TTC warrior and fertility advocate Jennifer Jay Palumbo speaks to Lora Shahine, MD, FACOG, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist currently practicing at Pacific NW Fertility and IVF Specialists in Seattle, about her new podcast
As Clinical Faculty at the University of Washington and Director of the Center of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss at Pacific NW Fertility, she is committed to providing excellence in patient care, teaching the next generation of women’s healthcare providers, and continuing research in the fields of fertility and recurrent miscarriage.
She has published over 50 peer-reviewed research projects and is an active member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Pacific Coast Reproductive Society, and Seattle Gynecology Society. In addition, Shahine is an accomplished author of many blogs and articles and two books.
Recently, she launched Baby Or Bust, a podcast where every week, she, as a guest, help bust myths, shatter stigma, and provide important facts and encouraging best practices to help anyone struggling with fertility make their baby dream come true and feel better and stronger about their journey.
I was exceptionally humbled and honored to be a guest on the podcast. We discussed celebrities and infertility – how some are transparent about their journey, how others are not so much, and how a few (I’m looking at you, Paris Hilton, and Kourtney Kardashian) spread misinformation around IVF.
Below, I spoke to Dr. Shahine on her podcast to get the behind-the-scenes scoop and what she hopes listeners take away from it.
JJP: When and why did you start to think about doing a podcast?
SHAHINE: I am an avid podcast listener and educator, and creating my own podcast brought these two passions together. While doing laundry putting away dishes – I’ll have my earphones in and listen away to podcasts ranging from thoughtful podcasts on news and world events to my favorite true crime podcasts (huge fan).
As a former fertility patient passionate about educating others struggling to build their family – I’m trying to educate people where they are looking for information on fertility. Whether it’s my books on fertility and miscarriage, my Instagram and TikTok posts, or my YouTube channel and now my podcast – I’m trying to bust fertility myths, shatter stigma, and educate.
JJP: What are you hoping people gain from listening?
SHAHINE: I want people to learn while they laugh, connect, feel less alone, and maybe cry. At first, I assumed the only people that would listen were active infertility patients looking for answers to their current situation.
Still, I’m hearing from all types of listeners: college students curious about fertility, fathers who want to learn more to understand what their daughters are dealing with, former infertility warriors who are processing the grief and struggle they went through years ago to build their family. So the curiosity and need for understanding this mysterious and’ not talked about enough’ subject reach beyond the patients.
JJP: What are some upcoming topics you plan on covering?
SHAHINE: Male factor infertility because people with sperm often get forgotten – along with blame and shame so much of the testing, treatment, and support focuses on people with ovaries and uteruses, but infertility and miscarriage happens to men too.
We have a powerful interview with a sperm donor who is open about why he is donating, how many kids impact his relationships, and other insights you likely haven’t considered from a donor. More expert interviews and real-life stories to come!
JJP: How has the reception been so far?
SHAHINE: Incredible! Heart-felt reviews and DMs. Within the first few weeks of launch, the Baby or Bust podcast was in the top 40 of parenting shows on Apple Podcasts, and the reception has continued to blow up since then.
JJP: Why do you think it’s important for RE’s like yourself to be active on social media or “available” on platforms such as podcasts?
SHAHINE: There is such a disconnect between doctors and patients these days – a mistrust, frustration with the lack of time spent listening, a pressure to fix an issue and not dwell on the emotional impact of what’s happening.
Since, like it or not, many look to social media to gain insight about a range of topics, and misinformation can spread quickly, I’m part of a compassionate group of doctors who are online working hard to ensure patients are getting evidence-based information. But, of course, nothing can replace speaking directly to a doctor. Still, I hope that through my social media and podcast, people gain information and options they can rely on to then talk to an RE and take an active role in their fertility journey.
Baby Or Bust is Produced by Mark Ramsey, Jaime Solis, and Greg Moga. Executive Produced by Paul Anderson, Nick Panella, and Andrew Greenwood for Workhouse Media. Baby Or Bust is a Mark Ramsey Media production partnership with the Seattle Sperm Bank.
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