Mama Meets...Rockstar Birth Magazine
When I found Rockstar Birth Magazine online a year ago, it was like a breath of fresh air. The birth powerhouse behind the magazines is the brilliant Shalome Stone - a massively inspiring voice in the birth world and one that I'm so excited and honoured to feature on the Mama Meets series. I'll be honest, I'm totally in awe of this woman!! Shalome Stone is the Founder and Editor of the Rockstar Birth Magazine, the Rockstar Birth Radio podcast, Rockstar Birth TV webinar series, and the online interactive Rock Your Birth Academy. All designed to remind you of one important truth - that you are BORN to birth, mama. Everything you need is already inside you. Shalome wants to live in a world where women approach their birth with excitement, knowledge and a sense of power. A highly-medicalised hospital birth and two sensational home births taught her the importance of putting the trust back into a woman's innate ability to birth beautifully. Here, Shalome talks to us about all things birth, mamahood and how to rock your birth!
Can you tell us a bit about you?
I’m a former corporate IT warrior turned birth-addicted magazine publisher, who loves to immerse herself in books, dark chocolate, and silence (you can imagine how often that all happens with three kids, right?)
And the birth of your children....how was your experience? The births of my children changed my life. I mean, birth literally changed me at a core level. And the difference between my heavily-medicalised first birth, and my powerful and positive homebirths was tangible. It taught me that the preparation you do for birth plays an incredibly influential role about how you feel about birth. I learnt that it’s not about achieving the ‘perfect’ birth but rather experiencing a birth which you feel positive about (however it ultimately unfolded).
Birth taught me to back myself, to listen to my intuition (she always knows), and to trust in my amazing birthing body.
What is Rockstar Birth all about and why did you start it?
Rockstar Birth is about reminding pregnant women that they are the experts in their birth. It’s about acknowledging our fears, questioning the intense medicalisation of birth, and reinstating a trust in our bodies and our intuition. Because you will give birth to your baby. Not your obstetrician or the midwife, or your husband. You will be roaring your baby out like a Rockstar. So get informed, get empowered, and get excited about birth.
I learnt soooo much from my first birth experience that I was able to incorporate it into my second and third pregnancies and births. Everything from acknowledging my incredible birthing body, to stepping into my power and owning my birth, to the impact that your birth team and location have on your birth, to learning how to breathe my baby down (and so much more!). It was the advice that I would have given to my formerly pregnant self that was the burning passion behind the creation of the Rockstar Birth Magazine - and now the Rockstar Birth Radio podcast and the Rock Your Birth Academy - so that I could share the amazing research and birthing insights with pregnant women everywhere. Because every woman deserves to be respected and heard and to have an amazing birth experience.
How do you balance Mamahood and running a business?
I am a ninja at getting stuff done in 15-minute snatches of time! And will be forever indebted to Peppa Pig.
What can I say? It’s a juggle and I regularly drop the ball. Sometimes my kids eat an organic, nourishing, plant-based meal and other nights it’s frozen fish fingers from a packet.
I have learnt to go gently on me. I know now that if I am relaxed and in flow, my kids will be relaxed and in flow, and our home will be relaxed and in flow.
And sleep. I love it.
We live in a culture of fear around birth. What advice would you give to a Mama-to-be who wants to look forward to her baby's birth with excitement and confidence?
Ooh, how long have we got? I could chat about this all day and all night. If there is one piece of advice I would give about birth, it is to question everything. Be proactive, don’t be a passenger, get yourself in the centre of your birth journey. Show up, step up, and own your birth like a boss.
Do whatever you need to do to back yourself in birth (and it will be different for everyone). Trust your intuition. If you are feeling a pull to hypnobirthing, get on it. If you feel a doula would be a great person on your birth team, make it happen. If you want to have a private obstetrician in a private hospital and all the drugs, all power to you.
And if you’re feeling fear, then acknowledge it. Face those fears. Invite them in and really look at them. What is this fear really about? Where does it stem from? Is it your fear or someone else’s? How can you best address it? Often when we embrace our fears and really unpack them, they are not so scary or overwhelming, but rather opportunities to adapt your birth preparation in a way that feels right for you.
Who or what inspires you? There are women in The Rock Your Birth Academy who have had traumatic first births and are now stepping up to really own their next births. And women who have had emergency caesarean births the first time who are now advocating for a vaginal birth. And there are first-time mothers who are choosing to bypass society’s general fear of birth and approach their first birth experience on their terms.
These are the women who inspire me. Incredible women who are bringing together their power and their vulnerability - such a fierce combination - to really embrace birth. And that totally lights me up.
I recently had a mama in the Academy who wanted to have a vaginal birth after her previous unexpected caesarean experience had left her feeling disempowered and disillusioned. She advocated strongly for her rights, locked in a rockstar birth team, and immersed herself in information and education. And when her birthing moment came, after labouring for several hours and making incredible progress, she ultimately elected to have a caesarean birth and this time she did it on her terms. This is what she wrote to me afterwards:
“You helped me through one of the most confusing and scary times of my life and helped me become empowered, enriched and educated. I discovered a new found respect for birth and I loved labour!!! It's hard not to love something so natural and beautiful when you’re not scared.
I am so in awe of my amazing body and its wonderful abilty! I am so thankful for being able to easily get to 8cm dilated. To have received so much love and support and just see my body handle everything so well. My body rocked it! ♡♡♡ I will forever hold a place in my heart for u Mumma ♡♡♡ .”
That inspires me.
Since becoming a Mama, you have become.....?
1. Deeply appreciative of the need to tread softly. Motherhood shines a light on all the hidden parts of me that were being ignored - it brings everything to the surface and is such a big hit to the ego. It was a crash back to a new reality when I had kids - I literally had to get to know myself all over again.
For me, motherhood is a kaleidoscope of extremes - it brings the highest of the highs, the lowest of the lows (and the tiredest of the tireds!). It encompasses everything from the gentleness of snuggling your new babe, to the sharp edges of your emotions as you navigate this brave new world. Motherhood can be ecstatic and brutal, often in the same hour.
2. Passionate about connecting with other women. Exploring the world of feminism. Sharing incredible birth stories - tales of courage, and passion, and strength. Birth and motherhood have given me a whole new appreciation for women and our capabilities. We are such wonderfully layered and complex creatures.
What are you top three 'can't live withouts’?
A circle of women that I feel deeply connected to. The ocean - so much powerful in her rhythms and flows One positive birth story a day (I told you I’m addicted!)
A positive birth is.....? … defined by each mama differently. For me, a positive birth is an experience where I feel loved and supported and connected and respected and informed and empowered and capable and completely in my flow.
What do you do to unwind, de-stress and find time for you?
My youngest babe recently turned three and I realised that I have been so immersed in raising small people and launching Rockstar Birth Magazine for the past few years, that I had stopped doing the fun things that used to make me feel free. And so I have recently re-started at Bikram Yoga (the steamy sweaty kind) and it has been incredible. I am loving reacquainting myself with my bendy + flexi body, and doing something that has nothing to do with kids. It is all for me and it’s awesome!
What's next for Rockstar Birth?
I am going to be the Oprah of Birth! (that’s my new catch cry!). I have big plans to continue to raise the vibration of birth, to remind women that they already have everything they need inside them, to shift our focus from fear to self-belief. And it’s exciting! When I hear of women approaching their births with passion, it ROCKS my world!
Birth is such an incredible transition, your experience - whether positive or not so - will have a ripple effect throughout your life. I mean, you are breathing new life into the world. You deserve to be supported and respected and raised up as the birthing rockstar that you are!
As if the Rockstar Birth Magazine wasn't amazing enough, you can now pick up your subscription for FREE through January 2017. I told you this woman was awesome!
Start your Rockstar Birth journey by connecting with Shalome at firstname.lastname@example.org or her social channels: