Navigating kids, body image, and food - Clare McKenna
Clare McKenna joins me to talk childhood nutrition. Clare is the OG wellness guru, having spent years trialling and testing the latest in wellness trends, diets, and fitness fads, only to discover a few years back that balance was key. As a parent, she wanted to be sure to foster a healthy relationship with body and with food in her two children. As presenter of Newstalk’s Alive and Kicking, Clare has interviewed all the experts on the topic but comes to our chat with an honest and refreshing approach. She admits that although she might like her children to enjoy a beetroot brownie, they roll their eyes and opt for the real deal instead. If you're a parent who wonders about your child's odd food habits, or their attitude to different body types, you'll definitely come away with some aha moments from this one.
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3. Model mum Kelly Horrigan: How Kelly's recovery from birth is still ongoing over a year later43:14This week I speak to Irish model and mother of one Kelly Horrigan. Although Kelly delivered her beautiful little boy almost 14 months ago now, she is still feeling the long-term effects of her delivery. After her son's birth, Kelly found she had something called pudendal neuralgia, which sees her in constant nerve pain from her episiotomy scar all the way down her leg. She still struggles with it and attends physio, and could even have to have procedures in the future to stop the pain, including going to a pain management clinic for injections. Through it all, Kelly remains so positive, but she says that the after-effects of her delivery still stay in her mind even now. For any mother still feeling like they're not physically (or mentally) back to themselves, this episode will resonate.
2. Changing your mind is okay: From childfree by choice to becoming a mam with Siobhan O'Hagan55:57Today's guest is influencer and first time mam, Siobhan O'Hagan. In her previous life as a fitness influencer, Siobhan's goals and values were always crystal clear: She enjoyed the freedom that came with her life moving from Bali to Thailand to London and back to Ireland. She was vocal about her choice not to have children, and for a long time that completely aligned with her value system. Until, one day, it didn't anymore. She had what she calls an 'existential crisis' and after becoming pregnant last year, she decided to embrace the curveball that life threw her. She's now happily co-parenting a gorgeous baby girl with her daughter's dad, and although they're not in a relationship, they're embracing parenthood together. What I've always admired about Siobhan was her fearlessness in doing things completely her own way, and her journey into motherhood has been no different.
1. "It's nothing like you think it's going to be" - Lorna Weightman's birth story and breastfeeding struggle01:05:33For our first episode back for Season 12, I'm joined by fashion influencer and stylist Lorna Weightman and possibly our youngest ever guest, 9 week old Arthur was also on the Zoom being an absolute angel. Lorna and I discovered that we both approached parenthood with a "will I or won't I?" mentality – we weren't 100% convinced it was for us, until of course, we were. So if you're on the fence about whether to try or not, this episode might help you. We also chat about Lorna's whole birth story, which – spoiler alert, spans FOUR days – and how the first two weeks of Arthur's life proved incredibly challenging as Lorna tried to get to grips with breastfeeding. We also chat about losing your identity as a mother and the word that resonates most with her now that she's a parent, which is: Acceptance.
10. Giovanna Fletcher wants to let you know you're not alone.50:25We're already on our last episode of Season 11, and I can't wait to bring you more episodes as we head into season 12 really soon. But we wanted to round out this season on a high and I think we may have achieved it... What a total and utter joy it was to interview this week's guest. A dream podcast interviewee, I spoke to Giovanna Fletcher, author, mother of three boys and host of the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast. She's also married to Tom from McFly so if you're a millennial mammy like I am, that's probably significant. But back to Giovanna. As the presenter of a parenting podcast, this was like speaking to royalty!! We spoke about lessons we've learned through talking to so many people about parenting, and how the main takeaway is that whatever you're going through, you're likely not alone. We talking about the importance of getting out in nature to fill your cup, and how the idea of "having it all" is a myth – she spoke about that with Geri Halliwell, no less. A SPICE GIRL. The episode is, like Giovanna, just full of kindness and empathy and words of advice, so I hope you enjoy.
9. Why no one else understands the mental load of motherhood, with Dr Doireann O'Leary47:34This week, Dr Doireann O'Leary joins me to talk about her experience of motherhood so far. Her son is nine months old, and while she doesn't share his name or face online, she is very open about how she's finding the transition into parenthood. We chat about taking time for yourself and letting go of the guilt around that. She says quite rightly that you can't pour from an empty cup – that if as mothers we're well rested, feeling supported and given time to be ourselves, we're better parents to our children. We discuss how being a GP helped her in the early days of parenting, but didn't completely relieve her of worry, and how the mental load of motherhood has been her biggest challenge. It's a beautiful episode, I really hope you enjoy listening.
8. Why a postpartum retreat should be mandatory - Talya Benjamin48:35This week's episode I'm joined by Talya Benjamin. She's a new mother, living in New York, and when she was discharged from hospital after having her first baby, she checked in to a postpartum retreat called Boram. Research shows that dedicated postnatal care improves the health and well-being of mothers and their babies – and that's exactly what they provide. Talya checked in with her husband and their new born, and for three days and nights were given nourishing foods, access to lactation consultants and medical advice and recovery support. It really highlights the absence of 'the village' that we all wish we had, and while that particular centre is likely cost prohibitive for many, similar recovery centres are sorely needed for new parents and their babies. I was fascinated by everything Talya talked about – not to mention very jealous of what sounded like a truly lovely postpartum experience – so I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
7. Breastfeeding, bedsharing, and the reality of parent shaming, with Melanie Murphy01:02:08Joining me this week on the podcast is Youtuber, author and mother of two Melanie Murphy. Melanie's approach to parenthood really resonates with me, and we talk a lot about both feeling very strongly that whatever way you want to parent is your choice, and no one else's. She discusses her choice to bedshare with her babies, her choice to talk about breastfeeding online – which brought a whole new level of criticism to her door – how her past experience with eating disorders has shaped the way she views feeding her children, and her decision not to share her children's names. When you speak to Melanie, she's so engaging that you can immediately understand why she's got such an adoring following online – I hope you leave this episode feeling like you're not alone in ANY of your parenting struggles.
5. What it's like to fear your own child, with Audrey Dore-Geraghty55:17My guest this week is Audrey Dore-Geraghty. I first saw her story in the Irish Independent, where she spoke with incredible honesty about the heart-breaking struggle she and her family are facing with their son Harrison. Diagnosed with autism at two years old, he's now 9 and his behaviours have become increasingly physical and aggressive, to the point that Audrey said she can be frightened of her own son. She describes her frustration as she tries desperately to get the type of help her little boy needs, and says she can only live day-to-day because his future is so uncertain. Despite the severity of their situation and their constant fight to have Harrison properly assessed and supported, they have been forced to find psychiatric help in Spain, because the resources are so scarce here in Ireland. Audrey's story is a difficult one to listen to, never mind live it daily, as she and her family do. My hope for this particular episode is that as many people hear it as possible so that resources for families like Audrey's are made more readily available. Thanks for listening.