Barbara Harper, RN, CLD, CCCE, Midwife, is an internationally recognized expert on water birth and gentle birth, a published author of books and journal articles, who founded the non-profit organization Waterbirth International in 1988, with one goal in mind – to ensure that water birth is an “available option” for all women. During the past five decades Barbara has worked as an obstetric, pediatric, and critical care nurse, midwife, midwifery instructor, childbirth educator, and Blissborn Hypnosis teacher/trainer. She teaches unique seminars within hospitals, nursing schools, midwifery, and medical schools and community groups worldwide. Her bestselling book, Gentle Birth Choices, has been translated into nine languages, including Chinese. Her latest book project was published two weeks ago called Bringing Birth Home. She provides and educational website and online Waterbirth Certification Courses. Barbara has dedicated her life to changing the way we welcome babies into the world. She is the mother of three adult children, two of whom were born at home in water, and two grandsons. She lives in Boca Raton, Florida.
Our show has moved and expanded! We are on the air from 11 am to noon Central Time every Monday.
A welcome and reintroduction to your hosts, Pat Jones and Debbie Hull.
Patricia Jones, RN, CNM
BirthCare & Womans Health
BIRTH (Bringing Information & Resources To Houston)
Debbie Hull, BS, CLD, CCCE, CNPE
CAPPA Labor Doula and Childbirth Educator Faculty
Doula Services and Training
Childbirth Classes (group and private)
Childbirth Educator Training
Jackie Griggs, RN, CNM, has been a Nurse Midwife in the Houston area for the past 30 years. She is a graduate of UTMB Health at Galveston. She is a mom of five sons, three born at home with the help of midwives. Jackie owns two birth centers, one in the Houston Heights and one in Beaumont. She helps with babies at home and birth center. She is also on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Birth Centers.
Mary Love, APRN, CNM, NP-C, had her first encounter with a midwife on the night she was born as she slipped into her mother’s awaiting hands. It was in her early 20s that she heard the call and set out on her own path to become a midwife, first attending workshops and assisting Pamela Hunt and the other midwives at The Farm. She received a bachelor’s degree in Nursing Science from Tennessee State University and her master’s degree in Nursing from Vanderbilt University. In addition to being a Certified Nurse-Midwife at Heart of Houston Birth Center, she is also a Family Nurse Practitioner with experience in pediatric primary, urgent, and emergency care. When not catching babies or thinking of ways to fix a particular problem, Mary enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, and folding laundry. She is married and shares four wonderful children with her husband.
LaToya Shields has been in the social services field for 20 years. LaToya holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in public policy and non-profit management. Both degrees were earned at Texas Southern University, here in Houston, Texas. Recently she was invited to serve as an adjunct professor at the university, serving in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs. She currently holds the position of Director of Community Intervention and Support Services at The Council on Recovery. Under this department, LaToya supports various programs with the Harris County Juvenile Probation departments diversion and intervention programs; the Wellderly Program – a prevention program for older adults age 60 and over; the Cradles Project – a community-based intervention program that targets pregnant and postpartum women and teens; the Healthy Woman Houston Initiative, a collaborative effort that hones in on care coordination for women at risk of maternal mortality and morbidity in unique communities, such as Third Ward, Sunnyside, and OST/South Union; and Recovery Support Services, an evidence-based practice that supports services to increase long-term recovery and recovery quality. She has spent the last seven years advocating specifically for women and older adults that have been impacted by substance use, addiction, mental health, and systematic disparities.
Katelyn Voelke was a project manager for a Houston construction company before having her first baby in 2017. She now works part time out of the home and full time as a mom to three children, Ellis (age 4), Olivia (age 2), and Jones (5 months) and is wife to Josh. She had 3 VERY different birth experiences, each one becoming a little more hands-off than the last, ultimately leading to an unmedicated water birth for her last baby.
Kathryn Haarmann had a HBAC (home birth after cesarean) and has some great words of wisdom to share with us. Her husband Ryan will also share his perspectives. You will enjoy hearing their journey in birthing – especially the “kiss”!
Kathryn Haarmann is a mother of two children. She has a 5-year-old son and a 1½-year-old daughter. She is a registered nurse of nine years and has practiced nursing in many areas. She currently a birth assistant with three of the most amazing midwives and have been doing that for almost three years now, but her main nursing background is IMU (intermediate acute care). She is becoming a hypnobirthing educator, and she has also taught baby wearing. She has successfully exclusively breastfed both of her children past a year, and had a beautiful redemptive HBAC with her daughter.
Ashley Musil is a midwife, co-owner, and clinical director at Wellspring Midwifery Care & Birth Center. She is also the president of the Greater Houston Midwives’ Alliance. After completing her midwifery training in 2013, Ashley became a Texas state licensed midwife and a Certified Professional Midwife in early 2014. That same year, she opened a homebirth practice in Spring, Texas, and began working part-time at a local birth center. Her mother, Karla Mercieca, joined her to open Wellspring Midwifery Care & Birth Center in Kingwood, Texas, in January 2016, where they offered both birth center and home births. They moved the practice to Cleveland, Texas, in July 2020, and continue to maintain a prenatal office in Kingwood near the previous birth center location.
Ashley also holds a BA in Visual Communication and Design from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. She has six children, and her husband is a Sheriff’s Deputy and Accident Investigator for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Her passion in life is to see women empowered by their choices, inspired by their dreams, and aspiring to meet their goals.
Debbie Hull has been serving expectant Houston families as a doula and childbirth educator for over 20 years. She is proud and thrilled to serve on CAPPA faculty as both a Labor Doula Trainer and Childbirth Educator Trainer, preparing the next generation of professional birth workers. She is also a frequent guest host on Whole Mother, portrayed Jillian in each of the Houston productions of Karen Brody’s play, Birth. Debbie was sewing Brownie badges on a vest at the meeting when Bringing Information & Resources To Houston was named and is very proud and honored to have spoken and had a table in the vendor hall at each of BIRTH’s 19 BIRTH Fairs. Her most important work is being mother to her fabulous, formerly breastfed and homeschooled son and daughter.
Jackie Griggs, RN, CNM, has been a Nurse Midwife in the Houston area for the past 30 years. She is a graduate of UTMB Health at Galveston. She is a mom of five sons, three born at home with the help of midwives. She owns two birth centers, one in the Houston Heights and one in Beaumont. She helps with babies at home and birth center. She is also on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Birth Centers.