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Freeflow Article: How to say no

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How to say no


Deborah Neiger

Independent Midwife

Instagram @debsagos



🔴 Saying no is tricky. Depending on the situation, it can be awkward, challenging or extremely hard and scary even.

🔴 But, it IS your choice to decline things, EVEN if the things offered are ultimately considered beneficial to you or your baby.

🔴 I tend to tell clients to practice ‘safe declining’ with me, I will NOT push back, but I may offer more information if desired.

🔴 Saying no can require a spectrum of different communications.
They might look like this, depending on the response you are getting to your declining:

🙂 No, thank you. I don’t want this right now.

🙂 No, thank you, I have considered this decision very carefully and I’m opting out of this for now.

🤨 No, I do NOT consent. Please simply document my choice in my notes. I am aware of why this is offered to me, and I’m making an informed decision.

🧐 No, I do not consent, I will be leaving now as I feel communications are becoming coercive and bullying.

🤯 Please stop this at once (a Cronkism…..if you know you know ♥️), I do NOT consent. What is your NMC/GMC number.

🔴 There are countless different ways to communicate declining to your care givers, and when it becomes tricky, assertiveness is key…..

🔴 However, there are ways to make it easier for your HCP to support you with unusual choices ……not that you are responsible for making your HCP more comfortable, but they find themselves between a rock (your choices) and a hard place (their employers policies and guidelines).

🔴 Letting them know clearly what you will accept and won’t accept helps, as does communicating to them that you understand what is offered and why.

🔴 Reflecting back to them that you understand what *their* fears are around your choices can also be really helpful as it confirms that you are making *fully* informed choices……regardless of whether you actually share those fears.

🔴 These are not sure-fire ways to make declining easy, but it might pave the way for some of you.

🔴 I also need to add though that the ability to say no with little or no repercussion is connected with privilege.

🔴 You are a lot less likely to encounter repercussions like hostility or even the threat of or actual social services referral if you are white, and of a certain socioeconomical profile.



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