Archive for November, 2013

“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” ~ John H. Kennell, MD

Take a beat before you judge another …

Take a beat before you judge another ...

Ladies please lets not judge one another anymore . It’s hard enough being pregnant or a new mother with out all the projections and judgements from others. Instead lets try and look through filters of compassion , empathy , individualism and lovingly support each other . There is no ONE right way to be pregnant , birth or parent … A good reminder .. Always take a beat before judging another .. Just because someones path might look a little different then yours or the way you did it or think it should be done doesn’t give any of us a right to judge another for their choices . – Building a solid foundation for both you and your child to grow from .




Why a Birthing Doula Might Be Right For You

Even though doulas have been around forever, mainstream is catching onto the benefits of having these experienced birth coaches by your side to guide, nurture and support moms-about-to-be throughout the entire birthing process. We asked the hip and fabulous doulas from the L.A.-based Integrative Birth Collective a few questions to give us the 411 on all things doulas.

Elizabeth Street: What are typical duties of a doula?
Integrated Birth Collective: Doulas help you birth your baby at home, birthing centers, in hospitals, naturally (with no pain medication), or with an epidural (even if you have a C-section). A doula can help wherever or however you choose to have your baby.

We aim to be by your side for the whole process, and support whatever choices you choose to make, in a non-judgemental way. Often, we’re there to create a sacred, safe, peaceful space with candles, aromatherapy, and soothing music to give you tons of encouragement along the way.

In addition, a doula helps put you in birthing positions that are good for optimal fetal positioning, often using tools like massages, visualizations, meditations, and breath work to help with pain management and comfort. Most importantly, we advocate for the mother and her partner.

ES: How does a doula help after delivery?
IBC: A postpartum doula will provide breastfeeding support and help out around the house in a number of ways, and generally nurture and care for the new mom.

Doulas are not medical professionals and don’t preform medical exams, nor diagnose conditions or deliver babies. A doula should also not project their views onto you, judge you or make you feel bad for the choices and decisions that you make.

ES: What are the proven benefits to having a doula?
IBC: For one, there are less incidences of women needing C-sections when a doula is by her side. We also reduce the need for any meds and epidurals, while shortening the time of labor. And there are psychological benefits, like less anxiety and more confidence for the mother.

ES: What should someone look for when hiring a doula?
IBC: Resonance: You need to be on the same page. It’s important that she’s knowledgeable about and supportive of your birth goals. Experience: How many births has she attended? Expertise: Does she have a clear grasp of the birth process? How does she plan to help you during your pregnancy and when labor starts? Flexibility: How often will you meet? What happens if you and another client go into labor on the same day? Comfort: You should feel at ease when you first meet, and trust your instincts. If she makes you smile, there’s a good chance you’ll be smiling in the delivery room.

ES: Tell me about the Integrative Birth Collective, and how you work.
IBC: We are a collective of passionate, progressive, and experienced doulas who believe that—with the right support—your pregnancy and birth can be an enlivening transition that allows for deep introspection, transformation, and healing.

We serve all cities within the County of Los Angeles, and are available for telephone or virtual consultations as well as interstate or international travel.

Although we all work independently, we do provide coverage for one another in the case of concurrent births. Each one of us proposes our own individual doula packages depending on our own unique expertise.

By Gaia Guidi Filippi

Love Elizabeth Street? Follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram @ElizabethStMom.  

This holidays season – Raise awareness , consciousness and humanitarianism in your children

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. – James M Barrie 

Go Maggie and George !!!! Yesterday they just raised 78$ ( and lot’s of awareness) to help foster baby elephants through the amazing non profit the David Sheldrick wildlife trust . I am soooooo proud of you kids !!!!


  “Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others”. Barbara Bush

I was so touched by George and Maggie that it inspired me to write a blog post about raising awareness and consciousness  in our children.   There are so many ways to help make a difference in the world by helping the earth , animals and people less fortunate then ourselves . You can’t help but feel good when you are helping making a difference in someone’s or somethings life . When we can teach our children the value of being of service it sets the foundation for a lifetime of awareness , consciousness , humanitarianism , giving , love, kindness and compassion. After all the future of the world is in their hands and it’s up to us to guide them and show them they way .

The holidays are almost here , just like Maggie and George helped the baby elephants , this is an awesome thing to do with your kids for the holidays ! I have a girlfriend who researches and then picks 10 choices to present to her kids from charities , nonprofits , animal rescues / sanctuaries , foundations , orphanages or shelters . She puts them in separate  folders and goes through them all with her kids in depth, explaining what they each do and why and then the kids each get to pick one . Last year her daughter picked planting a tree in the rainforest and her son  visited the Gentle barn and sponsored an animal that he feel in love with . You can also have them pick a charity that they are passionate about then have them either raise money , get physically involved or raise awareness about it .

 One mother that I know , every year around the holidays has her two sons clean out their closets , toys and has them get rid of everything that they aren’t using. They all get in the car and  go to either an orphanage, homeless or a woman’s shelter and give to those in need.

My brother took three of his children to a homeless shelter where they all volunteered that night to serve and feed the homeless thanksgiving dinner.

Another friend takes her children to the animal shelter once a month and they volunteer to walk and play with the dogs.

I just spent the weekend with a woman who volunteers with her dog and her two young grandchildren providing companionship for the elderly at an old age home.

Today a client was taking her kids to a toy store and having them each pick out a few toys for Christmas for the sick children and on Christmas eve will  take them to the hospital to hand them out.

My friend walks daily with her dogs and kids , they always bring a bag and pick up trash along the way .

You can also give a gift that gives back to your kids . One of my clients sponsors a child in a 3rd world country each year in the name of her children . Her kids get a picture of the child and learns all about them and how they are helping .

Last week while driving I saw a lemonade and cookie stand that said, “help feed the starving children “ (there was a big picture of an emaciated   African child ). Apparently the kids learned at school that week about the starving children in Africa and wanted to do something to help . Needless to say … I bought a lot of lemonade and ate a ton of cookies that day  ;-)

*Children are visual, they need to see and feel how what they are doing is making a difference.

So For this holiday season ,what creative way can teach your children about being of service? Show your children that the holidays aren’t only about only receiving toys and gifts , that the true joy lies in helping the planet and giving to those less fortunate themselves .


Why organic pasture raised eggs are more nutritious for you than conventional eggs


My friend Nicolette who is always up on the latest health info was telling me all about why I should only be buying organic pasture raised eggs from now on . I bought them and man oh man are they not only YUMMMMY but sooooooooooo much more nutritious for you then regular conventional eggs !!

Organic Pasture raised chickens Roam around free on organic, green pastures. They naturally eat the earth , plants , grass and bugs as well as  certified organic feed . These chickens , their eggs and the pasture and feed that they graze on are 100% organic , pesticide  , herbicide and chemical free .

Pasture raised eggs compared to regular eggs have  – 

4-6 times more Vitamin D

3 times more omega 3’s

7 times more Beta carotene

4 times more vitamin E

1/3 less cholesterol

And they taste better too !!!

* Most of all don’t throw away the yolk this is where most of the nutritional value is and always make sure it says organic .

What are Doulas and why you should have one for birth and after –

What are Doulas and why you should have one for birth and after –

Check out my article I wrote for mind body green !!! All about doulas who we are and what we do . xoxo Lori B

In today’s birthing world, doulas are all the rage. Although they’ve been around forever, mainstream medicine is finally catching up on the concept of having a doula by your side to support your body, mind and spirit throughout the entire birthing process, as well as afterward.

The word doula comes from an ancient Greek word that means, “Woman servant” or “caregiving.” In modern times, a doula is someone who assists, coaches, supports, educates and nurtures a woman and her partner throughout the birthing process and afterwards. But many people don’t really understand exactly what a doula’s job is; I’ve had a few people ask me if doulas just do water births at home.

Not necessarily! Doulas can help you birth your baby at home, at birthing centers, in hospitals, with or without pain medication — even if you have a C-section, a doula can help wherever or however you choose to have your baby.

What do doulas do ?

1. They help prepare and educate both you and your partner for birth.
2. They help you create a unique birth plan that supports your wishes.
3. They stay with you nonstop, supporting you through the entire birth process.
4. They coach, guide and talk you through any emotional blocks or fears that might come up for you in birth.
5. They create a sacred, safe, protected and peaceful space with their energy, candles, aromatherapy and music.
6. They support you in your birth choices without judgment.
7. They provide encouragement and reassurance.
8. They help put you in birthing positions that are good for optimal fetal positioning
9. They give massages, visualizations, meditations, breath work, energy work, sounding and movement to help with pain management and comfort .
10. They advocate for the mother and her partner and can help facilitate better communication between the mother and her caregiver.

What doulas DON’T do:

  • Doulas are NOT medical professionals, and don’t preform medical exams, tasks, diagnose conditions or deliver babies.
  • Doulas do not project their views onto you, and they NEVER judge you or make you feel bad for the choices and decisions you make.

Having a doula can help you:

  • Reduce the possibility of Caesarian section
  • Reduce the need for pain medication and epidurals
  • Minimize the time of labor
  • Reduce the need for use of vacuum
  • Calm anxiety and reduce depression
  • Help with confidence and self-esteem

What postpartum doulas do:

  • Provide breastfeeding and bonding support
  • Help with house chores, light cleaning and errands
  • Cook
  • Support sleep by helping with the baby so you can rest
  • Share information about baby care
  • Nurture and care for the mother
  • Infant massage

The birth of your child will be one of the most special and important days in your life. When choosing a doula, make sure you use your intuition to feel out if you vibe with their energy. It’s their energy you’ll be feeding off, and it will be present in the sacred birth space. Ask them questions to see if their philosophy is a match for yours.

A few other questions to ask:

  • What training and experience do they have?
  • Can you check a few of their references?
  • Do they have or provide a back up doula incase for some reason they aren’t available?
  • What is their fee and what does this include?
  • How often do you all meet and how do they offer support before and after the birth?
  • Do they know of or have they ever worked with your doctor / midwife or at the place you are choosing to give birth?
  • What labor support tools do they use to help with pain management?
  • How did they get into being a doula and what do they love about doing this type of work?

This may seem like a lot of work, but ultimately it’s well worth the effort required to find a quality doula to support you during the birthing process and beyond.


13 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Family From Fukushima (Radiation)

13 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Family From Fukushima (Radiation). BY BY 

With the recent, devastating news of Fukushima leaking radioactive materials directly into the ocean, our lives will never be the same. North American food supply is potentially being poisoned all along the pacific. Even if you are not a fan of sea food. The water supply and air is getting polluted. The sea spray contaminates the soil for crops and animals which can cause all kinds of health issues.

I joined forces with my best friend Luba Vitti, whom is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner and also a survivor of the infamous Chernobyl that happened in her country of Ukraine.  Over twenty years ago massive amounts of radioactive materials were released into the environment resulting in a radioactive cloud that spread over much of Eastern Europe and Russia. Thousands of people’s health declined as a cause from this devastating disaster and Luba has told me many personal stories of friends and family having all kinds of cancer from leukemia to childhood thyroid cancer to deformities in new-born babies and animals. There are disputed reports of how long the government withheld the information because they didn’t want people to panic so many were not aware and able to help themselves or their family. I am afraid that the same thing is happening now. Luba feels an obligation as a health coach and her childhood experience to share some of the knowledge she has acquired.

Shinzo Abe, Akira Ono

*These suggestions are our opinions and how we have chosen to take action to protect our families. We do not promise to cure or heal those suffering from ill-health. It is always wise to speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement, herb, or medication.

A fisherman sorts out fish he caught in the waters off Iwaka, 25 miles south of Fukushima.

A fisherman sorts out fish he caught in the waters off Iwaka, 25 miles south of Fukushima.Here are our recommendations-

This is how we empower ourselves-

1. Add foods to your diet that help protect and remove unwanted toxins- Phytonutrients, garlic, ginger,curcurim (in tumeric), long fermented miso, beta-carotene (bright orange veggies)rich foods,cilantro and tomato extract(Lysopene). Cleaning up our diet has never been more important. Our bodies are already working overtime trying to eliminate toxins so the choices we make can either help the process or make it harder for our systems to perform.

2. The 3 power greens- Spirulina, chlorophyll, and chlorella. My favorite blue-green algae is a brand called E3 Live. Adding one or two of these to your water,smoothies, or in pill form daily has numerous health benefits on your overall immune system.

3. Magical Mushrooms- Reishi mushrooms,cordyceps mushrooms and shitaki mushrooms have been use throughout Asian pharmacologies for centuries. Used for its potential to help fight cancer, tumors, increase longevity, improve liver function and maintain a healthy immune system.

4. Herbal remedies- Panax ginseng, one of the most popular herbal medicines in the world. Famous more for its ability to improve concentration but it also has a deep impact on the immune system. Helping to fight cancer, fatigue, high blood pressure, and hepatitis C to name a few. Rhodiola- An Adaptogenic herb, which means that it responds to your body in nonspecific ways to increase resistance to stress and boost overall strength and vitality without disturbing biological functions. Known for treating cancer,tuberculosis and preventing aging and liver damage. It helps the body resist physical,chemical and environmental stress.

5. Supplements- Vitamin D3, K2 and E. Most of us are deficient in Vitamin D3, no matter how much sun we get or not, sometimes our body does not assimilate it. That is where Vitamin K2 comes in. It acts as an assistant to help get D3 to the place it needs to be….your bones. When our bodies do not get the calcium or sufficient nutrients it needs, it pulls from another source and the source could be toxic, as in radiation, lead, mercury. When your body is content and assimilating all that it needs through a healthy diet and supplementation then it is less likely to absorb harsh chemicals. Natural source of K2 : fermented veggies, organic nato, curd cheese…Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties that plays a huge role in fighting free radicals that can prevent or delay chronic diseases. Vitamin E is found naturally in some foods like avocado, nuts, olive oil, sunflower seeds… but with a west coast soil being poisoned and lacking nutrients it is ideal to take supplementation.

6. Amino acids- Cystine is a sulfur-containing amino acid. It is an active antioxidant and detoxifier that protects against radiation and is an ingredient of glutathione, which is essential to energy production.

7. Plants- Aloe vera and Holy Basil (tulsi). Aloe vera can be taken orally and applied topically. It has been known to ease side effects from radiation and is a natural laxative with soothing agents.Holy basil is another aptogen, originally from India and used a lot in Ayurvedic medicine. It is used for everything from the common cold to mercury poisoning, which is why it made my list. You can drink holy basil tea daily as part of your diet.

8. Coconut oil- Coconut oil has numerous health benefits including natural antibacterial properties and can be taken orally and also applied to the skin for protection. Also great for kids! Use anytime you need a cooking oil, especially high heat, as it does not create carcinogens when heated, like olive oil. Add to smoothies, oatmeal and apply liberally to skin and hair.

9. Sodium iodide-Used in treatment of iodine deficiency and used in radiation detection. Deficiency of iodine may result in thyroid dysfunctions, as sodium iodide is oxidized to iodine, which is an essential component of the thyroid hormones. It is a delicate balance that is required for optimal health but can be harmful to those with hyperthyroid. We highly suggest talking to your doctor to find the adequate amount for you and your family.

10. Melatonin- Melatonin is another powerful antioxidant that can prevent cancer, strengthen immune system and even slow down cellular aging. Your body naturally creates the hormone (melatonin) based on signals of light and darkness. Our biological clock gets stimulated. That is why it is best to avoid too many lights, televisions, computers close to bed time. Otherwise lights mean daytime to your internal clock and instructs your pineal gland to immediately cease its production of melatonin.

11. Activated charcoal- Growing up my mom would give me an activated charcoal if I had any food poisoning, it simply traps the toxins . And I don’t leave a house with out it , its great for kids and animals. And guess what…? Activated charcoal helps to effectively remove radionuclides. When taken internally it can bind radionuclides in the GI tract form ingested food and unfiltered water, and carry them all safely out of the body, just don’t forget to drink lots of water or you might get constipated.
12. Bentonite Clay – (similar effect as charcoal) strong absorption of toxins, pesticides, pathogenic viruses , free radicals, and radiation.  Its been taking for ages by many cultures for detoxification. Since it has a binding agent as well so its best if taken with phsyllium or some of those ‘smooth’ teas
13. Detox/cleanse- Try to cleanse and detox at least 4 times a year, sweat it out with exercise and infrared saunas, schedule a lymphatic drainage massages. Your health is truly up to you, not up to your government.. We wish you all the best!

*I can not stress enough how important it is to talk to your doctor before adding any new supplements or herbal remedies to your diet. Seek as much information as you can and take control over you and your family’s health. The only true way to determine where you are deficient in supplements is through blood work.

*Denial is the cause of great tragedy. Accept,empower,and be open to change. This must become our credo for human existence.-Jesse Golden


A little inspiration

A little inspiration

Trust divine timing … there is a perfect unfolding of events taking place that is leading you to where you are meant to be #trustthejourney

THE BIRTH OF BABY BEAU – The day in a life of a doula

3 days ago I helped my clients Shelton and Clark ( now dear friends #bondedforlife ) with the birth of their gorgeous son Beau . I thought it would be fun to start blogging about some of my birth experiences ,  here’s all about the day that sweet Beau was born .


Thursday morning I was at yoga and I saw my phone ringing and noticed it was Beau’s mom calling . Being that I I was on call I ran out of the room and answered the call . she was at the chiropractors office that I had sent her too to get her labor going and her water broke there . She called her doctor and ran over to the office to make sure thats really what it was . A few hours later the contractions started to get stronger and more consistent and I headed over to her . Our plan was to labor at home but while on my way over there they started coming really fast so we ended up laboring at the hospital all night . ( which in the end Shelton said ,”it was perfect as she felt safer being there and was able to really relax and let go” ) Her plan was to go totally natural and it was really important to her that we did . The minute we got to the hospital we told the staff of our plans for no drugs or intervention and they were more then supportive and accommodating (cedars sinai hospital ROCKS people .. just saying  … LOVE )

I right away created a sacred space where we turned on the flameless candles , breathed , rocked out , walked and moved to an amazing playlist and had aromatherapy oils going . We walked , rocked and breathed for hours . At around 5 am she started getting (rightfully so) a little tired and so were her legs so I tried a few different positions to allow her some rest and comfort . She was able to doze off in-between contracts but as I watched her labor I noticed that in any other position besides standing or kneeling her labor slowed down ( and I put her in tons of different ones )  . The doctor came in and checked her sometime around 8 am,  she was at 7 centimeters and said he could  help give her something if she wanted  to speed things up . Shelton wasn’t having any of that and said , “no way buddy , we wait ” ( my little rockstar) 🙂 . I told him how the labor slows when she isn’t standing and that we were just taking a rest , that as soon as she stands and walks things will get moving again.  After giving her some time to rest I had her stand up and I massaged her fatigued legs as her devoted  husband (as he had all night ) continued to supports her  . He stood behind her holding her and her belly as she leaned back into him  .   I then had her kneel on the couch facing the window she went from 7 cm to 10cm in 40 minutes. she looked at me and said ” he is coming out !!! ” . She then asked me look down there to see if he was coming out and I saw that her vagina was bulging so I told the nurse and we called the on staff midwife.  Amy , the midwife came in and checked her, sure enough the baby was right there. Shelton wanted to push so we told her to go for it , listen to your body and do what you need to do , so she pushed . The doctor walked in and we moved to the bed and with  in a few pushes baby Beau was out , all nestled in, happy as could be on Shelton’s bare chest .

The Gods were on our side for this birth .We had the most amazing nurses and  the most supportive staff ever . I always love when nurses ,doulas, midwifes and doctors work together as a team . It makes all the difference in the world to help the energy in the room as well as to better support the expecting parents.

I am soooooooooo super proud of her !!! It was such a blessing and an honor to be part of their sons birth . Beau is such a lucky boy to be born into so much love and have such wonderful parents !!!

Tricks and tools from the birth experience  .. 

Gravity standing up , walking or kneeling best positions to get baby down .

It helped her when I held my hands on her belly and pushed firmly in while having a contraction .

It helps to stand for hours when someone is massaging your legs and feet (  a little peppermint oil or tiger balm works wonders )

Creating a sacred space changes the whole energy (  it was so different in our room then when we were walking the halls , after a while as her labor progressed and she got more sensitive , Shelton said , ” she didn’t like it outside our safe bubble “so we stayed in our room )



Rooted For Life

November 2013


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