IBMS Collaborators

Maryn Green has been in the birth world for nearly 12 years, and has held the Certified Professional Midwife certification since 2009. Maryn is well known for her international association, the Indie Birth Association, which serves and educates women and midwives all over the world. She has written numerous blog posts and recorded over 80 (and counting!) podcasts on iTunes (“Taking Back Birth”).

She is a graduate of the Ancient Art of Midwifery School, teaches for the Birth Institute as a holistic midwifery instructor and has taught globally for the Gold Midwifery Conference, Inherent Birth Conference as well as locally, inspiring midwives and students through workshops and the Wise Woman tradition.

Most passionate about physiological birth and the fate of future generations, Maryn has been taught by witnessing hundreds of undisturbed births, the best of which have been the births of her own 10 children. When not learning or teaching, Maryn enjoys spending time hiking with her husband, kids and dogs.

Maryn Green, Indie Birth Founder

Meet Our IBMS Crew

We have been so blessed over the years, well before the creation of this school, to have the honor of working with some of the most knowledgeable, well-known people in the birth world.

The teachers that create content for the courses in our programs are no exception. They are some of the most dedicated and brilliant people that we know. These people were chosen, not just for their experience and skill, but because they are wonderful people from the inside out. From midwives to doctors, we are so thrilled that the Indie Birth Midwifery School can proudly feature the names and expertise of the people below. 

Maryn, Margo, and IBMS team member Julie Hughes currently facilitate all of the courses in the 40 Week Midwifery Foundations program and the Advanced Midwifery Program. Content from our amazing library of classes featuring the below teachers (and more) is utilized throughout the program, and many  make regular guest appearances on our weekly student calls.

In 2010, shortly after starting a graduate school program where she was researching women's rights in childbirth, Margo caught the birth bug. She serendipitously got put in touch with Maryn and completed a 5 year apprenticeship with her.

Margo does curriculum development, teaches for Indie Birth both online and in person, and writes and podcasts on pregnancy and birth topics. In 2016 she started a new midwifery service in Duluth, Minnesota as an independent midwife. She is very excited to offer this birth alternative to her community.

Margo Blackstone, Indie Birth Co-Director

Julie Hughes has had her feet firmly planted in the birth world for over 15 years. She was an active midwife for over 11 years and is currently on an extended sabbatical as she focuses her attention on her 4 children and her passion for education. She is currently a women’s life cycle and hormonal health guide and educator. Julie’s mission in life is for girls and women to feel powerful in their own bodies, no matter the age and stage of life they are in.

Julie Hughes, Midwife + IBMS teacher

Gail Hart graduated from a midwifery training program as a Certified Practical Midwife in 1977. She has held a variety of certifications over the years; she was a Certified Midwife through the Oregon Midwifery Council, and an LDEM in the state of Oregon. She is now semi-retired and no longer maintains her license, but keeps active with a small community practice. Gail is strongly interested in ways to holistically incorporate evidence-based medical knowledge with traditional midwifery understanding.

Gail Hart, Midwife

Emily began her journey into birth work after the homebirth of her first child in 2008. Trained first by a nurse midwife who attends homebirths, then by licensed CPMs, unlicensed CPMs, traditional midwives and radical midwives, Emily has witnessed and learned from hundreds of families. During her four year apprenticeship, Emily birthed two sons at home and studied for two years under Whapio at The Matrona. Emily combines practical knowledge, personal experience, stories from midwives and mothers and intuitive connections to develop an ever-broadening picture of what birth does and can look like.

A big part of this work is teaching future midwives how to maintain their personal integrity and autonomy as they sit with women, how to remain centered as they witness, how to have trusting hearts and skillful hands, how to elevate and honor mothers, even when our culture does not.

Emily Graham, Independent Midwife

I'm an OBGYN trained on the west coast. Now I'm working in Louisville as an OBGYN hospitalist and palliative care physician. I believe in natural death and trust in natural birth. Naturally I’m an advocate for community-based birth, though Im currently working in a hospital with the hope of improving hospital-based women’s health practices. I have a lovely wife and dog. Outside work, I entertain innumerable hobbies including climbing, camping, and mountain biking.

Nathan Riley, OBGYN

Dr. Rixa Freeze has a PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa. Her doctoral studies focused on the history of healthcare and medicine with specialization in pregnancy, childbirth, and maternity care. Her dissertation examined why women in North America choose unassisted home births. She has published two articles about home birth: “Staying Home to Give Birth: Why Women in the United States Choose Home Birth” (JMWH 2009) and “Attitudes Towards Home Birth in the USA” (Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2010). She recently published the article Breech birth at home: Outcomes of 60 breech and 109 cephalic planned home and birth center births with BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. She recently authored another article about outcomes of breech at home or in birth centers (Midwifery Today fall 2019) and a book chapter freebirth in the US in the book Birthing outside the system: The canary in the coal mine.

Dr. Rixa Freeze, PHD American Studies

Karen H. Strange is a Certified Professional Midwife started practicing in 1988. She is an American Academy of Pediatrics/Neonatal Resuscitation Program Instructor since 1991.

She is founder of the Integrative Resuscitation of the Newborn workshop, which includes the physiology of newborn transition, the evidence-based studies having to do with neonatal resuscitation, and the “when, why and how” to do neonatal resuscitation in a non-traumatizing way.

Karen incorporates the baby's perspective of birth and tools for healing/integration for both the mother and baby. Laced throughout all Karens work is information on how to use the practice of grounding and presence for not only every day skills but specifically ho these skills impact the professional in an emergency.

Karen has taught over 10,000 people worldwide. She has conducted over 900 hours of debriefs with birth professional regarding all aspects and experiences in resuscitation of the newborn.

Karen Strange, CPM

Amy Wright Glenn earned her MA in Religion and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She taught for eleven years in the Religion and Philosophy Department at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey earning the Dunbar Abston Jr. Chair for Teaching Excellence. She is a Kripalu Yoga teacher, Birthing Mama® Prenatal Yoga and Wellness Teacher Trainer, (CD)DONA birth doula, hospital chaplain, and founder of the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death. Amy is a regular contributor to PhillyVoice and author of Birth, Breath, and Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula and Holding Space: On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go.

To learn more, visit:

Amy Wright Glenn, MA Religion and Education

Jennifer holds an MA in counselling psychology and is a Certified Canadian Counsellor with over 17 years of experience in maternal health and psychology studies. Located in Edmonton, Canada, she uses her expertise and voice to help advance the dialogue on motherhood and healing. Her deep desire is to inspire mothers to come home to their hearts.

Jennifer Summerfeldt, MACP, CCC

Astrid Grove is a midwife, mother and herbalist. She attended her first birth 17 years ago and has been devoted to the path of midwifery ever since. She graduated Birthwise Midwifery School in 2006 and began to attend families in Vermont as a licensed midwife from 2006-2008 and in California from 2008-2013. After having her first daughter at home in 2012 (breech!), she has focused her energy on family and healing work with women in all stages of their life cycles through herbal medicine, ceremony and uterine massage. 

She now resides in a small mountain town in Colorado where she just birthed her second daughter at home, and is passionate about supporting women who are feeling the call to deepen their wisdom of birthwork. She will be teaching the herbalism classes here at Indie Birth Midwifery School. The plants themselves are her strongest teachers, and she has also been blessed to apprentice with herbalists Susun Weed, Pam Montgomery and Ellen Evert Hopman. This past summer she founded Colorado’s first all women’s annual herbal gathering, Red Earth Herbal Gathering, with many amazing workshops and a red tent.

Astrid Grove, Midwife

Radha Schwaller is a devoted Wife, Mother, Herbalist, Aromatherapist, Certified Ayurvedic Educator and Practitioner, Ayurvedic Body Therapist and Ayurvedic Postpartum Doula.

Radha has incorporated holistic health into her and her families’ lives for almost two decades. Her Holistic Health journey began in 2001 during a herbal medicine apprenticeship in the deciduous forests of the Midwest.

In 2001, she also became certified in Reiki levels one and two. It was within this training that she awakened her love for the subtle and powerful energy medicine. In 2007 she completed her massage therapy training. Her Ayurvedic training began at Kayakumari School of Ayurveda where she studied Ayurveda foundations, herbal medicine, nutrition, Ayurvedic Body therapies, Panchakarma and received her Certificate in Ayurvedic Education in 2008. Radha received her Wise Earth Ayurveda Practitioner certificate in 2012. She has studied aromatherapy for over 15 years. She has trained with DONA and Sacred Doula to assist mothers during labor and childbirth. In 2018 she completed Core Synchronism level 1.

She is also honored to be have studied nutrition, pulse, herbs, spices and marma therapy with the late Ayurvedic Doctor, Vaidya Mishra, of the Shankya Vansya Ayurveda lineage and also with Maya Tiwari of Wise Earth Ayurveda®.

Radha Schwaller, Ayurvedic Postpartum Doula

Jacky Bloemraad-de Boer is a Certified Professional Midwife, Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Doula, Nutritionist, Herbalist and Educator. Jacky has been working in the field of maternal health for over 20 years in the Netherlands & Africa as a midwife, doula, Holistic Women’s Health practitioner and passionate educator. Jacky regularly speaks at international conferences and writes articles for health magazines. She has published a book: A-Z for a Healthy Pregnancy and Natural Childbirth, ISBN: 978-1-4343-2832-8.

Jacky Bloemraad-de Boer, CPM