59 episodes

The Fear Free Childbirth podcast is for parents-to-be who want to take the fear out of pregnancy, birth and beyond. The show is a mix of real-life positive stories, experts sharing their wisdom and Alexia sharing psychology insights to help you to get into a fearless mindset.



Mindset is a key aspect that can help to you have a positive experience with all three, and it all starts with preparing for pregnancy and childbirth. One of the biggest fears parents-to-be face is the fear of the unknown. This is where this show can help. By learning more about what to expect, and how to handle it, you can lose one the fear and embrace the journey.



It all started when Alexia experienced her first miscarriage and felt relief; she knew something was amiss. She had tokophobia, the extreme fear of pregnancy and birth, which is pretty terrifying. To help her cope with her pregnancy and the thought of the birth, Alexia developed a technique to get rid of her fears and anxieties. She went on to have two amazing births and she now teaches this technique to others that they too can overcome their fears and have the life they want.



What started as a maternity leave project, is now an essential resource with tens of thousands now listening to Alexia’s podcast each month as they seek to lose The Fear and prepare for pregnancy, birth and motherhood.



The podcast is credited with helping thousands of women around the world in having a positive birth experience. A empowered birth experience is the best way to start the parenting journey because it infuses you with strength and resilience.



Alexia is the developer of the healing modality Head Trash Clearance, a coach, speaker, trainer and author of the books “Fearless Birthing: Clear your fears for a positive birth” and “Clear Your Head Trash: How to create clarity, peace and confidence in your life and work”. She works privately with people from all over the world, as well as supporting them with her online products and programs.



Fear Free Childbirth is the online destination for women seeking to take the fear out of pregnancy and birth with fear-clearance meditations, online fear-clearance courses, professional training and specialist programs for overcoming tokophobia. Find out more at FearFreeChildbirth.com and Fearless-Birthing.com

Fear Free Childbirth Podcast with Alexia Leachman Alexia Leachman

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.1 • 69 Ratings

The Fear Free Childbirth podcast is for parents-to-be who want to take the fear out of pregnancy, birth and beyond. The show is a mix of real-life positive stories, experts sharing their wisdom and Alexia sharing psychology insights to help you to get into a fearless mindset.



Mindset is a key aspect that can help to you have a positive experience with all three, and it all starts with preparing for pregnancy and childbirth. One of the biggest fears parents-to-be face is the fear of the unknown. This is where this show can help. By learning more about what to expect, and how to handle it, you can lose one the fear and embrace the journey.



It all started when Alexia experienced her first miscarriage and felt relief; she knew something was amiss. She had tokophobia, the extreme fear of pregnancy and birth, which is pretty terrifying. To help her cope with her pregnancy and the thought of the birth, Alexia developed a technique to get rid of her fears and anxieties. She went on to have two amazing births and she now teaches this technique to others that they too can overcome their fears and have the life they want.



What started as a maternity leave project, is now an essential resource with tens of thousands now listening to Alexia’s podcast each month as they seek to lose The Fear and prepare for pregnancy, birth and motherhood.



The podcast is credited with helping thousands of women around the world in having a positive birth experience. A empowered birth experience is the best way to start the parenting journey because it infuses you with strength and resilience.



Alexia is the developer of the healing modality Head Trash Clearance, a coach, speaker, trainer and author of the books “Fearless Birthing: Clear your fears for a positive birth” and “Clear Your Head Trash: How to create clarity, peace and confidence in your life and work”. She works privately with people from all over the world, as well as supporting them with her online products and programs.



Fear Free Childbirth is the online destination for women seeking to take the fear out of pregnancy and birth with fear-clearance meditations, online fear-clearance courses, professional training and specialist programs for overcoming tokophobia. Find out more at FearFreeChildbirth.com and Fearless-Birthing.com

    Overcoming Birth Trauma: Heather’s Journey to Positive Birth

    Overcoming Birth Trauma: Heather’s Journey to Positive Birth

    In today's episode, I am joined by Heather to dive into her incredible journey from a fear-filled first birth to two positive and empowering experiences.

    Heather shares her deep emotional work in overcoming the negative feelings from her traumatic first birth and the steps she took to prepare herself mentally and emotionally for her second pregnancy.



    From therapy to Emotion Code, to Head Trash Clearance and hypnobirthing, Heather explores the various tools she used to transform her mindset and approach childbirth with a newfound sense of confidence.
    Key Points Discussed:
    Traumatic First Birth Experience:

    Heather opens up about her initial birth experience, which left her feeling fearful and exhausted. She realised that her emotional baggage and negative energy had a significant impact on her birth. This realisation became the catalyst for her transformative journey towards healing and empowerment.

    Emotional Work and Preparation for Second Birth:

    Heather undertook various methods to prepare for her second birth, including therapy, Emotion Code, Head Trash Clearance, and hypnobirthing. By clearing trapped emotions and healing herself emotionally, she was able to let go of fear and create a positive birthing environment.

    Tuning In and Connecting with Herself:

    Throughout her pregnancy, Heather focused on self-care and cultivating her feminine energy. She discovered the power of connecting with her body through movements such as birth dance, a Middle Eastern practice that strengthens muscles and centres the mind. This allowed her to embrace her pregnancy and tap into her innate strength as a woman.

    Mindset Shift and Empowering Second Birth:

    Heather's mindset shift played a crucial role in her second birth experience. She approached the process with confidence, uninhibited by fear, and embraced the sensations as a natural part of birth. She utilised the tools she had acquired and received invaluable support from her doula, ultimately delivering her baby in a positive and empowering way.

    Postpartum Support and Integration:

    Heather talks about the importance of postpartum support and she recognised that her healing journey continued beyond the birth. With the love and guidance of her husband and parents, she navigated the chaotic postpartum period, and was able to balance it along with moving house and doing renovations. Through out all this, she realised she wanted to help to empower women and helping them realise the beauty and potential of birth, just as she had experienced.

    Heather's inspiring journey is a wonderful tale that shows us quite plainly that with the right tools, support, and a positive mindset, it is possible to have a birth experience that is both beautiful and empowering.

    Tune in to this episode and discover the techniques and mindset shifts that enabled Heather to go from a place of trauma and fear to being able to embrace the journey of birth with strength and empowerment.

    Birth has the potential to be a transformative and life-changing experience, and by preparing emotionally and mentally, you can create the empowering birth experience you want.

     
    Resources Mentioned During the Episode
    During this episode, the following resources were mentioned:

    1. Therapy: Heather sought the support of a therapist to work through the trauma of her first birth experience and prepare emotionally for her second birth. Therapy is a valuable resource for processing emotions, overcoming fears, and building a positive mindset for childbirth.

    2. Emotion Code: Heather used the Emotion Code as a tool to release trapped emotions and create a more balanced emotional state. This resource helps individuals clear emotional baggage and negative energy, promoting a sense of well-being and empowerment during pregnancy and birth.

    3. Head Trash Clearance: This is the DIY self-healing method I developed to overcome my tokophobia and that I share in both my books; Fearless Birthing and ...

    • 50 min
    Celeste’s Journey from Tokophobia to Inner Peace

    Celeste’s Journey from Tokophobia to Inner Peace

    Join Celeste on a transformative journey to overcome fears and find peace with childbirth in this emotional and empowering episode.

    • 54 min
    Periods & Pregnancy: Learning to love your cycle

    Periods & Pregnancy: Learning to love your cycle

    In today's episode, I have a thought-provoking conversation with Elizabeth Tidwell, a menstrual cycle coach, as she shares her journey of healing and embracing the power of her menstrual cycle.



    I wanted to talk about periods because even though they're not front and centre of the pregnancy and birth experience - they are! We obsess over when they stop - are we pregnant??? - and then we obsess over when they start again. They are a HUGE part of this.

    And, more importantly, I wanted to talk about them because I don't think that we appreciate our periods much. There's lots of negativity around them and so I wanted to flip the script and help you to LOVE your period and tap into their power.

    Here are some of the things you can hear as part of this conversation:

    Resolving Childhood Trauma:

    Elizabeth opens up about her personal experience with childhood trauma and how it impacted her menstrual cycle. Through healing this trauma, she discovered that it had a profound effect not only on her cycle but on various aspects of her life. Elizabeth believes that addressing trauma is crucial to breaking free from negative cycles and embracing our menstrual cycles as sources of strength and wisdom.

    Menarche Kits and Breaking the Cycle of Shame:

    I love that Elizabeth has created menarche kits and creates resources for us to discuss periods with openly. Elizabeth emphasises the importance of releasing the shame and trauma surrounding puberty for the next generation. By providing education and support during this transformative phase, we can set the foundation for young girls to navigate their menstrual cycles with confidence and self-acceptance.

    The Connection Between the Lunar Cycle and Menstrual Cycle:

    Is this a myth? Maybe. We discuss the connection between the lunar cycle and the menstrual cycle. While there are different viewpoints on this connection, Elizabeth points out that light-sensitive hormones might have caused women to sync up with the moon cycle in the past. However, modern lifestyles with artificial light can disrupt hormonal rhythms. Despite the scientific explanation, Elizabeth emphasises the energetic significance of aligning with the moon cycle, giving it a sense of specialness.

    Understanding Menstrual Cycle Awareness:

    Elizabeth talks us through the concept of menstrual cycle awareness, which involves being conscious of the different phases of our cycle and how they impact our daily experiences. I struggle with this big time! Hormonal fluctuations throughout the cycle lead to varying emotions and reactions. Understanding this awareness can enhance communication, help avoid conflicts, and enable us to have a better understanding of our bodies. And for those entering perimenopause - very interesting!

    Healing Trauma and Its Impact on Menstrual Health:

    Trauma, whether big or small, can have a profound impact on our menstrual cycles. Elizabeth tells us how trauma can manifest in fears and phobias related to pregnancy and birth, body image issues, and fears of losing control. By healing from trauma, we can potentially resolve related physical and emotional issues, leading to a better relationship with our bodies and our cycles.

    Fertility Awareness and Birth Control:

    Elizabeth shares insights into fertility awareness and birth control. She suggests considering fertility biomarkers rather than relying solely on apps and algorithms. We know that stress and cortisol levels can impact fertility, so stressing about trying to conceive is probably going to hinder fertility. This is why she emphasises the importance of self-care during menstruation so that we can shift our we feel and honour our bodies.

    I hope that listening to Elizabeth as she takes us on her transformative journey of embracing and loving her menstrual cycle can help you to learn to LOVE your periods. By addressing trauma, understanding our cycles, and cultivating self-awareness,

    • 48 min
    Solo Parenting: Choosing to Thrive and Finding Balance in Work and Motherhood

    Solo Parenting: Choosing to Thrive and Finding Balance in Work and Motherhood

    In this episode, we dive into a powerful and inspiring conversation with my guest, Steph Bennet, as she shares her experience of choosing to solo parent.


    Finding Balance in Work and Motherhood
    Steph's story is a testament to the strength and resilience of women who navigate both career success and motherhood on their own terms. Join us as we explore the challenges, triumphs, and joys of Steph's unique journey into motherhood.

    Steph made the decision to prioritise a career that allowed her to have control over her work without judgment. She is a strong advocate for not compromising but optimising her life to create a balanced and fear-free environment for herself and her daughter. As a managing director, Steph initially faced challenges in balancing work and parenting, but she gradually found strategies to create flexibility and adapt to hybrid and flexible working arrangements. Her story highlights the ongoing need for better support and understanding in the workplace for working mothers.

    Here are some of the things we chatted about...

    The Challenges of Being a Solo Parent: Steph's journey began with a clear vision of becoming a mother, even if she couldn't find a partner. She discusses her decision to explore single parenthood and the concerns she had about the physical and emotional aspects of raising a child on her own.

    Choosing the Path of Insemination: Steph underwent tests at a fertility clinic and discovered that IVF was not suitable for her. She decided to pursue IUI, or intrauterine insemination, as an alternative. She shares her experience of choosing a sperm donor from an online catalog based on various factors, including health information and personality traits.

    Balancing Work and Motherhood: Steph candidly discusses the challenges and rewards of being a working mother. She emphasises the importance of setting boundaries and not overworking, while also acknowledging the lack of respect and flexibility that many working parents face in the workplace.

    French vs. British Parenting Styles: Steph and I compare parenting styles in France and the UK. They explore the benefits of allowing children to be independent and figure things out on their own, as well as the challenges of French school holidays for working parents.

    The Journey of Conscious Parenting: Steph highlights the importance of allowing children to make their own decisions and learn from their own mistakes. She shares her desire to give her daughter the freedom to choose her own interests and create her own path in life.

    Steph candidly addresses these key questions shaping her solo parenting journey:

    How did Steph's previous health concerns and epilepsy diagnosis affect her decision to become a solo parent?
    In what ways did Steph's career choice allow her to have more control over her work and spend more time with her daughter?
    Steph mentions the importance of not compromising but optimising her life. How does this mindset play a role in her journey as a solo parent?
    How does the support and childcare system in France compare to that in the UK, and what impact does it have on working mothers?
    What are some organisations and campaigns that are working towards supporting working moms in the workplace, and what more needs to be done?
    How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the experiences of pregnant women and new mothers, especially those who are solo parenting?
    What are some of the challenges Steph faced as a solo parent, and how did she navigate them? How did she find support and emotional connection during the early stages of parenting?
    Steph discusses the importance of allowing children to be independent and make their own decisions. How can parents balance setting boundaries with fostering independence in their children?
    Steph mentions her new podcast, "For the Love of Kids." How does her experience as a solo parent influence the topics and themes covered in her podcast?

    • 59 min
    Birth Culture: Resolving Conflict in the Birth Space, with Jenny Kozlow

    Birth Culture: Resolving Conflict in the Birth Space, with Jenny Kozlow

    Birth is a profound and transformative experience, but unfortunately, conflicts and disagreements within the birth space can sometimes overshadow the joy and empowerment that should be at the forefront.


    Navigating Conflict in the Birth Space
    In this episode of the Fear Free Childbirth podcast, Jenny Koslow, a perinatal educator with four decades of experience, sheds light on the issues of conflict and tension within the birth world.

    Understanding the Birth Space:

    Jenny begins by sharing her wealth of knowledge and stories gathered from birth workers around the globe. She highlights the conflicting views and struggles that exist between different professions within the birth world, such as midwives, lactation consultants, and doulas. These conflicts often arise from differing ideologies stemming from the biomedical and naturalistic sides of childbirth. From home births to highly medicalized hospital births, the spectrum of choices and opinions can be quite divisive.

    The Influence of Birth Settings:

    The conversation then delves into the impact of various birth settings. Jenny discusses how midwives typically handle vaginal births with minimal intervention, but the c-section rates in private clinics in many countries are unacceptably high. Public hospitals, where most people give birth, often face issues with support and the need for less judgment towards healthcare providers working in these systems. There is also a sense of resentment among professionals like midwives, obstetrical nurses, and doulas, especially in countries like Spain and other Latin American nations.

    Examining the Roles of Birth Workers:

    Jenny addresses the challenges within the doula movement, including the need for more professional training and regulation. While doulas carry immense emotional weight, they may not bear the same level of medical responsibility as healthcare providers. This discrepancy, coupled with differences in income and work dynamics, can sometimes lead to tension and dissatisfaction among birth workers.

    Finding Common Ground:

    Despite these conflicts, Jenny emphasises the importance of recognising the positive work being done by individuals in the system and avoiding generalisations. She highlights positive initiatives in different countries, demonstrating that change can come from a combination of different approaches rather than extreme views. The conversation explores the crucial need for effective communication, formation of personal relationships, and acknowledgement of the contributions made by individuals across the birth spectrum.

    Promoting Unity in the Birth Space:

    Positive changes often stem from top-down leadership but acknowledges that frontline caregivers need more support. The conversation explores the imbalances in authority, challenges faced by professionals within institutionalized childbirth, and the importance of respect and recognition. The episode also delves into the role of birth education, the impact of the internet on preparation, and the different priorities individuals have when it comes to their birthing experience.

    Jenny tackles these burning questions:

    How does conflict in the birth space impact the overall birthing experience for families?
    What are some common sources of conflict between different professions in the birth world, such as midwives, lactation consultants, and doulas?
    How do different birth settings, like private clinics, public hospitals, birthing centers, and home births, contribute to the conflict in the birth world?
    What are some potential solutions to reduce the conflict between birth professionals and improve collaboration in maternity healthcare?
    What role does fear play in creating conflict and backlash in the birth space? How can fear be addressed and alleviated to create a more positive birth experience?
    How can authorities and decision-makers in the birth industry support birth professionals and foster unity and respect amo...

    • 1 hr 11 min
    From Phobia to Calling: From Fearful Mama to Confident Midwife

    From Phobia to Calling: From Fearful Mama to Confident Midwife

    In this episode, I have an incredible story of transformation to share with you. My guest, Jessica, was once plagued with fear when it came to pregnancy and childbirth. However, she conquered her fears and had a positive birth experience that inspired her to make a bold career change.


    From Fearful Mama to Confident Midwife
    Jessica talks about her journey from fear to becoming a midwife. It's a remarkable turnaround that showcases the power of overcoming our deepest fears and embracing new paths in life.

    But before we delve into Jessica's inspiring story, I want to share with you a tale that highlights what can happen if we leave our pregnancy and birth fears unchecked.

    Learn about the fears commonly faced by women during pregnancy, birth, and even those struggling with tokophobia. While some may assume these fears revolve around pain and tearing, they often stem from deeper conflicts and anxieties. These fears include the fear of losing control, feeling trapped or lacking choices, making the wrong decisions, and feeling weak or vulnerable.

    These fears are not exclusive to pregnancy and birth. They can manifest in various areas of our lives, such as feeling out of control at home or work, or even a loss of control over our own bodies. It's crucial to recognise and address these fears because they tend to permeate other aspects of our lives, affecting our overall well-being and hindering our personal growth.

    To illustrate this point, I recount a powerful story of a radio show presenter who, like me, experienced tokophobia. Following the loss of her baby and her subsequent aversion to getting pregnant again, she discovered that this fear had affected multiple areas of her life without her realising it. Once she identified and faced her fear head-on, she realised how it had suppressed her ability to birth anything significant in her business and personal development. The transformation she experienced after releasing this fear was nothing short of astounding.

    So, if you're currently grappling with fears surrounding pregnancy, birth, or any other areas in life, listen closely to Jessica's remarkable journey. Her story is a testament to the incredible power we possess within ourselves to rewrite our narratives and conquer our deepest fears. Get ready to be inspired, empowered, and discover a fearless mindset with Fear Free Childbirth.

    In this episode, we delved into a wide array of thought-provoking questions with Jessica:

    Have you ever experienced any fears related to pregnancy or birth? How did you handle them?
    How do you think fears about pregnancy and birth can impact other aspects of a person's life? Can you think of any examples?
    Have you ever witnessed someone close to you struggling with fears around childbirth? How did they cope with it?
    Do you think understanding the root cause of a fear can help in overcoming it? Why or why not?
    Have you ever been inspired to make a major career change due to a life-changing event?
    How do you think conquering a fear can lead to personal transformation?
    Do you think this fear is universal? How might it manifest in different areas of life?
    How do you think societal expectations and judgments contribute to fears around pregnancy and birth?
    Do you think addressing past traumas is essential in overcoming fears?
    What steps do you think can be taken to raise awareness and provide support for individuals facing fears related to childbirth?

    Resources Mentioned During the Episode
    During the episode, the following resources were mentioned:

    Fearless Birthing online course: The ONLY self-healing program that will show you how to let go of your fears and anxieties around pregnancy and birth so that you can approach motherhood with confidence.
    Clearance Club: Everything you need to free yourself of stress and anxiety so that you can experience calmness, clarity and confidence.

     


    Episode Guest

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
69 Ratings

69 Ratings

ebweissen ,

Great podcast

I started listening to this a month or so ago, and it has really helped me as I work to get into a good mindset for labor and delivery and postpartum. My favorite episodes are tht ones all about having a fear free birth. Please keep making more episodes! They are great to listen to as mothers prepare for a positive birthing experience. Thank you for the work you put into this podcast!

Amberorganic89 ,

Best Birth Prep There Is!

This podcast prepared me so well for my second birth. I found the info to be valuable, challenging, and unique. Alexia is a great host and provides so many resources. Definitely check this out if you’re preparing to give birth!

Audwally ,

Found it to be anxiety provoking

Let me preface my remarks by saying I realize what tremendous effort is being put into this. I do appreciate that effort. I only listened to one podcast that was about a fear free birth. 20 minutes in and no practical suggestions were given. Politics were brought up and I felt like I was Being pitched to without knowing if there was any relevance to my situation .

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