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Couples show their future 'co-parenting' behaviour during pregnancy

"The extent to which couples support or undermine each other's interactions with the doll, representing the baby they were about to have, predicts their co-parenting behaviour a year later," said a co-author of the Ohio State University study.

sex and relationships Updated: Aug 27, 2014 18:59 IST
co-parenting

An-expecting-couple-Shutterstock

Parents who are ready to welcome a baby show a lot about their future co-parenting behaviour during pregnancy, reveals a new study.

Researchers at Ohio State University looked at how dual earning couples adjust to becoming parents for the first time.

Also read: Married women suffer less psychosocial problems during pregnancy

"The extent to which couples support or undermine each other's interactions with the doll predicts their co-parenting behaviour a year later," said Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, co-author of the study and professor of human sciences at the Ohio State University.

For the study, 182 couples were videotaped in the third trimester of pregnancy during their play with a doll that they were told represented the baby they were about to have.

Also read: Obesity before pregnancy risks premature birth

The couples were videotaped again nine months after the birth of their baby to see how they actually played together.

"We saw the same kinds of behaviours between parents when they were interacting with their baby that we saw a year earlier with the doll," Schoppe-Sullivan concluded.

Also take quiz: How much do you know about pregnancy?

The study appeared in the journal Family Psychology.