Happy Homebirth

The Happy Homebirth podcast is your source for positive natural childbirth stories, and your community of support, education and encouragement in all things homebirth and motherhood.




Do you feel clear on the reasons you've chosen the path of homebirth.... or natural childbirth in general?  


Join me today as we speak with Brooke Collier of Sister Birth and discuss her amazing guide "7 Mistakes Many Mamas Make When Planning Their Natural Birth...And How to Avoid Them". 


Show Notes:

  • Brooke is a mother to 4 children, all of whom were born at home
  • She has worn many hats over the last 10 years: photographer, birth photographer, student midwife, and doula.  
  • She's always been more on the "crunchy" side, so even before marriage she knew she wanted to have a homebirth.  She discussed this with her to-be husband very early on.
  • First baby: 48 hours of pretty active labor at home in 90 degree weather – emerging 5 hours after pushing felt amazing
  • She had a narrative in her mind that she'd "performed badly," which she worked through with her midwife team postpartum
  • After a 48 hour marathon birth, Brook next gave birth to her biggest baby... within 5 hours.  She attributes this to feeling very connected with her baby during labor
  • After first child, part of her barter with her midwife was to photograph a birth.  This was her first experience at a homebirth that wasn't hers.
  • After 4th child began working as a student midwife- attended 43 births in 9 months…. Was not sustainable
  • As a holistic health coach and Master’s in psychology (counselor), she began working as a doula
  • She then created a class that infused her Christian faith with both all of her other offerings and created SisterBirth, an online class


Mentioned in this episode:

Embrace: A Sisterly Guide to Having Babies Beautifully

7 Mistakes Many Mamas Make When Planning Their Natural Birth… and How to Avoid Them!


Believe in Midwifery Interview 1 

Believe in Midwifery Interview 2

Believe in Midwifery Interview 3








Hey.  You.  You reading this.  You pregnant mama.  Guess who is charge of your birth.


Go on, guess.


If you answered with anything besides "me," I want you to rethink your answer.


Today's episode with Juliana discusses so many important aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum.  One of the biggest takeaways comes in the form of the discussion Juliana had with her midwife about what decisions she was comfortable with for her birth and postpartum.  I know you're going to want to listen in for this amazing wisdom!


Show Notes:


-Had a planned, assisted homebirth

-Has never been a fan of medical intervention, so knew she would want to avoid that in her birth experience

-Juliana’s neighbor had a homebirth right next door, and she encouraged Juliana to have a homebirth

-She recognized the importance of understanding what was happening in her body as she was in labor

-Learned about the process of induction and realized she did not want to be induced.

-Her partner was very on board with the idea of having a homebirth

“We’re in this together—we’re having a homebirth”

-Juliana continued to work out and eat healthy.  The big difference was that she couldn’t go hours and hours without eating—she was ravenous!

-Drank lots of red raspberry leaf towards the end of pregnancy

-Katelyn’s favorite pregnancy tea


-Juliana recognized that she was truly the one in charge of her birthing decisions: she knew it was her midwife’s job to convey the information, but her job to ultimately decide


-B.R.A.I.N. acronym


-Juliana was crampy on and off throughout her pregnancy.  She felt lots of uterine sensations

-On a Tuesday afternoon she felt her cramps beginning to intensify and get consistent

-Her midwife insisted that she sleep between contractions, and she did.

-She knew how important it was for Juliana to give birth at home, so she stressed how important it was for her to rest during her early labor

-Early labor Tuesday night and all of Wednesday.  Thursday early morning things got intense.  She called her midwife over around 3:30

-Was worried she wouldn’t enjoy the birth pool, but once she got in she admitted it was amazing.

-Wanted to labor in the pool, but to give birth on land.  But by the time she was ready to push the baby out, she was staying in the water.

-Juliana was in active labor for 6 hours, and her baby was born at 8:30 in the morning.

-She says that the end of her labor was intense, but not unbearable- she feels that much of that is related to her mindset. 

-Her midwife said, “I want you to grunt.”  This seemed to help her control her breathing.

-We discuss how birth is so ordinary and extraordinary

-Juliana acknowledges that you can prepare both physically and mentally for birth.  If you go in feeling petrified, you’re probably not going to open up, and it will probably be difficult.

-She took lots of care to help position her baby properly.  She used Spinning Babies positions to align her baby optimally.

-Juliana was determined to work at pregnancy and do all she could to put the odds in her favor.

-Her immediate postpartum experience was difficult, though she did read Dr. Aviva Romm’s book Natural Health After Birth

- He was possibly jaundiced, so sleepy, which made the initial nursing a struggle

-She mentions how the stress of that situation, she feels caused her milk supply to tank…which caused more stress, and it became somewhat cyclical.

-She admits that getting breastfeeding down took probably two solid months.

-Juliana discusses how, yes, nursing is hard for the mother, but wow, it’s hard work for the baby!



Mentioned in this Episode:


Pregnancy Tea

Show Notes:

Madeline Murray, CPM and wonderwoman behind Believe in Midwifery has put her heart and soul into her new course, Believe in Midwifery's Guide to Sustainable Practice.

This episode discusses:

  • how the course came about
  • who the course is for
  • what it entails
  • what it isn't
  • and more information on where you'll be seeing Madeline in the upcoming months

Here is the link to go purchase your course today!


For more podcasts with Madeline:

Believe in Midwifery with Madeline Murray

A Midwife's Long Labor

For more information on Madeline:




I want to start out with a phrase I hear from a lot of mothers.  “Oh, I had a really long labor.” 

And in my experience, a “really long labor can be anything from 9-48 hours, depending on the mother.”  I consider my first birth to have been obnoxiously long.  I went into early labor on a Thursday night and didn’t have my daughter until 2am on Saturday morning.  Whew.  Long one.  Madeline, however takes the cake when it comes to long labors, as you’ll hear in her birth story.

Today’s guest is no stranger to the podcast.  I interviewed Midwife Madeline Murray on episode 23, and we discussed her brand, passion, life’s work, Believe in Midwifery.  If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, I highly recommend you scoot on over right after you finish this one.  I’ll make it easy for you and put the link in the show notes.  Even more excitingly, this is not the only episode you’ll be hearing from Madeline this week.  Nope!  Be sure to tune back in this Wednesday, as we celebrate the launch of Madeline’s new course, Believe in Midwifery’s Guide to Sustainable Practice.  It’s an amazing episode for both midwives and mothers, so don’t forget to subscribe to the show on your favorite platform so you don’t miss it.

Speaking of your favorite platform, if you wouldn’t mind, I would be so grateful for you to head over to iTunes and leave a review for the show.  Reviews are so helpful for reaching more mothers, and I know you want to get the homebirth message out as much as I do!  Remember that if you leave a review, you have the opportunity to be selected as the reviewer of the week, and I’ll give you a podcast shout-out and e-mail you a happy homebirth sticker.  So….worth the 3 minutes.

Okay, on with the show!  Please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and although Madeline is a care provider, neither one of us are functioning in that role during this episode, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.  Let’s jump in!


 Show Notes

  • As a midwife, Madeline says she was a terrible pregnant woman. She thought her clients told her everything, so when little things would be different, she would always wonder, “Wait, is this normal!?”  She would go to her friends, who always asked her the questions!  “Yep, you just sound pregnant.”
  • “It was humbling to ask for help.”
  • Her plan was to have as much of an “unassisted” birth as possible. She wanted her friend Jen, who is a midwife, to come to Atlanta from Oregon when she was in labor and be there with her, but wanted a hands-off situation.
  • She knew that “anything” could happen. The only thing she wasn’t expecting—was her water breaking before
  • Went to Scollini’s for dinner—wanted to have an eggplant baby (the restaurant is known for sending moms into labor)
  • Water broke that night (Sunday night)
  • Had a full day of no contractions.
  • Early morning, around 8, she got out of bed because she was having somewhat significant contractions
  • “Classic first time mom”: tells her friend she can come over and have coffee, calls her mom, calls her sister-in-law
  • After an hour or so she noticed she wasn’t progressing, so she kicked everyone out.
  • Around dinner time, finally her contractions started picking up somewhat.
  • Madeline and her family members played Settlers of Catan that evening
  • By 3 in the morning, she was definitely in active labor.
  • Got in the birth tub around 5 am and started feeling some pressure (Wednesday morning)
  • Madeline decides to check herself, and can only feel baby’s head and the pubic bone. She got into a deep squat for a few contractions and pushed hard.
  • She then decided to have her friend check her. She was 7 cm… #classicfirsttimemom
  • Had her sister-in-law text all of their friends and family asking for prayers and energy.
  • Her mom sent a text to all of the ladies at church asking for prayer
  • She needed her tribe to be there with her—every time she had a contraction, everyone would moan and sway with her.
  • “I needed help, and I had people there to help me”-Madeline on her tribe
  • Jen finally checked her again, and realized the baby was “asynclitic” or cattywompus
  • 5 or 6 pm on Wednesday night.
  • Decided to lay flat on the couch--- suddenly had an insane seizing spasm on the left side of her body. It made her throw up
  • Happened every 30 minutes, and thinks it was causing adrenaline which prevented oxytocin—slowed her contractions, so none of the positions they were trying moved the baby
  • Had her brother come over to help massage her back
  • Had one more of the spasms and said, “I’m done- this has to stop”
  • Decided to head to the hospital. No bag packed, no car seat installed”
  • Her brother and husband installed the seat and they left
  • The first nurse was uncomfortable with Madeline’s refusal of tests, so they brought in another nurse, who was wonderful
  • Madeline declined things, crossed things out, and refused to sign away consent
  • Got an epidural, the spasms finally stopped
  • Hated the lights, the beeping, the stress
  • She feels that the angel nurse she had made a huge difference in the fact that her labor picked up on its own.
  • At 6:45 am she began feeling immense pressure. Midwife checked her, and she was complete.
  • Madeline decided to “labor down”—wait until her body was forcing to push… which happened with the next contraction
  • Madeline began shooting out all of these demands, “Delayed cord clamping! Let the baby restitute on his own!” 
  • Even with the epidural she was mobile enough to get into hands and knees
  • “This is so hard!”
  • All she could think was that every woman she’d ever known must have been stronger than her
  • Her Dr. said at one point, “Madeline, you know what this is. You’re just openin’!” and “If you’re talkin’ you ain’t pushin’!
  • She pushed him out with lots of meconium behind him
  • He was great—crying when he was halfway out
  • “Like Oprah”--“You’re the best! You’re the best!”
  • She had her baby on her chest the entire time. 4 hours later they left the hospital
  • Ped nurse came in saying they weren’t going to discharge the baby
  • Madeline discusses how the way they word things makes you feel like you don’t have choices, but you do.
  • The importance of kind straightforwardness
  • @believeinmidwifery
  • rebranded
  • com



Episode Roundup:

  1. A Sunday Night-Thursday morning labor…. Now that, my friends, qualifies as a long labor. I want to take this moment to discuss just how incredible the female body is.  To endure intensity for such a long time, and then come out on the other side just fine… that’s amazing. 
  2. I love the fact that Madeline expressed to everyone exactly how she wanted to be treated during her birthing time. Hands off, allowing her body to do its own thing.  However, when she got to a point where she needed reassurance and backup, she had her best friend and midwife right there to help her through the uncertainties.
  3. Shout out to all of the amazing brothers everywhere. I adore my brother, and I just love hearing stories of other siblings who are close.
  4. And finally. Most importantly.  Madeline hit on a point so vital for us all to understand:  For whatever reason, should you find yourself in the hospital, you are still the decision-maker.  You do not have to hand over your power and your autonomy.  You can kindly, but firmly explain your choices (not wishes).  You can use the word decline.  It’s not a dirty word, despite the looks you may receive.  Of course, when help is needed and the situation calls for emergency intervention, it’s not a bad idea to accept.  BUT…. You have the right to be treated like a cognizant human, and you have the right to say, “oh, yeah, don’t think I’m gonna do that.” 


Okay, friends.  I know this episode got to you.  I know it because it got to me.  Thank you, Madeline, for all of your wisdom. 

Remember that if you’ve made the decision to have a homebirth, I have a free mini-training just for you.  Think of it as the teeniest, tiniest taste of what’s to come from Happy Homebirth Academy when it launches in January.  Just go to to pick it up!  That’s all for today.  Come back Wednesday for our bonus episode with Madeline!


Mentioned in this Episode:

Believe in Midwifery Episode 23

Happy Homebirth Essentials Mini-Course

Episode 47: Elizabeth Wolfrey


What do you do when you realize you’re unhappy with the care you’re receiving prenatally?


Elizabeth found herself in this position, for the second time, during her second pregnancy.  Fortunately, she had learned much since her first experience, and she was unwilling to stand by as the positive birth she desired slipped away. 


Elizabeth, like so many other courageous moms, made a change later in the game—but certainly in time.


Before we dive into this episode, I have to give a big thank you to the founding members of Happy Homebirth Academy.  Our group begins Tuesday, October 22nd, and I am so excited for the feedback they’ll be providing me as I refine this childbirth education program specifically with you, the homebirth mother, in mind.  I can’t wait to share the tools to a mindful, peaceful homebirth with you in January.  If you’re interested in a small taste of what’s to come, be sure to check out the Happy Homebirth Essentials Mini-Course, which includes 5 tips to having a successful homebirth.  You can pick that up at


Go ahead and take a screenshot of this episode and upload it to your Instagram stories.  As always, you know I’ll share it on my stories, too!


And hooray!  New stickers are officially in!  If you’re loving this show, I’d be so grateful if you’d take a moment to head to itunes and leave a review.  If you’re selected as the reviewer of the week, I’ll be sending you one of these sweet new stickers.


Short and sweet.  That’s all I have for you right now, so as we enter into this interview, please remember that the opinions of my guest might not reflect my own and vice versa, and neither my guest or myself are acting as medical providers, so please continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, you’re chiropractor.


Show Notes:


  • Elizabeth Has PCOS, so did have a bit of a difficult time becoming pregnant in the first place


  • Had a hospital birth with her son (first birth).


  • Induced at 39 weeks- not a reason that they induced her. She wanted to be induced, so they did. 


  • Short labor, only 12 hours


  • Showed her Dr a picture of mucous, to which the Dr. said, “Ugh, I don’t want to see that!”


  • Didn’t switch to a midwife with her second birth until 25 weeks. At first, her husband was uncertain that Elizabeth would be able to cope at home.


  • Discussed the fact the appointments were always 1hour +


  • Husband’s big question: “Well, what if something happens?”
    -It’s birth. Things do happen sometimes and you deal with it as it comes.  But typically everything goes okay
  • -Once they had a successful experience, he was so happy


  • -Got to a point where she decided they weren’t going to tell anyone unless they knew they’d be supportive because they weren’t interested in negativity during such an important time as pregnancy


  • Tractor-tractions


  • Stopped at WENDY’S ON THE WAY


  • Felt like she needed to poop…. Actually did need to poop.


  • Labored in the water, then really enjoyed laboring on hands and knees, then was laboring facing the back of the toilet, which helped open things up. Her water broke.


  • Contractions were very strong


  • Mentions that one of her midwives reminded her of a mom figure, and she really loved that.


  • Felt the fetal ejection reflex—enjoyed pushing


  • Discusses the calmness of her baby—the way that you’re brought into the world can make such a difference



Episode Roundup:


There’s so much we can glean from this episode.

  1. One of my favorite parts is the work that both Elizabeth and her husband did to prepare for their second birth.  She read Ina May books, they watched The Business of Being Born, and they even took a childbirth education class together to understand what her body would be doing during labor… this was all after having given birth before!  There’s always so much to learn.
  2. I love how Elizabeth compares the way her baby was born to the calmness of her personality now. Perhaps this isn’t always the case, but I do feel that the overwhelming, undisturbed love her daughter must have felt during those first moments on Earth certainly cause healthy, positive hormones that can ground us all beautifully.
  3. Finally, I want to tie things up the way we began. Elizabeth didn’t switch to the care of out-of-hospital midwives until 25 weeks pregnant with her second.  But you know what?  It wasn’t too late in the game.  In fact, as long as there’s time left on the clock, even if it’s down to the very end, there’s still time for a change.  Please remember that you’re the one in charge- I beg that you don’t let anyone take that power away from you.

Okay, my friends.  I hope you loved this interview like I did, and I look forward to seeing you back here, next week.



“I want to have a homebirth with my second, but I’d feel safer giving birth in the hospital with my first baby.”


I hear this from so many moms.  And I get it!  With so much propaganda and misinformation regarding the safety of homebirth, I certainly see why so many moms feel this is the best option.


And for many, it really is!  They’ll feel more comfortable and just as empowered at the hospital.  But for others, they expect that having a natural birth in the hospital will be easier than giving birth at home, and once they experience the deep-rooted disempowerment that may occur at the hospital, they long to have considered homebirth more and swear to give birth at home the next time.  I mean, listen back to just a few interviews and you’ll hear this theme again and again.


In today’s episode, we’ll be speaking with Elena, who decided to do just that: give birth naturally at the hospital first.  We’ll hear her experience- both the good and not-so-good, and we’ll learn how to prepare ourselves in advance should we decide to give birth there, or perhaps we’ll skip it all together and just stay home.


Episode Roundup:

Wow, there’s so much to say about this brilliant episode.  I’m so grateful that Elena came prepared to discuss both the pros and cons of her birthing experience in such detail.

The main point I want to bring up as we wrap things up is this:  if you’re more comfortable giving birth in the hospital, own that.  The point of this episode is not to make you feel concerned. Rather, it’s to inform you before you get there what you may expect and come into contact with, and be prepared.

I want to mention Elena’s sage advice of having a dedicated birth team to shoo away those care providers who just aren’t understanding the word “no.”  This is critical in my opinion.

And of course, coming from someone who clearly loves homebirth, I want to remind you that many of the struggles you could face in the hospital are not struggles you’ll likely face in the homebirth setting.

As always, do your own research.  And if you decide homebirth is right for you, check out my free homebirth mini course… a teeny smidge of a taste of what to expect when the full course launches in January.


Mentioned in this Episode:


Evidence Based Birth- Group B Strep

Happy Homebirth Academy

Happy Homebirth Essentials Mini Course

T Shirts! 


Show Notes:


Preparation for childbirth:  Did you take it seriously?  Now, don’t get me wrong.  This certainly does not look the same for everyone.  For many, it’s a formal class.  For others, however, it can be as simple as a grounding mantra.


“This is the birth that I wanted.”  Alla remembers reciting these 7 words to herself each time she would feel any sense of nervousness over her upcoming homebirth.  She knew she could do it—after all, she had given birth before in the hospital, and quickly at that.


But this phrase helped her maintain a mindset of both gratitude and positivity.


Alla was grateful to have a homebirth.  In fact, when she mentioned the idea to her husband for the first time, he thought the idea was ridiculous.  Giving birth at home?  When there’s a perfectly good hospital down the road?  No thank you.


But Alla persisted.


After bringing up this whole “homebirth thing” several times, Alla’s husband decided it’d be worth discussing with their midwives (these midwives work in both the hospital and home setting).  After the meeting, he was on board.  They were doing it—they were having a homebirth.


In the end, their second daughter entered the world beautifully.  And now?  Her husband is the first to exclaim the benefits of homebirth! 



Alla mentioned several amazing benefits of homebirth:  The peacefulness of giving birth in your own home, the beauty of having a small and loving support team to help you settle in (and even troubleshoot) postpartum, and the cleanliness compared to the massive amounts of bacteria and infection that can be found at the hospital.  All incredibly valid reasons to just stay home!


Homebirth.  It has a way of drawing us back in.  Alla admits that because of their beautiful birthing experience, the idea of another baby isn’t such a bad idea…



Show Notes:

Births are like snowflakes.  Individual, unique, and often wet.  But we’ll focus on the first two.  Jessica’s 3 birth stories are hyper-unique and unexpected… and you’re going to love them!

From a game time decision to have a homebirth with her first (seriously-she was in labor) to a shocking position of baby number two, to a much heavier baby #3… Jessica’s birth stories vary dramatically.


And most beautifully, after all of these experiences, Jessica’s message to pregnant women everywhere is this: don’t be fearful!  She notes how much fear is infused in our culture regarding birth, but how unnecessary this truly is.


Listen in to the end to hear Jessica’s advice on how to care for yourself and your emotions when it comes to the naysayers. 


Episode Roundup:


  1. How amazing is it that there will never be a birth just like yours?  AND you will never give birth exactly the same way twice.  What an amazing opportunity for growth and experience, and what a privilege.
  2. I just love Jessica’s discussion of fearfulness and how it serves no purpose in birth. It’s so encouraging to hear women cheering each other on and reminding one another of their strength and power.  The fact that our culture is just steeped in fear, especially regarding childbirth—which should be so beautiful—is a tragedy.  Often times this fear seems to be surrounding the idea that birth is either dangerous or painful or both.  This podcast exists to show that those are not the only options!  Birth is safe, and there’s PLENTY that can be done in the realm of comfort.  If you’re curious about that, be sure to check out the cute little pain relief cheat sheet I made for you at This little infographic cheat sheet syncs up beautifully with the series of Facebook live videos I’m currently in the middle of.  Be sure to check ‘em out!


Help out the show:

Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be the reviewer of the week– you’ll be sent a Happy Homebirth sticker if selected!

Take a screenshot listening to this episode and add it to your Instagram stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast.  We’ll add you to ours and give you a shout out!

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Ready to have a Happy Homebirth?  Click here for my free audio mini-course!


Pain Relief Cheat Sheet



Show Notes:


Hillary Talbott Roland is the co-creator of the Art of Acupuncture in St. Petersburg, FL and the author of Fertile Minds Radio. She is a wholistic fertility specialist, board certified in Traditional Chinese Medicine and reproductive medicine. She utilizes the modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine; acupuncture, herbalism & meditation as well as coaching and functional medicine to help her clients realize their fullest capacity of health before, during and after conception in person as well as virtually. Her main goal is to elevate the health of the planet two generations at a time. 
Also Discussed in This Episode:

Show Notes: 


Picture this:  You’re pregnant for the second, third, or maybe fifth time.  What do you do?  I mean, you’ve done this before.  You certainly know all there is to know, right?


This week’s guest, Elizabeth Bauer, takes education seriously, and just because she’s done something once doesn’t mean she isn’t going to learn and prepare even more for the next go ‘round.


Elizabeth takes us on a journey of her birthing experiences.  From a frenzied birth center birth to a birth without the midwife present, to finally a mindful and peaceful third birth—Elizabeth was bent in improving her experience every time. 


We’ll hear how:

- the clothing choices of her midwife at her first birth subconsciously threw off her game

-she learned that she knows her body better than anyone else, even professionals

- love and laughter can bring on a baby in a hurry

-and how mindfulness gave her the most beautiful, present birth yet.


I’m so excited to share this story, as it is a beautiful example of why I find childbirth education so important.  This episode is exactly why I am creating my own childbirth education program.  Mindful, present homebirths are what I want for all of you, and I’m making the perfect program to help you achieve that goal. 


Elizabeth’s journey is incredible.  I’m so grateful she was able to impart both beautiful storytelling and wisdom with us!



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