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The Duchess of Cambridge on Happy Mum Happy Baby

Kate Middleton with Giovanna Fletcher on the Happy Mum Happy Baby Podcast
The Duchess of Cambridge with Giovanna Fletcher, host of Happy Mum, Happy Baby. Photo: Kensington Royal

The Duchess of Cambridge made her podcast debut on Giovanna Fletcher's podcast, Happy Mum Happy Baby. During the 35 minute episode, Catherine talked about her own experiences with motherhood, the #5BigQuestions survey, what drew her to the early years sector and why she is so passionate about it. The Duchess has been working with the early years in one way or another since her wedding in 2011 and she has really focused in on the work in the past five years or so.

The podcast begins with both Giovanna and Catherine admitting they are a bit nervous but once they begin to talk about the early years and motherhood the nerves seemed to dissipate. The Duchess of Cambridge has been known to struggle with public speaking but she has demonstrated her growth in the area over the past two years or so. The podcast seemed to be a wonderful platform for Catherine as she spoke very openly about her own experiences with motherhood and why the early years sector is so important for lifelong productivity and happiness.

Catherine Middleton meets and alpaca at Ark Open Farm
The Duchess of Cambridge visited ark Open Farm in Northern Ireland to promote her work in the early years. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty

The pair recorded the episode following the Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Stockwell Gardens Nursery where she was promoting the 5 Big Questions Survey. They began by discussing the Duchesses interest in the early years which stemmed from conversations with people who struggled with addiction, homelessness or other difficulties. She noted so many of the problems these people encountered could be traced back to their earliest years which is part of the reason she is so passionate about it.

The Duchess is hoping that the early years project will have an impact on generations to come by raising awareness about the importance of the early years (typically described as gestation through five years old) as well as providing more information and support to parents and carers. Catherine opened up to Giovanna about her own childhood as well as her experience with pregnancy and motherhood.

The Duchess admitted her pregnancies were quite difficult for her as she had hyperemesis gravidarum, a form of severe morning sickness that left her feeling "rotten" through much of her pregnancy. Catherine shared that it was made even more difficult because the people around her, who loved and supported her, were unable to do anything to make her feel better during pregnancy. She did admit that labor was possibly easier for her because of the sickness sharing that at least there was an end to labor.

The Duchess of Cambridge played with infants in a sensory class
The Duchess of Cambridge attended a sensory class in England to launch the #5BigQuestions Survey. Photo: Getty Images

She also shared that she tried hypno-birthing, a method of using the power of the mind in order to manage the pain of labor. She was more open to the technique because she learned about the power of the mind throughout her pregnancy. The Duchess added that her own experiences might not work for others as labor differs for each woman and no two experiences are the same.

Giovanna also asked the Duchess about her post birth appearances and she admitted it was "slightly terrifying" but that she and William were so thankful to the public for their support and they knew people were celebrating along with them. Since she had been sick during her pregnancy and spent time in hospital, she was very keen to get home as quickly after the birth as possible to avoid any prolonged hospital stay.

The pair also talked about Catherine's own childhood which she has spoken of very fondly in the past. She shared how appreciative she was to her parents for all they sacrificed for her and her siblings to give them such a wonderful childhood. She shared her grandmother was an incredible influence in her early life as well.

The Duchess of Cambridge talks to three little girls at an ice cream shop.
The Duchess spoke with parents about the survey & played with kids during a visit to Wales. Photo: Arthur Edwards

Continuing with utter candor, the Duchess also admitted she has struggled with her own "mum guilt", a feeling quite common among mothers but rarely discussed. Giovanna pointed out once they are able to talk about it more openly, it becomes much easier to deal with as it is a struggle all mothers go through at some point. Feelings on inadequacy or questioning every decision along the way is an inevitable part of raising a child but it is vital to know that every parent can feel that way.

The pair also spoke about their own children with the Duchess of Cambridge saying she is happiest when she's with her family in the countryside and they are all filthy dirty from a day of play. She also shared that the smallest moments (like Princess Charlotte smelling a bluebell) are some of her favorites and she tries to put small moments like that into every day with her children.

Hearing the Duchess of Cambridge speak with such honesty and openness about her own life and the life of her children is quite rare which made the podcast all the more special for fans. The #5BigQuestions survey is open until Friday 21st February so, if you haven't already, make your voice heard by taking the survey here. As Catherine reminded everyone during the podcast, there are no right answers so share your thoughts! xx

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