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.

When your job consists of helping mothers give birth at the hospital, then you’re definitely going to… give birth at the hospital when it’s your turn, right?

This week we’re speaking with Georgia— a labor and delivery nurse and…. Freebirth mama?  Oh, my friends.  You’re going to love this story.


Reviewer of the Week- herwildsunshine

Such a joyful & empowering podcast:  I am not into podcasts- I never have been- but these are amazing!  I learn so much & get to see such a wide variety of positive births.  This podcast has a way of pulling me in and I'm hooked!

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Episode Roundup: 

  1. I first just have to comment on Georgia’s resolve.  As a pregnant mother working in labor and delivery, she certainly experienced plenty of traumatic events— perhaps events that may make others choose not to give birth at home.  And yet, she had the deep understanding that the outcomes occurring at the hospital were not necessarily the same outcomes that would occur if those labors were not happening inside of the hospital.  Again, thank goodness for medical care during emergent situations, but Georgia was able to separate these events from her own pregnancy experience.
  2. I love that she had zero expectations for when and how labor was going to begin—except for maybe the expectation that it would never happen!  The way Georgia discussed nit-picking symptoms was such a great point, and I know that it can be so easy to fall into this trap of, “oh, is it time?!”  “maybe it’s time!”  “is that labor?!” “was that my mucous plug?” Which truly can throw us into an anxious state. 
  3. And finally, Georgia was scared.  She admits it.  And that’s okay.  We’re designed to give birth, and part of that design is a beautiful interplay of hormones.  Sometimes those hormones might make you feel fearful, and that can be protective.  I think that much of the time we end up getting a fear of our fear, which is far less helpful.  But experiencing the emotions and allowing them to be there is all part of this big work that we’re doing.  Like Dr. Rachel Reed has said and I’ve quoted before, “feel the fear and give birth anyway.”


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If you’ve already given birth before, I’d love to know- did your labor turn out the way you’d imagined it? 

This week we’re speaking with Steffanie Allen, mama of 5.  Steffanie’s experienced a vast array of births, and some of them turned out far different from what she, or what anyone for that matter, could have predicted, especially her most recent birth.


Reviewer of the Week- ThePond

“so positive and encouraging!  I’ve listened to a lot of birth podcasts.  Like, a lot.  This one is by far my favorite!  The tone is so positive, encouraging and wholesome . I wish I had found this before my home birth last year, but I’m listening like crazy to start mentally preparing for whenever I have my next baby."


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Episode Roundup

  1. Steffanie and her midwife were still willing to give birth to her twins at home once they realized that there were indeed two.  However, after further evaluation, it was realized that a birth with healthy outcomes in this particular situation was not looking like a strong possibility.  What I find so helpful about this decision was that Steffanie was informed enough to know that although under other circumstances she’d be willing to have this twin birth at home, during this time she knew that her decision to have a c section was the best choice for her.  Steffanie did not feel coerced or pushed, she was still able to take responsibility for her care and accept the benefits afforded by the hospital.
  2. I’m so glad we were able to discuss the importance of nutrition.  Listen, growing birthing and feeding babies is not a low-energy process.  We give so much of ourselves, quite literally to these new lives, and we do become depleted.  It’s incredibly important to make sure that we take this into consideration pre-conception if possible, certainly prenatally, and absolutely postpartum so that we can actively replenish our bodies.
  3. And finally, let’s tie up that loose end.  You can do all of the prep work in the world, but there’s a chance your birth is going to look completely different from what you expect.  I mean, who visualizes giving birth in their church bathroom?  But our bodies are designed for this great work, and the rest we must learn to surrender.  What a humbling lesson it is for all of us, yet how beautiful at the same time.


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How can we prepare for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby?  Is there any way to positively improve our chances of health and mitigate risk? 

This week we’re speaking with Loren de la Cruz, a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Root Cause Protocol Consultant, and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner that specializes in preconception nutrition. Her mission is to empower women with the tools and the knowledge they need to regulate their cycles, balance their hormones, heal their metabolism, optimize their fertility, and have a thriving pregnancy.  And our discussion today is just packed full of information to help you, whether you’re preparing for pregnancy, currently pregnant, or postpartum.  She’s got such an encouraging message, and…I just love her.

Episode Roundup:

  1. As Loren mentioned, we aren’t always expecting pregnancy, and if that’s you- know that this information is still so relevant— wherever we are in our pregnancy or postpartum journey, nourishing ourselves is the greatest step we can take for ourselves and our families.  As I mentioned in the episode, I was certainly depleted before my first pregnancy and through my second.  Only recently have I truly begun to grasp how to replenish myself wholly.  This information is so empowering— recognizing just how much we can improve our health with relatively simple steps forward.
  2. How frustrating is it to recognize how little women are taught regarding hormonal birth control, especially related to coming off of it and how it can impact fertility for months to come.  I’m so glad women like Loren are out there sharing this information, if nothing more than to give hope to those who are struggling with fertility shortly after coming off the pill— knowing that this is very normal, and this time can be used well to replete your body before pregnancy.
  3. Finally- isn’t the body amazing?  The intricacies of how it processes micronutrients and how they all work together.  I’m especially fascinated at the vitamin A, iron and copper connection, and I look forward personally to increasing my retinol and copper intake, especially in regards to any future pregnancies.


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What do you do when your birth suddenly feels as though it’s swirling in chaos?  How do you keep calm and remain focused? This week we’re speaking with Holly, who weathered a Category 4 Hurricane just as she was about to give birth.  Talk about an unexpected turn of events.  I can’t wait for you to hear the incredible mindset that Holly brought to her experience, and the twist at the end of this story


Episode Roundup

  1. I wanted to bring up the safety idea.  Holly decided with her fourth baby that she would feel SAFER at home than in the hospital.  Isn’t it so interesting— the mainstream narrative is that hospital automatically = safety is just not ringing true for many of us anymore, and we are feeling more safety and a chance at an intervention free birth away from the hospital.  Choosing midwives gives many women a stronger sense of safety, and that’s because of my second point…
  2. Midwifery and homebirth are relational.  This isn’t a fast food experience.  It’s a dine in, take off your coat and stay a while event.  We spend our prenatal months getting to know one another on a deeper level, allowing friendship and trust to blossom.  We aren’t patients, we’re clients and friends.
  3. Holly felt like she was being set up for a potentially very traumatic birth, but she knew she had to block out the fear.  Fear is like a mental roadblock.  “If I let the fear take over, I’m not going to be able to do this and it’s going to be traumatic for everyone.”  So instead she got into the mindset of, “I’m going to do this and it’s going to be so great.”  Mindset is the key to your birth, my friends.  It all comes back to mindset.  No, we can’t control the events- from how our labor sensations will feel all the way to the weather outside- it’s out of our hands.  But what we can focus on prenatally and learn to wield with confidence, is our mindset. Just like Holly.



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What can we do to prevent the experience of trauma?


This week we’re speaking with Kasey, who, despite having two homebirths, experienced quite bit of trauma from her first birth.  We’ll listen in to hear how it unfolded, and what she did differently to prepare for her second experience.


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Episode Roundup:

What a wonderful story.  As we jump into this week’s episode roundup, I want to focus on the concept of trauma. 

I don’t want anyone to ever get the wrong impression about homebirth: Choosing to give birth at home is not a guarantee that things will go 100% perfectly, and it’s certainly not a guarantee that you won’t experience difficulty, or even trauma.  There are no situations that we can control completely, like Kasey’s first baby having a large head combined with a nuchal fist.  However, what we can control is how we prepare ourselves for the vast variety of experiences that we may have.  This is our only certain defense against trauma.  No, we can’t control outcomes, but we can do everything on our end to prepare ourselves both physically, yes, but more importantly, mentally and spiritually. 

Kasey learned this after her first labor which was unexpectedly long and surprisingly difficult.  She brought these lessons into her next birth, and I loved when she said that she was determined not to leave this birth with trauma, no matter what.

I feel so strongly that this outlook helped her through the difficult parts of her second birth, and even improved her view of postpartum, allowing her to bond more easily with this second baby. 

If you’re looking for a way to prepare physically, mentally, and spiritually for your homebirth, don’t forget to check out Happy Homebirth Academy, the premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers.  I cover preparation on every level, leaving you feeling confident and prepared for your homebirth, no matter how it unfolds.  If you’re interested, go to myhappyhomebirth.com/happyhomebirthacademy and I’ll drop a link in the show notes.  Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back here next week.


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How do you afford a homebirth?  In the words of the wise women from Beautiful One Midwifery, you assign more value to it.

This week we’re speaking with Amanda, who realized just how much value there was in giving birth in a private environment, and how the cost of hospital births aren’t always what they seem.


Episode Roundup

  1. Amanda mentioned how in her first birth, the simple act of asking questions to her OB brought out a side of defensiveness and anger.  When she was asked to sign a paper consenting to a cesarean while still pregnant, she knew things were not going the way she wanted.  If this happens to you, please remember that you, like Amanda, can ditch that care provider and search for one who respects you as…. oh, I don’t know, a living breathing capable human being. 
  2. I love how Amanda was able to use diet to help her body through her second and third pregnancies.  I cannot stress enough just how much what we eat can influence our pregnancies, babies, births and postpartum.  This shouldn’t scare you, it should empower you.  As she mentioned, we have a full module inside of Happy Homebirth Academy regarding robust pregnancy foods.  And the Weston A. Price foundation is an amazing place to go to start looking for more information.
  3. A quick note about the perineum, as I know so many mothers are afraid to tear.  The perineum was made to stretch.  It was also made to heal.  Remember that when you give birth physiologically, even if you do experience a tear, your body was designed to heal, just as Amanda’s has with her most recent pregnancy.
  4. And finally, let’s end where we began.  Affording your homebirth.  How do we do it?  We won’t go into the weeds here of specific how-to’s, though I highly recommend looking into health share plans like Samaritain if you aren’t pregnant yet but know you’d like a homebirth.  But the depth of it is this— this experience is a vital one, and you need to be supported.  Amanda did everything “right” in her second birth, and yet still dealt with hospital staff who pushed a NICU stay and a whole heap of trauma.  Value must be determined with more than dollar signs, though of course that is a factor.  This is not to say that I don’t understand the struggle—trust me, I do.  I just want to encourage you to to be scrappy if you have to, ask for help on your registry, barter if you must… but remember that your experience is vitally important, and you and your baby deserve to be supported.


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Did you feel ready, or prepared when becoming pregnant for the first time?  What about the second, or third? This week we’re speaking with Leslie and Kevin, in what’s become lovingly referred to as the mammoth episode… yeah, it’s a long one, but it’s so full of beauty.  We cover so many topics— birthing abroad, prenatal depression, postpartum psychosis, and then… that deep knowing that there’s another baby you’re meant to have.


She and Kevin got married, later decided Kevin would attend seminary in the Netherlands.  They moved there, planning to wait to have children until finished with school.


Leslie experienced culture shock depression, and surprisingly became pregnant 6 months into their move.


Kevin had a feeling this was happening— He had been reading Psalms and felt the Lord conveying to him that Leslie might be pregnant.  At the very least, that children were a reward, which is not how he’d been viewing the idea.


The labor was exhausting, and she ended up at the hospital with an episiotomy.


After such an exhausting, grueling labor, Leslie didn’t feel like she bonded with her baby for weeks.  She felt maternal instinct, but didn’t feel a bond until at least 4 weeks.  She thinks that’s related to the vast amount of trauma involved with the birth. 


Leslie broke her tailbone during the birth, which took 7-8 months to recover to where she could even sit comfortably.



Looking back, Kevin realizes he wasn’t well prepared, even though he thought that he was.  The sight of her being in pain was very upsetting to him, and at one point he remembers strongly telling they doctors they needed to do something about it.



Leslie wanted to have a fully medical birth with her next child after the trauma of her first attempted natural birth.


She had a silent miscarriage at 9 weeks during her second pregnancy, which was heartbreaking.


Moved back  to the US and used midwives in a hospital.  They planned to have an early epidural, so when she got into the hospital, she got an epidural and a bit of pitocin.


They went to sleep, and Leslie woke up and said, “Hey, I’m feeling a lot of pressure.” 


Grey was born quickly and was healthy, as was everyone.  It was a much more comfortable birth for her. 


The frustrating part of the birth was simply the postpartum aspect, both in the hospital at the interventions, and then the early months. 


The baby had many food allergies, was unable to sleep at night and Leslie struggled with postpartum psychosis.


Because the postpartum experience was so difficult, Leslie and Kevin decided they were done with babies.  They got rid of all of their things.


When Grey was around 3, suddenly Leslie and Kevin began feeling individually that they had another child.


Leslie went into this birth knowing much more about the birth community in Greenville.  She reached out to myself (Katelyn), her midwife friend, and a wonderful local doula before she was even pregnant letting them know she wanted them as her team.


Once Leslie told her friend she was pregnant, her friend told her she’d be praying Psalm 65 over her.


Leslie has struggled with prenatal depression during all of her pregnancies.


This birth was incredibly spiritual for her.  She felt completely ready to have her baby, but it kept… not happening.  On the night of the blood moon, Leslie woke up with contractions.  She woke up in the middle of the night and walked around her street.  She decided at that point that if she had her baby tonight she’d be thankful, and if her baby waited 2 more weeks, she’d be thankful for that, too.


Once she went into labor, things happened quickly.  Before she knew it, she was in Captain Morgan trying to help maneuver her baby out.  About 4 minutes later, his head was born, and then her midwife needed to help a little bit with his very large shoulders.


He ended up being 10lbs, 13 oz. 


From start to finish, her labor was about 2.5 hours. 


Leslie has not experienced the severe ups and downs this postpartum as she did before. 


Did you feel ready, or prepared when becoming pregnant for the first time?  What about the second, or third? 


Hey there Happy Homebirthers episode 145. And this week we’re speaking with Leslie and Kevin, in what’s become lovingly referred to as the mammoth episode… yeah, it’s a long one, but it’s so full of beauty.  We cover so many topics— birthing abroad, prenatal depression, postpartum psychosis, and then… that deep knowing that there’s another baby you’re meant to have.



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How do you know if you’re making the best decision for yourself and your family— and what does it look like to have true informed consent?


This week we’re speaking with Dr. Sarah Leahy of Birth Uprising.  We’ll hear about how she slipped into the medical birth model, how she was burned, and then, not to sound too cheesy because seriously it’s true… how she took matters into her own hands and rose from the metaphorical ashes. 



Episode Roundup

  I can’t tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed this conversation with Dr. Sarah.  She is such a wealth of knowledge.  As we head into this week’s episode, I’ve picked a couple of the amazing aspects that she discussed to revisit.


  1. Dr. Sarah’s first full term birth experience, her second pregnancy, left her feeling like a shell of herself.  I wish this were uncommon, but how many times have we heard such a similar sentiment?  What’s just another day at work to the care providers at the hospital is a defining, life-altering event for the mother, and to treat it as anything less than such is not justice.  Which leads me to my second point.
  2. The system isn’t even set up to recognize birth as a life-altering rite of passage.  It has no idea.  And as Sarah mentioned, it really has no idea how poorly it’s failing anyway due to the lack of postpartum care and lack of attachment to its clients. 
  3. And finally, picking just one last point even though there are a solid 10 I’d like to cover, you cannot have informed consent without understanding your options.  Without asking questions.  Without doing your own research.  I love the fact that Dr. Sarah not only encourages mothers to do this, but that she’s one of the women out there providing resources to help them along the way.  I can so deeply resonate with this idea that, heck, I don’t care what you choose for your birth, I just care that you are informed and confident when doing it. 

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Does your baby need an adjustment after experiencing the birthing process? 

This week we’re speaking with the Boyhans, Dr. Christopher and Heather, who are a dynamic duo as both a chiropractor and Cranialsacral therapist.  They’ll be sharing their experiences with homebirth, as well as their expertise in bodywork and neural work for newborns.


It’s no secret that I love these forms of care, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share with you exactly how and why they can be of such help for your family.



Episode Roundup


Birth isn’t intense only for us as the mothers— it’s important to remember that there’s a second life involved in this, and he or she is doing quite a bit of maneuvering with you to meet you on the outside world.  Let’s honor the fact that this sweet little soul has worked hard, and let’s remember this when considering what we can do to help their bodies recover


Which leads me to my next point: Bodywork isn’t just for adults.  I am constantly reminding mothers of the importance of chiropractic care and fascial release, and we discuss it thoroughly inside of Happy Homebirth Academy.  But it’s important to remember that it doesn’t stop with us.  We can assess our infants and use our God-given intuitions to seek support when our babies are showing signs of tension, discomfort, disregulation… It’s so wonderful to have so many options.


One of my biggest recommendations is to find these care providers in your area before giving birth so that they’re at the tips of your fingers postpartum should you realize you need them. 


And finally before we head out, if you’re local to the Asheville North Carolina area, make sure you get connected with The Boyhans at Align Life East Asheville— they host birth- related gatherings and do their best to inform the community of their options.


Is there really any benefit in preparing for a birth when you’ve already had two previous births? 

This week we’re speaking with Kelsey Rose, 2x birth center and newly homebirth mother.  We’ll learn all about the differences in Kelsey’s experiences, as well as how she prepared for her change of birth location.


Episode Roundup


What an episode.  As we head into this week’s roundup, I have a few discussion points that really stood out to me.


  1. Kelsey discussed how the membrane strips performed by her midwife with her first baby caused quite a bit of confusion and discomfort, and she wasn’t expecting them.  There were several events that occurred without consent, and this is an important piece of information for moms to hear, as well as midwives.  Mothers, remember that you have the right to decline.  Midwives, remember that in order for a mother to be able to decline, she has to know what the intentions are.  It’s vitally important for midwives and mothers to be on the same page as to what’s going on and to feel comfortable with the decisions being made.
  2. When it comes to creating your birth team, listen to your intuition.  Kelsey felt like she “needed” a doula because duh, everyone says doulas a great, but when it came down to it, she really didn’t feel that that’s what this labor was asking of her.  She honored that, and she’s grateful that she did.  Listen, I love doulas, but it’s also important to remember that every situation is different, and leaning into prayer and your own intuition are the best ways to decide.
  3. Kelsey said several times just how loved she felt throughout the entire experience with her third baby.  She was surrounded by a team who truly cared for her, and was there to support her.  And THAT makes all the difference.


Okay, my friends.  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll see you back her next week

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