MAKING BABIES: A FERTILITY PODCAST WITH ANDREA BYRNE
By Andrea Byrne
Welcome to ‘Making Babies’, a podcast presented by broadcaster Andrea Byrne. Making babies is meant to be full of fun! But it turns out 1 in 6 couples don’t find it so easy. So if you, your partner, your family, your friends or your colleagues need some help navigating the world of fertility, we are here to help you. By hearing from people with a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise, you may not feel so alone. So, let’s talk sex, yes, but also all the other ways of making babies!
HANNAH & LEWIS VAUGHAN JONES - LIVING WITH LONGER TERM INFERTILITY
Trigger Warning - please read. Hannah and Lewis Vaughan Jones spent many years living with infertility and all the challenges which come with it. After six years, they were successful with IVF and they now have a son, Sonny. I am mindful that not everyone's journeys end in this way and a heads up that the podcast starts talking about the wonder of Sonny. Hannah & Lewis are friends, fellow newsreaders and also hail from Wales. We went through treatments at a similar time and over a similar time frame and found ourselves forming a friendship over the experiences when they spoke publicly about the journey they were on. If you are on a similar journey, or don't know what to say to someone who is, then I hope this podcast could be very relatable and helpful. Thanks to Hannah and Lewis for being so open and also so patient with me getting this published!
July 31, 2022
COMIC GEOFF NORCOTT - ON BABY LOSS & GRIEF
Comedian and TV presenter Geoff Norcott speaks candidly about the stillbirth of his daughter Connie. An important listen for anyone dealing with any kind of loss, especially men who might be struggling. **This is an episode to listen to when you are confident you won't be triggered** Geoff decided to open up about losing Connie to try to help himself with his grieving process, but also to try to help other men trying to navigate loss and battling mental health issues. He speaks to me about him and his wife Emma losing Connie at 34 weeks pregnant, about how grief often remains unspoken and unconfronted for men, and about how his family remember Connie. Geoff has a refreshing, distinct way of tapping into men's psyche and making the issues around male grief and men's mental health more accessible. We also discuss the fertility taboo that remains in society and how we could all handle conversations differently.
April 19, 2022
IVF & SPERM DONATION: RIA & FERN BURRAGE-MALE
Chief Exec of Hockey Wales Ria Burrage-Male and sports/business consultant Fern Burrage-Male chat to me about their rollercoaster of an IVF journey and explain how using a sperm donor works. A really revealing conversation and something I knew little about, so I hope I have asked all the questions anyone listening might want to know! Ria & Fern speak openly about the challenges of a donor and what it's like now being mums to their gorgeous little boy. Their journey had many ups and downs - losses and failures - it's incredibly relatable and they have some really good advice for coping with infertility and IVF as well.
February 14, 2022
THE PINEAPPLE QUESTION: 'THE POSITIVE BIRTH COMPANY' ON ALL THINGS NUTRITION AND MUCH MORE
Including whether or not we should all be eating pineapple, this week we bust some nutrition myths with The Positive Birth Company, who you may have seen on Dragon's Den. It's a bit of a departure from my celebrity chats this series. As a company, they started out pioneering for positive birth experiences - as the name suggests - but they have now ventured into helping people who are embarking on a journey to try to conceive. As part of a pack which they have created, specialists help with everything from mental health and nutrition to the effect on our sex lives and relationships. On the podcast I'm chatting to founder Siobhan Miller and nutritionist Katherine Kimber - a 'non-diet' dietician.
November 29, 2021
IZZY JUDD ON FERTILITY & MINDFULNESS
Izzy Judd - author, violinist and wife of Harry Judd of McFly fame - opens up about the anxiety of trying to conceive, the pain of loss, how Harry managed and the methods she has developed to keep her mind healthy. She has written about their struggles to start a family in 'Dare to Dream' and then since becoming a mum, she has written about mindfulness techniques in 'Mindfulness for Mums'. So many of the wellbeing tips she has to offer can be applied as help on the trying to conceive journey.
November 14, 2021
Weather Presenter CLARE NASIR: Finding joy after fibroids & IVF
Former Good Morning Britain weather presenter, now with Channel 5 - Clare Nasir - talks to me about struggling for years with large 'alien' fibroids - one the size of rugby ball'. Operations consumed her 30s followed by a harrowing IVF journey with her husband BBC DJ Chris Hawkins. I found talking to Clare really insightful & inspirational as she - like me - spent a very long time consumed by fertility issues. She talks to me here candidly about how that affected her and how she coped with presenting daily network breakfast TV on GMB daily alongside IVF - plus she explains how she came very close to losing Sienna. Most importantly though, her and her husband Chris - are just thriving - living life to the full with their daughter.
October 25, 2021
JESSICA HAYES - ON BABY LOSS AWARENESS
For the second episode, it's Baby Loss Awareness Week, and an emotional conversation with Jess Hayes - Love Island winner and fashion and beauty influencer. Please be aware this contains sensitive subject matter which might be a difficult depending on your own situation. Whilst Jess believes it’s really important to speak about this to help others and open up the conversation - it is, of course, not easy to talk about personal trauma either. Thank you to Jessica for having the courage and strength to have this chat. She lost her baby Teddy at 19 weeks of pregnancy in November last year. She is an ambassador for the Saying Goodbye Charity and - as you’ll hear - she’s dedicated to changing the way we think and talk about baby loss and the way society deals with it. Please contact the charity yourself if you feel you need help.
October 10, 2021
SPORTS PRESENTER GABBY LOGAN: on IVF
Gabby Logan MBE and something of a legend of sports broadcasting from football and the Olympics to athletics and rugby, she needs little introduction. However, something you may not know about Gabby is the problems she and her husband - former rugby player Kenny - had, in trying to start a family. Here, Gabby speaks candidly about her realisation that her and Kenny may need some help, the frustration of unexplained infertility, the ensuing IVF journey and conceiving twins and then difficult decisions over secondary infertility. Just a little overview of the topics covered today - just in case you’re not in the right state of mind to listen now on these topics and would rather skip to another episode.
September 26, 2021
The mind-body connection? An holistic approach to treatment.
In this episode, newscaster and podcaster Andrea Byrne looks at alternative ways to help and support a fertility journey using practices such as reflexology, yoga and acupuncture. How is the mind and body connected and how can we approach treatment holistically to help our whole being. Many of you will be familiar with the medicalised route of injections, egg collection and, hopefully, transfers. In this session we look at alternatives to traditional IVF treatment such as reproductive reflexology and we look at possible holistic ways to support your treatment and 'de-stress' with yoga, breathing, meditation, reflexology or acupuncture. Andrea is joined by Diana Brook from Diana Brook Yoga and Chrissie Bonner from The Reflexology Studio. Alice Matthews also joins the conversation from Fertility Network UK to provide an impartial overview.
April 09, 2021
SURROGACY: WHAT, WHY, HOW, WHO, WHERE?
This episode is poignant to me because it’s something we looked into. There are all sorts of reasons couples look at surrogacy and there are also different types of surrogacy. And this will all be explained! I’ll be chatting to Natalie Gamble from NGA Law who will talk us through the details and legalities of surrogacy arrangements in this country and abroad, Stephen Ashe who is client manager for those who are hoping to find a surrogate to have a baby - who you will hear a lot called intended parents - and he works for the non-profit service Brilliant Beginnings. Other services are available including Surrogacy UK and COTS. I should say Stephen and his partner started their family with a surrogate, so he really does have first-hand knowledge. And I’m delighted to say joining the conversation Teresa Cootes - a surrogate mum herself. So all angles covered here today!
March 13, 2021
News presenter Andrea Byrne is joined by Ruth from The Miscarriage Association and a friend of hers, Danielle, who shares her experiences of losing babies to miscarriage several times. We talk about everything from how many women have them; why people might have them; how hard the process is; what emotions men are going through; and what it means when you do go ahead and try and again. Have a pen and paper handy as there's a lot of info. Perhaps also a box of tissues! I know you'll get so much out of hearing Danielle talk so openly too.
February 03, 2021
Ask the experts: explaining your infertility
This week two fabulous ladies, Kelly and Dionne, join me on the 'Making Babies' podcast alongside Obstetrician Dr Phil Banfield. Kelly and Dionne talk to me about their experiences of PCOS and endometriosis respectively and how they are nervous about venturing into IVF for the first time. Dr Phil talks us through the science and answers their questions and yours. We also explore secondary infertility. Remember, if you have a question, get in touch: @andreabyrnetv
December 07, 2020
Ep 2: "Men Matters". Andrea and her husband Lee Byrne (former Wales rugby international) are joined by Kevin Button - also known as 'The Man Cave' and his wife Nicky. Kevin has is building a fertility support club for men using via his social media, after being diagnosed himself with male infertility and suffering hugely with his mental health. Even though 50 % of infertility cases are male factor, it just doesn't get talked about very much. And men supporting their female partners going through treatment tend not to share so much either. So, let's get talking, normalize the conversation, break that taboo and try to change things with this podcast!
November 15, 2020
Do you have children?
How do you respond when you are asked if you have children? What do you do when you are struggling with that christening invite? Is it really a ‘thing’ to be too stressed to fall pregnant? How can you stay positive during treatment? In this first episode of this podcast, Andrea Byrne is joined by fertility counsellor Wendy Martin and Alice Matthews from Fertility Network UK for a conversation confronting the often unspoken dilemmas that present themselves when ‘making babies’ turns out not to be as easy as it sounds.
October 29, 2020