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.

You're listening to Episode 82 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast.

Midwives, are you set up to be in practice for a long, long time, or are you feeling the sensations of burnout taking hold?

Today’s episode is going to be of great benefit to midwives and mothers alike. So mamas, if you love your midwife, make sure you share this podcast episode with her. Why?
Today’s guest, Leslie Cornwell, is a midwifery business consultant, and she has a passion of helping midwives grow and run thriving, brilliant practices that stick around for 30+ years by preventing burnout. 
She’s a midwife herself, and she’s struggled with the same burnout issues as many of my listening midwives will surely have experienced themselves.

I’d love for you to take a quick screenshot of you listening in and post it to your Instagram stories. Tag Happy Homebirth Podcast, and I’ll be sure to feature you in my stories as well.

All right, let's hop on over to the interview with Leslie. Please remember that the opinions of my guests may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are acting as your medical professional, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor.

Show Notes / About Leslie's Services:

"Becoming a midwife has been a lifelong dream. I didn't realize that this wonderful profession would lead me down the path of business. I have found over the years that midwives need to understand business, accounting, financing, marketing, negotiating, and so much more to be successful in today's health care system. I love supporting women. By being able to participate in leadership roles and create amazing private practices, I can support midwives just as much as the pregnant women they care for! I am passionate about women's empowerment and women business ownership. We can serve families best with independent successful midwifery practices.

I have had over 16 years experience in health care. I have worked in hospitals, birth centers, and home settings. I have worked for large non-profit hospitals, small community hospitals, privately run birth centers, hospital owned birth centers, and my own homebirth / birth center practice. Being able to understand the business and financial side of midwifery has really shown me how much easier a midwife practice can be profitable and successful in today's health care ever-changing climate.

Let me help you start your own practice or improve the current midwifery business you are struggling with. I have years of billing, accounting, contracting, business plan writing, and midwifery clinical expertise to make your midwifery practice thrive no matter what stage it is in! Whether you want a small homebirth practice, large birth center practice, or booming hospital midwifery practice, I can provide guidance, support, and resources to make your midwifery practice dreams a reality!"


I'm so grateful for the business professionals who have a heart for mothers and midwives. Thank you, Leslie, for supporting mothers by supporting midwives. When we work together, we can make sure that more and more women are able to receive the intimate, loving care they deserve through thriving midwifery practices.

All right, friends, that is it for this episode! I look forward to seeing you back here next week.

Don't forget to join our thriving community at Facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirthpodcastcommunity

Homebirth… despite the podcast name, Happy isn’t the only adjective that can be used to describe it. No, my friends. Birth experiences vary so widely, and things do not always go perfectly easily.

Today’s story is one of those tough births, but wow. Our guest, Sophia sheds so much insight and through her struggle brings so much encouragement to us all. There’s such a balance. Of course we want to be positive about childbirth and understand that it can be beautiful and peaceful. But we also need to recognize that birth is untame and raw. It is such a thin-veiled experience. Today’s interview leans into the raw experience of Sophia’s homebirth and postpartum experience. I encourage you to embrace the intensity, but you know that I also like to be up front about these episodes so that if you are nearing your birthing time and concerned about hearing any difficult stories, you can save this one for a later date.

Okay, let’s jump into our interview. Please remember that the opinions of my guest may not necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are acting as medical professionals, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me your Chiropractor.

Show Notes

Sophia has always found herself on the more natural side of things, so she knew that when she became pregnant, she would prefer to have her baby at home.

Her husband grew up in a more medically minded household, so before they even became pregnant, she and her husband went to interview local midwives. This put him at ease and was a great way to remove the pressure around the situation.

Once they began the process of trying to conceive, they became pregnant immediately.

Sophia was seeing a naturopath before her pregnancy to make sure that her hormones were balanced, and she continued this through the first four months.

She was very in tune with her body, and felt her baby’s first movements at 11.5 weeks.

At 37 weeks Sophia fell forward on ice. Luckily all was fine, but she hoped she’d stay pregnant for a bit longer for her bruises to heal.

After 8 days of contractions, right at her due date Sophia felt stronger contractions. She felt a wave of grief that her pregnancy would soon be over, but joy at the same time of it being over and time to meet her baby.

As contractions began, while her husband was still asleep, Sophia went to their prayer corner and prayed for this to truly be labor. And truly, it was!

Soon, her contractions were one on top of the other, and she was so engrossed in them that she was not remembering to hydrate or eat.

During her labor, Sophia experienced a sense of hyper awareness, but a haze at the same time. She could hear everything, even her midwife and husband talking in the other room.

Sophia was so prepared for labor that she thought she’d handle it easily and comfortably. Instead, she had moments where she truly felt fear.

Once Sophia had been feeling the urge to push for a while, her midwives noted that she had an anterior (front) cervical lip. 

She moved to the bed where they asked her to lie on her back. After a while she moved to the birthing stool, where she thought so deeply about her mother and her mother’s strength.

After having felt out of body for so long, Sophia felt she returned to normal for a bit as her husband began praying for her. She began praying with him, and she could tell this was incredibly meaningful for him.

Sophia moved back to the bed for a bit, and finally when she went to the toilet, she begged her baby to come out. At that point, Sophia began crowning. She moved to the birth stool.

Once her baby arrived, it was determined that she had a nuchal hand (very likely causing the 4 hour pushing difficulty and overall strange labor pattern).

Her baby was white and not breathing, so her midwives began rescue breaths. After 5 breaths, her baby had still not come around, so her midwife began trying to help Sophia remove her placenta so that they could move the baby to do more resuscitative measures. They did give some cord traction, and the placenta plopped out. Sophia then lost 4+ cups of blood, and almost immediately passed out.

Sophia finally came to a while later, having no understanding of what had happened. She didn’t know where she was or that she’d had her baby. She then saw that her husband looked terrified, which is very out of character for him. He later told Sophia that he was terrified that he was about to lose his wife and baby.

Sophia and her baby both eventually did come around. Sophia’s midwife put a piece of placenta in her mouth to help stop the bleeding.

Unfortunately, this all led to a very difficult postpartum experience. She was weak and exhausted, and did not feel the overwhelming oxytocin rush due to the circumstances. But she knew that she loved her baby. She knew that she would do anything, endure anything for her.
When nursing troubles began, Sophia sought help and learned that her baby had tongue and lip ties. Once again, Sophia endured and continued to fight for a bond with her daughter.

Now, Sophia feels the bond that she hoped she would experience immediately. In fact, she feels that her bond with her daughter is even stronger because of the difficult experiences they faced together in the beginning.


Babies wait for no one or no thing.  No matter what’s going on in the world, they will still be born, and we as mothers have to figure out how to cope. 

I know that so many of your births were and are being affected by Covid-19.  My heart goes out to you, as this has changed the landscape of birth on many levels.  Of course mothers who planned to give birth in the hospital have been affected, but this is also true of mothers in the homebirth setting.  Today we will hear from Yosefa, who gave birth at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

This interview was incredibly special, because we were able to be joined by Yosefa’s sister Yakova, who currently resides in Israel.  Yakova is a midwife with several credentials, I might add, and although she was not able to physically be at Yosefa’s birth, she was able to support her virtually.  It’s such an amazing story!

Show Notes:


Yakova went to a friend’s birth and ended up acting as support person.  With this one experience, she realized she was called to some type of birth work.  She began working as a doula, then became a midwife.  She gained the Certified Midwife credential, then went back to nursing school and became a Certified Nurse Midwife.


She and Yosefa were pregnant with their first children at the same time, giving birth only 10 days apart.  


Yosefa’s first two children were born in a hospital birth center run by midwives in Australia.  When she became pregnant with her third child back in America, she realized that having a homebirth would be the most similar experience for her in this country, given our more medicalized approach to birth in the hospital.


Once deciding on a midwife, she mentioned her choice to her sister.  It turned out that Yosefa’s midwife was the exact same midwife Yakova had used for her third birth, and the assistant was one of Yakova’s former roommmates.



Yosefa went into labor only one week after schools closed.  This was an extremely fear-based time of the pandemic.  She had concerns around bringing in any support personnel, and even family.


Yakova was planning to travel with her children to the US to be at Yosefa’s birth, but Israel was very quick to shut down travel through infected European countries.  Because Yakuza’s flights were to go through either Italy or France, she was unable to travel.


Because Yosefa’s labor began with the rupturing of her membranes, she decided to try some activities to stimulate labor.  Acupuncture and nipple stimulation were very helpful in this and brought on intense contractions.  


As labor progressed, Yosefa relied on her sister Yakova for support.  She kept her AirPods in and Yakova monitored her labor in that way.


Yakova was even the one who called the midwife for Yosefa!  She also spoke to Yosefa’s husband about tasks that needed to be done.  Yosefa’s birth was happening right around the beginning of their Sabbath day.  Because of their religious practice, Yosefa’s husband was uncertain about whether he would be able to clean the birth pool and set it up for Yosefa, as when they opened it up, it was moldy.  Yakova spoke to him about how in one of their Holy Books, it says that a laboring mother supersedes all else.  So much so that if a blind woman laboring asks for a candle (typically not lit on the Sabbath), a candle should be lit for her. 


Yosefa’s third labor was far more intense than she expected.  She felt that this labor truly showed how different each birth is.  


Episode Roundup:


What a beautiful story.  I’m so delighted we were able to make this 3-way interview work!  As we head into the episode roundup, I have a few thoughts I’d love to share:


  1. The power of the feminine in the birthing situation:  How incredible that Yakova and Yosefa both had stories of feminine connection regarding their births.  Yakova experienced a beautiful blessingway, and Yosefa was able to rely on her sister even from afar and in the midst of a pandemic.
  2. It’s so fascinating just how different regulations and laws are not only from country to country, but from state to state.  Fascinating, and frustrating, honestly.  Of course, it’s my prayer and hope that homebirth becomes more and more accepted and considered the norm, as we know the great benefits of physiological birth when possible.
  3. Finally, let’s end where we began.  Birth happens, whether there’s a global pandemic or not.  I know this has changed the plans of so many, and in a number of ways it’s caused great isolation.  I hope that this podcast has brought some sense of community to you wonderful mothers, and that it will continue to do so in the future.  If you’re looking for more connection, I’d love to have you in our Happy Homebirth Facebook group.  Just go to facebook.com/groups/happyhomebirth to join. Or type in Happy Homebirth Podcast Community

Is weight alone a pregnancy risk factor requiring intervention?  


Brylee is a mom to 3 precious babes, and she’s experienced both negative and positive birthing experiences.  Today we’ll jump into the reasons behind both.


Show Notes

Brylee had been told for many years that pregnancy would be very difficult, as she was diagnosed with PCOS as a teenager.  She and her husband became pregnant as soon as she stopped taking birth control.

Her OB was so convinced that she wouldn’t be able to become pregnant, that she said she’d give her 6 months to try for a baby before exploring other options.

Little did her OB know, she was already pregnant at that appointment!


Brylee had terrible implantation cramps with her first daughter.  They were so bad that she was scared it was a miscarriage (the day after her positive pregnancy test). 


Her interest in birth began early, as her mother had Brylee’s brother in a birth center unmedicated.


After watching The Business of Being Born, Brylee let her OB know that she wanted a natural birth.  The OB always dodged the questions and said “we’ll see”.


Brylee woke up with (what she now knows was typical bloody show) and called the on-call doctor.  The doctor acted as if the bleeding was an emergency, and had her come in.  The OB did everything she could to pin pre-eclampsia on Brylee, which she feels was because Brylee is a plus-size mother.


She had one high blood pressure reading, which she feels confident was related to the stress of the situation… she had had zero high readings throughout the pregnancy. 

Brylee refused induction, finally was released the next morning, and went home for the weekend. 


On the following Monday, Brylee saw the same OB again, and had another high reading.  She told her mom, “I am TERRIFIED of that woman.”  She felt it was a case of White Coat Syndrome, just as her dad has.


The OB sent her straight to the hospital to be induced:


Cytotec 4 times


Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth gives an informative review of why Cytotec can be dangerous


They then started Pitocin.  After laboring for a long time, Brylee received an epidural.  


After 30 minutes of pushing, Brylee had her baby.


There was absolutely no continuity of care for Brylee: Her Doctor was on vacation, another OB sent her in for the induction, another started the induction, and another delivered her baby.


With her second birth, Brylee knew she wanted to have a different experience.  Her friend had a birth with them that was wonderful, so Brylee was excited to use the practice of 8.  


Brylee had one high blood pressure reading, and so her midwives sent her Maternal Fetal Medicine.  They put her on medication, and the medication constantly made her pass out, as it was bottoming out.

At her 3rd midwife’s appointment, the midwives used a blood pressure cuff for a plus-size woman, and low and behold… she had a normal reading.


Because of Maternal Fetal Medicine’s diagnosis (Chronic Hypertension— which she knew was not the case), the recommendation was for Brylee to be induced at 38weeks.


She failed the first Gestational Diabetes test, so she was required to take it again, which she passed.


One doctor at MFM told her that if she’d been in any other state, her blood pressure would not be an issue.  For whatever, in the south, particularly in Tennessee, this doctor said that other doctors hold very strongly to very specific numbers.


Brylee convinced her doctors to let her wait to be induced until 39 weeks.  After a long day of waiting for a room, and laboring, Brylee’s doctor told her they needed to break her bag of waters.  The baby was high, and they did not tell Brylee the risks associated with this.


Fortunately, the baby was fine, and once she began pushing, the baby was out in two pushes.


Unfortunately… soon after she gave birth, a nurse came into her room and switched her blood pressure cuff from the larger size to the standard size.  Brylee’s blood pressure numbers then spiked with the new cuff.


Because of her terrible experience, Brylee decided she was NOT going back to the hospital.  Her third baby was a huge surprise!  


Brylee began searching for a homebirth midwife in her area that would take her.  In a local birthing center, her BMI was too high to deliver.  


 She found a midwife who serviced her area, and set up a meeting.  After deciding to work with her, several appointments in, Brylee had a high blood pressure reading.  Her midwife mentioned that she thought this was likely due to the blood pressure cuff being the wrong size, not her actual blood pressure.  Her midwife ordered a new cuff, and Brylee never had a high reading again.


Brylee’s midwife referred her to a CNM just to have check her out as a backup, and the CNM was incredibly encouraging.  She said Brylee was a perfect candidate for homebirth.


During her anatomy scan, the tech that saw her ended up ripping her skin.  It was a horribly painful experience for Brylee.


As she entered labor… Brylee’s water broke at her parents’ house on their couch.  She tried to get contractions going by walking, dancing, and using a breast pump.


Her midwife had come over in the morning to see what her dilation was (she was a 2).


Brylee decided to try the Miles Circuit 


When Brylee called her midwife to let her know it was time for her to come, her midwife responded that she had a fever, so she was going to have to send her partner.


Brylee went from 4cm to pushing in a matter of minutes.  



Episode Roundup

Wow, what a difference in care.  As we head into the episode roundup, that’s the topic I want to discuss.  What I love about midwifery, particularly the homebirth variety, is the level of individual care.  The midwifery model of care lends itself to truly learning about the mother, gaining a full understanding of her health, and then proceeding with the intention of keeping her risk factors low and in check. Conditions were never pushed on Brylee based off of the fact that there “just must be something,” and she was given the opportunity to absolutely rock her birth, which she did.  


Individualized care, my friends.  That’s what it’s all about.  Okay, that’s all I’ve got for you this week.  I look forward to seeing you back here next week.


Links From today's Show:


Miles Circuit

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

The Business of Being Born



Join the Facebook Group!

Show Sponsor: Happy Homebirth Academy


Postpartum recovery is important for some people, but not everyone, right?  Not for athletes, right?

Show Notes

Chelsea, a triathlete, thought that postpartum recovery would be simple for her body after her first.  She assumed that she could push through the pain, having no idea that postpartum rest is critical. 


Unfortunately, Chelsea’s body struggled for 12 weeks with on and off bleeding.


She resumed normal activities, including crunches and jumping jacks.


During Chelsea’s second pregnancy, her mother was diagnosed with a uterine prolapse. 


She went into labor at the same time as she did with her first baby, so she assumed it would go similarly. It did not!  In fact, Chelsea had her baby before the midwife’s arrival. 


Once again, Chelsea resumed strenuous physical activity early, and this led to a bladder prolapse.


She sought help from a pelvic floor physical therapist, but her first experience with this was not ideal.  Kegals were strongly recommended, which were not helping Chelsea’s situation.


Chelsea then found another PF PT who taught Chelsea to relax her pelvic floor.  This made all of the difference and helped her recover.


Recovery postpartum is critical.  If you are struggling with heaviness in your pelvic region, seek help! 


Mentioned in This Episode:

Birth Fit

Happy Homebirth Episode 9 

Did your birth live up to your expectations?


Now, you all know by now that I’m all for the happiest, most rewarding childbirth experiences ever.  I mean, come on.  Pretty clear by the Show Title.  But in today’s episode with Anna, we’ll discuss the reality that sometimes birth isn’t a fairy tale.  Even if it goes relatively well each time, it might not be your “dream birth”  I’m really looking forward to unpacking this through Anna’s stories, and I’ll share more of my thoughts, as always, in the episode roundup.



There’s a giveaway going on over on Instagram this week.  My good friend Helen is an artist, and one of her specialties are birth related!  She paints custom baby in utero designs on pebbles.  Check out the details at @happyhomebirthpodcast, and go ahead and give @rosiebluebirdart a like


Take a screenshot of you listening to this episode and post it in your stories tagging @happyhomebirthpodcast so I can share it in my stories!


Similarly, if you’ve ordered a shirt from myhappyhomebirth.com/merch, please send  me a picture or tag me in your stories!  I would LOVE to see the apparel out and about, and you know I’ll feature you in my stories!


Show Notes:

  • Anna is the mother of 3 babies.
  • Her first 2 births were unmedicated at the hospital with midwives.  At the time, she was too nervous to give birth at home.
  • She feels that her first birth was the perfect amount of time for labor.
  • Second birth, family decided to use the hospital again.  Her husband was a resident at the time, so their birth in the hospital would be free
  • Anna spent most of her second labor in triage.  Once she got to her L&D room, she jumped into the birth tub and had a baby 7 minutes later
  • Her second birth taught her that she might be able to do things easier at home without all of the transitions of going to the hospital, waiting in triage, etc.
  • Her 3rd birth: Her husband agreed to having a homebirth, provided they could find a CNM
  • There was a CNM 30 minutes away, and she even scheduled all of the prenatal for when he would be home
  • Labor began at 9pm on her due date.  Anna went from feeling uncertain that she was in labor to deep, deep labor within just a moment
  • Her husband called everyone to the house while Anna roared through contractions in the shower
  • Because everything happened so quickly, the midwife did’t have time to grab gloves, so Anna’s husband was able to catch the baby.  He narrated the whole thing. 
  • “I wasn’t sure I was in labor until she was basically born”
  • “I never got that YouTube perfect birth, and that’s okay”


Episode Roundup

As we head into the episode roundup, I really want to discuss this quote from Anna: “I never got that YouTube perfect birth, and that’s okay.”


As I mentioned in the episode, and as is abundantly clear in my childbirth education program, the goal is an empowered birthing experience.  And truth be told, I believe there is SO MUCH we can do to move the needle in the direction of this outcome.  Taking preparation seriously, working with our mindset, learning the tools and techniques that can encourage presence… it can all do so much. In fact, the results my founding members have experienced through Happy Homebirth Academy really make me feel this is possible for so may.  But at the same time, we’ve got to remember that birth isn’t a fairy tale or a pinterest pin.  It varies vastly, and your perception of the events can be just as varied.  I say this as a reminder to be kind to yourself.  Even if on the outside you had a birth that was “good” or “positive”, remember that your feelings of the situation are valid and worth discussing.


And this brings me to another point, which is NOT related to Anna’s experience, but a tangent I arrived at later:  Remember that not everything is as it seems.  Social media is flooded with the most gorgeous birth photos, and perhaps it leaves you feeling like your experience was somehow less.  Please remember that the beautiful photo of the mother glowing with twinkle lights behind her might have been taken mere minutes after that mother barfed her entire lunch on her midwife’s shoes.  Birth.  It’s messy and unpredictable and beautiful and everything in between.

When did you begin experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions? And… What did they feel like?



This episode is sponsored by Happy Homebirth Academy!  The premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers seeking a peaceful, empowering, mindful homebirth.  www.myhappyhomebirth.com/hha is where you can find all of the details. 


Today’s guest, Meagan Brown had quite an intense go with BH contractions  So much so, that I hate to even call them that.  But we’ll learn exactly what she did to cope, and we’ll see how that served her in her two labors. 




There are new shirts in the store! With…matching onesies for your babe and shirts for your child!  Adult shirts read “homebirther” and onesies/kid shirts say homebirthed.  I can’t wait to get my matching shirts.  Just head to myhappyhomebirth.com/merch to check out all of the cuteness.


Take a screenshot when you’re listening to podcast episodes and upload them to your insta stories.  Tag @happyhomebirthpodcast and I’ll share in my stories!


Would you mind leaving a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts?  This helps the show get found!


Please remember that the opinions of my guest might nit necessarily reflect my own and vice versa, and neither one of us are medical professionals, so continue to see your doctor, midwife, or if you’re like me, your chiropractor. 


Show Notes

Meaghan Brown is a wife and mother of two living in Ontario. She and her husband became pregnant with their son just weeks after getting married… not their plan, but they jumped into parenthood excitedly!  Unfortunately, Meaghan experienced painful Braxton Hicks contractions begging at 20 weeks.  So uncomfortable in fact that she was constantly worried she was heading into labor. 


In her 36th week, while out to dinner with her friends, Meaghan experienced contractions that she of course assumed were her constant Braxton Hicks contractions.  Only this time… her water broke.  She sprinted to the bathroom, where her waters fully released.  And then… the mucous plug followed.


Her friend drove her home, where she met her husband and doula and headed to the hospital (in transition)!  She arrived to the hospital, had a team of doctors descend upon her room (because baby was not term), and because Meaghan struggles slightly with Claustrophobia, her husband Jonathan announced to have everyone step back (which they did!).

Meaghan’s baby was safely born and did not need a NICU stay.


With her second pregnancy (this one was planned!), the contractions started even earlier… at 16 weeks.  Luckily, her daughter decided to stay put until term. 


Meaghan was able to have her desired homebirth this time around, with her midwife making it just in time. 


Once her baby arrived, Meaghan was excited for her contractions to finally stop.  Unfortunately, they did not.  For 8 days, she continued to experience the contractions of her uterus shrinking.  Terrified that something was wrong, she finally went to her doctor.  Upon examination, he found all to be well.  He proposed that Meaghan may be acutely aware of her uterus, which would explain why she was feeling contractions all along.


If you have a sensitive uterus, check out this podcast episode about Vaginal Steaming by Wine & Gyn! 


Episode Roundup



  1. Pregnancy, like birth, is wild!  It can be experienced differently from person to person ad pregnancy to pregnacy.  And let’s be honest.  Sometimes it just does not feel good.  Meagans constant experience of brat nhicks contractions during her two regencies is a great example of things just kind of stinking sometimes.  This is why it’s so important to listen to your body… when it says rest, rest.  Meagan did this when needed, and it’s so important to remember, even if your experience isn’t as intense as hers
  2. This is just me taking a moment to celebrate those loving, in-tune partners.  When at the hospital, Meagan’s husband jonathan realized she was struggling with having so many people descend upon her room.  He was not afraid to speak out and let everyone know that they needed to back up.  I’m sure Meagan will never forget that kind act.  Working on your relationship with your partner during pregnancy and connecting as much as possible is such a good reminder for all of us. 

The Podcast Application is Live (through June 7th)!  Click Here to Apply!

This episode is sponsored by Happy Homebirth Academy, the premier childbirth education program for homebirth mothers looking to have a peaceful, empowering birthing experience.

Take a screenshot of you listening to this episode and share it on your instagram stories! Ta @happyhomebirthpodcast and use the hashtags #givebirthonyourturf or #homebirther


Show Notes:

  • Shante is the mother to 4 children ranging from 11 years to just a few months old.
  • Shante’s became pregnant with her first child at 16, so she was working two jobs and in school.  She recognizes that she didn’t have much time to relax and enjoy the pregnancy, but she remembers
  • Her first baby’s labor was only 3.5 hours from start to finish!  The experience with the hospital was not terrible, but she thinks because she was young, people told her what to do instead of giving true informed consent.

  • Her second pregnancy, 6.5 years later, was not so easy.  She was very sick for the first 17 weeks. 
  • Even more interestingly, her second labor was 25 hours long (with a posterior baby boy)!
  • As Shante began pushing, her midwife noticed that Shante was bleeding.  She had her get on her back on the bed, as she was worried about the amount of blood.  Her baby had a bit of a shoulder dystocia that shante didn’t realize she had until afterward.
  • Because she was expecting a repeat of her first birth, Shante felt her second birth was traumatic. 
  • “You cannot decide not to prepare simply because a previous birth was easy— because each birth is different.”
  • With her third pregnancy, Shante felt active and energized and ready to do anything.
  • Shante did more childbirth preparation for this birth.  She mentally prepared herself for a longer labor.
  • “Good Births Don’t Just Happen-  I need to prepare mentally and I need to prepare physically and be ready for whatever may come”
  • Shante’s way to get things going:
    2nd trimester- Red Raspberry Leaf tea
  • 2 date bars per day at 37 weeks on and 1 full quart of red raspberry leaf tea
  • Lots of walking and light hiking
  • This labor was only 1 hour and 20 minutes!
  • The midwife had not yet arrived, so it was just Shante and her husband.
  • At the end of Shante’s care, her main midwife had to have surgery, leaving Shante in the care of another midwife that she never felt very comfortable with.
  • The midwife was clearly irritated with Shante for having her baby without her.
  • Shante had a piece of retained membrane that was obvious to see.  She is extreme in her belief of not intervening at all- So she did not remove the membrane, even though Shante was continuously bleeding.
  • The midwife told her to go to the bathroom, but as Shante stood up, she began to black out. 
  • She forced her to crawl to the bathroom.  Shante continued to pass out and felt completely humiliated. 

    Finally, the attending midwife catheterized Shante

  • A year later, Shante found out from her main midwife that her charts were incomplete and the midwife had lied about a number of issues.
  • Another client had a similar experience, the midwife left the practice and started her own practice. 
  • Shante struggled with deep postpartum anxiety and depression.  She was able to manage this through homeopathy. 
  • During her most recent pregnancy, Shante worked with a homeopath and worked with a therapist who specialized in prenatal and perinatal mood disorders.  She was able to heal and process through these two modalities.

  • Shante developed food sensitivities during her most recent pregnancy so she had to avoid many carbs and sugars.
  • She did a homeopathy pregnancy protocol, which helped a lot.  Cell Salts.
  • Shante prepared a homeopathy chart with the symptom, the remedy and the frequency of the dose. She felt incredibly prepared.
  • Shante’s contractions never got incredibly close together, and she did not experience transition.  Her baby was born after only 2.5 hours of labor!
  • Her most recent birth was incredibly healing and helped her recover from her previous birth.


What an amazing set of stories.  As we head into the episode roundup, I have a few topics I’d love to discuss.


  1. The first thing I want to mention is just the quick little reminder that each and every pregnancy and labor (and heck, baby) is different.  Shante learned this when she went from a 3.5 hour first time labor to a 25 hour long labor with a posterior baby the second time around.  I loved when she said “Good Births Don’t Just Happen-  I need to prepare mentally and I need to prepare physically and be ready for whatever may come.”  Such sound advice.
  2. I love how Shante added to her preparation routine as she continued having babies.  From red raspberry leaf tea, to dates, to delving fully into the world of homeopathy… Shante continued to learn and add methods of preparation to her routine.
  3. And even more significant, Shante spent time truly coming to terms with a traumatic birth situation and postpartum.  She saw a therapist who specialized in postpartum mood disorders and worked with a homeopath.  She was serious about healing herself, which we all know goes a long way for the health of your entire family, even the littlest of babes.  I am so encouraged to hear mothers taking those kinds of steps.
  4. And finally, this is where we need to discuss care providers.  Although in Shante’s situation she did not choose the care provider who caused such trauma, it’s important to remember that just like in every profession, there will be some midwives who either do not jive with you, or perhaps who really are just… not great midwives.  I don’t want to sell you a false narrative that every single midwife is perfect and beautiful and a unicorn, though I do think that’s often the case.  No, midwives are people and people can range the spectrum from incredibly helpful to harmfully abusive, as we saw in Shante’s experience.  Do remember this and remember that in choosing homebirth you’re making an awesome decision— but that’s not the ONLY decision.  It’s the first in a long line of decisions.  If ever you feel your care provider is not in it for you, find someone who is.  There are plenty of wonderful ones out there who would love to take you on.  And…. we need to #makemoremidwives

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This Episode was Brought to you by: Happy Homebirth Academy   The Premier Childbirth Education Program for Homebirth Mothers


Do you really need to prepare for birth?


Show Notes:

  • Amanda's plan with her first child was a beautiful birth center birth
  • The first 20 weeks of her pregnancy were full of sickness—  She even partially dislocated her shoulder after throwing up once.
  • After laboring for quite a while, her midwife came over to check her and see if she could go to the birth center.  She was checked and was only 2 cm, so she said they could not go to the birth center yet.
  • She began saying to herself during contractions, “Open, open, open.  Everything open.”  Her attention was specifically on opening and relaxing.
  • Suddenly, soon after getting out of the tub, she feels the fetal ejection reflex. 
    “Breathe this baby down?! I’m going to eject this baby across the state!”
  • The midwives made it just in time, and Amanda found out that what she thought were her insides coming out was actually just her baby’s head!
  • Once he came out, she was in a state of confusion.  He looked different than she’d expected, and she had clearly been through a shocking experience.  When her midwife said, “Do you want to hold him?” Amanda’s immediate response was, “No, who is that?!”
  • During her second pregnancy, she had Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction

Did you know that you could be so intimately aware of what's going on in your labor that you could be the one to reach down and catch your own baby?


I sure didn't with my first daughter, and there's absolutely no way I would have been able to take the death grip off of my husband to do any such thing.


But Emily... Emily planned and prepared for a mindful homebirth, and her goal was to catch her own baby (her first birth!).  She was a founding member of Happy Homebirth Academy, and I'm so excited to say that darn it, she did it!  Listen in to hear just how she achieved her goal.


Show Notes:


Emily's start to motherhood was different from the traditional route: She and her husband were called to foster-to-adopt immediately after Emily met her son at work.  She knew he was hers, and she would do anything for him.


After a long and stressful road, their son finally legally became a part of the family.  At this point, he was 3 years old.  Emily was suddenly hit with baby fever!


Emily began looking into homebirth.  She had had a traumatic time in the hospital at 19 and did not feel that it would be a healing place to have a baby.


After watching Katelyn's birth video of her second baby, Lillian, Emily decided she wanted to have the same type of empowering birth.  She joined Happy Homebirth Academy and put in all of the effort required to achieve her goal.


Emily woke up at 2:30 am in active labor.  She labored on her side for several hours, knowing that this was the position she was comfortable in. 

Once she moved to the tub, she stayed in the same kneeling position for the remainder of her labor... except when she did her best to switch positions for just a moment.  Although she decided to return back to her previous spot, this movement was enough to dislodge her baby's head (turns out she way asynclitic!) and begin the process of crowning.

Emily reached down and caught her own baby--triumphantly!


If you're interested in having a similar birthing experience, make sure you join Happy Homebirth Academy for your childbirth education program.  This program is the first of its kind- geared specifically towards homebirth mothers!  

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