Towards Parenthood: Preparing for the Changes and Challenges of a New Baby

Posted in: Couple relationship, Fathers, Infants, Parenting, Postpartum, Pregnancy, Self-care

by Dr Bronwyn Leigh

Is it possible to prepare for having a baby?  We think so…

It’s long been said that “nothing can prepare you…” for having a baby.  Well, that’s simply not true.  Yes, the ‘shock of the new’ is inevitable – that’s part of the journey.  But preparing emotionally before baby arrives and continuing that journey in the first year is definitely possible.

Antenatal information tends to cover the physical practicalities of pregnancy, labour and birth.  But what about the emotional and relational changes that occur during this time?

As clinicians, we repeatedly heard ‘why didn’t anyone tell me it was going to be like this?’ So, we wrote the book!

Towards Parenthood is a self-help reflective workbook supporting soon-to-be and new parents prepare for the emotional changes and challenges of parenthood.  Towards Parenthood strengthens your relationship with your baby and your partner, while providing coping strategies to help you transition to your new role.  It offers practical information as well as space to problem solve and think about how things might be when baby arrives and during the first year.

Now, we can’t prepare for everything, of course, because there are so many factors at play when a little bundle arrives.  But, we can have a go at reflecting on who we are and our own parenting experiences, and previewing how life might be with baby before s/he arrives.

Towards Parenthood helps you navigate the unchartered waters of first-time pregnancy and parenthood – we help you find some calm in the storm.

This book is for you if you’re interested in:

  • Learning how life will change when you welcome your little bundle into the world
  • Preparing for the emotional adjustments required for parenthood
  • Strengthening your relationship with your partner and your baby
  • Exploring coping strategies to help you transition to your new role

Australian research found women were less anxious, less stressed and had fewer symptoms of depression postnatally when they had read Towards Parenthood and discussed the content with a counsellor, compared with those who did not have access to the book.  Overall, the research, conducted by the Parent–Infant Research Institute (PIRI) and funded by beyondblue: the national depression initiative, found Towards Parenthood offers relevant information to optimise positive adjustment for new parents.

We would love to help you feel confident, calm and prepared-as-possible to lean into this life phase and meet the demands of early parenthood, while maintaining good mental health and positive relationships.  Towards Parenthood can help you get there, and if you need additional support then we have you covered Australia-wide – contact us or search here by Location to find your nearest perinatal psychologist.

Click here to purchase a copy of the book

Towards parenthood book is also available in Italian and Dutch translations.

About the Author

Dr Bronwyn Leigh is a clinical psychologist, perinatal and infant clinician and early parenting consultant.  She is the Director of the Centre for Perinatal Psychology.  She consults in Fairfield and Croydon, Vic.  Bronwyn specialises in the psychological aspects of becoming a parent, the emotional development of infants, and parent-infant relationships. Bronwyn co-authored the book Towards Parenthood: Preparing for the Changes and Challenges of a New Baby.

Contact us Today

Are you journeying Towards Parenthood? Many parents need additional support during this time.  Remember, you are not alone.  To access our help, locate a psychologist near you: search by Location.

Call us on 1300 852 660 or contact us to make an appointment or enquiry.