Minding the Baby

(2005, 15 minutes)

Narrated by Michael Rosen

The birth of a baby will change its parents' relationship completely...

Nothing can fully prepare people for the birth of a baby, however the film shows the kind of changes which can happen and helps the adults involved to understand each other's experience. There are no set rules about how to be a parent. Couples need to work together to understand what they want as individuals, as partners, and as a family. The birth of a baby will lead to major changes of roles within the household. There can be problems around money and identity, particularly where one partner has given up or reduced paid work. Different beliefs about childcare can create tensions and so can the increase in housework. A baby's needs can easily swamp the relationship between the parents.

In a humorous and positive way the film shows the fears, joys and misunderstandings of five couples from different backgrounds as they plan, expect, and start to live with their babies. Relevant during pregnancy and after the birth, it reveals the range of emotions and experiences which are normal at this time. The film illustrates practical ways to improve communication and negotiating skills between couples. It also shows the benefits of looking after the adult relationship as well as taking care of the baby.

MINDING THE BABY is designed for couples who are planning, expecting, or have had a baby, and can be used in classes, groups or counselling sessions, or in the home. It provides a resource for professionals and volunteers, and a way of raising awareness and starting discussion in education, training or conferences for those working with couples and families.

Developed in consultation with Relate.

Made with financial assistance from the Marriage and Relationship Support Grant Programme at the Department for Education and Skills, and arts@leeds, Leeds City Council.

Watch a clip of the film here: