shift that affects every aspect of a couple's life. Approximately 67% of new parents encounter conflicts, disappointment, and hurt feelings for as long as 3 years after the birth of their child. The BBH Programme recognises and addresses the challenges faced during this transition, aiming to equip parents with the necessary tools to navigate this period successfully.
What is the Bringing Baby Home (BBH) Programme?
Developed by relationship and parenting experts Drs John & Julie Gottman, the BBH Programme is a 12-hour psycho-educational, research-based, and tested workshop.
Who can attend the BBH Programme?
The BBH Programme is for couples who are either:
Considering having a family
Expecting a baby (first or not)
Already parenting an infant or a toddler (0 to 3 years)
How can BBH Programme help couples maintain relationship satisfaction?
1. Building Strong Foundations
One of the primary goals of the BBH Programme is to help new parents build strong foundations for their family. This involves not only addressing the immediate needs of the newborn but also fostering a positive and supportive environment for the couple's relationship. The programme emphasises effective communication, teamwork, and mutual understanding to ensure that the partners remain connected and resilient in the face of the inevitable challenges of parenthood.
2. Improving Communication Skills
Effective communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship, especially in the context of becoming parents. The BBH Programme focuses on enhancing communication skills between partners, emphasising the importance of expressing needs, concerns, and feelings openly. Couples can then better navigate the stressors that come with caring for a newborn, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and conflicts.
3. Managing Stress and Emotions
The BBH Programme acknowledges the emotional rollercoaster that new parents often experience. From the joy of welcoming a new life to the stress and fatigue that accompany sleepless nights, these emotions can strain a relationship. The programme provides tools and strategies for managing stress, fostering emotional well-being, and preventing the negative impact of postpartum stress on the couple's relationship.
How can the BBH Programme enhance parent-child interactions?
1. Parenting Skills
While many new parents may each have read books or attended classes on parenting, the BBH Programme takes a hands-on approach to teaching essential co-parenting skills. How to remain a team in the everyday activities of looking after a baby. Adopting a co-parenting approach can significantly boost the confidence of new parents, empowering them to navigate the challenges of caring for their newborn with competence and assurance.
2. Connecting with the Newborn
The bond between parents and their newborn is a cornerstone of healthy child development. The BBH Programme places a strong emphasis on fostering this connection by offering guidance on activities that promote bonding, such as skin-to-skin contact, eye contact, and responsive parenting. These activities not only strengthen the parent-child relationship but also contribute to the overall well-being and development of the newborn.
3. Social Support Networks
In addition to focusing on the couple's relationship, the BBH Programme recognises the importance of social support networks. New parents are encouraged to build connections with other parents going through similar experiences. The workshops provide a platform for sharing insights, concerns, and advice. This sense of community helps combat feelings of isolation and fosters a supportive environment for new parents.
4. Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
The postpartum period is not only physically demanding but can also take a toll on mental health. The BBH Programme addresses the risk factors associated with postpartum depression and anxiety, offering resources and support for those who may be struggling. By raising awareness and providing tools to cope with mental health challenges, the programme contributes to a healthier and more resilient family unit.
Is the BBH Programme the same as Therapy?
The BBH Programme is a psycho-educational workshop and not therapy. It can’t replace therapy.
Is the BBH Programme for everyone?
Most couples will be able to attend the workshop. However, working in groups is not recommended for couples who are in severe relationship distress or for couples who experience emotional abuse or physical violence. In addition, it is not advised if one of the partners suffers with addiction or a serious mental health issue. Couples in any of these situations would benefit from couples’ therapy or coaching.
The Bringing Baby Home Programme plays a crucial role in supporting new parents during the transformative journey of becoming a family. By addressing the emotional, practical, and relational aspects of parenthood, the programme equips couples with the skills and resources needed to navigate the challenges and joys of raising a child. Ultimately, a well-supported and connected family not only benefits the parents but also lays the foundation for a happy and healthy upbringing for the newborn. As we recognise the importance of nurturing the well-being of new parents, programmes like BBH become invaluable in shaping positive family dynamics and fostering a supportive community for the next generation.
I’m running the Bringing Baby Home Programme in Dubai and online. Click here to find out how you can register for the next workshop.
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