How to Stay Close After Baby

Counseling Options for You and Your Partner

Pre-Baby Counseling

A growing number of therapists, hospitals, birth educators, and nurses are now offering relationship training to help expectant and new parents plot how they'll approach divvying up chores, tweaking their budget, and other hot-button issues.

Urban Balance LLC in Chicago offers a six-session, pre- and post-baby couples counseling program ($500) to manage the relationship pitfalls that come with parenting. The Gottman Relationship Institute in Seattle introduced Bringing Baby Home in response to marital strife among new parents. More than 800 educators nationwide are certified to deliver the two-day, 12-hour workshop on constructive problem-solving ($85 to $200, depending on location). For info, visit BBHonline.org.

Couples Counseling on a Budget

Think you can't afford therapy? Most Employee Assistance Plans offer between one and eight sessions of couples or family counseling at no cost. "Check your benefits," Joyce Marter advises.

Also, many insurance plans also include mental-health benefits through contracts with in-network therapists. The number of visits covered and co-pays vary among plans, but sessions could be as little as $10 -- a bargain, considering that counseling can run up to $250 per visit in big cities. Call your insurance company to learn more and request a list of in-network providers. Other options: Some therapists and community health centers charge clients fees on a sliding scale based on their income, and local churches and synagogues may offer free counseling for new parents too.

Originally published in the February 2013 issue of American Baby magazine.

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