Australian Birth Stories
Australian Birth Stories
About Australian Birth Stories
In today’s episode Maria shares her fraternal twin pregnancy which required her to spend 14 weeks on bedrest. Her pregnancy was considered normal until 20 weeks when a routine scan showed her cervix was shortening, exacerbated by the pressure of excess amniotic fluid. The following day a cervix stitch was inserted and Maria spent the next 10 weeks in hospital. She talks about the power of meditation and the practises she embraced to stay present and positive. Her boys were born at 33 weeks and are now healthy, happy four-year-olds who speak three languages. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Today's episode is brought to you by my online birth education course The Birth Class. Featuring 10 audio lessons with perinatal health specialists, you can listen from the comfort of your home when you’re relaxed and receptive to new information. The Birth Class is a conversation starter between you and your birth partner that informs, encourages and empowers you to journey towards labour with knowledge and confidence. Learn more here. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode Sarah shares her experience with two third-degree perineal tears, also known as Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury (OASI). The general understanding of birth recovery - even when it comes to perineal trauma - is six weeks yet the reality is much different. For some women it can take two years to heal and strengthen and as Sarah says, we need more conversations about this and ultimately, more health support. If you have experienced an OASI or you know someone who has, this episode will offer comfort and guidance, especially in regards to follow-up care. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Today episode is brought to you by our library of free resources. Download our free pregnancy and labour tips guides on Mastitis, Perineal Massage, Postpartum Fatigue and many more to assist you in the journey towards birth. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
You can listen to Shuana’s first birth in episode 296 where she details her really positive physiological birth under midwifery care. Today she takes us through her unplanned second pregnancy which took her months to embrace considering she’d just returned to work and didn’t feel prepared for two under two. She was allocated the same midwife through the MGP programme and listened to the yoga nidra meditation in The Birth Class everyday of her pregnancy. She woke at 41+5 to mild cramps and later that evening light contractions began which she welcomed with the utmost excitement. A mere two hours later she birthed her baby girl in her loungeroom, her midwife on the phone and four paramedics by her side. Shuana also discusses the new public hospital home birth programme that has just launched on the Central Coast of NSW; a really positive step forward that makes home birth much more accessible. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Download our many free pregnancy and labour tips guides here Today’s episode is proudly brought to you by Bliss Birth. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and it's a fantastic pain relief device with no side effects unlike pharmaceuticals. I used the Elle tens in all three of my labours. Ariel from Bliss Birth has been supporting the podcast for years and has offered a discount for you to hire a tens for 8 or 4 weeks and it comes with everything you would need, as well as the option for really fast postage if women are booking at the last minute You can enjoy 10% off your Tens hire at Bliss Birth use code ABS23 at checkout See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode Alex shares his pregnancy and birth journey as a trans man, including his choice to embark on solo parenthood. He sought guidance from an IVF clinic and embarked on a number of tests to ensure his egg quality and reserve were favourable before deciding on a sperm donor. Once pregnant, he opted for MGP care through his local public hospital and was induced at 38 weeks due to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Alex shares the challenge and joy of labour and birth, his choice to access donor milk and his body dysphoria in postpartum. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Download our many free pregnancy and labour tips guides here See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In today’s episode, Julie shares her journey and all the beautiful lessons she’s learnt along the way. At once ambivalent about motherhood, her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage and proved that she did have a yearning to have a baby. Two failed rounds of IVF followed and then she fell pregnant naturally at 42. The NIPT results showed high risk of Down Syndrome and Julie was advised to terminate the pregnancy. Together with her partner Tom, they opted to continue with the pregnancy and welcomed baby Woody via emergency caesarean. Only fifteen months later she birthed baby Alfie. Julie talks at length about mothering a child with Down Syndrome, the dreaded daycare germs, physical therapy and the precious bond between her two boys. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Download our many free pregnancy and labour tips guides here Today’s episode is brought to you by iL Tutto. For Black Friday, starting from Tuesday 21st of November at 6pm until Wednesday 29th November, iL Tutto are offering HUGE savings across iltutto.com.au where you’ll find their biggest range of Australian-designed Nursery Chairs and complementary Nursery furniture. Save up to 30% storewide including their range of Cots, Chests, CoZee Breeze Co-Sleeping Bassinets. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In honour of Perinatal Mental Health Week, Dom shares her experience of perinatal anxiety and depression (PAD) and details her three-month stay in a mother and baby psychiatric unit. At six weeks postpartum her anxiety became debilitating; she was having panic attacks, pulling out her hair and thought her husband and baby would be better off without her. She was admitted to a mother + baby unit in a private hospital and received a range of treatments including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which affected her short term memory (her mum kept a 300-page journal so she would have a record to fill in her lost memories). Dom has since had a second baby and thanks to realistic expectations, culturally-safe care and professional and family support, she has stayed really well despite being at high-risk of a postpartum mental health disorder. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Download our many free pregnancy and labour tips guides here Today’s episode is brought to you by Kiwi.co. I must confess I’m not much of a crafty mum but Kiwi Co's panda crate has been the best educational investment for Ottie. Every month we receive a subscription box filled with playful, open-ended activities backed by research and designed especially for naturally curious and creative babies and toddlers. It makes the perfect Christmas gift that keeps giving well beyond the festive season. I'm a big fan of quality activities that create the opportunity for play-based learning and Kiwi Co delivers hands-on projects that get the whole family involved. Whether you have a brand-new baby or a trailblazing toddler, the Panda Crate is perfect for your little one’s developing brain. Unwrap more than a gift. Discover hands-on fun with KiwiCo. Get your first month FREE on ANY crate line at kiwico.com/birthstories. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In today’s episode Caitlin details her two very different labours - her first was 40 hours long, her second only two hours. She was accepted into an MGP programme and while she did a hypnobirthing course for preparation, she admits she wasn’t prepared for the intensity of labour. Her early labour stage was long and painful because of her baby’s posterior position and she admits she went to hospital too early. After opting for an induction she later requested an epidural which was a really positive experience for it; it allowed her to sleep, relax and dilate to 10cm. In her second pregnancy she embraced all the education and preparation, hired a doula and planned to birth at her small local low–risk hospital. But….her baby had other plans. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Download our free pregnancy and labour tips guides here Today’s episode of the show is proudly brought to you by Once Upon. I’m not sure about your kids but mine love looking at old photos of themselves. I recently made Ottie a photo book with the help of @onceuponapp It was so quick and easy to make I just selected photos in my phone and the @onceuponapp suggests the layout and offers lots of choice and the click of a button. I’ve ordered an extra copy to gift to the grandparents for Christmas. You can document your memories in a beautiful book today. Enjoy 25% discount at checkout with the code: Sophie25 *This offer is valid until the 11th of December 2023 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In today’s episode Tess shares her two very different breastfeeding experiences. She starts by detailing her traumatic birth experience which ended in a postpartum haemorrhage and left her depleted and anxious. Her baby lost 11 percent of her birthweight so triple-feeding was recommended and after a few challenging weeks, Tess made the decision to feed her baby expressed breastmilk (EBM) which she continued for a year as she navigated the grief and guilt of not being able to latch her baby. In her second pregnancy, she was proactive with her care and support from the start. She opted for private obstetric care with Dr Scott Shemer and booked in with Dr Amber Hart from Maternal and Infant Wellbeing in Melbourne who offers day stays for new mothers (the future of postpartum care is looking bright!). Tess’ second postpartum has been incredibly healing and really proves the benefit of continuity of care right into postpartum, especially for lactation support. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In today’s episode, Kelsey shares her three birth stories which detail her evolution as a birthing mother. In her first birth she requested an induction which led to the cascade of intervention; an epidural, instrumental birth, PPH and retained placenta. She found her first postpartum particularly challenging and when she felt ready to conceive again, she experienced three miscarriages, including the loss of identical twins at 11 weeks. In her final two pregnancies, she embraced birth education and midwifery care to prepare for physiological births which left her feeling on top of the world. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Faecal incontinence affects one in 25 women in postpartum and today, Claire shares her experience. She takes us briefly through her labour and birth and details the confronting realisation that she had no control of her anal sphincter. Thanks to a women’s health physiotherapist who demanded horizontal rest - essential for all new mothers! - pelvic floor exercises and dietary changes, Claire recovered by six weeks. She emphasises how important it is to share her story because she had never heard of it happening before and wondered if it was her new reality; a challenging prospect at a very vulnerable time. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today Renee shares her three physiological birth stories so consider this a wonderfully positive episode in honour of Homebirth Awareness Week. She was living in New York with her partner when she fell pregnant at 21 so they hightailed it home to Queensland and had a really positive birth at their local public hospital. Renee admits that the first year of motherhood was lonely; she didn’t have any friends who were also mothers and she had really high expectations of herself that prompted postnatal anxiety. By the time her second was born she had a community of friends supporting her homebirth and conscious postpartum and she trained as a birth doula soon after. Her third pregnancy was her most challenging but the birth was very quick. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Katie Rose, a yoga teacher, doula and mother of five discusses her postpartum experiences and the joy and chaos of having a big family. Her eldest is 17 and her youngest is two so she brings a beautiful wisdom to her story, reflecting on her perfectionist early parenting years and the ease and joy she has found by letting go of control and simply being present. If you’re in the depths of early motherhood you will glean so much from Katie’s story. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In today’s episode, I chat to comedian Celia Pacquola about her pregnancy and birth experience. Motherhood was never a top priority for Celia but when she met her partner, it only took a few months for them to conceive. She chose continuity of care with a private obstetrician, used hypnotism to recover from her phobia of needles and opted for an induction at 39 weeks. She’s frank about the challenges of breastfeeding, the stigma of formula feeding and her postpartum anxiety which was exacerbated by everything she didn’t know about motherhood. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In today's episode, and in honour of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Kirby shares her story. After her first two pregnancies and births, she experienced her first miscarriage but knew it was a common experience and wasn’t perturbed by it. However, what followed was a period of infertility and the devastating loss of her two boys, Walt and Alby. Kirby worked with a fertility specialist and reproductive immunologist to prepare for her next pregnancy and after one round of IVF and the transfer of her only viable embryo, she conceived baby June who is now four months old. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode Elizabeth shares her first pregnancy and birth experience. She had bloods done before her copper IUD was removed as she has coeliac disease and wanted to ensure her iron levels were adequate before she conceived. Having been a listener of the podcast, she was interested in her local MGP programme and ensured her GP referral was sent early. Elizabeth prepared for birth with The Birth Class and went into spontaneous labour at 41 weeks. Her labour was textbook and she explains in detail the tools she used to navigate contractions. This is a wonderful episode if you’re after a positive, physiological birth story to inform and inspire you. You can listen to Elizabeth’s early postpartum journey in episode 420. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In today’s episode, Samantha details her postpartum journey with her second baby and explains why switching off social media was the best option for her. As a postpartum doula she knew exactly how to prepare for postpartum and prioritised filling her freezer with nutritious food. Yet she was still floored by the intensity of it, challenged by the gap between expectations and reality and discovered the detriment of socials on a vulnerable postpartum mindset. Samantha speaks beautifully about her experience and doesn’t shy away from the hard reality of life with a new baby. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In today’s episode, Bridie (one half of the witty/hilarious new podcast Cool Story that will undoubtedly make you smarter at dinner parties) shares her two birth stories. Bridie’s mum is a midwife so she had the utmost faith in her knowledge and expertise and felt supported and safe throughout her entire pregnancy and birth. Her first labour was long and hard and Bridie admits that she was floored by the intensity of the pushing stage and the way her body felt afterwards. Her second birth was quick and calm; she birthed in the water and was discharged hours later. Bridie’s story is both informative and incredibly entertaining; you’ll learn a lot and laugh out loud. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Almost 1 in 5 babies spend time in the Special Care Nursery (SCN) or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Australia. For the mothers of these babies, postpartum is very different to what they planned or hoped for and there’s often a distinct grief that accompanies the stress of having an unwell or premature baby. We can encourage new mothers to organise meal trains and lie down at every opportunity but we also need to make space for those who are sitting for hours on end in hard hospital chairs, heart aching for their baby and juggling hospital and family life. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In today’s episode Leonie shares her experience with perinatal anxiety and depression which manifested as a profound sense of defeat in pregnancy and visceral rage in postpartum. She opted for talking therapy with a psychologist and managed her symptoms but she was still overwhelmed at birth when the love for her baby wasn’t immediate. It’s so important to talk about these experiences because studies show that up to 40 percent of mothers don’t feel love for their baby at birth (instead, it grows and develops over time). Leonie had two positive vaginal births with a private obstetrician who encouraged her despite her requests for planned caesareans. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Following on from her birth story in episode 419, Leila shares her early postpartum experience with twins. She organised a foundation of strong and trustworthy support including private midwifery care, a postpartum doula and a meal train involving her closest friends. Despite her preparation she still had moments of overwhelm; the sheer amount of hours required to feed and settle twins is significant and it left very little space for anything else. She takes us through the importance of ready-made meals, her breastfeeding challenges, the upheaval of an unexpected hospital admission and the discovery of a prolapse at four months postpartum. Leila also shares her twin-mum must-haves so if you’re pregnant with multiples, you’ll love this episode. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.