A Podcast of Mothers' stories of childbirth. Weekly interviews with mothers giving their first hand accounts of child birth in Australia. Designed to help educate and inform first time pregnant women, parents wanting to have better subsequent births and birth enthusiasts who love to hear and tell birth stories. An entertaining and heartfelt resource for pregnancy, labour and delivery and postpartum.
240 | Alicia Lucas, Tokyo Birth, Breech, Caesarean, Covid
In this week’s episode, I interview Olympic Athlete Alicia Lukas who gave birth in Tokyo during Covid. Despite every effort, Alicia accepted that no amount of spinning was going to turn her breech baby so she booked in for a planned caesarean with her private obstetrician. Covid rules dictated a lot of the experience - her husband watched the birth over facetime and was only allowed at the hospital for thirty minutes afterwards. Despite the cultural differences, Alicia relished the way the Japanese care for mothers post-birth but as she says, there’s no place like home when you’re a new mum.
239 | Clare Endometriosis, Gestational Diabetes, Maternally Assisted Caesarean, Newborn Hearing Test, Baby Hearing Loss
In this week’s episode, I chat to Clare about her two planned caesarean births. Despite severe endometriosis, Clare fell pregnant easily and sailed through the first half of her pregnancy. However, at her 20 week scan she discovered that her baby had ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ) and shortly afterwards, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Her planned caesarean was straightforward but her recovery was not; extensive adhesions in her uterus caused a long and painful postpartum. She chose a private obstetrician for her second birth and jumped at the chance to have a maternal assisted caesarean but nothing could prepare her for the shock of her baby’s hearing loss diagnosis at six weeks.
238 | Tess Struber, Vaginal Birth, MGP, birth centre, spontaneous labour, breastfeeding, nipple shield
In this week’s episode, I chat to Tess who rang her local birth centre when she was six weeks pregnant to make sure she got in (hot tip for those of you hoping for continuity of care with midwives!). Like many first time mums, Tess was convinced she would go into labour early. No matter how many natural induction techniques she tried, nothing worked and she was left feeling defeated and unsure. She was booked to be induced at 41+6 but she woke that day with mild cramps and by 11am she was labouring in the bath at the birth centre. Tess takes us step by step through her labour, her long second stage and her mental and physical challenges. Despite everything, it was a strong and focused mindset that guided her to a wonderful birth. Tess went off the pill in late 2019 and fell pregnant in June 2020. She admits that she didn’t love being pregnant; her’s was not a gorgeous and glamorous instagram pregnancy.
237 | Alannah three babies, vaginal birth, retained placenta, miscarriage, PPROM, premature labour, NICU, subchorionic hematoma, vasa previa, caesarean birth
In this week's episode I chat to Alannah about her challenging pregnancies, NICU experiences and her sheer determination to breastfeed despite the hurdles. Her first pregnancy and birth was smooth sailing so when her waters broke at 19weeks with her second baby, she felt like her world had turned upside down. A long hospital stay ensued and she delivered baby Maisey at 29 weeks before enduring the rollercoaster of NICU for 60 days. A surprise pregnancy a year later came with concerns, including the increased risk of Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM) and early bleeding from a subchorionic hematoma, but it was vasa previa, where blood vessels extend from one lobe of the placenta to another and cover the opening of the cervix - that placed her in a high-risk category and prompted a caesarean birth at 33 weeks.
236 | Yahna Vaginal Birth, Adoption, Shared Care, Spurious Labour, Induction, Episiotomy, Breastfeed
In this week’s episode, I chat to Yahna about her experience with shared care (pregnancy care shared between a GP and the hospital). As she explains, she believed that shared care offered continuity of care when in actual fact, she was seen by many different midwives in her third trimester and treated as a number on the maternity ward. After days of spurious (false) labour she was induced but due to a bed shortage, laboured in multiple rooms before she was given a birthing suite. Despite the upheaval of her experience, Yahna reflects on the joy of breastfeeding and the deep bond with baby Sunday, the first biological family member she has ever known. As an adoptee, Yahna admits that when she gave birth, she also gained a newfound love and respect for her birth mother. Baby Sunday was a happy accident. Yahna had been on the pill for 16 years when she decided to take a break after seeing a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor. “When you’re not planning to conceive a baby, there’s a long thought process...can we afford this? Can we do this? Are we ready? With time we eased into the idea of it and became really excited.
235 | Steph Claire Smith, Vaginal Birth, Private Obstetrician, PCOS, Induction, Antenatal Expressing,
In today’s episode I interview Steph Claire Smith who was first diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 21. She managed to regulate her menstrual cycles by focussing on health, wellness and regular acupuncture treatments and years later, fell pregnant easily. She timed her exhausting first trimester with stage four lockdown in Melbourne and sailed through the rest of her pregnancy, choosing to practise gratitude for all she experienced, despite the inevitable discomfort and challenges that arose in the third trimester. Steph admits that well-meaning messages from friends and followers regarding natural methods for induction definitely affected her mental health and she subsequently chose to be induced at 41weeks.
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Today's episode is brought to you by The Birth Class. After listening to hundreds of birth stories, pregnancy and birth experiences over the years (and birthing my own three beautiful boys) I have created my dream online childbirth education course. The Birth Class. Inside The Birth Class you will enjoy 9 incredibly insightful audio interviews with some of Australia’s favourite midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and yoga teachers Together we unpack: every aspect of birth, including the stages of labour, the role of the bodies naturally occurring hormones in birth, how to prepare your body during pregnancy for birth through optimal maternal positioning and how to harness your breath and sound and use active birthing techniques, how to prepare for a VBAC, What to expect in a Caesarean and lots more.
The Birth Class also includes an 80-page colour illustrated workbook with transcripts of the audio interviews and a hospital bag checklist, birth preferences checklist for you to print and customise. In order to ensure you have mastered the breathing and relaxation techniques we discuss in the course, I have also included a 25minute Yoga Nidra meditation and a 5-minute breathing exercise you can practice throughout your pregnancy. The Birth Class goes on sale May 2021. You can join the waiting list now over at .
My fave podcast!
I have listened before, during and long after pregnancy! I can’t get enough and it is making me want a third!
Phenomenal and ground breaking!
I’m a mom of two who are 8 years apart, I found this after looking for teresa Palmers/A Zen mama podcast. I’m only a few moments in and the tough topics we don’t like to speak about are being spoke about, I have ptsd and going through childbirth was very traumatic the first time around. So with them discussing the nitty gritty is really something I haven’t found yet. I genuinely love this podcast and I’m now in for the long haul! So informative and so raw, your in for a real treat!
If you are genuinely interested not only in the birth stories of your mothers but in their lives and how they got to where they are. You are an incredibly good listener and a wonderful interviewer. Your podcast is the best way to learn about birth. I love it. I hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy.