Milk Trails

Milk Trails

26 Episodes

Milk Trails is a podcast dedicated to the out-of-hospital birth experience. Sharing stories can help reduce fear and misunderstanding around childbirth. In each episode, licensed midwife, Hayley Oakes, interviews home birth and birth center parents about their experiences – including the choices they made leading them to an out-of-hospital birth, how they prepared, fears they worked through and of course how the birth went. By exploring birth in settings that allow mothers and/or birthing folks to feel safe and that support the un-medicated birth process can help illustrate the scope of what ‘normal’ birth can look like. Hopefully this can educate and empower expectant families in their own birthing experience whether at home, birth center or hospital.

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Milk Trails
  • “RORY”

    Episode 1

    At 40 weeks pregnant, first-time parents Rory and Gabriel, planning a home birth, were evacuated from their apartment due to Hurricane Irma. They found shelter at a local hospital while their midwife was forced to leave town. Almost a week later, barely settled back into their home and with their...


    Episode 2

    In this next episode, we talk about how Djuna and Nikolai chose their midwife, their baby turning head down in the last weeks of pregnancy and just barely avoiding a transfer of care to a doctor as Djuna went nearly 2 weeks past her due date. And after all of that, they got to experience a smooth...


    Episode 3

    Rosie and Noah shared the birth story of their son at home. Their first child was born in a birth center and after a successful, natural birth, they had to transfer to the
    hospital for a retained placenta. The second time around, Rosie and Noah felt like they were ready to give birth in the comfo...


    Episode 3

    Rosie and Noah shared the birth story of their son at home. Their first child was born in a birth center and after a successful, natural birth, they had to transfer to the
    hospital for a retained placenta. The second time around, Rosie and Noah felt like they were ready to give birth in the comfo...

  • “RHEA”

    Episode 4

    39-year-old first-time mother Rhea planned a birth center birth because she was not comfortable with the idea of laboring at home in her apartment with neighbors in close proximity. As a performer and back up singer for Pharrell Williams, she assumed it would be her natural instinct to be vocal i...


    Episode 5

    Prior to motherhood, Madison was intrigued with everything birth related including her own birth story of being breech and born by cesarean. From her work as a postpartum doula, she had been exposed to many birth stories including home birth. She was also fascinated by what’s known as ‘free birth...

  • “AMBER”

    Episode 6

    Prior to having her own children, Amber traveled to a midwifery clinic in Mexico to train and attend births as a doula. Her work there helped shape the choices she would make for her own births later down the road. With her first child she planned a hospital birth with midwives, and after a very ...

  • “MORGAN”

    Episode 7

    Morgan Campbell, a postpartum doula, grew up hearing the tales of her and her siblings’ out of hospital birth stories. For her own birthing experience, she believed home was where she would feel safest to be her most primal and vulnerable self. And primal she got. She made loud and visceral vocal...

  • “ALEXIS”

    Episode 8

    Alexis is a mother of three and a psychotherapist specializing in the prenatal and postpartum transition into parenthood. In this episode, she shares her transformative experience of becoming a parent for the first time. We explore the common yet unexpectedly difficult feelings around caring for ...


    Episode 9

    Alannah, an ER nurse in her native Australia, wanted to have a home birth for her second child here in the States, but she was met with cultural confusion, financial difficulties and medical resistance. Although her first child was induced and born at 34 weeks due to growth restriction, she knew ...

  • “HAYLEY”

    Episode 10

    In this episode, your host and midwife, Hayley Oakes, is five weeks postpartum after having her first child. This time she gets to answer the questions! Birth doula Carson Meyer interviews Hayley about her pregnancy, home birth and postpartum experiences. Hayley discusses the benefits of proper p...

  • “EILEEN”

    Episode 11

    Eileen came from a long line of women in her family who had highly medicalized births, including her own, each one with less intervention than the last. After a cesarean with her first child and a vaginal birth after cesarean (also known as a VBAC) in the hospital for her second, Eileen chose to ...

  • “ERICA”

    Episode 12

    Erica Mock knew she wanted a home birth as soon as she found out she was pregnant. Her past experience using alternative modalities helped her trust her body to have the birth she wanted. However, there was more work to be done to prepare her mind for the unexpected and unknown. So, of course, Er...

  • “AMANDA”

    Episode 13

    Miscarriage is such a complicated and often silent topic. Unexpectedly losing an expected child can come with so many feelings of confusion, guilt, grief as well as anxiety, doubt, and depression. While miscarriage is unfortunately not that uncommon (10-20% of women who know they are pregnant wil...

  • “ERIN”

    Episode 14

    For the birth of her second child, midwife and mother, Erin, planned a home birth with a midwife. For weeks leading up to the due date, her baby kept turning from head down to butt down until, at 39 weeks, she had to schedule a cesarean due to her baby’s unstable position. Here she was faced with...


    Episode 15

    In this special episode, we have Jeanne-Marie Paynel, a mother of two as well as a parenting guide and mentor. Jeanne-Marie has a Masters in Montessori education and over 15 years of experience guiding and mentoring parents and children. She is the founder of Voila Montessori – a parenting school...

  • “BRITTA”

    Episode 16

    Britta Bushnell is a renowned childbirth educator and doula as well as a wife, mother of two, and now author of her first book – Transformed By Birth. She has a PhD in mythology which she has brilliantly woven into her birth preparation series – Embodica. Her class is unique in that it’s less abo...

  • “RUBY”

    Episode 17

    Ruby was one of the “lucky” ones. It took no effort to get pregnant, she felt great in her pregnancy and the birth was relatively easy. But the immediate postpartum and weeks thereafter was really when she went into “labor”, facing the challenges that helped her transform into a mother.


    Episode 18

    Elizabeth is 8 weeks postpartum and already wears many hats – a new mother to Francesca, loving partner to Priscilla and back to work as a somatic sex therapist to her now virtual patients. We talk about her experiences of choosing reciprocal IVF, having a home birth, helping clients regain sexua...

  • Episode 19 MEGAN

    Episode 19

    For Megan’s first child, she planned to give birth in a birth center with her husband, doula and team of midwives. However, as is the nature of parenthood, the best laid plans can often go awry. In early labor, Megan transferred to the hospital where she had an unmedicated vaginal delivery. Her e...

  • “CIANNA”

    Episode 20

    It’s the middle of March and Cianna is 35 weeks pregnant with a plan to give birth in the hospital. Meanwhile, the Coronavirus pandemic has spread to the US, and the mandated lock down has begun. As a Black presenting Mexican woman, she is aware of her risks of birthing in a hospital simply becau...

  • “ALLY”

    Episode 21

    Ally is a mother of two and shares her experience of having an HBAC – Home Birth After Cesarean. In the US, more and more birthing folks with a prior cesarean are seeking out home birth in response to a denial of hospital-based care for a VBAC (aka vaginal birth after cesarean), to avoid having a...


    Episode 22

    When second time labor and births are more challenging than the first, it can be jarring and confusing, especially when the first experience was so fast towards the end of labor, that your baby was known as “Hallway Harrison” at the birth center where he was born. Elizabeth and Doug share the sto...

  • “JENNA”

    Episode 23

    Jenna discusses the parallel experiences of pregnancy and a pandemic - and the feelings of living through both at the same time. She shares her journey of choosing her birthing team and eventually a birth center setting, her physiologic and fast birthing story and lastly the surprise of suffering...