Preparation for Parenthood

  • Mandy MihelicEmail author
  • Alina Morawska


Preparing for parenthood during pregnancy is an important aspect of the transition to becoming first time parents, involving numerous changes and challenges to expectant mothers and fathers which can have subsequent effects on their babies. This chapter aims to outline our current knowledge of these changes, with a focus on emotional aspects including parental depression, anxiety, and self-efficacy, as well as cognitive changes such as beliefs, attitudes, and expectations. Expecting parents also experience changes in their couple relationship, including difficulties managing new household and child tasks and couple conflict, and their social relationships with family and friends may further undergo a transition. Pregnancy has usually been considered a time period focused on mother’s experiences only, and father’s needs and experiences have often been neglected. We outline the transition to fatherhood, and highlight that fathers also struggle with adapting to their new role with feelings of depression and anxiety being not uncommon. The latter sections of this chapter review the evidence of intervention programs available to new parents at the transition to parenthood as well as their effectiveness, and future research directions are suggested. Finally, the chapter outlines practical implications for policy and clinical practice to identify what our knowledge about preparing for parenthood could be utilized for to help parents adjust to the transition more easily.



The Parenting and Family Support Centre is partly funded by royalties stemming from published resources of the Triple P—Positive Parenting Program, which is developed and owned by the University of Queensland (UQ). Royalties are also distributed to the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences at UQ and contributory authors of published Triple P resources. Triple P International (TPI) Pty Ltd. is a private company licensed by UniQuest Pty Ltd. on behalf of UQ, to publish and disseminate Triple P worldwide. The authors of this chapter have no share or ownership of TPI. Dr. Morawska receives royalties from TPI. TPI had no involvement in the writing of this chapter. Dr. Morawska is an employee at UQ.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Parenting and Family Support Centre, School of PsychologyThe The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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