Original Australian podcast launches focusing on parents, not babies

27 November, 2018 – When it comes to searching for information about parenting, there’s no shortage of content focused on the behaviour of babies and children. However, the launch of a new podcast series is shifting the attention back to parents, their experience and their emotional and mental state as they tackle the challenging, rewarding and often unpredictable, aspects of parenthood.

HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, created the Navigating Parenthood podcast to give a platform to brave everyday parents in conversation with experts, sharing their stories in the hope they’ll help listeners navigate some of the most unexpected challenges and celebrations of raising children.

The six-part series explores the very different lives of parents and their perspectives on what it’s like to raise children with special needs, being a single parent, reshaping your identity after children, coping when things go wrong, identifying mental health issues and how culture impacts parenting.

A team of experts join each podcast episode to offer insights and support to each parent and listeners.

According to Greg McAweeney, Chief Officer of Business Growth at HCF, the rationale for developing the podcast series was to give something valuable back to parents.

“Parents can easily find resources on how to raise their children, but their needs as individuals are often sidestepped or fall down the priority list. There needs to be just as much emphasis on developing and sharing information that supports parents and provides reassurance that parenthood isn’t perfect,” said Mr McAweeney.

“We want to explore the not-so-great moments of parenting so Australians feel supported and understand they are not alone. These frank conversations with experts in nursing, patient support, psychology, anthropology and social work, could help improve the wellbeing of many families.”


Stephanie Hunt built a successful media career in Australia and overseas working as a news journalist for  breakfast TV program Sunrise, BBC and Al Jazeera. When she became a mother to Clementine, now 20 months old, Stephanie faced the realisation that she had changed in many ways.

“For the first time since finishing school I couldn’t watch anything sad or world news. I tapped out of the news cycle, which was a huge contrast to being a complete news junkie. But I really enjoyed being in the baby bubble,” said Ms Hunt.

According to Dr Lisa Williams, social psychologist from the University of New South Wales, the monumental change Stephanie felt in her personal identity is a common experience.

“Research suggests that motherhood can represent a big shift in identity. Many mums report that there is a period of time when their sense of self becomes unanchored,” said Dr Williams.

Melanie Dimmitt’s parenthood journey began with an emergency caesarean to deliver her son Arlo, now two and a half years old. After losing oxygen while Melanie was in labour, Arlo was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy at 6 months old.

“Arlo provided the joy throughout all of this. When you’re with him, looking into his eyes and seeing his smile, it is very hard to be sad,” said Ms Dimmitt.

Joan Bratel, Clinical Consultant for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, says it’s important to recognise that people will react differently in these situations but it’s equally important to encourage parents faced with similar challenges to look for the joy and strengths during these frightening times.

“Following a diagnosis, it is often a time where parents experience confusion, fear, experience different specialists and hear different things. The danger is often you lose sight and miss the good things,” said Ms Bratel.

To listen to all six episodes, search ‘Navigating Parenthood’ wherever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Spotify, Apple and Google podcasts or visit hcf.com.au/podcast


About HCF

HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund protecting Australians since 1932, covers over 1.5 million members with health and life insurance, community care, travel and pet insurance. On average over the last five years, HCF has paid out more cents in every dollar in premiums to members as benefits than the industry average. With over 35,000 specialists participating in its Medical Gap Cover Scheme and approximately 10,000 providers participating in its 100% back More for You programs, HCF gives members access to quality health care with no gaps or minimal costs compared to non-participating providers. To empower members to put their health first, HCF also offers a range of health and lifestyle services including its My Health Guardian health management program, mobile Victor Chang Health Checks and My Global Specialist second opinion service. HCF’s national network of retail outlets and Australian-based call centres have earned multi-award winning status. HCF members also have access to low cost, high quality services at HCF Dental Centres and HCF Eyecare Centres. Having contributed $50 million to support the health services research funded by the HCF Research Foundation, HCF is devoted to investing in the future of Australia’s health. To learn more about HCF go to hcf.com.au/about-us