Perinatal Stories Australia

A podcast dedicated to holding space for the untold stories of motherhood and mental illness in Australia. Through providing a listening ear to the lived experiences of struggle and healing in pregnancy and motherhood, this podcast aims to reduce stigma around mental health, to inform listeners about support services available, and to inspire those on their own healing journey. Share your story via the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com and follow the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more storytelling and validating maternal mental health content. This podcast is not a substitute for therapy and no medical advice is provided. Reach out to your medical professional should you have any concerns.

Listen on:

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Episodes

Monday Jun 03, 2024

For over a year, Ariane hid the true severity of her symptoms and tried so hard to portray a choreographed image of the good, responsive mother who kept it all together. Motherhood was the performance of her life… until it wasn't.
The stage makeup and sparkles fell away when her symptoms escalated and she had to be admitted to a general psychiatric hospital. Ariane had to finally step out of the spotlight and allow her psychiatrist to take the lead, but this is when she was able to recover.
In this episode we discuss all the facets of Ariane’s recovery: medication, diagnosis, psychodynamic therapy with her psychiatrist, a hospital admission, art therapy, dancing, embracing the mundanity of recovery, and finding purpose through writing, advocating via the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE), teaching ballet, and publishing her new novel, Because I’m Not Myself, You See.
Part story, part book review, part in-depth discussion about the current state of perinatal mental health and advocacy, and part amused ramblings from two MBU graduates, this is part two of Ariane’s story. Buckle up, it’s going to be quite the ride.
 
GIVEAWAY Congratulations to the winners who scored one of FIVE copies of Ariane's new book 'Because I'm Not Myself, You See: A Memoir of Motherhood, Madness, and Coming Back From the Brink' thanks to the generosity of our friends at Black Inc.
 
FOLLOW the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more maternal mental health stories, education, advocacy, and community.
PLEASE leave a review or rating on your favourite apps or consider buying me a coffee (well, preferably a tea!) :)
VISIT the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com to share your story or to see more content from the podcast guests.
MADE WITH LOVE by Rebecca (host, founder, storyteller) x

Monday May 27, 2024

When Ariane became a mother, it wasn’t just the sudden onset of delusions, hallucinations, and severe depression that haunted her early days of parenting. From body image triggers, the pervasive grip of perfectionism, the reluctance to seek help, and the fear of her son being forcibly removed, it was also Ariane’s complex history as a ballet dancer, case worker and registered psychologist that cast a long, dark shadow over her mental health in pregnancy and postpartum.
In this episode, I am joined by none other than Ariane Beeston, author of the newly released memoir Because I’m not Myself, You See, who so vulnerably revisits the ghosts of her past with me and who shares, with incredible insight, the realities of mental ill health as both a patient, former practitioner, and advocate.
This is part one of Ariane’s harrowing, albeit profound, story, that explores her formative years and early motherhood, up until the moment she realised she had to release the control she sought over her past and present in order to welcome recovery in the future.
Please note, this episode discusses suicidal ideation, and briefly mentions suicide and infanticide. Go gently.
 
GIVEAWAY Thanks to the generosity of our friends at Black Inc., I am giving away FIVE copies of Ariane Beeston's new book 'Because I'm Not Myself, You See: A Memoir of Motherhood, Madness, and Coming Back From the Brink'. Australian residents can enter the giveaway via my Instagram @perinatalstoriesaustralia anytime between now and 11:59PM Sunday 2nd June 2024 AEST. Winners will be drawn randomly on Monday 3rd June.
 
FOLLOW the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more maternal mental health stories, education, advocacy, and community.
PLEASE leave a review or rating on your favourite apps or consider buying me a coffee (well, preferably a tea!) :)
VISIT the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com to share your story or to see more content from the podcast guests.
MADE WITH LOVE by Rebecca (host, founder, storyteller) x

Monday May 20, 2024


OCD had been part of Emma’s life for many years, although she just didn’t know it. Like for so many of us, her life-long OCD wasn’t picked up on until early motherhood, after two miscarriages and the birth of a premature baby during a pandemic lockdown.
In Emma’s words, “it awoke the OCD beast.”
This is one mother’s poignant story about the pain of loss, of experiencing depression and an OCD crisis in motherhood, the resulting shame and anger that came with the diagnosis, and the all-too-familiar lengthy and financial barriers encountered when seeking support.
This is also one mother’s touching story about the very real power that radical acceptance, psychoeducation, writing, and community can have on the journey towards recovery and taming the ‘OCD beast’.
This is Emma’s story - of both power and pain, of acceptance and resistance, of isolation and community - and it’s a story that will stay with you for a long time.
Please note, this episode discusses miscarriage, molar pregnancy, the loss of a loved one, suicidal ideation, and termination of pregnancy. Go gently.
 
FOLLOW the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more maternal mental health stories, education, advocacy, and community.
PLEASE leave a review or rating on your favourite apps or consider buying me a coffee (well, preferably a tea!) :)
VISIT the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com to share your story or to see more content from the podcast guests.
MADE WITH LOVE by Rebecca (host, founder, storyteller) x

Monday May 13, 2024

After experiencing birth trauma and the isolation of becoming a first-time mother during the pandemic, Laura was both excited and determined that her next pregnancy, birth, and postpartum was going to be different. The experience with her daughter, Millie, was going to be her ‘redo’.Unfortunately for Laura, re-experiencing fetal growth restriction (IUGR) and a precipitous labour broke her. Flashbacks, insomnia, panic attacks, and depression immediately hijacked her second postpartum and left her feeling more hopeless and alone than ever before - an undoing, rather than a redoing.As Millie turns one, Laura and I sit down to reflect on the year that was: the pervasive way that birth trauma impacts our parenting, the incredible and not-so-incredible supports that Laura was able to lean on, the challenges of navigating a mental health system that’s not neatly designed to accommodate the logistics of parenting an older child, and the moments Laura can now enjoy with her daughter thanks to the help she did receive.This is Laura’s story - a story about reflection and rebuilding - and it isn’t one to miss.
 
EPISODE SPONSOR
This episode is proudly brought to you by Tommee Tippee Australia. Tommee Tippee knows that for every newborn baby, there's a newborn parent too.
Tommee Tippee was founded over half a century ago, born from a mission to make life easier for parents. For decades they've been designing products that enhance a parent’s intuition, and engineering solutions to make caring for babies easier, simpler, and more instinctive. You’ve got this, we've got you.
Visit the parent library at tommeetippee.com.au to find expert advice that empowers your intuition.
Sign up to become a VIP (a very important parent!) and get 15% off your first order.
 
FOLLOW the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more maternal mental health stories, education, advocacy, and community.
PLEASE leave a review or rating on your favourite apps or consider buying me a coffee (well, preferably a tea!) :)
VISIT the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com to share your story or to see more content from the podcast guests.
MADE WITH LOVE by Rebecca (host, founder, storyteller) x

Monday Apr 29, 2024

After a blissful experience with her first son, it never occurred to Jess that a subsequent pregnancy and postpartum could be any different - until she found out she was pregnant with twins.
From real and perceived health complications, Jess’s mental health rapidly declined with every intrusive thought and compulsion that took over her life. The increased caretaking demands of parenting multiples and a toddler only compounded the feeling that she wasn’t enough for her children. Despite being cared for by the local acute mental health team, Jess started to experience hallucinations and psychosis.
This is one mother’s heart-wrenching story that epitomises the painful realities of experiencing a perinatal mental illness: of your children being both your motivation to get better and your trigger; of wanting to keep your children safe but feeling unsafe in your own body and mind; and of wanting the best for your children but feeling like they’re better off without you.
This is Jess’s story. And it isn’t a story to miss.
 
EPISODE SPONSOR
This episode is proudly brought to you by Tommee Tippee Australia. Tommee Tippee knows that for every newborn baby, there's a newborn parent too.
Tommee Tippee was founded over half a century ago, born from a mission to make life easier for parents. For decades they've been designing products that enhance a parent’s intuition, and engineering solutions to make caring for babies easier, simpler, and more instinctive. You’ve got this, we've got you.
Visit their website at tommeetippee.com.au to shop a range of equipment for the naturally equipped.
Sign up to become a VIP (a very important parent!) and get 15% off your first order.
 
FOLLOW the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more maternal mental health stories, education, advocacy, and community.
PLEASE leave a review or rating on your favourite apps or consider buying me a coffee (well, preferably a tea!) :)
VISIT the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com to share your story or to see more content from the podcast guests.
MADE WITH LOVE by Rebecca (host, founder, storyteller) x

Monday Apr 15, 2024

As a midwife with zero history of mental ill health, Caitlin didn’t expect to develop severe postpartum depression and anxiety at all, let alone after the birth of her second child.
She certainly didn’t expect to be wheeled through the same hospital where she worked down to the psychiatric ward for an eight-week admission.
And of course she never expected that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) would be part of her story to treat her treatment-resistant depression.
In this poignant episode, Caitlin takes us on her unexpected journey of experiencing mental ill health for the first time in motherhood, of navigating the unfamiliar mental health system to receive the right diagnosis and treatment, and of confronting nearly every taboo of mental health along the way.
Finally, Caitlin recalls the special moment when she ‘saw the light’, when she no longer felt worthless, and when she felt a glimmer of hope again - which, after everything she went through, was something she never truly expected to feel again.
This isn’t an episode to miss.
You can connect with Caitlin on Instagram at beneaththepalms_midwifery where she draws on her own experiences to advocate for her pregnant and postpartum patients in Cairns, Queensland.
Please note, this episode discusses suicidality. Go gently.
 
EPISODE SPONSOR
This episode is proudly brought to you by Tommee Tippee Australia. Tommee Tippee knows that for every newborn baby, there's a newborn parent too.
Tommee Tippee was founded over half a century ago, born from a mission to make life easier for parents. For decades they've been designing products that enhance a parent’s intuition, and engineering solutions to make caring for babies easier, simpler, and more instinctive. You’ve got this, we've got you.
Visit the parent library at tommeetippee.com.au to find expert advice that empowers your intuition.
Sign up to become a VIP (a very important parent!) and get 15% off your first order.
 
FOLLOW the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more maternal mental health stories, education, advocacy, and community.
PLEASE leave a review or rating on your favourite apps or consider buying me a coffee (well, preferably a tea!) :)
VISIT the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com to share your story or to see more content from the podcast guests.
MADE WITH LOVE by Rebecca (host, founder, storyteller) x

Monday Apr 01, 2024

When Tessa was admitted to a mother-and-baby psychiatric unit during pregnancy, she made her unborn baby a promise that they’d never have to return. Unfortunately, the challenges of early postpartum and the pressures of perfection only compounded until she and her new born son were readmitted to her ‘little safe haven’ the MBU - not once, but twice.
This is one mother’s captivating story about finally accepting the need for additional support in its many forms, about letting go of shame and guilt, about coming to terms with a new diagnosis, and about the life-saving impacts that a quality care team can make.
Above all, this is Tessa’s story about looking back and seeing just how far she’s actually come.
 
EPISODE SPONSOR
This episode is proudly brought to you by Tommee Tippee Australia. Tommee Tippee knows that for every newborn baby, there's a newborn parent too.
Tommee Tippee was founded over half a century ago, born from a mission to make life easier for parents. For decades they've been designing products that enhance a parent’s intuition, and engineering solutions to make caring for babies easier, simpler, and more instinctive. You’ve got this, we've got you.
Visit their website at tommeetippee.com.au to shop a range of equipment for the naturally equipped.
Sign up to become a VIP (a very important parent!) and get 15% off your first order.
 
FOLLOW the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more maternal mental health stories, education, advocacy, and community.
PLEASE leave a review or rating on your favourite apps or consider buying me a coffee (well, preferably a tea!) :)
VISIT the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com to share your story or to see more content from the podcast guests.
MADE WITH LOVE by Rebecca (host, founder, storyteller) x

Monday Mar 18, 2024

After her dream physiological labour and birth, Amelia’s world was turned upside by a sudden postpartum haemorrhage that whisked her away from her husband and daughter.
From the moment she awoke from the surgery, Amelia was consumed by mania and insomnia. Over the next eight weeks, her postpartum psychosis escalated but Amelia was able to hide most of her delusions and hallucinations from her care providers. That is until finally she made the brave call to ask for help and present to her local hospital.
Three years on, Amelia is expecting baby number two and shares openly about all the supports that are in place to protect her mental health this time around - given the 50% chance of recurrence.
Join me as Amelia discusses the overall lack of awareness around postpartum psychosis, her initial misdiagnosis of PTSD, what worked for her and what didn’t, and the incredible support she did eventually receive.
Please note, this episode mentions suicidal ideation. Go gently.
 
FOLLOW the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more maternal mental health stories, education, advocacy, and community.
PLEASE leave a review or rating on your favourite apps or consider buying me a coffee (well, preferably a tea!) :)
VISIT the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com to share your story or to see more content from the podcast guests.
MADE WITH LOVE by Rebecca (host, founder, storyteller) x

Monday Mar 04, 2024

This is a story that begins in November 2022 when I received a message from a new mum who wanted nothing more than to change the trajectory of her motherhood story.
This is a story about a mum who’d just been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, who was experiencing vivid intrusive thoughts and panic attacks, and who couldn’t stop crying.
This is a story about a mum who made the move back to rural NSW to be closer to her family for support, but who was now struggling to find the right professional support for herself.
This is a story about a mum who advocated so hard for herself so she could finally say ‘that’s not my story anymore’.
This is Jessie’s story.
 
FOLLOW the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more maternal mental health stories, education, advocacy, and community.
PLEASE leave a review or rating on your favourite apps or consider buying me a coffee (well, preferably a tea!) :)
VISIT the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com to share your story or to see more content from the podcast guests.
MADE WITH LOVE by Rebecca (host, founder, storyteller) x

Monday Feb 19, 2024

Birth trauma permeated much of Claire’s story and it impacted her mental and physical health in ways she could never have imagined. This was only exacerbated by the border closures and a tumultuous feeding journey.
‘Failure to thrive’ was a label that was applied to her son, but ultimately became a label she applied to herself.
In this episode, Claire @mamahood.my.way talks about the anxiety and paralysis she felt when trying to conceive, a PTSD and Lupus diagnosis, a birth debrief with her hospital team to make sense of her experience, the power of reconnecting with herself, and the joy of her family finally meeting her son after more than a year of border closures.
This is Claire’s incredible story of learning what it means to thrive as a mother and empowering others to do the same - however that looks!
Please note, the episode discusses birth trauma. Go gently.
 
FOLLOW the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @perinatalstoriesaustralia for more maternal mental health stories, education, advocacy, and community.
PLEASE leave a review or rating on your favourite apps or consider buying me a coffee (well, preferably a tea!) :)
VISIT the website perinatalstoriesaustralia.com to share your story or to see more content from the podcast guests.
MADE WITH LOVE by Rebecca (host, founder, storyteller) x

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