As an evolution of our list of Top Infertility Blogs, we are excited to add some additional top talent to the list in the form of podcasts. This month we are featuring our first podcaster of the month, Heather Huhman with the Beat Infertility podcast. If you are in need of a good fertility success story, this is the podcast for you.
Heather focuses her episodes on the real stories of women who have overcome infertility. Accompanying her episodes are bonus episodes that often focus on expert advice. We like the listener questions that are answered by a reproductive endocrinologist. Not only are they informative, but Heather sticks to questions that, to us, seem to have a broad appeal. Best of all, the categories of all episodes are clearly listed on her website, making a particular topic of interest easy to locate.
We need to mention that Heather has a fantastically soothing voice. On top of that, she is succinct with her words and we find her pacing to be perfectly on point. Heather has created 100+ episodes and this is her take on infertility podcasting.
FS: What are three words that describe your Podcast?
HH: Education, self-advocacy, hope
FS: Why did you start Podcasting?
HH: At first, I started podcasting for selfish reasons. I had recently completed my second IVF retrieval cycle (sixth transfer overall), and it was a miserable failure on multiple levels. Not only did something go terribly wrong during the retrieval itself, which landed me in the hospital for internal bleeding, but also the embryologist discovered my eggs were of poor quality -- a brand new diagnosis after two years of fertility treatments and four years of infertility. Plus, I had been through four miscarriages and the stillbirth of my twins.
I knew I was losing myself to infertility. So I woke up on Mother's Day in 2015, decided to take back control, and recorded my first episode. Then I started interviewing other people. Hearing their stories made me realize I was on to something big -- something I had to share with the world. The first episode aired on June 1, 2015, and I haven't looked back.
PS: What's the story behind the name?
HH: Ah yes, a popular question! People often say to me, "I'll never truly beat infertility." And it's true, there's no 'cure' for infertility. But to me, beating infertility isn't about achieving a pregnancy or even parenthood—it's a mindset. Infertility is all about a loss of control, and beating infertility is all about taking back control however and whenever you can.
FS: What topic do you find yourself covering most often and why?
HH: Dr. Maria Rothenburger, a psychotherapist who specializes in infertility, is a regular on the show to talk about infertility from a mental health perspective. I know I am not alone in struggling to stay mentally healthy throughout this process, so I give considerable air time to it on the show.
FS: Who is your target listener?
HH: Although the show is definitely geared toward female listeners, I think anyone who has been diagnosed with infertility themselves, has a partner who has been diagnosed with infertility, and/or has a loved one who was diagnosed with infertility will find the show informative and uplifting. I know many couples listen to the show together!
FS: What's unique about your Podcast?
HH: I interview people who've successfully 'beaten' infertility, people who are still on their infertility journey, and various experts on infertility. I try to come at infertility from all angles -- personal, medical, mental, physical, financial, and everything in between. I do a heavy amount of research to prepare for each interview so I'm asking questions listeners themselves might be thinking -- or not even knowing they should be thinking.
FS: What was your most popular episode ever? Why do you think it was popular with listeners?
HH:I'm going to tell you about the two most popular episodes because I think they were popular for different reasons. The first and most popular was the show's second episode, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Marcia’s Story. I imagine it was popular because PCOS is the most common infertility diagnosis, so Marcia's story is very relatable to many people. The second most popular episode was BONUS 60: How to Improve the Likelihood of Implantation. Implantation is an issue everyone -- even those without infertility -- should be knowledgeable about. And learning how it works and how to 'hack' it to your advantage is valuable information for anyone, no matter their infertility diagnosis.
FS: What is the best thing about hosting a podcasting about infertility?
HH:Talking to people who've been there themselves and learning more about all aspects of infertility each and every day. Despite none of us wanting to be part of this community, the people I've met are amazing and supportive of each other.
FS: What is the worst thing?
HH:There are two 'worst' things. First, podcasting in general takes a lot of my time each week -- time away from my friends and family. Second, even though I now have a daughter as a result of my seventh IVF cycle, I still have triggers. So I often have conversations with people that trigger me emotionally, but I have to bottle that up so the episode isn't impacted.
FS: What's the best tip you have to offer someone struggling with fertility issues?
HH: Advocate for yourself. This is a learned skill that takes a lot of practice, but it's one that will serve you well.