About the show
This is the Real Birth Podcast: a safe, welcoming platform to share birth stories. I’m Lucy Hill, a doula, mother, wife and total birth nerd living in Frome, Somerset in the UK. When I was pregnant, one of my favourite things to do was to listen to birth stories. During this time I read and listened to literally hundreds and hundreds of birth experiences shared by all kinds of parents, having all kinds of births. I quickly became obsessed with the narrative of birth and the power of storytelling. I am convinced that because I was so regularly exposed to hearing about REAL birth – the glory, the mess, the trauma, the comedy, the boredom, the ecstasy – I didn’t fear it, because I knew so much about what could unfold. When eventually I went into labour, my planned natural home birth turned into an undiagnosed breech and very unexpected cesarian. Of course I felt shocked. But beneath this, I felt calm and safe in the knowledge that birth can and does take twists and turns we can’t predict. I had, in essence, heard it all before. I felt part of a wider collective of humans, each with stories as unique yet familiar as mine. The magic of birth stories existed not just for me as an expectant parent learning something unknown, but I also noticed the profound healing and peaceful resolution which often came from families revisiting and reflecting on their births. All of the podcasts I found dedicated to birth stories were either American or Australian, and I deeply wished there had been a bank of UK birth stories I could have mined for information, particularly when it came to NHS care which is so different to care models overseas. Since having my son in 2019 I have continued to listen to birth story podcasts, but have still yet to find a consistent, birth-story-dedicated podcast in the UK. Enter The Real Birth Podcast! Series 1 launches in early 2022, featuring a range of stories from UK parents and a variety of different birth experiences. Whether you’re pregnant, on the other side of birth or just love geeking out about birth, I’m so excited for you to join me.
Hello everyone! Welcome to this special bonus episode of The Real Birth Podcast. I actually wasn’t intending to release something so soon after the last episode, but sometimes an opportunity presents itself and it’s just too good to pass on! This special episode features Ashley Winning, the host of the VBAC Home Birth Stories podcast.
VBAC stands for vaginal birth after caesarean and is a safe and valid choice for most – if not all – women having a subsequent baby after a surgical birth. However it’s rare that home birth is encouraged or discussed, and it largely comes down to families and care providers not necessarily understanding the risks of HBAC. Many people assume it’s not even an option!
After two C-sections, birth trauma and being discriminated against during both her pregnancies, Ashley decided her third birth would be a different story. She had an undisturbed home birth VBAC with her third daughter – attended only by her husband and doula. Ashley has so much wisdom to share, not only through her podcast which is committed to sharing stories and evidence based information about home birthing after caesarean, but also through her coaching business (The Motherhood Circle) where she works with women to help them plan and achieve empowered births – however they may turn out.
Thanks for joining me for this special bonus episode – please feel free to share it with someone you know! As I go off on maternity leave properly, remember we have over 30 episodes of The Real Birth Podcast you can catch up with, and you can always get in touch with me via my social media – I’m @realbirthpodcast on Instagram and Facebook.
Until next time, I wish you all love and happy birthing! Bye…
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