Andrea Olson is the proud mama of five children – all ECed from birth, all out of diapers by walking – and owner of Go Diaper Free and Tiny Undies. When she started Elimination Communication with her first baby, she struggled with how to actually potty her newborn – where were all the visual, simple instructions…and were there any other parents doing EC? Since then, Andrea has made it super-simple for 100,000s of parents worldwide to start EC with their own babies, as early as birth…and has trained over 300 coaches to host EC communities across the globe. She lives in Asheville, NC, with her husband, five kiddos, sweet kitty, and (at last count) 18 backyard chickens.
Brook Knox is a native Texan, who joins us from the Katy/Richmond area. She grew up in the Austin hill country and loves the slogan, “Keep it weird Austin.” From a young age she had an interest in food and by the age of 13 she took over cooking dinners for her family, so it was only natural she chose to get a degree in nutrition. Interestingly, she started college out as an Aggie for two years before transferring back to Austin where she graduated a Longhorn from the University of Texas and started a career as a registered dietitian, and after a couple of years she went back for a Master of Education at the University of Houston.
Her career as a registered dietitian has spanned from the inpatient hospital setting, to the community setting where she helped develop a childhood obesity program at the University of Houston, and she spent many years in outpatient at MD Anderson Cancer Center where she developed a strong interest for the microbiome. This eventually led her to join a small biotech company out of UC Davis called Evolve BioSystems where she represents a product supported by years of research called Evivo which is a unique probiotic for infants. Brook is the proud mother of a tall and artistic 12-year-old, Riley, and is blessed to have a very special man in her life, Andrew Guenther, who encourages her to grow personally and professionally every day.
Angelique Geehan works as a consultant, trainer, and coach for families and professionals on diversity, cultural awareness, community building, and various parenting topics (like consent, difficult conversations and decision-making, and carrying babies, sometimes called “babywearing”). Her goal is to seed communities with as much critical thinking, compassion, and authenticity as possible, helping families get through their days more easily.
She founded Interchange, a consulting group that offers diversity and inclusion support. She volunteers for several organizations, including as president of the board of directors for Baby Carriers Provided, the non-board chair of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance’s Educator Committee, a board member and community educator with Houston Babywearing Resource, and a drummer with Batalá Houston. She also organizes with the Houston Community Accountability and Transformative Justice Collective and the QTPOC+ Family Circle.
Married six years to her amazing stay-at-home husband Eddy and a mom of three, soon to be four this summer! She’s experienced birth in many ways, from primary cesarean, out of hospital VBAC and in hospital VBAC.
PJ is currently in school to become a certified medical biller with the passion to help moms seeking reimbursement for out of hospital births, office manager and instructor at Rebel Birth Education and Resource Haven. She is also the billing coordinator at a private neuropsychology practice and the current leader of ICAN of North Houston.
Dr. Crystal Collier joins us to discuss the effects of technology and even short-term use on the brains of ourselves and our children.
Married 6 years to her amazing Stay at Home Dad Husband Eddy and a Mom of 3, soon to be 4 this summer! She’s experienced birth in many ways from primary cesarean, out-of-hospital vbac and in-hospital vbac.
PJ is currently in school to become a certified medical biller with the passion to help moms seeking reimbursement for out-of-hospital births. She is office manager and instructor at Rebel Birth Education and Resource Haven. She is also the billing coordinator at a private neuropsychology practice and the current leader of ICAN of North Houston.
Jackie Griggs is a certified nurse midwife in the Houston area since 1989. She attended The University of Texas at Galveston to obtain a master’s degree in nursing. She owned and operated Bay Area Birth Center in Pasadena 2005-2017, and now owns Midwife in the Heights and Birth Center of Beaumont. She is on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Birth Centers, since 2013. She is active with the Consortium of Texas Certified Nurse Midwives, and the Association of Texas. She is a writer and is currently working on a book about her experiences as a midwife. Jackie has precepted many nursing and midwifery students, and thinks it is very important to raise new midwives. Jackie is the mother of 5 sons, 3 of which were born at home with the assistance of midwives. She loves her work and has no plans to retire.
Kay Johnson, CNM, tells us about being a midwife. Just as we love hearing a birth story, it is powerful to hear a midwife story. Kay has maintained her passion for supporting women in labor through the almost 40 years of her professional career. She started her midwifery education inspired by Ina May’s Spiritual Midwifery, Silent Knife by Cohen and Estner, and Our Bodies, Ourselves by the Boston Women’s Collective. She sat at the feet of Ina May, Frederick Laboyer, Michel Odent, and Helen Varney and was supported in her studies by Liz Sharpe at Emory and her colleagues in practice.
Kay has worked in large hospitals in midwifery practices that cared for 100 patients per month. She has also worked in small private practices in the hospital, in a birth center, and doing home birth. She has supported those women who desired an epidural as well as those who delivered on hands and knees, sitting on a birth stool or in a birth tub.
Her primary objective is maintaining a calm environment that allows the woman to progress at her own pace through the labor, delivery and first few hours after the birth by keeping interventions at a minimum. She feels her role is to keep a watchful eye on any signs that indicate a possible problem, setting back and out of the way of the woman’s natural labor process. She considers the first few hours of a mother meeting her baby to be important for bonding and a more normal transition for the baby.
In all birth settings, she has valued the opportunity to work with students. They keep their teachers humble and provide constant continuing education. She is proud to see the contributions her students have made to the profession.
Jill Reiter joins us for World Doula Week to discuss labor and birth doulas and the benefits of their use for new families.