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Bringing a child into the world inevitably changes parents’ lives, but for Westporter Cynthia Overgard, it wasn’t only the arrival of her baby boy that changed her life; it was how he made his entrance. After taking a HypnoBirthing course, Overgard had “a beautiful water birth” at the Connecticut Childbirth and Women’s Center in Danbury. The experience prompted her to abandon her career as a corporate executive and professor and follow a newfound calling as a childbirth education expert. With Down to Birth (downtobirthshow.com), Overgard’s and Yale-educated midwife Trisha Ludwig’s new podcast, parents worldwide are now privy to the wisdom Overgard has been sharing with couples locally since founding HypnoBirthing of CT in 2007.

“HypnoBirthing asserts fear and tension are the very cause of pain in a normal birth,” explains Overgard. “Its overriding purpose is teaching women to remain calm and in control, no matter what kind of birth they want or end up with. Data shows HypnoBirthing moms have extremely low rates of medical intervention and unusually fast labors.” Overgard has taught 1,800 expectant couples and also offers her Life After Birth postpartum support group, co-moderated by Ludwig, who is also a breastfeeding expert.

Down to Birth covers pregnancy, birth, postpartum and parenting. Expect eye-opening info, inspiring birth stories (a footling breech birth in Amish Country, a forty-two-year-old’s unplanned home birth…), frank talks with moms and humor too (after all, Ludwig arrived at the home birth of the Overgards’ daughter wearing a T-shirt that read: “Yale Midwifery: At Your Cervix”).

“Every month we feature a ‘teamcast’ episode; a first-person story or roundtable discussion among parents; an expert interview; and a Q&A episode, where we respond to listeners’ emails and phone messages,” says Overgard.

After its January launch, Down to Birth tallied enough downloads to land in the top 10 percent of all podcast launches


Launch Your Own Podcast

“Podcasts have become one of the early thrilling successes of the Media Studios @ Westport Library. We now have a dedicated podcast recording studio that is bookable online. We can live record up to four guests, receive smart phone and computer inputs, and have built-in effects or add creative content,” says David Bibbey, Media Studios producer. “We are also launching a Podcast Recording Clinic and are curating a series of How to Podcast URL links and videos for aspiring podcasters.” Interested in recording a podcast at WPL? Send an email to mediastudios@westportlibrary.org.

Trisha and Cynthia at Media Studios at Westport Library

Speak Up!

5 Steps to Podcast Perfection

1 // Don’t let fear stop you. “The idea initially intimidated me,” says Overgard, “but I am compelled to pursue anything that excites and scares me.”

2 // Put in the time. “We worked fulltime for six months before going live and had ten completed episodes on launch day. It took time to perfect our content and style.”

3 // Enlist a focus group. “There were so many painstaking decisions to make along the way, and they held us to a high standard.”

4 // Build your dream team. “Find complementary skills. Trisha is creative, I’m analytical. She’s easy-going and flexible, I’m precise and a perfectionist. Also, trust and respect are requisite.”

5 // Hit the library. “We record at the Westport Library—where we not only obtain information and content, but also create it.”

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