01 Apr, 2014 Last updated: 08 Dec, 2014

The VicHealth-funded program helps couples explore changes in their relationship since the birth of their baby, negotiate parenting responsibilities and maintain equality and respect in their relationship during the transition to parenthood.

New parents in Clayton are among the first in Monash to be involved in an innovative healthy relationships program, Baby Makes 3.

The VicHealth-funded program helps couples explore changes in their relationship since the birth of their baby, negotiate parenting responsibilities and maintain equality and respect in their relationship during the transition to parenthood.

Monash Council, in partnership with MonashLink Community Health Service, is delivering Baby Makes 3 to mums and dads attending the new parent group program at the Clayton Maternal and Child Health Service.

 ”In the months following the birth of a child, parents can struggle to understand and negotiate their relationship as it changes,” says Baby Makes 3 facilitator, Rose.

 “This is a time when patterns can become established and it’s important to develop healthy strategies for dealing with the changes.

 “Baby Makes 3 helps new parents understand the pressures they are feeling by linking these pressures to societal expectations, and assists couples to communicate with each other about the choices they make in how they manage their partnership.”

 VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the program had already helped hundreds of new parents to adapt to life with a baby when it ran in other parts of Victoria last year.

 “The beauty of Baby Makes 3 is that it gives both partners a new understanding and respect for the role of the primary care giver,” Ms Rechter said.

 “It’s about raising awareness of the often unrealistic pressures put on mothers and promoting equality in relationships.”

Parents who have completed the four-week evening program found it to be great fun and informative, providing a chance to meet up with other new mums and dads experiencing similar challenges.

New parents Jo and Peter Eady completed the program following the birth of their first child, David. Ms Eady said the couple enjoyed the program and gained some great insights into how to communicate more effectively.

“It was good to remind ourselves how to be a couple as well as parents, how to make time to be together and how to communicate with each other,” Ms Eady said.

Baby Makes 3 is also being delivered to new parents at the Jordanville and Mulgrave Maternal and Child Health Centres.

For further information contact Natalie Russell, Program Manager, on 9518 3269 or natalier@monash.vic.gov.au