Motherhood Sessions

by Gimlet
698

Being a mom is hard—everybody knows that. But usually we only hear about sleepless nights and diaper changes, not the profound identity shift that accompanies becoming a mother. Motherhood is a psychological big bang. And yet it’s rare to find emotionally honest conversations about it. On Gimlet Media’s Motherhood Sessions, Dr. Alexandra Sacks, a renowned reproductive psychiatrist, sits down with mothers and lets us listen in on conversations that are hard to have outside of a therapist’s office. Each episode features a woman struggling with some problem or question—from career uncertainty to sex to ambivalence about even being a mother—and she and Dr. Sacks work it through together.

 
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Recent Reviews
  • romeoBOMB-93
    My favorite
    This is my favorite podcast! Even if you read the synopsis and think to yourself, “I can’t relate to that.” listen anyway and I promise you’ll glean something beneficial from it. It truly surprises me that I love this podcast more than all the other ones I listen to. It might surprise you too.
  • Susie Snowflake16
    Great listen
    An interesting listen and good topics. I’m not a mom but I still enjoy hearing each episode.
  • nothappybunny5
    Great therapy podcast
    Amazing hardships that these mothers endure. And the psychiatrist guides them through what it means to examine their lives and how they got where they are. And then judges them gently in the direction that will provide them the best outcome
  • Cranberryjuice
    Motherhood Sessions
    I really cannot get over Dr. Alexandra Sacks. I can’t get through a single episode because of her. She is not a good listener and is not a good therapist. On top of that, she is inauthentic, pretentious, and is trying too hard to put on a show. Otherwise, the topics are great and content to be gleaned from those topics rich. Dr. Sacks is not it.
  • Kml646
    Honest, spot on look at motherhood
    This is the best podcast for the upper middle class professional woman and mom. This describes The maxes our burnt out American mom and how we can improve our situation
  • Txdumont
    Great look at mom minds
    Dr Sacks is doing something new with these open therapy sessions with mothers: revealing the thoughts and feelings behind the facade of the mom who juggles it all with a smile on her face. I think it’s really important and frankly vital that these topics are being brought up and that we continue the conversations so as moms we stop feeling alone, wrong, different, etc. I wish it spoke a little bit more to a larger audience and less just preaching to the choir - as important as it is for us moms to hear it!
  • debyemane
    Love this show
    Both as a mom and therapist, I love this show. Talking about these issues, that I feel are universal, is healing. Motherhood can be very lonely at times, this podcast normalizes mom issues. I look forward to a session each week.
  • Ali_glin
    Great
    Always enjoy listening
  • Futureballad
    Not cut out for motherhood
    Though I actively pursued becoming a mother, though much later than most women, I identify with Anne. I sense deep insecurities and anxiety from her own immigrant upbringing that simultaneously didn’t appeal to her yet she idolized her own mother’s hard work and self sacrifice. It’s hard to come to terms with the modern world, where it’s much easier on us and our kids, and the much harder time our own mothers had. I love this podcast so much. Every single episode is worth listening to multiple times.
  • Sarah CV
    Honest talk about motherhood
    This podcast is for the mom that wants honest talk about motherhood and all it’s challenges.
  • JanellO222
    Coparenting with your ex
    This episode brought me to tears. I felt each ache and sorrow of ending a long and hard relationship with someone who I loved and had a child with. I resonate with difficulty in navigating relationship feelings apart from navigating expectations in parenting- it’s so hard. This woman’s story was similar to my own and helped me feel less alone, but also helped me name my feelings and my struggles in co parenting and single parenting. This podcast is one of my favorites- there are so many different beautiful layers of motherhood. I think Dr. Alexandra Sacks ability to nurture and help these women is so special.
  • cathyanne1948
    Alternative Universes
    I know this same feeling. I call it the “search for the me of me who never grew to be” phenomenon. I too was adopted in 1948, in the US but was lied to about my adoption, a family secret that caused great trauma in the adoptive family, and birth family when I found them, all the way through to now, I am 71. I understand!
  • styledlifebyp
    Little Black Girl like me
    Omg !! I love this one ! It hits home for me having a bi racial baby girl . She’s over a year now but I can really relate to her concern and pain. It’s hard to live in a world where this conversation is still happening . But it take strong parents to help guide their children to have their families through these discussions!
  • Chelsie F
    Motherhood sessions
    I was never the type to really listen to radio cast or podcasts but one day I was interested in finding one about motherhood and the struggles I go through on a every day to see if others relate, and I came across this one & it’s the absolute best! I love this podcast. They talk so in depth about many things that go unheard, or is not really spoken about such as if it’s okay to be happy with only one child or the struggle of not really liking motherhood, or even just postpartum. They go over what could cause a lot of the trauma and stress we go through on a day to day, and it really just helps the healing soul, at least for me. I give it 5 stars and I don’t normally do reviews!
  • CALMTogether
    Competent, kind and insightful!
    Dr. Sacks offers thoughtful and insightful support and wisdom to these mamas coming from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of issues. So grateful for this podcast and her work!
  • TNbravojunkie
    Powerful podcast for mothers!
    This podcast is so incredibly raw and uplifting. Each episode I begin thinking I can’t relate to the specific story and by the end I’m in tears so touched by the common threads of motherhood. I am so thankful for Dr. Alexandra Sacks’ incredibly important work. She has been a beacon of light for me as I navigate new motherhood.
  • lilarose0614
    Favorite motherhood podcast !!!
    I
  • mamakayrv
    Essential Postpartum Listening
    This podcast provides a window into so many postpartum struggles. I appreciate the variety of topics and honest conversations about what happens after pregnancy.
  • nfalcn
    Thoughtful and compelling
    As a mom of two young babes, I love this unique angle of seeing inside people’s lives and the challenges and hardships that parenting can bring with it. Listening into therapy sessions as people work it out with Dr. Sacks really is so special, vulnerable and intimate. I look forward to each episode.
  • Emhecho
    Something every new or senior mom should listen too
    Finding Dr. Sacks work came at a crucial time in my parenthood journey. My anxiety with my first child never faded with time it seemed to snow ball after having a second child. I felt abnormal and horrible with my many intrusive thoughts. It was so crippling that I felt so much fear of losing my first child ....that I wouldn’t leave the house unless my husband was with or it was must. After reading your book and listening to your podcasts my anxiety has softened and I’m able to control most of my negative thoughts. And to know that it’s normal and *gasp* okay to experience some level of anxiety with parenthood. Also ...becoming a mother isn’t as innate as society makes it appear. Thank you for everything Dr.Sacks
  • kellymitchem
    Obsessed.
    Came across the podcast recently and I love it. It’s so personal to me as a mother and as someone who frequently struggles with everything that entails. It brings out so much emotion to get to listen to others share their own personal stories and experiences in such a deep and honest way.
  • Marlene A Ramirez
    One of the BEST mom podcasts!
    I absolutely love listening to these sessions about real moms going through some REAL tough situations. Some I can relate to and some I can’t fathom the thought of having to go through. Dr. Alexandra Sacks does such a great job at guiding all of us moms through those struggles.
  • tj89043
    Fascinating and Relatable
    Wow!! So great! Please have more than 1 episode per week!
  • Dustsup
    Not a fan
    I tried this podcast out after hearing about it in another podcast but the stories just we’re engaging and I wasn’t a big fan of the host.
  • breastfeedingadvocate
    Disappointed
    I was loving this show. I binge listened to several episodes of the first season and appreciated them all. Then today I listened to the Two Years without Sex episode and heard Dr Sacks blame breastfeeding for this couples’ problems and encourage a mother to end breastfeeding in order to save her marriage. Completely unacceptable!! It is difficult enough to be a breastfeeding mother with the social stigmas, public scrutiny, outdated stereotypes and other pressures working against us. We don’t need (female!) health workers making it harder. It is a mother’s right and responsibility to feed her own child for as long as she decides and NO ONE ELSE’S. This mother was clearly not ready to end her breastfeeding relationship with her son and seemed to be communicating that the son also was not yet ready. I was soooo disturbed to hear Dr Sacks blaming her for the marital issues! I don’t know if I’ll continue to listen. Super disappointed.
  • salome479
    Felt patronizing and authoritarian
    I am in agreement with some of the reviews written that Dr. Sacks puts her knowledge and perspective at the forefront, instead of asking more open, curious questions about each person’s experience. The didactic telling a person “this is the issue you are struggling with” made me cringe, especially when she counseled women of color. Ultimately, it matters most what her clients receive from her expertise, which of course we listeners cannot know. I do wish some of the root issues were explored more. For example, with the couple who flew to NY and the man stated he was hyperaware of his partner’s “criticisms” while being intimate and how much this affected his willingness to initiate intimacy. The root cause of this was never explored, but undeniably critical to the understanding him as a person/partner.
  • JAL2017
    Boring, sorry
    I really wanted to like this podcast. I tried to make it through a few episodes. I. Just. Can’t. The host is like a caricature of all the things that make people make fun of therapists.
  • CourtneyLevRoa
    Soo well done!
    Love, love, love this show! So well done! I only wish there were more!
  • Boxmecrazy
    As a troubled mama...
    I’m loving this podcast! The struggles I’ve endured as a single, young, mom I’ve felt alone while experiencing them... to hear these stories help. They help by letting me know it’s ok to struggle. I’m not alone.
  • toddyvirginia
    No.
    I enjoy listening to the women speaking, but the therapist is a poor listener. Hearing her “mmhmm” and every other word her patient says is annoying and feels patronizing. Maybe it’s working for the people on her office, but edit it out of your podcast at the very least. I am bothered by her advice- telling a patient that her measure of worth/ value is her role as a mother. Alexis says that because the woman is held in such a position of esteem to her son that the woman matters. And then asks how she’s doing in that role. What of women without children? What is the intrinsic value of someone who feels like motherhood does not define them? That value structure feels very untenable and unhelpful.
  • Pod Lover91
    Vocal Fry is Bad
    Motherhood sessions was recommended if you like “Where do we Begin” , it’s not as good though. I liked the description of the podcast but i felt like people told these long hard to related to stories. Dr. Sacks has crazy vocal Fry, hard to listen to sometimes.
  • sarahgant
    Misses the mark
    The concept borrowed from “Where Should We Begin” is not improved upon by the producers or “host” of Motherhood Sessions. I gave it a good try but couldn’t stop cringing whenever Dr. Sacks spoke. Her approach feels immature, pro forma, and incurious. It seems that many others do connect with her (including, I hope, the clients), but she and I are not a match.
  • Ard80
    Great advice for mommies
    I understand this therapist offers quite a bit of advice compared to a typical therapist who constantly follows up a client statement with more questions to the client to get them to explore their thoughts...but I love that this therapist gives practical advice. It’s super useful. Hope she continues to explore even more practical issues faced by moms
  • DvGuts
    Thumbs up
    Dr. Alexandra Sacks is no Esther Perel, that’s for sure, but I appreciate what’s she’s trying to do by allowing new mothers to give words to feelings.
  • talexandra
    Wonderful Content, Some Frustrations
    I want to start by sharing that I love the themes and topics explored in this podcast and appreciate the vulnerability of the guests. There needs to be more space to talk about experiences around motherhood & I really appreciate this podcast creating that. I do have some frustrations with the therapist Dr. Sacks. As a therapist myself, I struggle to connect with her approach. It feels that she tells people how they feel, why they feel the way they do & what to do with those feelings. I prefer an approach in which a therapist is curious & serves as a guide to help clients develop their own understanding, hopes & change. It feels that she really centers her expert power & I wish she took a more collaborative approach. I do understand it’s possibly because of trying to take someone’s whole experience and fit it into one podcast episode but potentially a disclaimer could be helpful in that case.
  • AM_in_LA
    Thank you
    Enjoying the podcast on the whole, but especially the “When Being A Mom Isn’t Enough” episode. Camilla verbalized the feelings I too have been struggling with since becoming a mom and Dr. Sacks provided some key insight on how to proceed from here. Thank you.
  • bethloveyo
    100% my new favorite podcast
    I’m a huge podcast junkie. I listen ALL DAY at work. All of the women featured on here are inspiring, amazing, and totally brave for voicing what motherhood is real like. It helps me feel validated in my feelings when I’m in a fake circle of “omg being a mom is so awesome!!!” circles. Ladies - you are creating a movement of honesty and validation and I love you!
  • jmade27
    Great show
    You don’t have to be a mother (I’m not) to enjoy the great stories and sessions in this podcast. Please keep the show going! Thank you.
  • MrsNewlywed
    Spotlight Mothers in Poverty, please no more entitled whiney stories
    I’ve noticed none of the mothers showcased in these mental health sessions are impoverished and some of these mothers are especially whiney with their entitlement issues. I want to hear how to handle the struggle of true mental stress. Showcase mothers who are trying to raise their children in high crime areas, mothers dealing with financial stress, mothers who have to send their children to dangerous/low quality/low opportunity schools, mothers who had to cope with a loss of a partner and loss of economic stability. Please, no more whiney entitled women and men.
  • t2km
    Want more!
    Love this podcast. I just wish it was longer!!!
  • Shaharah L
    Poignant
    The interesting thing about this podcast is that I can empathize with every story. Either I know someone in that situation or I have experienced the feelings & emothios that these women talk about. I usually have to listen to this podcast in the car; I usually end up shedding a few tears. I cannot be a mess at work. To the host: thank you for this. Sometimes, as a mom, you forget that there is a sisterhood of women who can relate... and that alone makes me feel like I am not alone in this.
  • Magpie9012
    I lost interest
    Probably a good 5-10 minutes into each episode I lost interest. The host had a whiny voice and she also says “yeahhhh” every few minutes. I thought this podcast could be very interesting and I’m disappointed that this was a flop.
  • YPA-NY
    Not a match to “Where should we begin”
    I signed up for this podcast after it was recommended through a commercial at “Where should we begin?” - the advertising said that if I loved Esther Perell’s podcast I would love this one too, and since I LOVE Esther Perell’s podcast and I am also a recently separated mom I immediately signed up for it. Alas, after listening to 2 episodes I must say that it’s not even a distant match to “Where should we begin”. It’s poorly made, there are lots of glitches and repetitions in the audio, the therapist is neither insightful nor sympathetic, so it’s just a lot of unedited blah-blah-blah from therapy clients with pretty trivial stories and - sorry to say - rather annoying voices all around. I was so looking forward to find a meaningful motherhood podcast but alas this it not the one.
  • Rachiee6693
    Thank you
    I stumbled across this podcast and can’t say thank you enough. The first two episodes are so real and really hit home to me. Sometimes you just feel so alone being a mom. A lot of people don’t talk about these things because it makes them look less than. So thank you again. Please keep up with this podcast. Xoxo
  • margaritagrace
    Not cut out for a mother
    Wow, I couldn’t relate to this lady anymore. I love my children don’t get me wrong. But like she says, I could see my self being okay with out children. I’m glad I found this channel
  • BR92104
    Interesting format, mediocre therapist
    I really love this kind of format and I think the content is relatable. I know this is weird but honestly Dr. Sacks doesn’t seem like that skilled of a therapist. She surprises me when she sounds a little judgmental and biased sometimes and I feel like she rarely gets down to anything fundamental about these people’s issues. Part of the reason it’s so wonderful to listen to Esther Perel is because she’s obviously highly skilled and way smarter than everyone that she says things that keep you hanging on her every word. This just sounds like two people discussing life. Which is fine. Just a bummer because it’s not very interesting.
  • Elsaone77
    One of the best podcasts out there
    I found it so fascinating that I listened to every episode straight through on a road trip. There was something I could relate to in every episode, and not solely as a mother, but as a daughter and a wife. I love this podcast and hope there are additional episodes to come!
  • Karencitaaaaa
    Never related so much to something
    I used to think something was wrong with me for all these feelings I was experiencing after having my son. These podcasts helped me realize how normal everything I was going through was and how many other moms go through the same thing. I love them ❤️ kudos to all the mommies out there. We got this !
  • georgie327
    A welcome addition to my podcast library!
    I love how this podcast helps normalize so many feelings that come with motherhood. It’s so important that women recognize what a hard job they do. And that it’s okay to have times of doubts and worries. And to take care of yourself so you can take care of your child.
  • xoLivXo
    The podcast I didn’t know I needed!
    First time mom here. Love my little 9month old but I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t relate to each of these women at least once in the past 18 months. I can’t wait for more episodes!! Wishing your podcast growth and success !!
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