Strategies for Healthy Communication in Postpartum

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Manage episode 291883501 series 2818882
By Danielle Jernigan. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Have you ever had the feeling that what you say to your partner falls on deaf ears because their response is the exact opposite of what you expected?

Do you ever beat yourself up because you felt as though you could have said something differently? Or forgot to say what you needed to say?

Ever completely shut down and give up because you feel like the more you talk the less they listen?

It’s a dark and lonely place when you feel there is no safe place to express your needs or wants or ask for what you want especially when dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety.

The next two episodes of the T.A.P podcast will offer a few tips on how you can improve communication and get the support you both need.

You can find the show notes for this episode at thriveafterpostpartum.com/6.

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Simple everyday communication can be a challenge. For example, have you ever asked someone to go to the store to get something, let’s say sugar and they bring back sugar -- just not the one you expected.

Your reaction is usually Dude really? Have you ever seen me buy this type of sugar?

What’s the normal response? You said sugar so I purchased sugar.

To your partner he followed your instructions to the tee and was expecting a thank you.

You are probably thinking that he could have texted and asked for clarification but honestly the responsibility lies with us to convey exactly what we want in a way they can grasp it.

When you have pregnancy or postpartum brain (yes it's a real thing) -- you are tired, low energy, emotional, sleep deprived -- thinking about how to say something is the last thing you want to do. You just expect your partner to understand that when you asked for sugar you wanted a 5 pound boxed container of Turbinado Brown Raw Cane Sugar and not Domino’s Sugar.

And before you come for me. I am not letting your partner off easily. Yes maybe they could have asked clarifying questions and we’ll talk about that in part II of this series.

But in reality the power always lies within us to say exactly what we want and need --to be specific.

And this brings me to my first tip for improving communication during postpartum:

SAY LESS. Be as specific as possible when asking for what you need.
Imagine the time and energy you save when you add specificity to your words. No more back and forth and assumptions. You get exactly what you want.

In the example above, asking for a 5 lb Box of Turbinado Brown Raw Cane Sugar and providing a picture or even a location would save you from delay, headache and even a possible argument.

Let’s take another example. You ask for time to yourself but he doesn’t quite get why. Your partner might think well you just took a shower or I’ve been at work all day so why does she need time to yourself.

Try this instead: I’m not feeling like myself and my energy is low. I’d like to take Saturday morning from 8-12 to be by myself. No kids, no partner, no responsibilities. I’m going to silence my phone. I don’t want you contacting me unless it's an emergency.

Do you see the difference? You’ve given your partner a clear time frame and guidelines for those 4 hours. You are also letting them know why you need the time. You are also allowing them to prepare.

Often we are reactive and let things build up within and our communication reflects this. It can be scary not knowing if you’ll get the support you need especially when they don’t understand what you are going through. You really want your partner to just get it.

For the remaining show notes please visit thriveafterpostpartum.com/6

8 episodes