In January this year, Girls’ Globe launched a new initiative, The Mom Pod, a bi-weekly podcast series about all things related to motherhood. We want to pick the minds of the world’s parents, leading experts in maternal health and women’s rights, and build bridges between cultures, countries and continents.

My colleague Emma Saloranta and I became mothers two months apart in 2014 – and throughout pregnancy and in the early months of being mothers we frequently spoke via Skype about challenges and joys. We shared experiences, knowledge and information. We spoke about similarities and differences – being that Emma gave birth in the USA and I gave birth in Sweden. We discussed issues that we encountered and the disappointments that sometimes arose in our experiences during pregnancy or as new mothers.

What startled me were the strong norms in our societies that steer women’s opportunities and choices. Throughout pregnancy and especially as a new mother, there are so many other people who have opinions about your choices – and who express these openly. Yet, at the same time, there are so many tricky conversations that either end up in needless debates or are left unspoken. I felt that becoming a mother was something I had to learn myself, and that there was a lack of information, knowledge-sharing, and support in my community (and online!).

The Mom Pod is something that is so much more than expert interviews on maternal health and parenting advice – we want to create a forum for open and honest conversations on all things related to motherhood, and make space for learning from each other.

“I want to encourage your work of connecting young women globally and sharing different ways of care in the world. I think that if you hear about what is offered in some countries, you might start to think “I want that too” – and this can be extremely powerful.”

Mia Ahlberg, President, The Swedish Association of Midwives

So far we have produced four episodes, covering the global state of maternal health, the Zika virus outbreak, birth practices and experiences in Sweden and the Finnish baby box. You can listen to all of our episodes on iTunes or Soundcloud, also embedded below. We want our episodes to support and help You, so please share your comments and feedback with us and let us know what topics you would like us to cover. If you have a story to tell, or someone you think we should interview, let us know! We’re currently working on multiple episodes ranging from breastfeeding to fistula and cost of labor in the U.S. to maternal health among refugee women.

Our next episode will be out on April 8th – stay tuned!

Cover photo credit: Bridget Coila (Creative Commons)

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