Resource Review: The Birth Hour
The Birth Hour is a podcast run by Bryn Huntpalmer, showcasing normal, everyday women who want to share their birth stories with the world. Since September 2015 there have been nearly 150 episodes, premiering two new ones every week. Most of the women sharing stories are from the United States and Canada, but people from other countries like Australia, the Netherlands, and Russia have also been on the podcast.
People have shared an immense variety of types of births, hopes and plans for birth, and outcomes of births. There have been stories of homebirths, hospital births, and birth center births. People have used epidurals, hypnobirthing, had cesarean births and VBACs. There have been some high risk pregnancies, and stories of miscarriage and loss. Some people have shared stories of surrogate births and adoption as well. Most of the people who share their births on The Birth Hour also have resources and tips for people who are pregnant or preparing for the birth of their dreams. Through The Birth Hour’s website, you can search for stories with a specific angle, like waterbirth, breech, or preemie.
Listening to birth stories is a great way to prepare for your own birth. It can take a lot of the anxiety of the unknown away, and show how many different possibilities are out there for birth. There is no one right or wrong way to have a baby, and this podcast really shows that. In addition to sharing the particulars and details of their birth, the guests on The Birth Hour talk a lot about what their hopes and feelings about birth were during their pregnancy, what ideas they had about how they wanted things to go, and what preparation they did to try and make that happen. They discuss the emotions they were having during the birthing process, and their reflections on how they processed the event afterwards. You can also hear a bit of the variation in how different providers treat and work with women through pregnancy and birth situations and health issues that may present.
Bryn is a great interviewer for this podcast format. She asks just enough questions to get her guests talking about their stories and then sits back and listens for most of the interview. This allows people to explore their experiences without worrying too much about judgement or analysis, and I think it helps people to be deeply honest. I would absolutely recommend this podcast to anyone I know who is pregnant and doesn’t know where to start with their journey of learning and thinking about birth and parenthood. I would also highly recommend that birth professionals give The Birth Hour a listen. It’s a great way to hear about a lot of birth situations, and people share what they were thinking and feeling, what was helpful to them, and what was harmful. Throughout history, women have honored their experiences and the experiences of others as a way to learn, and I think The Birth Hour is a wonderful way to listen and learn.