Why this podcast?
I love, love, love all the beautiful and powerful photos that I see on social media from the rockstar birth mamas.
I also believe, so strongly, that whatever kind of birth you want it is incredibly important to be an active participant in that birth.
Shalome Stone, the host of Rockstar Birth Radio, says that when she was pregnant with her first baby she wanted a natural, drug-free labour but did precisely zero preparation and simply turned up at the hospital in labour asking “So, what do I do next?”
An approach she does not recommend –
“in doing so, I handed over my power – the very thing I needed to roar my baby out.”
Shalome started the Rock Your Birth Academy to support mothers who want to ensure they are an active participant in their birth.
How does it look?
There are thirty-six episodes to date, each lasting around thirty to thirty-five minutes. Topics include ecstatic birth, clearing the stress of IVF, empowered breech birth, maternal assisted cesarean, home birth, social media and birth, calmbirth and various birth stories.
Why this episode?
As a doula, I see that birth is incredibly intense, not just for the birthing woman but for their partner too. This episode looks at teaching your partner to be a rock at your birth and how they can feel “prepared, excited, and able to be the best possible birth support you could wish for.”
That sounds like a win-win to me.
Who should listen to this episode?
Everyone who is pregnant and their partners!
The episode does tend to refer to “your man” and “Dads” but I hope that the humour running through it and the good intentions behind it will mean that it’s both an enjoyable and useful one for all partners.
Brian The Birth Guy’s last name is Salmon and he is committed to –
“pregnancy support, birth support, breastfeeding and parenting.”
He’s also a doula, or “dude-la” and is, in fact, the only male doula in San Antonio.
You can find out more about Brian and his online birth classes here.
Why do partner’s need support?
Through his work with expectant families, Brian noticed that the partner, both male and female, often seemed disconnected from the pregnancy.
Once he started working with them he saw them becoming more familiar, and therefore comfortable, with everything surrounding birth.
It was then that they could start to feel more connected to their growing baby and the idea of parenthood.
Get that oxytocin flowing
Oxytocin or “the love hormone” is produced when you have an orgasm and it’s also what is needed for a smooth birth.
The more relaxed you are and the more your birth space feels like somewhere you could make love, the more likely the oxytocin is to flow.
If you AND your partner are prepared and well-versed in what to expect during labour you will both be more relaxed. Brian jokes that the couples he supports as a doula are more likely to be making out than arguing and that is just perfect.
Think love, not stuff
I love that Brian stresses how important it is not to sweat the small stuff during pregnancy. Yes, you need some baby gear but really not that much and you don’t need to stress yourself out over which buggy to buy or if you have enough baby clothes.
Rather, he says, spend your energy in ensuring your relationship is strong. Parents who love and support each other and who will birth, love and raise their baby as a team are way more important than the latest gadgets.
Brian’s Rockin’ Dads class covers a myriad of topics including –
– How to strengthen your relationship with your partner
– What a good birth plan should look like
– Questions to ask your care provider including their cesarean and induction rate
– What to do in early labour (see a movie, go for a romantic dinner, sleep)
– What happens when you get to the hospital and how it’s important to remind your partner that they are not ill, just having a baby and there’s most likely no reason they have to lie in bed, hooked up to machines)
– Comfort measures, tools, positions, interventions, pushing and breastfeeding.
I love that Brian also covers what to expect in the case of a cesarean. Things they should know, think about and prepare for.
To wrap up
While this episode was maybe not as specific as it could have been in terms of exactly what partners can do to be a rock during labour it does give some great background on the importance of preparing for and going into birth and parenthood as a team.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has taken one of Brian’s classes, either in person or online.
Until next time!
Emily Wills is a doula based in Stockholm. She believes that birth can be a beautiful and empowering experience and started this blog as a way of sharing some really great podcasts. She is also a mother of three and an enthusiastic runner.