Thinking of Starting a Family?

Create the right home and family environment for your newborn by healing rifts in your relationship before baby arrives. All too often partners make the mistake of thinking that having a baby will bring them closer and repair their relationship. Don’t fall in this trap!

Making your relationship solid is the biggest gift you can give your newborn and yourselves!

If you are going to be a queer family it is important to discuss and become prepared for the particular challenges queer families face in the USA today. Therapy can provide a place to address these concerns

New Parents?

So often we aren’t prepared for the enormous changes a baby brings into a marriage. Despite being forewarned about sleepless nights and other stressors, it is hard to prepare for the added pressures on your relationship. Mom’s attention is absorbed by baby, as it should be, but this can leave your partner feeling out on a limb and wondering how to embrace their new role as the co-parent.

The joy of a new baby can feel eclipsed by stressors with your partner. Queer parents must also deal with added social stressors. It is important to have a place to address these stressors, and therapy provides this.

Pre-existing problems in your relationship can be magnified by things like:

  • Postpartum depression (possible for either parent)
  • Sleepless nights
  • Being suddenly thrust into all the new demands that parenting entails

All this can make you and your partner more reactive with each other and more prone to unproductive fighting.

Build a solid foundation for your family by focusing on creating a strong partnership.

Learn how to develop:

  • The three key factors for a healthy and happy relationship
  • Effective conflict resolution and negotiation skills so that you can address any problem, big or small
  • A united parenting team for your baby, which will become even more important as your baby grows older

Remember: What you model in terms of healthy relationships and good communication skills is what your baby will learn from and repeat.

A Major Cost Saver

Take care of your relationship impasses and conflicts now rather than later. If you wait until they have reached crisis or boiling point, the motivation to do the repair work might be higher, but it will usually take longer and cost more.

Dealing with issues now is a big cost saver both emotionally and financially!

Call for an initial free telephone consultation so I can answer your questions and concerns.

Ondina Nandine Hatvany, MFT at (415) 381-1065 (confidential office line) or email



Why Love Matters- How Affection Shapes the Baby’s Brain

By: Sue Gerhardt. 2004.

This book will open your eyes to the fundamentals of brain development in infancy and the importance of responsive parenting. Ideas are well backed by scientific research but still very readable for the lay person.

Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents

By: Christine Carter. 2010.

Christine Carter, PhD, is a sociologist and happiness expert who directs the Greater Good Science Center’s parenting program in Berkeley, California. Drawing on what psychology, sociology, and neuroscience reveal about the factors that create joy and strong relationships, Carter teaches simple skills to improve relationships with children, spouses, and ex-spouses. Also be sure to check out the online course for parents by Christine Carter:

How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk

By: Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

This is a parent’s essential and easy read.

Gay Dads: A Celebration of Fatherhood

By: David Strah And Susanna Margolis. 2004.

Beautifully written, David Strah the author, is a master story teller. In this book David looks at twenty five different situations, including his own, that offer a wide range of options, revealing the relationship that gay men have with their children, their community and families. It also has a reference section where the reader can gain more information and assistance in their goals to adopt a child.

Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle (Contemporary Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Psychology)

By: Abbie E. Goldberg. 2009.

A well researched and very readable resource for both families and the clinician, this book can be read by a wide audience. Also a wonderful resource for prospective and active lesbian and gay parents and their children.

For Lesbian Parents: Your Guide to Helping Your Family Grow Up Happy, Healthy, and Proud

By: Suzanne M Johnson Phd and Elizabeth O’Connor Phd. 2001.

“A ‘must read’ for lesbian mothers and moms-to-be as well as those lucky enough to have such a family in their lives” – Leslea Newman, author of ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’

Parenting from the Inside Out

By: Daniel Siegel, MD and Mary Hartell, MED.

This book looks at what is needed in a child’s environment to foster optimal development. While written by a neuroscientist, it is very personable and readable. This one is a must have for new parents.

And Baby Makes 3

By: John Gottman

Gottman has written a whole host of books based on his research of some 20+ years with partners. His approach could be named “the science of love.” He asks the question: what makes one relationship work and not the other? Read Gottman and find out!


The go-to site for queer families in the Bay Area. Go here for support groups, social events and social justice advocacy.

To quote the creator of the site: “Mombian provides parenting tips, children’s activities, book reviews for parents and children, and political news and commentary, all from the perspective of a lesbian mom. It also includes a helping of lesbian culture and entertainment, in the belief that mothers don’t lose their other interests the moment they become parents.”

This is an invaluable site for the new parent. It provides resources, training, and lots of support for parents of young children. For over 20 years, the Parenting by Connection approach has brought parents practical tools that can resolve universal family challenges.