New parents urged to seek early help for ‘baby quake’

Relationship advice for new parents should be normal, says charity

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New research published today by relationship charity OnePlusOne urges parents to see accessing relationship support after they’ve had a baby as normal, rather than waiting till crisis point.

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The report, Sleep, Sex and Sacrific, funded by the Department for Education, shows that two-thirds of new parents feel concerned about their relationship once they’ve had a baby.

40 per cent of mums worry they may no longer be sexually attractive to their partner and 25 per cent of dads worry their partner is no longer interested in sex. More than a quarter of new parents longed for some time alone as a couple.

Penny Mansfield, Director of OnePlusOne, said adjusting to the new role of being a parent can be “like a mini earthquake”.

“Time alone is vital for new parents because it’s very easy to slip into the habit of seeing each other as parents rather than as romantic partners, leading to issues around sex and intimacy”, she said.

Helping couples stay together is vital, Penny said, not least since family breakdown costs around £46bn every year, without factoring in the emotional cost to families and particularly children.

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She said couples consider relationship advice to be important but are unlikely to go looking for it. “Advice for parents tends to be around parenting, rather than looking after themselves or their relationship. We want to make it natural for couples to seek advice on having a good relationship before a crisis happens”, Penny said.

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