A Learning and Playing Retreat for Expectant Couples:
From Partners to Family
Rowe Conference Center, Charlmont, MA
December 8-10, 2006
  Robin L. Zucker, MDiv, facilitator

The arrival of your baby will enrich your life in ways you can't imagine as it transforms your marriage into a family. The most important and rewarding job you will ever have is raising a child and sustaining a marriage. This is a wonderful opportunity for expectant couples. As you await your new arrival (including adopted children), learn skills and deepen bonds that will strengthen your marriage and your parenting for a lifetime.

Transitioning to parenthood is rarely covered in birth preparation classes, but you can prepare for the transition. Most couples expecting a baby want to be good parents and provide the best for their children, but it is easy to forget about the relationship between you and your partner. If you take steps toward building a strong relationship before the birth, you can tend your bond while you tend your baby.

This engaging and interactive weekend will be full of fun and new information. . You will learn proven techniques to improve couple communication, interact collaboratively with your baby, understand what your baby is "saying," and deepen intimacy through couple massage and yoga as well as simple infant massage techniques. Through exercises, dialogue, films, and more, you will learn how to involve both partners in the day-to-day care of your baby and your marriage, create a caring, nurturing home for building shared meaning.

We will explore keeping fathers involved, post-partum depressions, and we'll use writing and artistic expressions to explore "birthing from within." Another unique element of the workshop is the creation and decoration of belly-castings of the baby's home, the mother's belly. It is a loving act and decorating the body cast is creative and fun. The Bellycasting kit costs $37.

Much of the design of this hands-on, hearts-on workshop was developed by renowned relationship experts, Drs. John and Julie Gottman. Couples will receive a professionally produced couple resource kit from the Gottman Institute, which will cost $40.

The Rowe Center is a rustic and relaxing setting nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. Program costs are calculated on a sliding scale. For location and registration details, visit www.rowecenter.org, call (413) 339-4954 or email retreat@RoweCenter.org

About the facilitator: Robin L. Zucker, a Unitarian Universalist minister with an MDiv from Harvard, is Director of Flowingforce, a provider of personal and spiritual growth programs. Robin offers pastoral counseling to individuals couples, and groups, is a certified Gottman Educator, and trained in the Authentic Happiness Life Coaching program in positive psychology with Dr. Martin Seligman. For more info, see www.flowingforce.com. Robin will be assisted by Brenda Jones, prenatal health and yoga specialist, physical and massage therapist, and teacher.

“The real cradle that holds your baby is your loving and conscious relationship.”


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