I love podcasts. I use podcasts to help me get through tedious tasks (washing dishes, collating paperwork, cleaning out closets); to provide entertainment on long drives; and to stay informed on a wide variety of topics that are important to me. I'm currently subscribed to 12 different podcasts that I listen to pretty regularly, and there are at least six more that I rotate in and out of my listening schedule. I favor comedy podcasts, stories, and anything about pregnancy, birth, and parenting.
This last category is what I want to share with you today. There are popular podcasts on these topics that I'm not including here, mostly because I don't find myself choosing to listen to them very often. These five podcasts are so good that I rarely miss an episode. They all cover childbearing and raising kids, but they are each so different! There is something for everyone in this list!
Four great podcasts about birth & parenting:
1) The Longest Shortest Time with Hillary Frank, produced by WNYC
Originally billed as a podcast about surprising struggles in early parenthood, the podcast now covers parenting struggles from newborns on up through teens. The first two seasons are incredible looks into those first few months with your newborn - "the longest, shortest time" is a reference to this! - from someone more or less in the trenches. This is one of those things I recommend to everyone all the time, but especially to new parents. As a doula, I LOVED the two episodes from April 2014 where Hillary "rewrites" her traumatic birth story and then talks to Ina May Gaskin about her trouble with the Natural Birth Movement since giving birth.
2) Birthful with Adriana Lozada
I started listening to this podcast in the past week and have already listened to more than half of the episodes! Adriana Lozada is a doula and she interviews other birth professionals including birth and postpartum doulas, midwives, IBCLCs, counselors and obstetricians. I love it as a birth professional for the in-depth knowledge and resources that are share on special issues. I think pregnant and postpartum parents would also really enjoy some or all of these episodes, depending on their depth of interest in the topics.
Edited to add: A year and a half later, I love this podcast so much that I became a Patreon supporter and sponsored Episode 65: Taking Care of You with Mar Oscategui.
3) toRaise Questions Doula Podcast with Thérèse Hak-Kuhn and Melanie Headley
This podcast sponsored by toLabor (the doula organization I am trained and certified by!) is definitely aimed at doulas. One of my favorite things about being a toLabor doula is the incredible training and life skills I learned by attending the workshop with Thérèse Hak-Kuhn, and I've carried her voice and wisdom with me for years. Now I get little doses of Thérèse on the regular by listening to the podcast! This would be an excellent resource for parents who are interested in becoming doulas after experiencing their own childrens' births. Each episode primarily focuses on a specific type of birth experience, ethical issue, business topic, or case study that provides additional personal and professional development from doulas at all points in their careers.
4) Totally Mommy with Elizabeth Laime (and also Totally Married with Elizabeth and her husband Andy!)
Comedy writer Elizabeth Laime started her podcasting career with Totally Laime, where she let us listen in while she hung out with cool comedy people. Next came Totally Married, a super fun and funny podcast where she and her husband processed their relationship for all of us to hear, and offered relationship advice for listener questions. And when she got pregnant, she started Totally Mommy - which is also a fun and funny podcast where she talks with comedy people, friends, and entertainers about all sorts of nitty-gritty birth and parenting moments. Lots of honesty, laughter, and "totally unqualified" advice for the questions listeners send in. I love listening to Elizabeth laugh and self-deprecate with her guests. Fun and funny for parents, and probably moms in particular.
Edited to add in September 2016: Elizabeth recently announced that the podcast is permanently going on hiatus, but you can still go back and listen to the extensive archives for more of that totally unqualified advice!
I'd love to hear from you! Have you listened to any of these podcasts? What do you think of them? What other podcasts about birth and parenting would you suggest? What about other podcasts on any other topic? Share your favorites in the comments!