The stress of living through a pandemic has been overwhelming, to say the least. Now imagine not only living through the pandemic, but becoming a new mother, working full-time, and launching a podcast. That’s exactly what Lina Forrestal did: managing an extreme balancing act that at times was admittedly difficult.
After her own experience, Lina saw the need to create a safe space for new moms who may be feeling isolated and overwhelmed. This was also her reality, suffering daily with the anxieties of becoming a new parent during the pandemic while pouring her heart and soul into starting ‘The New Mamas Podcast’. Lina's real-life experiences are certainly what makes the parenting podcast such a roaring success, as she covers raw and taboo topics in a refreshingly honest way.
Prior to becoming a mother and starting her podcast, Lina was a serial planner. She was the girl who always had a five-year plan, be that personally or in her corporate career. However, one international move to Thailand later and Lina learned to relinquish control and start living rather than planning. As she says herself: ‘you plan and God laughs’. She credits her time abroad for helping her see what she could achieve beyond her corporate career. However, above all, she credits it for teaching her how to take those all-important leaps of faith. For example, having the courage to start a parenting podcast for new moms.
So what inspired Lina to dive into the podcasting world? Within a year of returning to the US, she and her partner learned they were about to become parents. This exciting time was filled with preparations, from attending scheduled doctor's appointments to reading tonnes of parenting books. However, Lina was shocked when the moment she gave birth, the doctor’s appointments and resources stopped with it. She was left in her fourth trimester (the 12 weeks after birth) feeling overwhelmed and alone in what is arguably the most intense and volatile stage of becoming a parent. She couldn’t understand why there was such a wealth of help and resources during pregnancy and then absolutely nothing post-birth.
The Birth of 'The New Mamas Podcast'
This was the inspiration behind ‘The New Mamas Podcast’: a parenting podcast that comforts new moms, assuring them that they are not alone. Lina interviews guests about their transition into motherhood, providing a safe space for new moms to talk about their experiences. In doing so, the podcast gives women a voice; one that is so often canceled or silenced by society.
The beauty of this podcast is that it connects moms from all backgrounds and walks of life, all united by their collective motherhood journey. What’s more, Lina’s infectious realism means the conversation is opened up about important, traditionally taboo, topics. For example, post-partum depression, SIDS anxiety, infertility, miscarriage, and the ever-prevalent mom-guilt. In doing so, she makes her parenting podcast one of a kind by normalizing the ups and downs of motherhood and providing solace to those new moms suffering in silence.
Navigating this stage of motherhood is intense at the best of times. However, during the pandemic new moms have had to navigate the early stages of newborn life without the support of family and friends. What's more, global restrictions have limited the provision of childcare services, placing greater pressure on new moms.
Despite this hardship, Lina made the best of the situation. Instead, she used the time when family and friends would normally have visited to create her parenting podcast. Knowing how many women her podcast could help made her determined to put the hours in alongside the responsibilities of being a new mom. What’s more, she was already back at her corporate job just 6 weeks after giving birth (as per US law). As a result, she was left balancing breastfeeding and conference calls by day, and podcasting by night. This was all the more difficult without childcare and the added pressure of being the sole provider.
Instagram vs Reality
Additionally, the pandemic brought about a lack of physical contact, causing many of us to turn to social media for some form of comfort. Flicking through a perfectly curated Instagram feed doesn’t exactly provide a real perception of parenting. And that’s something Lina desperately wanted to address. As such, 'The New Mamas Podcast' is a far cry from the ‘Instagram highlight reel’ of perfect families and toned postpartum bodies. Instead, it aims to provide moms with a positive dose of reality, reassuring them that they are part of a community all going through the same thing.
A Message to Live by
An empowering message, delivered so reassuringly by Lina, is that ‘it’s ok not to be ok sometimes’. In doing so, she raises spirits, while letting new moms know that it's ok to struggle, it’s ok to be overwhelmed, and it’s certainly ok to reach out for help. After all, learning how to look after a tiny human and how to be a mother at the same time is not an instant process!
Motherhood is a unique journey that requires patience and perseverance, whether that’s for working moms, stay-at-home moms, or something in between. Whatever the journey, 'The New Mamas Podcast' will feel like a comforting hug in the sensitive stages of newborn life.