Why this podcast?
I recently discovered a whole bunch of pregnancy and birth podcasts. Preggie Pals was among them and at first glance, it looked like a fairly lighthearted, dare I say, fluffy, style of podcast. I wasn’t really sure that it would be my thing but this blog isn’t about me so I decided to take a closer look.
I have to say that I was quite surprised by the content of the episodes. Many explored more serious subjects than I was perhaps expecting. Intrigued, I went to the homepage to find out more.
”Preggie Pals is an audio podcast that educates and entertains expectant mothers and those hoping to become pregnant.”
Each episode features a panel of women who are pregnant, mothers or both and, something I really like, who have had very different pregnancy and birth experiences.
The panel of women includes Stephanie Glover, a childbirth educator and founder of Regarding Birth, which advocates for childbirth education and mentoring. Annie Laird, a birth doula and lactation educator and Sunny Gault, the founder of New Mommy Media.
New Mommy Media not only includes the Preggie Pals podcast but also –
Morning Mom Minute – a show to help mums re-connect with the world,
Newbies – a guide for your baby’s first year of life,
Parent Savers – which provides practical information for new parents,
The Boob Group – which supports breastfeeding parents &
Twin Talks – a podcast for those expecting multiples and for those already parenting twins, triplets or more.
It’s like listening to a gaggle of girlfriends chatting, laughing and sharing experiences and they often bring in other experts too. It made me realise that I had been holding onto the idea that there are podcasts that are there to inform and those that are there to entertain. But, there really is no reason that a podcast cannot do both.
In fact, this relaxed style might help to bring some subjects out into the open. If these women can talk about their pelvic floor, miscarriage, prenatal depression and perineal massage with their friends then you can talk about these things with yours.
There are quite a few breaks for advertisements and for me, this disrupts the flow somewhat. I guess it is probably something you would get used to and, if you love this style of podcast, it probably wouldn’t bother you too much.
How does it look?
Episodes are released weekly and are between twenty-five and forty-five minutes long with an average episode being around thirty minutes.
A wide variety of areas relating to pregnancy and birth are covered including pampering yourself during pregnancy, creating your postpartum plan, preeclampsia, stretch marks, sex during pregnancy, homoeopathy, mocktail recipes, cravings and healthy body image.
Who should listen to these episodes?
Episodes??!! Plural???! Yep. Hold onto your hats…..
Because this podcast definitely has a lighter side I wanted to feature a more fun episode. I considered one about maternity clothes but then found the episode on embarrassing pregnancy questions and couldn’t resist.
The next day, however, I went for a run and listened to the episode on breech birth. It featured two experts, one of whom was no other than Dr Stu! I decided this was fate and that for the first time, I would feature two episodes instead of one.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, anyone who is pregnant could benefit from these episodes.
The episode on embarrassing questions could well help to alleviate many concerns you may have and the episode on breech birth is fantastic. It explains what it is, the risks, when to check for it, what you can do to try and encourage your baby to turn and options to consider if they don’t.
Rather than make this post an epic one in terms of length I am going to give some highlights from each episode and then seriously encourage you to listen to them in full.
Delivering a breech baby
This episode is really a great one. Although I want to leave the details to the experts featured I do want to cover a few high points here.
The aforementioned experts are Dr Stuart Fischbein, an obstetrician who has worked with homebirth and midwives for twenty-five years and who you may remember from my blog post, VBAC Facts. Yep, Dr Stu has his very own podcast!
The other expert featured is Dr Elliot Berlin, an award-winning prenatal chiropractor, childbirth educator and, maybe surprisingly, a doula. And, guess what? Yep! Dr Berlin has a podcast too. Please keep an eye out for a blog post featuring Dr Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast in the near future.
The episode starts with an explanation of the different types of breech presentation and then examines at what point during pregnancy a breech position could become a concern.
It is interesting that even here there is a difference between when a midwife might check for breech presentation and when a doctor might.
A midwife would generally check earlier, maybe around thirty-two to thirty-four weeks but a doctor would wait until thirty-five or thirty-six weeks.
Because there is nothing that can be done medically before thirty-seven weeks. However, as Dr Stu and Dr Berlin go on to explain, there are plenty of non-medical things that you can try before that point.
What are they? Well, I really encourage you to click on the podcast link, grab a coffee and maybe even make some notes.
In the meantime, here’s a preview.
The Webster Technique
During the 1970s, Dr Webster investigated why some small babies have trouble coming out of a large pelvis and why some large babies have no trouble coming out of a small pelvis. He realised that the stretchiness of the pelvis has a lot to do with it. The Webster Technique focuses on using chiropractic techniques to ensure that the pelvis functions as it should – that the ligaments and joints are not tight or rigid.
This is where you burn a moxa stick next to specific points on your little toes.
Chinese medicine teaches that these points correspond to points in your uterus. When your little toes get warm your baby starts to move inside your uterus, possibly moving into a head down position. This is often used alongside chiropractic techniques.
I love this one. Play music (not too loud) next to your lower belly. Hopefully, your baby will go and investigate!
If you are holding onto anxiety or fear this can come through in your body. Meditating to release those fears can also relax your body, allowing your baby the space to turn.
Visualise your baby turning to an ideal position. Visualising your birth unfolding smoothly may also help you to have a positive experience.
‘Easier birth with fetal positioning’.
Check out the Spinning Babies website to learn more about the three principles of balance, gravity and movement, for activities to try and for success stories.
External cephalic version
This is a medical procedure that is not carried out before thirty-seven weeks.
Your care provider will place their hands on the outside of your belly; one by your baby’s head and one by its bottom. They will then try to turn your baby to a head down position. Ultrasound is often used before, during and after the procedure to check that your baby is doing ok and fetal monitoring may also be used.
Dr Stu and Dr Berlin continue with advice on your options if your baby stays in a breech position, including giving birth vaginally.
Please listen to this episode, there is such a lot of invaluable information. Even if you are in early pregnancy, having this knowledge now could really increase your options if your baby decides to go for a less than ideal position.
Ten pregnancy questions you’re too embarrassed to ask
Ok, now for the fun part! Actually, a lot of these are questions that will probably pop into your head at some point during your pregnancy so it’s definitely a useful episode as well as a pretty funny one.
As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s a lot more entertaining to listen to these questions being discussed than it is to read about them. For this reason (and because, as usual, I got so into the subject that this post is slightly longer than planned) I will reveal the questions but only provide a sneak preview of a few of the answers.
Question 1 – is that the baby kicking or just gas?
Great question. It’s not so easy to tell first time around.
Question 2 – what on earth is going on with my boobs?
Leaking. Growing. Growing so much that you go through three bra sizes in your first trimester….
Question 3 – Will I poo when I push?
”Yeah. If you’re doing it right.”
Love that answer. I’m so happy that this question was on the list and that it was talked about so openly.
Question 4 – What about that drink I had before I knew I was pregnant?
Ok, so this is a bit more of a serious one but I like that the tone is that of forgiving yourself and moving on.
You didn’t know.
You can’t alter the past.
Question 5 – Will I ever be the same down there again?
The answers here ranged from the very sensible and fear reducing – ”Probably, because your body is designed to birth”
To the slightly more daunting but also amusing –
”There are surgeries to correct it if you’re not”
Question 6 – Is that a wee incontinence problem?
Yeah, you should probably just listen to this one.
Question 7 – Is it possible to avoid stretch marks?
Oh, this is a big one. The general consensus seems to be that it’s basically down to luck, or, more accurately, genetics.
Think long and hard before you ask your mother or your sister if they have a million stretch marks. Do you really want to know?
On a less frivolous note, any stretch marks you may get will fade and are really not as big deal in the bigger picture.
Question 8 -What does labour really feel like?
I like the fact that they agree that it is different for everyone but I also found it really interesting to listen to their different birth experiences.
Question 9 – How soon after birth can I have sex?
Some funny stories here and some good advice.
Question 10 – Will I fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes?
Oh yes, another one that lurks in the back of so many of our minds.
It’s refreshing to hear this group of women being very open about the fact that most of them are not back in their skinny jeans yet. But also that they are not beating themselves up about it.
Their body grew and birthed a child. They are now feeding and nurturing that child.
These are epic achievements.
Skinny jeans can wait.
To wrap up
This podcast definitely has a really fun vibe but, as we see from these two quite different episodes, that doesn’t mean that you don’t get sound, useful information.
The episode on breech birth is really invaluable, especially if you would rather avoid a C-section and the episode on embarrassing pregnancy questions is both entertaining and honest.
If more women could be so open about all the things that so often go along with pregnancy and birth maybe we could avoid so many of the doubts and fears that are so real for so many of us.
I’m very curious to know what people think of this podcast as it’s pretty different from any I have featured so far.
Please drop me a comment below and let me know which episode you listened to and what you thought.
Until next time!
More episodes on breech birth
The Pregnancy Podcast: Episode 52 – Breech Baby & External Cephalic Version
More episodes on pregnancy questions
Pea in the Podcast: Is It Safe? Answers For All Your Pregnancy Related Questions
Emily Wills is a doula based in Stockholm. She believes that birth can be a beautiful and empowering experience and started this blog as a way of sharing some really great podcasts. She is also a mother of three and an enthusiastic runner.