"We don’t prepare people for being parents. It really is the most difficult job of your life," says Dr. Pamela Jordan, associate professor of Family and Child Nursing and developer of The Becoming Parents Program, an educational program for couples becoming parents for the first time. "If we can develop satisfaction in the adult couple relationship and also help parents feel more confident about caring for the baby, we can make some big differences in the environment of the home. This in turn has a very positive impact on the early development of the baby."
Jordan works with couples while they are still pregnant, "launching" them into the parenting experience with a better understanding of the stresses involved in becoming parents and the impact the experience can have on their relationship with one another and their own mental and physical health.
"Only someone who is mentally and physically healthy can be in a healthy relationship with their partner and their child," says Jordan. The Becoming Parents Program provides first time parents with specific knowledge and skills – survival skills - for taking care of their couple relationship, taking care of themselves, relating to their baby, and dealing with the many ways becoming parents impacts their lives. Jordan is currently seeking funding for the clinical trial of The Becoming Parents Program.