Available from 16th October 2019

You and Your Partner is a new feature in Baby Buddy that has been created by relationship experts. It has been developed by Baby Buddy creators, Best Beginnings in partnership with relationship charity, One Plus One. You and Your Partner is designed to help you strengthen your relationship with your partner for yours and your baby’s sake. 

A stronger relationship means you will be better equipped to weather the storms that happen in all relationships - particularly at times when you feel tired and stressed. 

Having a baby is wonderful. We also know that facing parenthood or becoming a parent brings with it, new physical and emotional responsibilities. If you feel stressed, tired and anxious, which is common, you are likely to react differently than you would at times when you feel calmer. Moments of tension can explode if we don’t know what steps to take to diffuse them.

You and Your Partner takes you through a series of video clips followed by snippets of advice, with the purpose of showing you just what you can do to help resolve tensions more easily. A calmer home is good for your baby, whether you are pregnant or a new parent. Before and after birth, babies are sensitive to our emotions and they can feel tension. Learning about how to avoid the upsets of a fiery conflict more often, will also help your baby.

During the programme you will be asked to think about what happens in your own arguments, how you react or how your partner reacts and what you might do differently. In order to change the way we respond, we need to really think about how we normally respond and why. 

At some point in the programme, you will be asked to think of an argument as fire.
“There are the logs which are the issues that cause the argument – common ones include money, spending time with friends, and anything to do with the children.

The match that lights the fire can be anything that sparks an argument – often caused by stress, or not feeling supported.

Things can get worse if someone adds fuel to the fire – the way you respond or react, such as walking out or bottling things up. [fuel can be added by someone else too], like a friend or family member, who interferes or gives their opinion.”

During the programme you are directed to the goal setting feature, You Can Do It!  You are asked to consider setting certain goals, including ones that focus on doing things for yourself – looking after you. If you feel a little more rested and supported, your partnership and your baby will benefit. 

By the end of the programme, you should feel more confident about managing arguments and finding solutions. 

There is a survey before the programme that needs to be completed in order to unlock the first video. Then each section must be viewed in order to unlock the next. The purpose of this is to take you on a particular journey to maximise the success of your learning. The programme is best completed over a longer period of time, such as a month. You can then volunteer to complete a post survey so that Best Beginnings, creators of Baby Buddy, and our partner organisation, One Plus One, can measure just how much you feel you have benefitted from the programme.

If you are already using Baby Buddy, remember to update your app in order to have access to the exciting new You and Your Partner feature in the main menu!

Penny Mansfield OBE, Director of OnePlusOne, shared her thoughts on the project.

"When OnePlusOne began developing digital content to support new parent, Best Beginnings were an obvious partner for the 'You and Your Partner' project. I first came across Best Beginnings when I was a member of the Department of Health's Expert Group on the Healthy Child in 2009 and I have followed the development of their digital tool app, Baby Buddy, with interest. I am really pleased with how our innovative partnership has developed.

My own interest in the transition to parenthood and the impact on parental relationships goes back to a longitudinal study of the first five years of marriage which I undertook for OnePlusOne in the 1980s with the first major publication in 1989. While a source of joy for most parents, this period is also a challenging time and a source of stress, physical, emotional, and financial. The research evidence consistently shows that most couples report a rise in disagreements and conflict during parenthood. The stress associated with the transition to parenthood can result in a decline in relationship quality and increase in relationship conflict. This matters not only to the couples relationship, but also the wellbeing of their developing child.

Our innovative blended approach to providing family support means that we are upskilling Family Support Workers to increase their ability to support positive parent relationships while also using the digital resource You and Your Partner so that the progress continues when the Support Worker goes home. We know that the blended approach of digital and support truly maximises the opportunity for parent to learnt the necessary skills to manage the transition to parenthood stresses together and improve their ability to communicate for the benefit of the child(ren)."