Child
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Child

Author: BBC Radio 4

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In this new look at the beginnings of life we tell the story of a child from fertilisation to first birthday through the lens of society, history, and science.

28 Episodes
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27. Birthday Cake

27. Birthday Cake

2024-03-1814:47

We get inside the mind of a one year old with Professor of psychology and baby expert Alison Gopnik. What can babies teach us, and how are they influencing their future. We also take a moment think about the village we need to survive that first year and beyond. It’s a cliche, but we know it’s true. The community around a child is one of the most fundamental factors for its development.Presented by: India Rakusen. Producer: Ellie Sans. Series producer: Ellie Sans. Executive producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon. Mix and Mastering by Olga Reed.A Listen Production for BBC Radio 4.
26. Nursery

26. Nursery

2024-03-1815:31

Whenever an infant heads to nursery, it can feel like an enormous step. Things are changing for everyone. There are all sorts of feelings flying around - relief, sadness, doubt, fear. But what’s going on behind the doors of nurseries and childcare settings in England? India speaks to Joeli Brearley from Pregnant Then Screwed about the current childcare crisis, child development psychotherapist Graham Music about how childcare impacts children, as well as economist Emily Oster on our choices around childcare. India then meets artists Conway and Young who have found a way to make the invisible labour of childcare pay.Presented by: India Rakusen. Producer: Georgia Arundell. Series producer: Ellie Sans. Executive producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon. Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-King.A Listen Production for Radio 4.
25. Lullaby

25. Lullaby

2024-03-1815:11

Lullabies. Simple, soothing… nonsense. Right? Wrong. Here we’re getting behind the importance of music and singing in a baby's development. India speaks to Dr Nina Polytimou about her research into how music can help with speech and communication and also be a powerful tool for bonding. India then visits a Singing Mamas group to hear how coming together as mothers to sing is a powerful, important, and missing slice of community. Kate Valentine, the founder, describes the impact it has on maternal mental health.Presented by: India Rakusen. Producers: India Rakusen And Georgia Arundell Series producer: Ellie Sans. Executive producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon. Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-King.A Listen Production for Radio 4.
24. Attachment

24. Attachment

2024-03-1815:16

Attachment is an interesting word. It conjures up images of love, security, but also a specific focus and intensity that has encircled modern parenting. India speaks to Child Psychotherapist Graham music about attachment styles and people behind the theory. We hear from Marvyn Harrison, founder of Dope Black Dads, about his experience of becoming a father and India talks to Dr Charlotte Faircloth about how attachment parenting and other intensive parenting methods are impacting parents today.Presented by: India Rakusen. Producer: Ellie Sans. Series producer: Ellie Sans. Executive producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon and Eska Mtungwazi. Mix and Mastering by Olga Reed.A Listen Production for Radio 4.
23. Crawling

23. Crawling

2024-03-1814:30

Seeing a baby make its first moves is a magical time. It marks the beginning of their independence. And it’s something that is often tracked using developmental milestones, but are they actually more problematic than they are useful? India speaks to Professor Karen Adolph who shares her problems with milestones and discusses the cultural expectations of early development. She also hears from Dr Vanessa Cavallera from the World Health Organisation about the work they’re doing to update their 2006 milestone graph and the future of infant development.Presented by India Rakusen. Producer: Georgia Arundell. Series Producer: Ellie Sans. Executive Producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts. Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon. Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-King.A Listen production for BBC Radio 4.
22. Baby Food

22. Baby Food

2024-03-1815:28

Baby food is about so much more than mashed carrot. It’s another important foundation for the rest of the child’s life. But it isn’t an equal playing field and it’s another minefield of parenting. India talks to feeding specialist Kim Grenawitzke about the importance of learning to eat, and how to introduce solids. Historian Amy Bentley describes how the rise of commercial baby food affected parenting and babies, and Dr Vicky Sibson from First Steps Nutrition takes us down the baby food aisle.Presented by: India Rakusen. Producer: India Rakusen Series producer: Ellie Sans. Executive producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts. Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon. Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-King.A Listen Production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.
21. Sleep

21. Sleep

2024-03-1815:02

Go on, be honest. Is this the first episode you clicked? It drives people crazy. It’s a firecracker of a topic, and emotions run high around sleep. So let’s talk about it. When did we start getting so anxious about baby sleep, and what’s ‘normal’ for a baby anyway? India talks to anthropologist Dr Helen Ball about all this and the controversial topic of bed sharing as well as economist Emily Oster, who’s crunched the numbers and research on… sleep training.Presented by: India Rakusen. Producer: Ellie Sans. Series producer: Ellie Sans. Executive producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon and Eska Mtungwazi. Mix and Mastering by Olga Reed.A Listen Production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.
20. Playtime

20. Playtime

2024-03-1815:10

As parents start to think about the development of the child within, they might head out to classes. The advice on how a baby ‘should be’ and the pressures on parents to ‘get it right’ can be a lot, but does it all matter? Lucy Jones, journalist and author, guides us through the history of why there is so much pressure on carers. We also hear more from Rebecca Saxe, a cognitive neuroscientist and Dean of Science at MIT about what babies are learning from play, and from Graham Music about what makes good play. But, put down your wallet - the best toys for a baby are free, and with you all the time. Presented by India Rakusen Producer: Lucy Hunt Series Producer: Ellie Sans Executive Producer: Suzy Grant Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-KingA Listen production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds
19. Time Warp

19. Time Warp

2024-03-1815:17

We’re taking a pause to lose ourselves down the rabbit hole of time. Because something strange happens to time in those first weeks of a baby's arrival. The rest of the world still seems to, mostly, rise with the sun, and sleep with the dark - but the world of a new parent has turned on its head. So what would happen if we looked at time in a totally different way? In this episode, India Rakusen explores the relatively new concept (but ancient experience of) Maialogical time with historian Joanna Wolfarth, discusses the impact of the first few months with Perinatal psychiatrist Trudi Seneviratne, and talks to musician and mother Eske Mtungwazi about her experience in the world of neonatal care.Presented by India Rakusen Producer: India Rakusen Series Producer: Ellie Sans Executive Producer: Suzy Grant Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by Eska Mtungwazi Mix and Mastering by Olga ReedA Listen production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds
18. Fingers and Toes

18. Fingers and Toes

2024-03-1814:33

How are mother and baby developing? Sure, we’ve counted their toes - but what happens now? So many huge emotional shifts are happening in the “Fourth Trimester”. We talk about postnatal care with midwife Leah Hazard and the history of lying-in with Dr Sarah Fox. We also discuss postnatal depression, and inpatient support for mums. An area in which England is world leading. India visits a mother and baby unit to talk to Dr Trudi Seneviratne about the psychological support for new mothers.Presented by India Rakusen Producer: Ellie Sans Series Producer: Ellie Sans Executive Producer: Suzy Grant Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon and Eska Mtungwazi Mix and Mastering by Charlie-Brandon HillA Listen production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds
17. Milk

17. Milk

2024-03-1816:25

Milk. However it comes its a vital source of life. India Rakusen explores it’s various forms and the history and politics that have shaped the way we view how we feed our babies. The pressures around feeding our new-borns can be intensely difficult to navigate. India speaks to a new mum, Kerry, about her experience expressing and feeding in neonatal wards. She also finds out how milk is built from scientist Mary Fewtrell and talks to historian and author Joanna Wolfarth about the way milk has ruled motherhood, and how we can move forward. Presented by India Rakusen Producer: Ellie Sans Series Producer: Ellie Sans Executive Producer: Suzy Grant Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon and ESKA Mtungwazi Mix and Mastering by Olga ReedA Listen production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds
16. First Love

16. First Love

2024-03-1815:14

The chemical and emotional connection between a parent and baby is really important but just how quickly are babies making emotional connections? India talks to MIT Professor Rebecca Saxe about scanning babies brains to find the answers. Helen Jukes questions the ‘naturalness’ of the mother-baby bond and talks about the variety of relationships out in the natural world, and India talks to Paternal mental health expert Scott Mair about the important role of dads in the very early days of bonding. Presented by: India Rakusen. Producer: India Rakusen Series producer: Ellie Sans. Executive producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon. Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-King.A Listen Production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.
15. Golden Hour

15. Golden Hour

2024-03-1816:04

The baby is born and takes its first breath. But it’s not over. India examines how the body reacts and recovers in this first hour, how the placenta is born, and how bonding begins between parents and baby. And what if it doesn’t? It’s not always instant love, and that’s okay. India speaks to doula Leila Baker and former midwife Rachel Reed about building that enchantment a different way when the rush of hormones doesn’t have the expected effect. Midwife Leah Hazard describes the immediate aftercare and India asks Dr Alison Wright about how more personalised care could improve mothers experiences.Produced and Presented by: India Rakusen. Series producer: Ellie Sans. Production Team: Ella McLeod & Georgia Arundell Executive producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by ESKA. Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-King.A Listen Production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.
14. Pain

14. Pain

2024-03-1814:35

The baby is almost here. In this episode, India Rakusen explores how the baby moves through the cervix into the birth canal to the moment the baby’s head starts to crown. And through all of this, how is pain acknowledged and addressed? India looks at the history of pain relief - and finds out from historian Randi Hutter-Epstein about an extreme form called Twilight Sleep that gained popularity at the start of the 20th Century. She also speaks to research midwife Rachel Ibikunle about the horrific beliefs about pain for Black and Asian women, and to Siobhan Miller of the Positive Birth Company about how understanding our body can help manage pain.Presented by India Rakusen Producer: Ellie Sans Series Producer: Ellie Sans Production Team: Ella McLeod & Georgia Arundell Executive Producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by ESKA Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-KingA Listen production for BBC Radio 4
13. Trust

13. Trust

2024-03-1815:24

With near-constant headlines of problems in our maternity services here in the UK, what does the word ‘trust’ mean today when it comes to birth, and what can we do to create more of it? India Rakusen heads to her own hospital where she’s due to give birth to speak to the director of midwifery Shirley Peterson, Dr Sanem Atakan a consultant obstetrician and a doula Aimee Hamblin about the breakdown and rebuilding of trust.Produced and Presented by India Rakusen Series Producer: Ellie Sans Production Team: Ella McLeod & Georgia Arundell Executive Producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by ESKA Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-KingA Listen production for BBC Radio 4
12. Consent

12. Consent

2024-03-1815:17

Being in control and having a sense of choice can be the difference between a positive or negative birth experience, but how much choice do women really have? India Rakusen speaks to Dr Anna Nelson about consent for cervical examinations and how muddy this area can be. Leah Hazard discusses what these examinations are for and how useful they can be, and we also hear from Dr Ihab Abassi about his decision to only perform gentle caesareans and the long lasting positive impact this can have on women. Presented by India Rakusen Producer: Ellie Sans Series Producer: Ellie Sans Production Team: Ella McLeod & Georgia Arundell Executive Producer: Suzy Grant Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by ESKA Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-KingA Listen production for BBC Radio 4
11. Oxytocin

11. Oxytocin

2024-03-1815:31

Labour begins. The womb begins its grinding dance into contractions and the hormone Oxytocin steps onto the scene. In this episode, India Rakusen explores the influence that both people and the places we are in have over labour and birth. Where we give birth, and with who, has changed quite dramatically over the centuries. But what do we know now about the significance of both? We hear from Dr Sarah Fox about the move from birth being a women-only space to the rise of man-midwives. Economist Emily Oster discusses the benefits of having a doula, and Leila Baker, one of the directors of Doula UK, talks about the rise in Doulas and what that means for marginalised groups, security and safety. Finally Dr Ranee Thakar considers how recent headlines have eroded trust - with consequences for oxytocin.Presented by India Rakusen Producer: Ellie Sans Series Producer: Ellie Sans Production Team: Ella McLeod & Georgia Arundell Executive Producer: Suzy Grant Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by ESKA And The Big Moon. Mix and Mastering by Olga ReedA Listen production for BBC Radio 4
10. Due Date

10. Due Date

2024-01-2914:373

At the end of a pregnancy, a lot is going on. The baby might be descending and moving into place, and the pregnant body is changing every day. It’s the baby’s time to arrive and it’s going to happen, one way or another. But what is a due date?India speaks to Holly Dunsworth, a biological anthropologist who’s challenging the obstetrical dilemma. Exploring the idea of why the due dates exist, India looks at the inaccuracies of how they are measured whilst questioning - how does labour begin? Midwife and author Leah Hazard provides insights into what we do know, and the possible influence of full moons. Presented by India Rakusen. Producer: Lucy Hunt. Series Producer: Ellie Sans. Executive Producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor Rhian Roberts. Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon. Mix and Mastering by Olga Reed. A Listen production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.
9. Birth Plan

9. Birth Plan

2024-01-2914:44

How can we truly plan for something as big and unknowable as birth? What are we forgetting to prepare for - or not being told? India Rakusen talks to obstetrician and gynecologist Dr Ranee Thakar about tearing during birth, and to Siobhan Miller, founder of the Positive Birth Company, about hypnobirthing. Presented by India Rakusen. Producer: Ellie Sans. Series Producer: Ellie Sans. Executive Producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon. Mix and Mastering by Charlie Brandon-King.A Listen production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.
8. Mother Brain

8. Mother Brain

2024-01-2914:451

The huge changes that occur during pregnancy have been felt by people for millennia, but it's only in recent years that we've had data to back those feelings up. India Rakusen talks to Herman Potzner about just how energetically taxing pregnancy is, and to Elseline Hoeksma about the changes in the maternal brain.Presented by India Rakusen. Producer: Ellie Sans. Series Producer: Ellie Sans. Executive Producer: Suzy Grant. Commissioning Editor: Rhian Roberts Original music composed and performed by The Big Moon. Mix and Mastering by Olga Reed.A Listen production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.
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Comments (4)

Rob Greer

Gave up on this one when a doctor used the term "birthing person". If a doctor does not know that only women give birth, then I simply do not trust them when it comes to medical information.

Mar 28th
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amin zibandeh

can we access to the text of the narations?

Feb 24th
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Daniel Clayton

Enjoyed it so far but the conversation about Mary being portrayed as having a birth with no pain, blood, etc is rediculous and not part of the account. The account just simplifies the whole event because that wasn’t the focus. The writer would know everyone would know what a birth entailed, not reason to say what known.

Feb 23rd
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Feb 20th
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