Does Childbirth Trigger Divorce?

Does Childbirth Trigger Divorce?

 

Demographic studies show that more than 40 percent of children born to two parents can expect to live in a single-parent family by the time they are 18.  Parenthood seems to provoke the spike in the divorce and separation statistics, with roughly a fifth of all marriages ending within five years after the birth of the first child. 

 

Can the birth of a child trigger divorce?

 
In the video, Catherine – mother of 4 – shares her experiences, and we receive guidance on better ways to support women and their partners through the birth process and beyond from Birth Doulas Amanda Edwards and Gemma Harvey.
 

 
Some people end a relationship because one wanted kids, and the other one didn’t.  But what happens when parents want kids – until they are actually born – and then the relationship begins to falter?  Can the actual birth experience be to blame?  And what can parents do to prepare themselves?
In one study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, 67% of couples experienced a drop in marital satisfaction within the first three years of a baby’s birth – and the start of that process is the birth itself.
Research has found that couples whose first child is a girl are more likely to divorce than those whose firstborn is a boy. But a 2014 Duke University study suggests that, instead of daughters somehow “triggering” divorce, girls may simply be hardier than boys in the womb—and may be more likely to survive pregnancies stressed by a troubled marriage.

People change profoundly when they become parents, and now that both tend to work longer hours than ever before, they rarely find time for themselves, let alone for each other.

“Once we had a family, finding time to do our work was always a problem,’ says divorcee Joyce. ‘Money was always a problem. Childcare was a problem. Sex was a problem. Communications between the two of us broke down under the pressures of family life. I nagged, he refused to talk.”

 
Gemma Harvey maternal support divorce advice
 
Birth Doulas and Mandalas
 
The experience of birth can have an impact on relationships – that is clear.  But if mothers like Catherine in the video, could receive a more holistic and less solely medical level of support, that could be a way to make the birth experience, and the ability parents find to deal with this huge life change, easier to navigate.
Whether it is creating a Birth Mandala, working with a Happiness Coach or having a Doula to support both parents through the birth, there are more choices available to most parents than they realise.
The pressures on couples that can lead to a divorce are not caused by the birth of a baby – they are caused by the inevitable pressures of parenting in a world that may have lost it’s way, and forgotten that childbirth is not a mechanical act – but a mystical process – and one that requires a more emotionally intelligent approach in the care and support of those parents who receive those squirming, screaming, sacred beings into their world.
 
Suzy Miller
Alternative Divorce Guide
 
 
Credits:
A film by Suzy Miller
With thanks to:
Amanda Edwards: Acupuncturist, Doula and Happiness Coach
Gemma Harvey: Doula and Mandala Artist
Catherine Forbes: Mother of 4
Music from 12 Months
Other music from Rights Free sources.

suzyMiller

Creator of Best Way To Divorce. International Divorce Divorce Strategist and TEDx Speaker.
Member since:
6th March 2022
Last Login:
15th June 2024

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