THERE ARE voyeuristic consolations to listening to mothers share their experience with a therapist.

Alexandra Sacks podcast, ''Motherhood Sessions'' debuted in April. It's constantly riveting, and I think it tells us something about media as well as about motherhood.

One recent report said that 90 million people have listened to a podcast in the last month, and I suspect one reason for this boom is that podcasts don't let themselves to social media's hostile scrutiny quite as easily as the written word does.

It usually takes more time to hate-listen to podcasts than to hate-read articles, and they're not easy to search, screen-shot or comment on. That let's people on podcasts be a little looser and more vulnerable.

And speaking honestly about the harder parts of parenthood - especially when you already feel culturally embattled - requires willingness to be vulnerable.

In a TED Talk last year, Sacks described how she 's heard again and again from women who think they're suffering from pastpartum depression because find the strain of caring for a newborn challenging, but who son't meet the clinical criteria.

She sought to popularize a term, "matrescence,'' for the hormone addled transitions of pregnancy and parenthood.

''Motherhood Sessions,'' which is produced by the podcasting company Gimlet Media, is in many ways a show about the the drama of matrescence. It's focus is the mother's experience, said Sacks : ''Not how to care for a child, how to care for a woman.'' It's that emphasis, she said, that make her podcasts a feminist project

In theory, the internet should have opened up a new world of candid conversation about parenthood, and in some ways it did, particularly in the aughts, when bloggers like Heather Armstrong of Dooce fame exposing the awkward and ugly parts of family life.

But the rise of social media mean that anyone who writes online about any aspect of maternal ambivalence risks a barrage of trolling or sneering condescension.

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on Podcasting and Motherhood continues. The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Michelle Goldberg.


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