• yourbirthmama

My Top 5 Birth & Baby Podcasts

Five informative, witty, insightful and inspiring podcasts that are full of womb wisdoms.

1. Australian Birth Stories

2. Evidence Based Birth Podcast

3. The Midwives’ Cauldron

4. The She Births Show

5. Back to Basics Birthing with Vicki Hobbs

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved listening to stories. Audiobooks have been a regular occurrence throughout my life, and when podcasts arrived on the scene, I found a whole new way of learning through listening. With so much of our lives being spent in the car to and from work, it is no surprise that podcasts are opted as the preferred listening tool, over conventional FM radio. From funny, witty and light-hearted shows, to deep, pondering and mysterious ones, there is a podcast for anyone or anything. When it comes to pregnancy, birth and parenting, there are thousands of podcasts available. As a doula, I am always encouraging mothers to ask questions, inform themselves and search for answers with regards to their pregnancy and birth. The information is out there; you just have to go look for it. And what better way to access this information, then in podcast form. Preparing for birth (and whatever road it may take you on), is so important, and choosing the right podcast that suits your values and ideas around birth is paramount. But how do you pick the best ones, without listening to them all? Fear not, as an avid podcast listener, I have created a list of my top 10 pregnancy, birth and baby podcasts for mothers to sink their ears into.

1. Australian Birth Stories

Years before I fell pregnant with my daughter, I came across a podcast that gave me insight into what birth was like from the perspective of the mother, and just how different it was for each woman. After work each day, I would find myself on a walk listening to Sophie Walker’s podcast Australian Birth Stories. Each episode, Sophie would give a mother the opportunity to debrief her birth story, and each time I would find myself walking further just so I could listen to the full interview, or even start another. Sophie’s kind voice and gentle way of questioning her guests, makes for an easy and insightful listen. At this time, I had not yet found my passion as a doula, but it had definitely sparked something inside me that begun my fascination with birth. Hearing birth being described by the women who experienced it is authentic and captivating. In every word that is uttered, you feel every emotion. Every breath and contraction that is described, every fear and doubt that emerges, every ounce of confidence and grit that is felt. There isn’t just one type of story, or one type of birth discussed either. It is obvious that Sophie makes every effort to have a variety of birth stories that cover a range of topics and scenarios. There are women with home births, VBAC’s, planned C-sections, emergency caesareans, miscarriages, stillbirths, twins and multiples, just to name a few. Sophie’s podcast is the epitome of a mother circle - as if every mother that tells her story is telling it to her circle of trusted women. This is what I love most about this podcast, is this is what it would’ve been like back in time when we used to live in tribes or communities, and all the women used to witness each other’s births and share motherhood stories and womb wisdoms. In the modern world, we have essentially lost this womanly connection, this outlet to share and learn. So, a podcast like Australian Birth Stories, is invaluable to women who want to birth. Before, during and after pregnancy, in whatever form it may take for you and your baby, Sophie’s podcast full of birth narratives, should be at the top of your list.

Image sourced from www.australianbirthstories.com

2. Evidence Based Birth Podcast

For many, birth is a mystery. Often one’s view of birth is: a pregnant woman goes into hospital one day and the next day she comes out holding a baby. Birth is no longer witnessed on a regular basis like it would’ve been back in history, and traditions and wisdoms have been lost and replaced by an often over-medicalised patriarchal hospital system. Many birthing women have lost faith in their own bodies and have handed over the reins to the “professionals”. Yes, often professionals are experts in their field, but usually fail to offer the evidence behind the practices and policies they enforce. And the thing is, women don’t even ask for the evidence either. But shouldn’t we be demanding the type of care we receive during pregnancy, birth and beyond to be evidence based? Rebecca Dekker, PHD nurse and founder of Evidence Based Birth, has raised that exact question. Her podcast of the same name, puts the evidence back in the hands of birthing people and their and families. Her mission is to create a trusted, non-biased forum with the most up-to-date, evidence-based information on pregnancy and childbirth. Rebecca has basically done all the heavy lifting for you, with over 140 research based episodes available to listen to. Hosted by Rebecca herself, the podcasts are an easy and efficient way to soak up the evidence on many different birth topics. From the evidence on VBAC, to the evidence on inducing for due dates, to most recently the evidence of Covid-19 on pregnancy. The podcast also includes a variety of interviews with various birth workers, such as midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and obstetricians. If you want to know, for example, what the statistics are for using pineapple versus sex for induction, head to episode 144. Or the evidence on using synthetic oxytocin during the third stage of labour, listen to episode 131. Although this podcast is less about the narrative of birth, and more about the science, stats and research, it is just as important, in helping women learn and navigate pregnancy and birth. In listening to Rebecca’s podcast, you are on your way to becoming the experts in how you want your body, baby and birth to be care for by your health providers. Birth will no longer be a mystery, after listening to Evidence Based Birth.

3. The Midwives’ Cauldron

While I have been an devoted listener of the first two podcasts, this third one has been a relatively new listen. Released in July of this year, and hosted by Katie James and Dr Rachel Reed, The Midwives’ Cauldron is a podcast you cannot miss. With light-hearted banter and warm womanly conversation, Katie and Rachel delve deeply into all aspects of womanhood. From lactation, menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, birth and postpartum, this podcast is witty, fun, and full the cauldron’s brim with insightful, informative and eye-opening material. In their own words, these two women “want to be able to share in the strengths of women gathering together and being more informed, for their birth, their feeding experience, and the transition into knowing ourselves better.” With often over one hour long episodes, this podcast has left me wanting more each time I listen. And because the topics are focused on women, rather than just birth, it is a must listen for almost all ages. Discover the different seasons of womanhood, celebrate in our monthly bleed, uncover how to trust your own intuition in the dance of birth, and learn how to embrace the often dreaded, but misunderstood stages of menopause. The podcast inspires something in me and I hope that it inspires you too. After listening to The Midwives’ Cauldron you will want to shout to the rooftops: “I am woman. Hear me roar!”

4. The She Births Show

Being an Australian, I often look for Australian podcasts, especially when it comes to birth. The health care systems are so different per country, so I believe it is essential to listen to research, stories and conversations focused around your own place of birth. As a doula and high school teacher, I am also a strong advocator of independent childbirth education for parents and parents to be. There are many types of childbirth education classes available, and She Births, is one founded by Sydney mum, doula and yoga instructor, Nadine Richardson. She Births is one of the only scientifically verified childbirth education program in the world, and just like doing a birth class, listening to her podcast will offer you a wealth of knowledge. Nadine’s podcast informative and full of tips and tricks for mothers to use during pregnancy, birth and beyond. In her own words, Nadine uses her podcast and childbirth education classes to “inspire your birth, evolve your parenting and help you live a life you love.” Hosted by Nadine herself, the podcast interviews a variety of guests from midwives, doctors, doulas, mothers, natural therapy practitioners, authors, yoga and fitness instructors and filmmakers. With 3 seasons of episodes to sink your teeth into, The She Births Show is a great motivator to book independent childbirth education classes with your partner, in preparation for the big birth day.

5. Back to Basics Birthing with Vicki Hobbs

Now I might be biased, because Vicki Hobbs is not only a Perth based doula and childbirth educator, but she is also my mentor and doula training teacher. Most of what I have learnt as a doula, has been from her. So when I discovered that she had a podcast, I was instantly hooked. For my fifth and final podcast, I recommend you subscribe to Back to Basics Birthing with Vicki Hobbs. From my training with Vicki, I know that her philosophy is focused around taking the fear out of birth through education, planning and preparation, and her podcast is no exception. With over 20 episodes, in varying lengths, from short 10mins bursts of tips and tricks, to longer half hour discussions, Vicki’s podcast covers a range of birth related topics. Discover whether pregnancy massage is safe, or understand what to do with pelvic pain, or better yet, uncover the truth behind the “elusive” clitoris, and how that has a connection to birth. Hosted by Vicki herself, each episode is delivered in a warm, motherly, yet to the point manner. Vicki tells it how it is, leaving no stone unturned. We fear what we don’t know, and birth should never fall under this category. So put Back to Basics Birthing on your podcast list and become a part of the group of women who are unveiling the “mystery” of birth.

Honourable Mentions

There are so many pregnancy, birth and motherhood podcasts out there, it was hard to narrow it down to only 5. Below are a few more of my favourites, that have a wealth of knowledge and stories to share. Remember you can never learn too much. Being informed is the best way to prepare for a calm, connected and confident birth. Discover who you are as a mother, learn about your body and baby, and come to the realisation that, as a woman, the limits are endless.

1. Birth Kweens

2. Hello, Bump

3. Parental as Anything

4. Baby Talk with Penny Johnston

5. The VBAC Link

6. Newborn Mothers Podcast

7. Nourishing the Mother

8. Ladies we need to talk

Happy listening!

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