Study Finds Couples Become Unhappy After Arrival Of Baby January 22, 2007 Real CLIP: http://real.ny1.com:8080/ramgen/real4/001B4617_070121_163617hi.rm .... The birth of a child is supposed to be a joyous event, but a new study reveals more than two thirds of all couples hit a bump in the road after the baby comes home. Doctors John and Julie Gottman are co-authors of the new book, “And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance." Their 13-year study of more than 300 couples finds that the first three years of a baby's life can make or break the parents' relationship. "Sex life changes, you don't have time to talk to your partner, so what happens with the friendship, what happens with the intimacy? It disappears," says Julie Gottman. The Gottmans’ research also shows postpartum depression in mothers occurred 66 percent of the time, showing it to be much more common than anticipated. Their research also revealed that the way couples argue during the last trimester of pregnancy can affect a baby's temperament. Beth Feldman is a married mother of two and co-author of a new book called "Peeing in Peace: Tales and Tips for Type A Moms." She says the stresses of parenting can hurt an otherwise happy marriage. "You're all on edge. Kids don't come with instructions – babies do not at all,” says Feldman. “We have to start realizing that we can't beat ourselves up about it. I feel that with my second child, I actually had much more of a sense of humor and I was much more calm and that actually helped." The Gottmans' research also shows that a father's involvement with a new baby can make a world of a difference. "If it's low conflict, conflict is constructive and there's intimacy and romance, then dads are not only more involved with the mom, they’re more involved with the baby," says Dr. John Gottman. Dr. John Gottman also runs a Relationship Research Institute in Seattle, which offers coaching to new parents. He says couples should: Keep lines of communication open; State their personal needs clearly; Try not to criticize; Make time for intimacy. The Gottmans' research also shows the stronger the connection between the parents, the healthier the child can grown both emotionally and intellectually.