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My guest today is McLean McGown.
We go deep talking about:
- The support new mothers and fathers need,
- How to get that support,
- What a mother goes through before, during, and after birth,
- How dads can support their partners,
- How dads can get the support they need,
- The importance of the first 40 days,
- Pregnancy and birth as spirituality, and
- Embodiment practices to keep you grounded.
McLean is a Motherhood Coach, Podcaster, Prenatal & Postnatal Healing Expert, Postpartum Doula, Nutritionist, Hypnotherapist, Pilates, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Lactation Educator Counselor, Death Doula, Reiki Practitioner, wife, and Mother of two daughters living in Los Angeles.
After the birth of her first daughter, McLean quickly realized that there was a great need for women to be supported on a deeper level, not only through pregnancy and birth but especially during the Postpartum shift. Through her own Postpartum journey with little support, she made it her mission to show up for other women as the kind of loving support that she wished she’d had.
Becoming a Postpartum doula has led her to her truest passion- Coaching and educating women as they transition from Maiden to Mother and beyond. She loves supporting the mother of course, but also the father or other Parent as well. Holding the entire family in a cohesive, healthy and healing container helps everyone land into their new role. It helps to establish effective ways of communicating and realistic expectations.
You can work with McLean via her 1:1 Coaching Programs or her monthly group Mom Club Membership.
McLean views the journey of conception through to postpartum as different points on one continuum. It is this holistic approach that helps women embrace all the parts of their journey with clear vision, strength and grace. She thanks her highest gurus- her daughters Jemima and Goldy Wolf for leading her onto this path and helping her to find her true Self. It takes a village to raise a mother, not just a child.
Find McLean online at:
Mom Club: https://www.patreon.com/mcleanmcgown
Curt Storring 0:00
Welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. My name is Curt Storring. Your host Today's guest is McLean McGown I want you to listen this one guys because this is important for me I wanted to have McLean on because I wanted her perspective as someone who works with mothers, to give us fathers something to go on when it comes to supporting our wives or partners, and supporting ourselves in the transition into fatherhood, or having a new child if you've already got one. We go deep today talking about the support new mothers and fathers need, how to get that support what a mother goes through before, during and after birth, so that you as a father understand how dads can support their partners, how dads can get the support they need. The importance of the first 40 days after birth. This is extremely important. pregnancy and birth as spirituality and embodiment practices to keep you grounded. Now McLean is a motherhood coach, a podcaster a prenatal and postnatal healing expert. She's a postpartum doula and nutritionists hypnotherapist Pilates, yoga and meditation teacher, a lactation educator, Counselor, a death doula, a Reiki practitioner, a wife, and a mother of two daughters living in Los Angeles, she has a ton of experience and her energy comes through very, very much in this conversation, I think you'll really like it. After the birth of her first daughter, McLean quickly realized that there was a great need for women to be supported on a deeper level, not only through pregnancy and birth, but especially during the postpartum shift. Through her own postpartum journey. With little support. She made it her mission to show up for other women as the kind of loving support she wish she had had. Becoming a postpartum doula has led her to her truest passion, which is coaching and educating women as they transition from maiden to mother and beyond. She loves supporting the mother of course, but also the father or other parents as well. Holding the entire family in a cohesive, healthy and healing container helps everyone land into their new role and helps to establish effective ways of communicating and realistic expectations. You can work with McClain, one on one via her coaching programs or her monthly group mum club membership. She's used the journey of conception through to postpartum as different points on one continuum. It's this holistic approach that helps women embrace all parts of their journey with their clear vision, strength and grace. She thinks her highest gurus, her daughters, Gemma and Goldie Wolf, for leading her onto this path and helping her to find her true self. It takes a village to raise a mother, not just a child, I really encourage you dads to listen to this one. You might be wondering, what's in it for you here? Why would you want to listen to this, maybe you don't have a new child, maybe you're wondering what a mother expert has to share with you. And I just want to let you know that I was really shocked at the quality of this. I mean, I wanted to have a clean on because I resonated with what she was sharing. I had heard her on another podcast with Kimberly and Johnson, who my wife and I are very big fans of. And she even blew it away from me. And I had high expectations already. So this one is very important. It's so so vital that we as men, learn what our partners, our women partners are going through for motherhood, during pregnancy, during birth, all of these things, these are such important life changing experiences. And if we just don't know, then how are we going to be there for them? So we get into that in this episode. And I think you'll really enjoy it. There's a lot of stuff. There's a lot of good actionable content in terms of getting support, what that looks like, why it's so important, and why you shouldn't just like push it off to the side. So I highly recommend diving in. And with that, let's get into it.
Thank you for joining me. I'm extremely happy. Yeah, I'm so excited to have you. And this might seem strange for some of the dads listening like why do I have someone who your business is mother, the mother? Why do I have you on the podcast. And this is very important for me because as a father, one of the most fundamental and deep relationships we can have is obviously with the mother, with our partners, and learning about birth, outside of what I like to call the medicalization of that system is super important because there is so much like innate energy that the bodies, our bodies, the women's bodies have during this process that can be unleashed and harnessed for change and for good, and we just miss out on it. And so one of the things that I want to talk about first was just the work that you do, because this is like a new thing for me to even know exists. And I mean like since time immemorial, before our current modern age, there would have been a community surrounding a birth surrounding a family raising both the mother and the father and the child. And I talk about this so often on this podcast and in my work is that we should never be doing this work alone. Community is so important and yet, we go through this life changing thing of having a kid And it's so lonely, especially for dads. But I'm also interested in the mother's perspective. So you're a postpartum doula, amongst many other things. Could you just walk us through? Like, what that looks like? What do you what do you do?
McLean McGown 5:12
Thank you. Yeah. And like I was saying, before we hit record, I'm so happy to be here with you. And it really just gave me chills when he reached out to me on Instagram. And I immediately said, Yes, which I don't often do, because I just don't have time to say yes to strangers, you know, but you were like, you know, doing this for five years, I was just like, yes, reply, because it is, what I'm finding more and more, because I'm all about the women. I'm all about the mothers, obviously, mother, the mother, I've got two daughters, a married I'm a daughter. But what I'm finding after doing this almost a decade is I can do all the healing work, I can come in and help and get mom on such a good track. And if dad is not part of this, it doesn't really matter. Because when I leave, it's all going to shit. So it's like, how do we treat the entire family with integrity and what's going to be effective. And that's why I'm not about the baby, because I come in, and I'm helping the Mother Mother, I'm helping her hold the vision of what kind of woman she wants to be what kind of mother she wants to be what kind of wife she wants to be. Because as the mom, women truly are the cornerstone of the family. And we've kind of gotten this ass backwards in our society. So it's no diss on the men at all. It's just we are the life givers, we bring life forward, and we need our men, we need our men so much. And it's almost like everyone's confused. And so we just don't know what to be doing, even though there's so much intention and goodwill and of course, love and we want to be doing the best we can. But there's just like all these, like Miss firings. And so it's like, how can we really support the family. So when I go in as a postpartum doula, I make it very clear, I'm there for the partner or the dad as well. I want them to feel as comfortable with me coming in to discuss what's coming up for them. And just to kind of backtrack, so my oldest daughter's almost 10. And I got into this work after her birth I was kind of into the natural birth world, I've always been interested in it, I live in LA so we're quote unquote, on the frontier of all of this, which isn't really true, but on the outside it looks like we are and done all the natural birth classes then the Bradley My husband is very involved, you know, with midwife midwifery care going to do a birth center birth. And I was kind of doing what I thought I should be doing. But I wasn't doing a lot of the inner work which you know, as first time moms who don't know us, for some parents, we don't know, it's like, this is the complete unknown, we're doing the best we can we're doing the things. And then after I gave birth to her, my birth went very differently and transferred to the hospital. Still so in love with her so happy but like, it was traumatic for me in different ways. And you know, that's a very elusive term, it's very different for each person. But if you're experiencing trauma in any form, it's held in the body, right? So it didn't really catch up to me to like a year and a half later, because I was like, Oh, I'm happy and I'm young, and we're traveling, and everything's fine, the breastfeeding side, but I wasn't resting and I wasn't really embodying what I needed to be embodying. So I just remember a girlfriend came over maybe two weeks after I gave birth and I was like, you know, in a diaper. And I was just like, I'm just gonna be real with you. Because no one told me any of this stuff. Like literally no one told me this stuff. And I didn't even know postpartum doula existed. I had no idea. And it just became my life's work in my life's path to help women move through this time because I want to be the help that I didn't even know I needed at the time. Like that's how I want to be showing up. And it's a big sister role of just like really honest, but also honoring where each client is each mother is obviously each mother work with is very different. Some are doing home birth, some are in hospitals, some want to go straight into epidurals, some are doing c sections. I mean, generally, I think the people that gravitate towards me are more into the spiritual work and the natural birth, but I have all different sorts of clients. And I actually want to have very clients because I think this work needs to infiltrate all parts of society. So it's been a journey as I've had my second kid as I'm now 10 years older, I'm now in my 40s.
So it's you know, all the This work is a journey I now have a motherhood coach, which I love. So I have clients all over the world and I work with couples, I work with moms. So usually my coaching container, let's say it's four calls a month, usually one or two of those will be with the father or the partner. So really, we do meditation, we do yoga, dad, or partner's going through their whole thing. So as the woman that's pregnant, so there's a lot to work with. And I love working, even though I'm a postpartum doula, per se. I work with women all the way from wanting to conceive through fertility all the way through pregnancy into postpartum and beyond. So for me, the postpartum like that, with the doula work, how I started, that was my entry point. And then I realized, that is, for me, the quickest in to really help build the foundation for families. So it's not just like, oh, want to come and do these, like cute things for six weeks, and then you're fine and then leave, it's like, No, I want you to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually, get the foundation of who you are, and then support you through the journey and the couple together, because that time and I really consider quote unquote, postpartum to be two years minimum. It's not just six weeks, really setting you guys up to thrive. And of course, we go through stuff, we have challenges, we have breastfeeding issues, we have latch issues, we have weight gain issues. With the baby, you know, we have lots of different healing stuff. Obviously, if you have a C sections can be more difficult. There can be tons of tearing, you know, there's a lot of physical but what I see for most women, it's the emotional spiritual that is biggest in our society right now of looking outside of ourselves for the answers.
Curt Storring 11:45
Hmm, yeah. Well, that's the thing that's coming up for me right now is just like, why the hell do we know this? why doesn't everybody want this? And get this because I was gonna ask like, Okay, well, what are the things that you do? But I think you just touched on that which is, you coach and you hold space and you facilitate the coming the almost the rebirth after the death of the person you were before your child? Yeah, it seems like there's this the spiritual aspect that should exist in such a huge part of people's lives and and doesn't and then people wonder why it's so hard to move on after having a kid? Why isn't the relation right there? Why do I feel lonely? Why do I not know what's going on? Why, as a husband and a father, am I so resentful now? Well, there's nobody holding space for this transformation. And just simply hearing that you exist, and that postpartum postpartum doulas exist, or some other form of support can and should exist, like you just touched on so many things that you do and touch on and like could go wrong and need support with, like, everyone should be doing this. It's, it's just mind boggling that they're not. So yeah, what are like, what are you other than just like spreading the word like this? What sorts of things are getting people to like, flip that to be like, oh, wow, I do need help. Like, how are you getting people to really accept that they need done?
McLean McGown 13:08
Well, you know, first of all, we all have our own karma, we all have our own life path. So there are certain things we must go through, to learn what we need to learn, right? So. So for any of you men that are listening, or couples listening, it's very easy to look back and feel some guilt or some shame or a Why didn't we know, you know, and the thing is, is we don't know what we don't know. And we don't know it. And now you know, and now you can do better. And so a lot of times people are willing to do this work with their second or third kid because they didn't know about it with their first and they suffered, everyone suffered. And so now it's like, how can we not suffer moving forward. And I mean, something like you just said, of just holding space, I think that is the key. And that's what we had when we lived in villages, we had lots of different people holding different roles for us. And then now we're looking at our partner to do everything. And our society isn't set up for that, because our partners working eight to 10 hour days, right, and then also oftentimes, when you have the baby, and then maybe you are paying for some extra help, Dad has a lot of stress now of paying the bills. And so on the one hand, you want to be there, and you want to be comforting your wife, and maybe not totally knowing how to and it feels awkward, but then you also have this like huge financial thing. And then you also have your whole lineage of fathers and all that stuff's coming up for you. So it's very intense, but it's also incredible, and I always tell my clients, Pregnancy truly is the quickest spiritual path. It's like, I was gonna times like a fuckin million, right. It's like it brings up your stuff if you want to do it consciously. I mean, some people opt out and it's just like, They just concentrate on getting the stroller and whatever. But like, for most people that are doing this, and really want to show up and be conscious parents and co parent consciously, it takes a lot of work, because it takes a lot of inner work. It's not just the taking care of the baby, it's taken care of us. And for a lot of us and very busy societies, we don't stop until this point, you know, for a lot of women, they never really even pay attention to their cycle, they don't pay attention to their horrible PMS, or their fibroids or anything until they want to get pregnant, you know, and then all of these things come forward. And a lot of that stuff's based in emotion. So there's just a lot of underlying stuff. Same can be on the men. You know, fertility is an issue, maybe something's going on with the sperm, there's a lot of judgment and shame about that, you know, changing your body through nutrition and your own inner work. I mean, there's so many pieces to conceiving a kid like it's insane, and then much less growing it and then birthing a healthy human, like each one is just such a miracle. And I'm also I mean, this is like kind of another path. But I'm also a death doula. So for me, all of this work is very similar, it's two sides of the same coin of how I hold space for people. And I think for me, the longer I've been doing this, the more confident I've been getting in my work and being able to hold space. The details are different, but it's all the same, truly, of allowing the giving education, giving some real, like grounded support, and then allowing for the spiritual journey, whatever my clients are going through without an agenda, because I don't know, you know, and I'm very strong in that, like, I don't know, the contracts you have with your kids, I don't know the soul contract you have with your wife, I don't know her contracts with her kids. So I'm just there as a support, you know, there's no one right way to do anything. When it comes to parenthood, I think we all know that. Like, you're like, I get this that you're in the next stage is your kid and you're like, Oh, my God. And so it's like, how do we resource ourselves? How do we love our lives? Because I mean, I don't know anyone that has kids to like, all of a sudden have a miserable life. I don't think that's why we're having children. And so how do we love our lives? How do we continue to grow? How do we find joy in every day with our kids, I mean, that's, that's something I really always come back to every day, is how do I have joy with my kids, because that's ultimately what matters. You know, I love my work. And it is my dharma. And it is my daily calling. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be doing it. Because it's a lot. But ultimately, my kids are my first job, they are my first and highest teachers, my gurus, they've changed me so much for the better. And I always have to come back to that, you know, I don't want to be a rush mom doing all this great work for other people, and then my family suffering. So it's really you know, it's walking that balance, which is different every day. And I do the best I can.
Curt Storring 18:08
Yeah, and I just want to double down on the kids being the work, you know, like they're so so triggering, which is amazing, because like, I have got years and years worth of therapy. And because I've just been around them, they've pushed my buttons, the things that I don't want to see, because I have put it onto them. And they're now reflecting myself back at me. And so anyone who's open enough to see those triggers as being a gift, I think has a great work ahead of them. And I just want to touch on one thing so people don't miss it what you were saying about you don't know the soul contract. I just want to mention that that's like such intentional language and such intentional way of being that I've never even heard anybody say, you know what, I don't know what your soul contract as or your contract with your kids is. And I don't even want to go too much deeper into this. I just want to mention for people don't pass this over. Because like this is the level of intentionality and depth that you can get to if you just slow down and like not assume like you said that you have all the answers. And so I just want to touch on that because I think it was very important. Now I kind of want to go in order. As we go through, maybe you can work us walk us through what a woman and I say this very generally because it's different for everyone. What a woman goes through during pregnancy because there are physiological, emotional, hormonal changes, that I think it's important for dads to understand. Because a lot of time we're just like, well, what the hell is going on? Like, why don't you want to sleep with me? Why are you whatever, and then we get like, Oh, you don't like me? I'm gonna feel resentful now. And then the baby comes into the picture. And we're resentful against the baby and like, all this shit happens. So I want to know, yeah, first of all, generally the experience of motherhood, particularly for first time mothers, and from that I'd like to work into that first 40 days of the fourth trimester because I think it's important for dads to understand that, too, so generally speaking, whatever you want to say about the woman's experience so that dads know more about it, and we'll go from there.
McLean McGown 20:08
Great, great question. So, you know, it's very nuanced, obviously. So this, these are broad strokes, but a very generalized fact is that a woman when she's pregnant, it's the equivalent hormonally of taking 200 birth control pills a day. So hi. That's a lot. There's so much change on a physical, emotional, every level spiritual. A lot of what comes up for women is their own matriarchal line. So we're talking many generations back, is coming through her. So a lot of women are experiencing stuff that dads might be like, I don't, where's this coming from, because I really don't see that in our life. That can be her own birth, it could be her mother's birth, it could be your grandmother, her great grandmother's birth. So there's so much healing to be done. And that's really incredible work to for men and women to be like, do the inner work and be like, you know what, I don't really feel like that's mine. That's just some programming. From my lineage. Let's release that. So don't take that forward. And I think you know, as the spiritual awakening that pregnancy can be, whatever trauma can we all have big and little traumas we've experienced in life. When you are growing this baby inside you that you love so much. It's beyond words, you do not want any of that stuff carried on to this kid. So it's like how can you really delve in and do that work? And then for women, I mean, look in our society. We are used to manipulating our needs to make you know, quote, unquote, make it in society. Right. So let's say a lot of us women are underweight to start so very common for a lot of body dysmorphia, past eating disorder, stuff, all of that very common to come up. Statistically, more women than not are sexually abused and assaulted in their life. If they haven't done that inner work, that stuff is coming up during pregnancy, and that that stuff will very often come up during labor and delivery. So that's like a real a real thing. And that's a whole other podcast, which would be really great to have, actually. But that's something to really encourage your partner. If they haven't done that work. How can you support them? How can you really invest in therapy for them body work, because that will, like I said, Come up, there's a physical connection. And it's like a little graphic, but I was my mind was blown when a doula told me this a decade ago. And she saw it again and again, with her clients. When you get when your cervix opens, I think it's four centimeters, that's like the size of a penis inside. And so if there's trauma that has not been healed, you will see labor shut down. So that's why a lot of women are going in for scheduled c sections. They just No, I'm not doing it. I'm not having a baby out of my vagina not doing it. You know, totally committed to epidurals, you know, and again, like I'm not saying there's pro or constantly This is my whole thing is just education and knowing your Whys. Why are you doing this? Is it because that's your real choice from an educated place? Or is that from other people's pressure or, you know, liability or whatever. So, that's a whole other thing to move through. And then also, in society, generally, what we see is like, more the successful or type A or CEO, women are taking on more of a masculine energy, you know, which is a huge cause of infertility happening. It's a huge cause. It's very interesting. So, and again, this is very nuanced. So this is this is a nationalization, but pregnancy is stepping into the divine feminine, that's a very uncomfortable for people, for women that are living in that masculine, feels very uncomfortable and vulnerable to step into the divine feminine, they're very cut off from their bodies, they live up here in their minds, and they're rewarded for it and society, right? They're killing it in business, not killing it when it comes to their bodies and getting pregnant and having healthy, easy, relaxed pregnancies and births. So it's all just very intermingled and then so with that on the partner aside,
the partner will be seeing their partner in a different way. And that can be scary because you're like, wait, I'm married this like, hot CEO, you know, and we're jet setting lifestyle or whatever I mean, this is just like a very shallow example. But now she's having to be a different person. And so that can just change the whole dynamic and relationship. And, you know, I think for any couple, any partnership, whether you're together or not, but really knowing that this is a finite amount of time, and we're so addicted to instant gratification. And like I said, For me postpartum is two years minimum. That sounds like a really long time, to your sounds like a really long time. And it's not that like, you know, when you have older kids, really two years, there's nothing like that went by in a flash. But especially as new parents that sound so daunting, and the fact in our society too, that men are like, Oh my god, I can't have sex for six weeks. Like that's, that's something we need to talk about. First of all, because I also see women, you don't understand how many women say, I'm willing to pay my ob to not say that to me that I can have sex at six weeks, because they don't want to have sex, their body is saying, I am not ready for penetration. And my husband's, like, chomping at the bit over here, and I fucking hate him. Now, you know, like, this is real this is that this is what's happening. And so we have to, like figure out what is based in biology, like why why do our bodies not want to have sex? Some some women do. And that's great. I did not want to have sex at six weeks, I had like, PTSD vagina, I'd like to, you know, it's like, it's a lot, a lot that avonds bring a kid out of your body. And so that's another topic is, I feel like it's almost this like, gold sticker. People think like, oh, if I get back to having sex, that means I'm like, normal again. And I'm, you know, making my husband feel better. And then men are like, well, she must be fine, because now we're having sex. And a lot of women are making themselves have sex when they don't want to. And so to me, that's a real red flag to like, what is that thing about your relationship? Or what is that saying about you covering up your needs, and, and obviously, there are many ways to be intimate cuddling, I was talking to my clients, cuddling in bed with your newborn is so romantic, and wonderful and sacred. I mean, in India, they call the sacred window, the golden window, you never get that time back. And it's so special, and it really does. forge that foundational kind of holder space holder for the family. And, you know, you can be romantic you can, there are lots of things you can do, though, you know, penetrative sex. So like, that's just a conversation that couples need to be talking about, and being really honest about and I totally see from the man side, how you can feel thrown to the wayside. But, or, and that's biology, because you actually want your partner doing that, because your partner, giving everything to your baby is what keeps your baby alive. I mean, that's how humanity has lasted this long. So I always come back down to like, what has made it through the test of time? Like what are these traditions that have lasted for 1000s of years? And what's new and not working clearly for our society? And having expectations that are based in biology and what is real for us? Because all you know, I think for everything, it's like, if you're okay with the what is without society factors, what your friends are doing all of that outside stuff, like, we can generally be okay with a lot, right? Because we're just like, it's today and it's fine, and we're going to get through it. But when we look outside again, for the answers, and like, then try to grid it up with what we're going through. There's so much misalignment, we create our own suffering.
Curt Storring 29:12
Yeah, yeah, this is exactly what I was hoping that you would talk to us about. And I think a lot of what I'm hearing is that people need to understand, first of all, like, what things are going on, because for a lot of guys, they're not having these conversations. I mean, you might not have these deep conversations with your wife, and maybe you will years from now because you know, you've gone through, you've had your kids, you've gone through this inner work, and these things will come up, but at first, we might not even know how to broach the subject. It's just like, well, I'm supposed to be having sex and like if I don't, then I'm a loser. What like why don't we talk about like, what it is that she needs, like what are you eating right now? Like, oh, here's what I'm eating and even as a man to say, look, you know, I'm feeling Whatever I'm feeling left out, I'm feeling abandoned, I'm feeling scared, and to like put a name and a label to these feelings, and then, you know, ask for some support, and not expect it to be given. And I think that's something that as men, and maybe even as a society, we don't really get, it's okay to express the needs you have, and then not expected to be met. And there's something powerful about simply saying that. And so so there's all these things that you're saying now that the woman is going through physiologically, and just emotionally, spiritually to be, I think you said, like pregnancy as a spiritual path. And like that, in itself, if you're going through this huge transformation, it's, it's going to be different. So like, you have to tread more carefully. I think we as fathers need to tread more carefully and more sensitively. And just be okay with it, like, understand that the societal norm of six weeks is stupid. Yeah, you've just you've heard it right here, you know, you've got all the experience of working with your clients is stupid, it's not how it's supposed to go. And so like, wipe that clean? And then what does it look like for you and your wife moving forward? And it's, you know, going to your wise,
McLean McGown 31:13
and also how, how can you support your own journey, you know, and maybe that's getting therapy, maybe that's journaling a lot, maybe that's getting into yoga, or meditation or different modalities that really help you tap into because men as we know, have the Divine Feminine in them as well and and, you know, toxic masculinity, which is, you know, the patriarchal view of all these things that you need to be doing. And we've seen a lot in this past year and a half, right, like a lot of those outer labels have fallen away. And so I think, there's been so much unknown and feelings of being really uncomfortable, but it's also kind of burned off a lot of extra stuff to like, see who we really are at our core, you know, like, Who are you without your job, who are you without your sports car, who are you without your suit, you know, you're wearing pajamas all day, like, it's like, it's been a really interesting exercise, I think, for all of us. And, and I do think there is so much potential to be so much closer to your partner after you have children. So I just want to say that too, I think this is such a powerful awakening, and growth. And there's so much ways that you can be intimate and romantic and really like solidify our relationship and in much more meaningful ways after you have children. And I always say to a lot of clients, I mean, just totally unlike the 3d level is sacred money, if you know you won't have kids in a couple years, just start saving your money, maybe don't have a huge wedding, have a small wedding, and save your money for postpartum care. Because I think also in our society, we spend a lot of money on the wedding. And then for anyone listening that's married. You know, that's like a very small amount of marriage, right? It's a very finite couple of hours of marriage. And so getting really good postpartum care, getting really good therapy, all of that, like that's a real investment in your marriage.
Curt Storring 33:19
Absolutely. And it's, I mean, that just brought the word nervous system to mind. And there's so much that both, I guess the mother, you probably work a lot with, you know, bodywork and stuff like that. But as you were saying, you know, how does the the father stay supported, doing bodywork, getting in body getting more comfortable with the body getting, I mean, on the one hand, silencing the inner critic of the mind is perhaps the first step of mindfulness and training like that. But I think for me, the deeper part is getting into the body. And so I just want to like drop very quickly, a couple of things that have worked for me, meditation, journaling, like you mentioned, breath work. And you know, it could be a session a couple hour session with a breathwork facilitator, or it could be deep belly breathing. It could be alternate nostril breathing, it could be anything to get you out of your head, into your body, and simply more comfortable with being and feeling what is and so there are so many places, I mean, I will be sharing much more about this in my journey for fathers to get embodied basically. And I just want to make sure that people know that there are things to do to support themselves as they get into this container where honestly as a father, and it can be hard and I'm just like I'm seeing this in my head right now I'm feeling it in my heart and almost is tearing apart of when we go in there. Like we can be this sacred masculine container. We can hold the shit out of our own emotions and then our partner and her baby. Yeah, and at the same time, if you don't, if you haven't built that resilience or that embodiment up like then the opposite of that is happening. You have to do that and you have no idea what to do and Yes cratering
McLean McGown 35:01
totally we have to train we have to upgrade and that's the thing that is missing from our current society is we have to train we have these crazy expectations that we in starting from as kids right we sit in a chair for eight hours we're not doing a lot of exercise instant gratification we feel any pain we got to go you know we're wimpy as a society we're when be as fuck and so that's another thing with like going into birth especially if you want to have a home birth or natural birth you have to train for that you know like I walked five miles a day every day of my pregnancy you know like I was training and I had a very fast labor and delivery with my second same with men if we're going to expand this This goes for everything for any human at any time. If we're going to call it more abundance we have to expand what we can hold because universe is not going to go oh yeah I'm gonna drop all that amazingness to that person that cannot hold all of any of this you know it's like in a wash through and so breathwork all of that you know sauna cold plunges Kundalini Yoga we have to really work that muscle of self discipline because like when it comes to trauma you know we react and like a lot of couples you know we react we have the same fight over and over right like for 10 years 20 years 30 years you're busy having same fight clearly not working because it's still coming up so what day do you choose? You know what is inner strength now I don't need to retort I don't need to say anything. She knows how I feel by now on that subject I'm just going to hold my power over here and I'm going to expand I'm going to be the container and that's what we all really need to be doing more any human whether you have kids or not so yeah sorry just gotten like warrior mode. But it is it is it is true it is true and this is no easy feat it is huge to bring a soul into this world you know if you and honestly we don't want to do the work don't have a kid like we've got enough kids you know seriously like get a dog or a cat because it's a lot of work it's a lot of work and it's going to push you to your limits sometimes every day and it's also amazing
Curt Storring 37:10
Yeah, yeah and I think if more people just understood that this journey is a spiritual journey and like whatever part of the journey you're at really depends on like what you think about that word I think but like just if you take it for face value that this is a transformative soul exploding a spiritual experience and like you start to be more intentional about it no matter where you are. And just want to like 100% double down on that wimpy society thing I was at the dentist the other day and I was simply getting a cleaning it had been like a lot of years I didn't like I was looking and I just wanted to get a clean and she's like would you like me to to numb the area and that's like oh what for like I thought we were just doing a cleaning and she's like oh well there could be a little bit of discomfort that's like Are you fucking kidding me? Like people get numbed for this it's like you can hardly feel it so yeah there's this inability to feel pain and within that pain and and you know I'm not too obviously a self immolating degree but within pain there's a massive ability for growth and feelings.
McLean McGown 38:06
And and you know, that's that is part of you know, the idea behind natural childbirth is this is a huge physical feat I mean it's running like five marathons on no sleep for two days not eating you know, it's a lot and we have to know that there's gonna be some pain you know, and there's a whole like reframe on the words we use some people use rushes or it can be challenging for me I use pain because that's what it was like the most painful thing I've ever gone through and I've run a marathon injury before and it was like it's completely blast out of the water. And if we allow our bodies to do it, usually when baby's out of your body your natural hormones kick in and you're like flying high I mean I didn't epidural tiny bit with my first nun with my second home birth of my second and literally she came out of my body was like great, I'm gonna go shower, wash my hair, put clothes on get back in the bed like felt fabulous. And because our bodies can do that they're meant to do that. And that's one of the things I always work with pretty early on with my clients that are committed to an epidural right right out the gate. I'm like, Okay, great. I support whatever you want to do. Let's look at why you're so scared of the pain and we really work through that because look at us like we get a headache. We're not we don't go to Oh, let me up my water and pound some water right now and see like, maybe I need to eat. We go for the Tylenol immediately. And we're just addicted to that, right? Like we all just or that's what we were programmed with, at least most people I know. So and one thing I wanted to drop really fast. So I have a podcast about the the mother and I just had this amazing couple. They've now become friends through my podcast agency, Cal Callahan and his wife Peyton, and he has a great podcasts, you can put this in the show notes, the great unlearn. And they did an incredible episode, I believe it's called. It's like saying partner new marriage or new marriage, same partner. They've been married for 21 years. And they did a great like two hour podcast on marriage and how they have their paths have weaved in and out. And I just think it's so important to hear because I don't hear a lot of really honest conversations about people. Really sharing how hard it can be to just be married and changing and growth and having children and it's a big deal. And I don't always think the best thing is to stay together. I think sometimes the bravest thing for everyone can be to separate and, and co parent and, and all of that. But it also is really incredible when you can do the work and stay together. Yeah,
Curt Storring 40:56
this is actually very, very timely. The podcast I just did with a man named Daniel Moody. He said that one of the things that he found when he was going through difficult time with his wife was this quote that true marriage doesn't start until you wake up one day and look besides you ago, who have I married? What have I done? And then like, that's when the real marriage starts. And so I love that I get to check that out, for sure. And I'll put that in the show notes. With our time left, I would love to get into maybe like a brief overview of the fourth trimester and how dads can support the mums in that time. And then if there's time left, like just some general tips on like, what you have seen dads need and how we can support the dad as a new father. So perhaps what is the fourth trimester? And why is it so bloody important? Because it really is, yeah,
McLean McGown 41:49
it really is. So the fourth trimester, which that term didn't even exist 10 years ago, and that's a new thing to actually judge it as a trimester and have the same reverence for it as we do the first three, when you're growing the baby is generally the first 40 or 42 days, the first six weeks, and I like it to think about it as a bubble. So it's just holding this beautiful bubble around the auric field of the entire family, the mom, the dad, the baby, the other children. And in India, they do call the sacred window, the golden time, the golden window. And there's a saying that the first 40 days of life, dictate the next 40 years of life, meaning the first 40 days after you give birth affects the mother for the next 40 years of her life. So the postpartum healing that we want the mom to have is not only setting her up for this six weeks, or this year, or the next two years, it's also setting her up for her menopause, what's going to be happening in her body for menopause. what's going to be happening in the years to come when she sneezes when she's tries to run when she jumps on a trampoline is she paying herself a lot of the incontinence comes from not resting postpartum. It's not just labor and delivery, it's not resting postpartum. And literally every tradition around the world has these traditions. You know, the certain foods soups, belly binding, which I'll talk about a little bit but we just are very disconnected from it in modern society. And it's just crazy like when you learn about this it's so simple like none of it is complicated. It's very easy stuff we just didn't see it. We weren't modeled it. And the reason people did it is because it kept mom alive and it kept Baby Alive. Period. We want mom to be healthy. We want her uterus to stop bleeding to move back to its pre pregnancy place. So she can go on to have another baby right? Like that's how the human race has survived.
We want her breast milk to be rich. We want her you know, to help baby thrive. So a lot of postpartum doulas do different things. the very base like I was just to say what I do and it's from more of the iron Vedic lineage is which is Indian and has been used for 1000s of years is worth so very, very briefly. It's like a total nutshell is their three doshas, pitta, Vata Kapha. Every woman postpartum is Vata, which is biology. It's just nature's how we are supposed to be. So it's a very theory we're floating in between the world so having the expectation that your wife, the mom is not on this planet, she is in between the worlds and that is how we want her to be we want her to be awakening when she hears baby cry, we want her milk to be dropping when she hears baby crying coming out, because that's keeping Baby Alive. You know, it's all this like beautiful dance. And so really viewing it as what it is, which is like this is what postpartum looks like and we have this like such negative 10 of like, Oh, it's gonna be so horrible and about like white knuckling. It's gonna be sleepless nights and we already go into Do it with such a negative viewpoint where we look at it, like oh my gosh, I get to rest, I get to allow my nervous system to land back in my body, I get to rest my body to the point where I can not be so hyper vigilant because as new moms, we are hyper vigilant, our intent are up about everything. And that's again coming back to keeping our children alive. So when that is not respected, and women are stressed out, then we go into hyper vigilance. And then we go into that fight or flight syndrome, which is where so much suffering happens for everyone involved. So we want to keep the space calm, we want to keep the lights down, we want to keep visitors to little to none. We want to be very mindful about what visitors know everyone assumes Oh my in laws are coming or my parents are coming and they're staying with us. And I'm always like, really okay, let's walk through that is that actually what's most healing for you those first six weeks. And a lot of times when you talk through it, it's not so throughout your pregnancy, making those boundaries having those maybe tough conversations, say we really want to bond as a couple and new family those first four weeks, we can't wait to see you, we're gonna send you photos every day, we can FaceTime and now we kind of have this like germ thing so we can blame it on that too, which is nice for postpartum moms. Like we're just not gonna risk it. We're just gonna stay us right now. Whoever does come to visit, drop food off. Dad really great roles for dad and this whole arena, holding that container for mom. And think about it in like the history books, right? Women were in the red tent with the women healing the men were outside protecting, tending to the fire, that's literally what you're gonna do, you're gonna protect mom and baby. So you're gonna do the grocery shopping, you're gonna have food in the fridge. If you're not doing it, you're paying someone to help you or you're getting a meal chain set up. You're going to tell everyone that's during the meal, train what foods you want to be eating. Those foods are going to be warming foods for mom soups, stews, cooktown, oatmeals, chia puddings, nut butters, warm tonics warm teas, everything warm and cozy because that's what we're doing for all the tissues of the body, a lot of gi pudding gi and everything. If you do meat and fish, making sure it's very easy to digest. It's not like a huge t bone steak and might be ground meat in a stew, you know, like bone broths are amazing sipping that throughout the day, always having a snack bar mom, one job, I always give dad food by mom at all times. Don't pressure her to eat it like Don't be a dick, just have food there. Always have water, she's breastfeeding, water, water, don't make her ask for it net like all these things just need to be part of your job tease next to her with raw honey. Have stations around the house. So wherever she ends up falling asleep, or nursing baby their diapers, their snacks, there's water, you know, those things are really empowering for dad, because there's not a lot to do for dads, especially this first couple of weeks a month because you you're just supporting biology, you're supporting this breastfeeding dyad. And that helps moms so much with the hormones, you know, it's it's been like, just the connection between mom and baby is so massive, and the breastfeeding and the hormonal shift that happens postpartum, all of that it's this beautiful dance of nature. And so how can we come back, simplify, quiet everything down, have the TV off, be very mindful about what you're bringing? You don't need to be telling new Mama, all you're seeing on the news, please don't do that. No, we're creating this beautiful bubble so she can heal emotionally, spiritually in every way. And cuddle, get in bed, you know,
have the awareness to Yeah, you could go reply to those five emails, or you could take the next 30 minutes and just spoon your wife who's resting with a baby, you know, like that is medicine for her.
Curt Storring 48:59
Yeah, and this, I, I just experienced this in my third son, the first two, you know that we didn't really know, we didn't know any of this. Yeah. And we were finally able to do some of what you're talking about in the third name was just a completely life changing for him. I mean, I compare his first year and a half with my other two. And it's just unbelievable the amount of connection and attachment and calm and awareness that he has. And I attribute it almost exclusively to the way that we approached the post partum time just and which is still ongoing. Yeah. And so I just want to encourage fathers to see this, like you said, as empowering. As like, this is the container in the deepest work, you can be doing it and it's Yeah, it's all about support. And it's about ensuring, I think, for me that one of the biggest reasons that I wanted to have you on was just to impart how important it truly is. This isn't like oh, well you know, like I'll go check it out. Males are all just go watch the news and blah, blah, blah, like, I've never, you know, I've seen this on movies before. And it's just like you have a baby or in the hospital, then you get home and like, you're all good. It's not like that. And it shouldn't be like that. And like, the biggest motivation for having you here was just like, please show the men that it's not supposed to be like that, and how amazing it can be when it's not. And so like, I just really want that to sink in for people. How this should look, and I don't, you should very lightly, but I honestly think this is how it should look.
McLean McGown 50:35
It should it I agree with you. I'm very, very firm about that. Because this is setting families up. And believe me, I didn't do any of this in my first I did it with my second it changes everything. And as a family, I mean, maybe it sounds like a little silly with labels. But I hope people can hear me when I say this, like, step into being the king of your family. Allow the woman to be the queen of your family. Like that is the power, you know, you're you're in it, you're holding it. And it might be really different than your sisters and brothers and friends and parents did it and own that you've created this family for a reason. You know, and I tell you, if you can do this, dads, if you guys can do this, you are giving your wife, your partner the biggest gift of their life, and they will remember, they will remember this forever. And whatever you can pay to get the bodywork, I do the oil, labianca massage, which is incredible. The vaginal steaming, the sitz bath, all of these things are really important. If you can get someone to cook for you. If not do the meal train. There's an incredible resource the first 40 days cookbook, give that to the people, your mother your in laws, whoever wants to be cooking for you give that to them, they can get great ideas. Again, it's very simple. It's not that complicated. It's just the intention and making it happen and setting yourself up to thrive. And and then for the dads to get your body work. And one of my teachers, Rochelle have innate traditions on Instagram, She's incredible. And she says minimum, both partners need two levels of resource. So say mom has your husband resource than say she has nanny or doula or mother is oftentimes helpful have a neutral party that doesn't have a lot of stuff, bringing into it. That's why it's nice when you can afford to pay for extra neutral help than Dad, you need to resources as well. So that could be your therapist that could be exercising every day, that could be meditation, that could be having men in your life that can hold a container for you that are that you can vent to and then aren't going, Oh, that must be horrible. Or, you know what I mean? Like that support your marriage and support your family in a really positive way. And then also can hold space for you.
Curt Storring 53:10
Yeah, and you know what, that's actually the perfect place to leave it, uh, not just because of time, this is how I was going in anyway, I was just going to say, get a group of men in your life dads who can hold space for you, that's maybe a men's group, usually a men's group or a coach or a therapist or counselor, whatever it looks like. But if you have a place other than your wife to express, you're going to have a much easier life and you're not going to you know, wound her bringing your feelings to her when she might not be in a reception receptive mode for that. So find somewhere where you can express where you can be held, where you can then come back more fully charged to do the container holding in your household. So basically join a men's group and get a coach and you know, go from there. I think that's the piece to the puzzle.
McLean McGown 54:00
Underline exclamation point. Yes, yes. I'm so excited for this. I'm so excited that people like you are doing this, I feel this is going to change the future. It truly is. And I'm excited. And we're here for it.
Curt Storring 54:14
Yeah, I literally I just wrote a post the other day on Instagram about how as fathers we write the future by speaking into our children's lives. And I think you're right, like we can have a future where everyone just wants to go to space and do technology as what the future means or we can have a loving, compassionate, kind, open spiritual, soul based future. And for me, that's much more important. So I have had so much fun talking to you. I feel very excited to this conversation so much and I really appreciate you coming by. So thank you so much. Thank you.
That's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. It means the world to find out more about everything that we talked about in the episode today including shown Notes resources and links to subscribe leave review work with us go to dad.work/pod/ that's dad dot work slash pod, type that into your browser just like a normal URL, Dad dot work slash pod. To find everything there you need to become a better man, a better partner and a better father. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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