Becoming parents brings many changes to your relationship.
It can make you feel closer – or it can lead to more arguments and conflict.
It can be hard to find time to be together as a couple as you juggle work and family life.
You may not understand each other’s experience when one of you goes to work and the other is at home all day with your baby.
- There can be changes in your sex life
- You may feel jealous that your partner is giving your baby more attention than you
- You may not agree about all aspects of parenting.
It’s important to try to support each other and to get help for any relationship difficulties.
Relationship counselling can be helpful if you want to:
- Resolve difficulties in your relationship
- Understand each other’s perspectives, or point of view
- Learn to communicate better with your partner.
If you decide to separate, relationship counselling can make this less painful.
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
IAPT offers services in Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Hounslow, and you can self-refer for couples counselling or your GP, midwife or health visitor can refer you.
The Netmums website has evidence-based relationship support for new parents, which includes advice on ‘hidden issues’, ‘vicious cycles’ and ‘arguing better’.
Relate offers informal workshops and self-help guides with practical tips and videos to help you manage common relationship issues such as sex, separation and divorce, and parenting. Relationship counselling is offered face-to-face, by phone, video, email and Live Chat.
Visit the Relate website to find out more.
The Family Lives website offers information and support with online forums and access to relationship counselling.
Many new mums are not in a relationship when they have a baby.
- You may separate from your partner during pregnancy or soon after birth, which is an added stress
- You might have lots of support from friends and family, or you may feel isolated.
Talk to your midwife and health visitor so they can let you know about local support groups where you can meet other pregnant women and new mums in your area.
Where to find support
The Gingerbread website offers advice and support about many aspects of family life as a single parent. It is the leading national charity supporting single parents. They also have a single parent group in West London (for women in Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Hounslow) and an online forum.
Domestic abuse is very common. It affects 1 in 4 women at some time in their life.
Women are at increased risk of domestic abuse in pregnancy.
There are many different forms of domestic abuse. These include:
There is also ‘coercive control’. This is when your abuser uses a pattern of behaviour over time to exert power and control over you.
You may also need help and advice about:
- Honour-based violence
- Forced marriage
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
- Human trafficking Modern slavery.
It can be hard to tell someone if you’re being abused. You may feel:
- Frightened about what your partner will do if you tell anyone
- Confused about your relationship and have mixed feelings about whether you want to leave
- Ashamed and embarrassed. You don’t need to feel that way.
It’s important for you and your baby (and other children if you have any) that you get help and support.
Talk to your midwife, health visitor, mental health nurse, GP, psychiatrist or any other professionals.
If you are in immediate danger call the Police (999).
You can also get advice from the following local organisations:
Hounslow One Stop Shop
Confidential advice and support for women in Hounslow. Weekly drop-in service.
Telephone: 07810 031 780
Advocacy, community-based support and refuges for women in Ealing.
Women and Girls Network
Free service run by women, for women in London who have been affected by all forms of violence and abuse.