Announcement: Changes to our consultations

As Kindred Hearts Midwifery becomes busier, we’re making some changes to our consultations. Effective April 1, 2018, here are your options for exploring home birth with Kindred Hearts Midwifery:

FREE = 30 minute phone consultations with either Susan or Chloe

FREE = 1 hour in person Getting To Know You consultation at Susan’s home in Dover or Chloe’s home in Berlin

$30 = 1 hour in person Getting To Know You consultation at YOUR home. We come to you (as we will for all prenatal, postpartum, and birth care). The $30 helps cover travel expenses and will be applied to your midwifery fee if you decide to hire Kindred Hearts.

Send us message on Facebook, contact us through our website, or give us a call to set up a no pressure, easy peasy, Getting To Know you consultation. :) 
We look forward to meeting you and supporting your family in pregnancy, birth, and beyond!

Susan & Chloe

(And now we have Getting To Know You from The King & I stuck in our heads....#musicalnerds #musicalmidwives)

A typical prenatal visit...

“So yeah....what do you do at a prenatal appointment? Is it just the same as my OB appointments?”

We get this question a lot. I often struggle with how to respond. Because, you see, your prenatal visits are so so SO different than your mainstream OB appointment.

Yes, we check your blood pressure. And we listen to baby. And we draw blood work (sometimes).

But that’s not really what your prenatal appointments are about.

The prenatal care is about CARE. And it’s about YOU.

It’s about building a relationship and trust. It’s about your physical wellness, your emotional health, your spiritual peace. It’s about nurturing. It’s about YOU. And it’s about getting to know - even in those early days - your little baby.

Really, though...what does all this look like? Let me walk you through a typical prenatal visit.

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10 am - Your midwives arrive at your home. We greet you with hugs and mosey over to the living room to have a nice chat over tea. Susan lets you know that your blood work came back normal and that she has a copy of your results for you.


10:05 am - We talk about your recent relaxing family vacation. You share a bit about some stressful work drama. Your two year old son plays with our “Future Midwife” kid’s kit, while you share about your anxiety about being a mom of three. Susan shares her memories of greeting each of her children and what each experience was like for her. You reminisce about the births of your daughter and son. Those powerful first few moments. Misty eyes all around the room. And then we laugh because we’re all crying. And then Chloe gets the hiccups. Jeez...emotions.


10:18 am - Out comes the iPad where we take all our notes for the appointment. We ask you about common pregnancy complaints (heartburn, backache) and potential red flags (nausea, vision changes, bleeding). We ask about baby’s movement and what you are noticing in your body. How do you think baby is situated? Do you feel hiccups? How about “lightning crotch”? Have you had any dreams of baby? What were they about?


10:23 am - We have a discussion about the Group Beta Strep test - benefits, risks, what happens if you opt of out the test, how would we manage a positive or a negative result. You say you want to discuss it with your husband and do more research. We provide you with resources and encourage you to call us with any questions. We can do the test at the next appointment if you want. Or not, if you don’t want to.


10:32 am - Do you have to pee? Here’s a cup and urinalysis stick that checks for protein, glucose, and other components that give us clues as to how hydrated and nourished you are at this particular time or if you are possibly developing an infection.


10:35 am - Everything is normal but it looks like you could need a little more water and a few more calories. We talk about what your diet has looked like this week and what you could add in to give you a little bit more nourishment.


10:40 am - Susan checks your blood pressure. 108/62. PERFECT.


10:42 am - Now the fun part….listening to baby. Your 10 year old daughter draws close. You recline on your couch and we measure your belly with a measuring tape. You’re measuring right on the money for 34 weeks! Chloe puts her hands on your belly to feel baby’s position. She shows both you and your daughter how we determine baby’s position and explains the best location to hear the baby’s heartbeat.


10:48 am - Would you like to listen with a fetoscope (similar to a stethoscope but made for listening to little ones in utero) or the doppler (a handheld ultrasound machine)? You choose the doppler so that it’s easier for everyone to hear the heartbeat. Once the heartbeat is located, your daughter asks if we could try with the fetoscope too. So we get out the fetoscope and show her how to find the heartbeat with that as well. (PS - As you get to the end of pregnancy, sometimes you can even use an empty paper towel roll to hear the heartbeat. Seriously!)

(PPS - The picture below is actually of a midwife listening with a Pinard horn - yet another traditional way of hearing baby's heartbeat.)


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10:55 am - And that’s it! We’re done. We make an appointment to see you in two weeks. Hugs all around….and we’re off to the next house. Like Santa Clause, or Mary Poppins, or something like that.



I can’t speak for every midwifery practice in the world, but I can say for us our prenatals are usually relaxed, personal, and always in your own home. 45 minutes to an hour is normal….sometimes we’ll stay even longer if there is a specific issue or if mama needs more support.

And through it all, you are in the driver’s seat of your care. Seriously. No one loves this baby more than you. No one else can speak for the experience of what’s going on in your body. No one else can know what is right for you on the deepest level. So we provide you with our perspective...and YOU are the boss.


Husbands and Home Birth: when the man is scared s***less

We're so excited to share this super funny, super real blog post from Jake Moss - one of the Kindred Hearts home birth dads. Jake has become SUCH an enthusiastic supporter of home birth. Below he shares his journey from home birth skeptic to home birth evangelist.
PS - Does anyone know how we can get in touch with Elton John?? 


I don’t know exactly what you’re expecting from this post. As I write, even I am unsure where it will go. What started as a joking comment on Facebook brought me to a place of reflection over my own family’s planned home birth of our daughter. 



About halfway through my Wonder Woman wife’s pregnancy journey,  she told me she was interested in getting a doula for our birth.  My first thought was, what the heck is a doula? Upon learning the role of a doula (labor coach), my next question was, isn’t that my job?


I was skeptical. My pride took a small hit. After all, with all my experience coaching people through labor, I was all that my wife needed in this journey to baby. But I digress. 


One thing I learned throughout the process is that I was not the one going through the pregnancy and if my wife had wanted Sir Elton John in the room when she gave birth to provide emotional support, it was best for me to just support that and do everything I could do to help make it happen. 


She came home and said that Chloe was awesome. She couldn’t wait for me to meet her. She also casually mentioned that Chloe did a lot of work with home birth. I shuddered slightly, thinking that homebirth was reserved for families who lived in hippie communes but our plan was still to have a hospital birth: we were safe. 


Time moved on, I got to know Chloe, and our birth team started to take shape as we all became friends. Mandy began learning everything about birth that she could, listening to awkward and slightly condescending hypnobirth tracks and practicing relaxation techniques. We knew from day one that a natural birth was our plan and things were shaping up for that to work out in the comfort and safety of a hospital surrounded by professionals. 


Mandy, however, started to lean towards the idea of us having a home birth as she watched countless videos and researched like crazy about birth in general. She requested more information from Chloe about home birth and, after reading, was convinced that it was the ideal environment to bring our daughter into the world according to our birth plan. 


I, on the other hand, was scared shitless, to put it delicately. Absolutely not. We couldn’t have a home birth. This was one of those whimsical thoughts that we may entertain in conversation but for it to be a reality, there was no way. It wasn’t right for us. (Side note: God bless Mandy — she respected, honored and cared about my fear, doubt and skepticism. If it wasn’t for both of us, than it wasn’t for us. She encouraged me saying that if I wasn’t fully comfortable with it, then we wouldn’t do it. What an amazing woman.)


She really is talented in many ways, one of which being her ability to ninja my mind into doing things. Mandy is her name, subtlety is her game. It started with having friends over for dinner who had had a home birth. Shout out to Andy and Jessica who didn’t mock me but rather fielded my questions about this archaic practice that most certainly was not for my family.


Altogether I think my worst fear was that if we had a home birth, I would have to deliver the baby myself. And lo and behold, Andy and Jessica confirmed that fear because that’s what ended up happening to them! Wild. So while I had gained more knowledge, I still wasn’t necessarily more comfortable with the idea. 


“Call the midwife...” they said. “They do free consultations” they said. “All of your questions will be answered” they said. 

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So we called. The cool thing was that Chloe, who we had now become friends with, was in training to become a midwife. So she recommended Susan with whom she was training. 


These two midwives show up to our house and they’re just normal people. No lab coats. No fancy machines that beep and make you feel nervous. “These ladies are, like, gonna deliver our baby? She deserves the best care possible! And seriously where are the official lab coats and scrubs!?” ~My internal monologue as they strolled in to my sanctuary, my safe place, my home. 


Pleasantries were exchanged and then we got down to business. Now I had done my research. I had asked people at our regular doctor appointments what I needed to ask about, I had googled questions to ask midwives and answers to be concerned by, I had done all I could to prepare for this moment of truth. It was inquisition time. (Another side note: Mandy made tea and muffins. I think she knew what they were in for and wanted them to feel comfortable. She’s also a phenomenal host. Go Mandy.) 


“How many births have you done?”

“What’s the craziest story that you have?”

“What is your philosophy about birth?”

“What about hospital transfers?”

“What tools do you have?”

“Why are you better than going to the hospital?”


Susan and Chloe answered the rapid fire questions with grace, composure, and confidence. They welcomed them. Susan had seen everything. Her keen intuition and experience was unmatched. And Chloe’s understanding and research driven answers spoke to the logical part of my mind that wanted to reject this seemingly illogical option. 



We covered everything. I learned so much. And we laughed a lot. It became a running joke where I would start by saying “so.... this is a serious question...” and you can fill in the blank. Every question you’ve ever had about home birth, even the weird ones that you’re embarrassed to ask, I have probably asked. And they never once made me feel dumb or less than anyone. Little did I know, our team was growing. 


As Susan and Chloe left that day, they hugged both of us and told us they would support and care for us either way. 


After a long journey, I was sold. I had learned a crazy amount about birth (probably more than the average guy) and they just made it seem so... normal. And it was. We made the decision that day that we wanted to have a homebirth. We booked Chloe and Susan the next day. It was right for our family. It was the way we wanted to bring our Eloise into the world. 


If you wanna know the birth story itself, that’s a post for another time. You can also read my wife’s brilliant work in describing it HERE. Long story short, we ended up with a hospital transfer to deliver our Eloise. However, our intention in the future with the rest of our children is once again home birth. I already am confident that it is right for our family and for families far and wide. I will shout it from the mountain tops. Now, If you’re a guy, you might be thinking that this guy is crazy, and you would be right about that. But I am confident that if you do your own research and call that midwife, you will be surprised at what you find. 


As a final encouragement, don’t shut it down until you have all of the information. And if you took nothing else away from this, remember — if your wife wants Elton John as her birth coach, then by golly, get her Elton John. 

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What is home birth like?


I asked a over 6000 home birth folks how they would describe their experience. These are the words they chose:

powerful. transcending. whole. purposeful. supported. empowering. healing. shalom. faith. trust. intuition. instinct. surrender. connection. intimate. peaceful. liberating. empowering. fulfilling. beautiful. amazing. natural. peaceful. privacy. freedom. peaceful. healing. empowering. instinctive. natural. spiritual. beautiful. empowering. empowering. instinct. natural. amazing. empowering. enlightened. fulfilling. elation. instinctual. empowering. intense. natural. beautiful. phenomenal. perfect. powerful. rewarding. euphoric. natural. autonomy. empowering. magical. perfect. empowering. miraculous. enlightening. empowering. beautiful. right. enlightening. powerful. relaxed. mine. amazing. raw. beautiful. ecstatic. ineffable. intuitive. humanizing. joyful. transcending. perfect. instinctual. peaceful. spiritual. empowering. transforming. raw. transforming. magical. truth. perfection. privacy. intimacy. peace. victory. peaceful. unhindered. uninterrupted. joyful. autonomy. empowering. wonderful. amazing. tribal. love. peaceful. healing. restorative. 

Sometimes birth is more than just a few words:

"Space for my mind and body to function exactly how they needed to.

O gosh, I was trying to describe the home birth in 3-10 words. But it was magical and so right. Everything worked how it should have. Everyone respected me. Everyone was quiet for me. I was able to let go completely of my concerns, I had no one I felt I needed to watch out for, no one else's wishes mattered. Protocol was subjective, first and foremost. I was the boss and I was free. Free to do whatever I felt I needed with nothing but supportive participants around me. I felt like a goddess and I felt in control and also completely vulnerable, at the same time because I was given the space to completely engage in the experience. There were no thoughts, no bothers, no actions without my consent. It was perfect.

And otherworldly. Nobody interrupted that. I couldn't be more grateful for the experience and I remember it fondly as an empowering event to have endured. I feel privileged to have gotten to enjoy that."  - Lyndsey K.

"Perfectly as I manifested; nothing but peace and love." - Brogan M. 

"The hardest thing I had ever done. The most amazing, truly perfect home birth after all that work! Turned my life upside down. I was soon to be on the other side, midwife....Truth! Perfection!" - Patricia E.

"The best decision I've ever made! Will NEVER plan to do a hospital birth again!" - Angela R.

"Being fully supported from beginning to end." - Casey S.

"The most difficult and beautiful thing in life." - Amanda Y.

"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. I Thessalonians 5:24" - Sarah S.

"Just a normal day, with a baby by nightfall. Wonderful!" - Gail H.

"Everything allowed to be as it should be" - Deborah F.

 "Omazing, tribal, universal cosmic connections, god and goddess, love!" - Katie S.

"Shalom (as in nothing missing, complete, whole)" - Amnysti C.

"total autonomy
in tune with self, God, and child
the universe has washed over and through me and, yet, I survived" - Stacy E. 

"How birth is meant to be." - Kayla P.

"It belonged to me. No one else." - Maria M.


If you want to know more about home birth in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, please join our new private Facebook group -

Home Birth on the Eastern Shore




What is a midwife?

There have always been women drawn to birth since the beginning of time. 

Traditionally, across all cultures, women supported women in pregnancy and childbirth. Friends supported each other with each child and accompanied each other along the journey to motherhood. Over time, one woman in a community may become especially experienced in accompanying women in birth. This woman is the midwife. 

Midwife comes from the old English word meaning "with woman." The midwife is "with woman" as she grows, changes, questions, yearns, and labors her baby into being. The relationship between mother and midwife is one of companionship, trust, and friendship. There is an intimacy present as the two get to know each other personally and to value and trust the experience of the other. 

There are a number of different credentials and types of midwives in the United States. In our practice, we are Certified Professional Midwives. (Actually, Susan is a Certified Professional Midwife. At the time of writing (11/16/17), Chloe is in the final steps of earning her certification as a CPM.) 

Susan prenatal


Certified Professional Midwives are direct-entry midwives - meaning they focused the entirety of their education on pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care, breastfeeding, and infant care. CPMs are exclusively trained in out-of-hospital birth. They are the premier out of hospital care providers. CPMs complete 3+ years of hands on clinical training in addition to extensive academic studies. All of their training is taken from the perspective of "Okay, the hospital is not here. How do we support this mother in her normal, natural birth? How do we avoid disturbing her process? How do we prevent a complication? How do we handle an emergency? How do we proceed safely and calmly in the unlikely event of a transfer?"

Midwives combine an encyclopedic knowledge of twists and turns on the mother's birthing path, with deep compassion, calm presence, a kind and reassuring touch, and the wisdom of knowing when to stay out of the way and when to lean in close and gently guide the process. Midwives know that women are the ultimate experts of their own bodies and births. Everyone else is just a support person, a cheerleader, and a knowledgeable friend. 

Here are a few videos from I Am A Midwife that show real live midwives talking about their work: