210: Baby Bomb: A Relationship Survival Guide for New Parents with Kara Hoppe, MFT

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Today’s show focuses on your relationship during pregnancy and the postpartum period. My guest shares her experience through postpartum depression and anxiety and the effects on her marriage. We are covering what you need to know--but no one has told you--about the entry into parenthood. Join us!

Kara Hoppe is a psychotherapist, teacher, feminist, and mother. She has spent more than a decade as an inclusive therapist working with individuals and couples toward healing and growing toward becoming grounded, integrated people with better access to their own instincts, wisdom, and creativity. Kara offers workshops for parents and expectant couples based on her book, Baby Bomb: A Relationship Survival Guide for New Parents. She lives with her husband and son in Pioneertown, CA, and sees clients in private practice via telehealth. In today’s conversation, Kara helps us understand how new parents can navigate the unexpected changes in their relationship, including how to communicate, how to maintain intimacy, and how to grow together as a new family.

Show Highlights:

  • Kara’s experience with postpartum depression and anxiety through the birth of her son and thought the disconnect was just “normal”
  • How her husband noticed the shift in her and urged her to take time for herself
  • How the relationship changes for Kara brought discomfort and “dizzying vulnerability” in needing her husband so much
  • From her husband’s perspective, it felt good to be needed in a different way and be a necessary partner in parenting--but there were frustrations from his end
  • Why the postpartum aspect is hard to understand when you’re in the middle of it and requires a “big picture” approach
  • Why Kara decided to write a book to help other couples, and how she brought in Stan Tatkin to help
  • How Kara and her husband got back to relationship intimacy on every level to strengthen their marriage
  • How parenthood brings many opportunities for misattunement and hurt within a marriage
  • How Kara teaches secure functioning from attachment theory, which is based on trust, safety, and security
  • How the micro-moments of mistake can be repaired to return to intimate connection
  • Why the couple relationship must come first when the baby arrives
  • How the child gains security by seeing parents taking care of each other’s needs
  • How Kara wants to empower couples to co-create the life they want as equal partners
  • From Kara’s book: how her chapter on sexual intimacy covers navigating the conflict over “touching”
  • How the non-primary parent can offer care without over-touching
  • How to reframe your needs into words that communicate to your partner without blame or attack
  • How Kara’s couples retreats teach skills for repairing your relationship and cultivating increased intimacy
  • Hopeful messages from Kara: “Partners who get support in understanding themselves and what they do can take responsibility and make changes. Awareness is key, and we can teach that.”

Resources:

www.karahoppe.com

Find Kara Hoppe on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Baby Bomb: A Relationship Survival Guide for New Parents by Kara Hoppe and Dr. Stan Tatkin

Find Dr. Stan Tatkin on Instagram and Facebook.

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