Why this podcast?
I decided to revisit this podcast as I think it is such a great resource for pregnant women. The host, Alexia Leachman, overcame tokophobia, an extreme fear of pregnancy and childbirth, and created this podcast to help others in the same situation.
Alexia is a therapist, speaker and pregnancy coach who wrote ”Fearless Birthing: How to have a stress-free pregnancy and a positive fear-free birth”.
Luckily, not too many women will experience tokophobia but many will carry some fears or anxieties surrounding pregnancy and birth. How fantastic that this resource is there to support and help.
How does it look?
Episodes are released once a week and tend to be forty minutes to an hour long with some shorter ones thrown in too.
Episodes have covered areas such as essential steps of birth preparation, the psychology of pregnancy, being pregnant with PTSD, taking responsibility for your birth, fear of pain in birth, tokophobia, Alexia’s positive birth stories and how to prepare partners for childbirth.
Why this episode?
My previous post on this podcast featured the episode Preparing Your Mindset for Birth and I thought that this time, I would feature a more light-hearted episode.
I realise that for some women, those experiencing tokophobia for example or those experiencing extreme fatigue or sickness, the subject of enjoying pregnancy may not be so light-hearted.
There will also be women for whom pregnancy is all sunshine and they may feel they will not benefit from this.
I would ask both these groups of women to keep reading before making deciding whether or not to listen to this episode.
Most women will have times during their pregnancy where they are not enjoying the experience. Maybe they are very nauseous or tired at the beginning or simply a bit fed up at the end.
This episode, although a fun one, helps you to focus on all those positive aspects of pregnancy so that, even on your not so great days, you can look at your list and see the bright side too.
Who should listen to this episode?
All pregnant women.
Make the list on a good day and read it on a bad one.
Even if you never experience moments of feeling down or fed up this exercise can really help in any area of your life where you find yourself focusing only on the negative.
For those of you lucky enough to be one hundred percent happy and healthy through your whole pregnancy, use this list to celebrate that!
I also love the idea of keeping your list or putting it in your baby book as a memory of your pregnancy.
In the episode, Alexia lists thirty things she loves about being pregnant and shares that coming up with so many definitely requires some out of the box thinking.
I’m going to share ten of them here and I encourage you to listen to the episode to discover the rest and also to come up with your own list.
So, here goes!
#1 – You’re growing a life form!
Alexia points out that that is pretty awe-inspiring and so it is.
Pause occasionally and just revel in that.
#2 – Enjoy the connection with other women
I love this one because I don’t think I would ever have thought about it. There’s something about a pregnant woman that makes her easy to talk to. People feel a connection, especially other women, and they want to reach out.
Stop for a moment and have that conversation, share your story and hear theirs.
#3 – Pregnancy is a great excuse to drop the glam
If you enjoy dressing up and doing your hair and makeup then that’s great but for those who find it a bit of a chore, pregnancy may be your time to just drop it.
Alexia says she loved every minute of ‘slumming about’ in leggings, baggy tops, and flats.
#4 – Enjoy people touching your bump
I wasn’t sure whether to include this one or not.
Personally, I did not like this (unless I was close to that person or they asked first) and I would never reach out and touch someone’s baby bump without asking.
However, I liked that Alexia was, in fact, turning something that she had perceived as negative into something positive and in doing so releasing herself from any anger around it.
She decided to enjoy the fact that people were touching her with only the best of intentions. It came from a place of love, connection, and curiosity and not from a sexual or pervy place.
Having said that, I absolutely think that if this is something you don’t like you should say so!
#5 – Take in the view
If you find that pregnancy is forcing you to slow down, literally, enjoy it!
If your growing body means you need to move more slowly use this time to really see things.
Look at the trees, the leaves, the flowers. If nature’s not your thing Alexia suggests taking in other people’s clothes, bags or hairstyles.
It doesn’t matter so much what you are looking at as long as you use this time of slowness to really see.
#6 – Let the house go
And don’t feel guilty about it.
If you have lots of energy during pregnancy or if the house being super clean and tidy is really important to you then maybe ignore this one.
If you are finding it energy draining and exhausting to keep on top of your usual housework, however, just stop trying.
Ok, so you don’t want to live in a pig sty but ask for help and let your standards slip a little. It’s only a few months and it’s important to listen to your body and be kind to yourself.
#7 – Watch your body transform as nature does its thing
I love this one because it’s so simple and yet so amazing. Your body does transform and it’s really quite magical.
This one is especially good to keep in mind if you are struggling with the idea of your body changing and growing.
Focusing on accepting these changes as necessary and then going a step further and really revelling in those changes may not be easy but if you can do it?
#8 – Love the extra love
Of course, your family loves you anyway but there’s something about that pregnant belly that inspires a few extra kisses and cuddles.
#9 – Stay in bed all day
Without feeling lazy! Ok, this one is a bit extreme but listen to your body and if it’s telling you to rest, rest.
# 10 – Having time to do something you love
This one relates specifically to your maternity leave.
Especially if this is your first baby, enjoy those weeks and use them to do something you love doing.
For Alexia that was baking, for me, it was walking, reading and meeting friends for coffee and cake.
Maybe for you, it’s getting a massage, cooking or binge-watching your favourite series.
Whatever it is, use this time to do it.
To wrap up
Alexia lists twenty more reasons that she loved being pregnant so if you decide to listen to the episode I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
Drop me a comment to tell me your top reasons for loving pregnancy!
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.