A few months ago the Australian Birth Stories podcast started repeatedly being mentioned on my social media channels. After a couple of weeks, intrigued by the sudden interest and in need of a new podcast, I decided to go and take a listen…
While I’m no expert on pregnancy and birth, I have been trying to educate myself over this last year. I’ve found the changes to my body fascinating, felt quite empowered by this process and also developed a new found appreciation and respect for my friends and family who’ve given birth.
What I’ve really enjoyed is hearing different women’s accounts of their pregnancies and essentially this is what Sophie Walker’s podcast is all about: Australian woman talking about conception, pregnancy and what happened during their labour and births. Sophie’s a very gentle interviewer, letting her guests take on the role of storyteller, just prompting them every now and again. It’s not sensational, but doesn’t sanitize the realities of birth and pregnancy. I’ve had a giggle listening, but likewise been reduced to tears hearing some women’s journeys. I’ve learnt about some couples’ difficulties in conceiving, miscarriage, breezy pregnancies, difficult pregnancies, vaginal births, cesarean births, births with minimal intervention and those that needed extra care. I’ve also heard about those days and weeks after birth, breastfeeding and going back for babies two, three and even four!
What I really like about the podcast is the wide variety of experiences you get hear about. Every woman’s story is completely different and for me, learning about the variability of the pregnancy and birth experience has given me more confidence going into my final weeks gestating. Knowledge is power and the more I know, the more calm I feel. I also love that it’s Australian based – while I’ve read articles and sought advice off overseas website, it’s nice to have a locally based resource to draw upon.
I think Australian Birth Stories is a great listen if you’re going through a pregnancy – but likewise, even if you’re just interested in women’s health, are considering planning a family, or have been there and done that – it’s still a really great podcast to get into. Sophie’s been recording stories for a couple of years, so there’s an extensive back catalogue to listen to. If you jump onto her website too, you can also hunt out specific stories that may be of interest to you (like having a water birth, or experiencing a pregnancy loss). Most conversations are between about an hour and a hour and a half, and I’ve found them excellent company when doing menial tasks around the house, like cleaning the bathrooms or folding laundry. The podcast also has an Instagram page which features some amazing birth photography (some images are quite graphic… so if that sort of stuff makes you squeamish, perhaps it’s not the page for you)
I listen through iTunes, but if you do a quick online search you’ll find you can also listen through a number of websites and other apps, like Spotify.
What are you listening to at the moment? I’d love to know!
Have a wonderful week. x