Posts Tagged 'birth'

My article on doulas and tips for pregnant mamas .. Even vegan ones

My article on doulas and tips for pregnant mamas .. Even vegan ones

The word “doula” is a Greek word meaning “woman servant or caregiver.” In modern times the word has taken on a more detailed meaning. A doula plays a very special role with a woman before, during and after childbirth. I was able to interview the beautiful and talented Lori Bregman, founder of  Rooted For Life ( to answer all of your questions, including the ones regarding a vegan pregnancy. 

Nourishment: What is a doula? 

Lori: A doula is someone who assists, coaches, supports, educates and nurtures a woman and her partner throughout the birthing process and afterwards. Doulas 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. 

Doulas help prepare and educate both you and your partner for birth. Doulas help you create a unique birth plan that supports your intentions.  They stay with you nonstop, supporting you through the entire birth process. They lovingly and non-judgmentally will talk you through any emotional blocks or fears that might come up for you in birth.  They create a sacred, safe, protected and peaceful sacred birth space. They support you in your birth choices without judgment. They are your own personal cheerleader and provide encouragement and reassurance every step of your labor. They help put you in birthing positions that are good for optimal fetal positioning. They give massages, visualizations, meditations, breath work, energy work, sounding and movement to help with pain management and comfort. They advocate for the mother and her partner and can help facilitate better communication between the mother and her caregiver. Doulas are not medical professionals and don’t preform medical exams or deliver babies. They never project their views or ways onto you and NEVER judge you or make you feel bad for the decisions or choices you make. 

Nourishment: What made you decide to become a doula? 

Lori: Every since I can remember I was always drawn to working with pregnant women and children. In all my years of schooling, I always thought about how I could gear my career towards pregnancy or to help children come into this world. When I took a prenatal massage course my teacher told me about doulas and a place to get certified so I signed up. When I was there my teacher, Anna Verwaal said there is a reason why you are drawn to this kind of work. I had one of those “a-ha” moments but wasn’t sure why.  A few months later I did a hypnotherapy session with my teacher Michele Meiche.  We went into the session and BOOM I was in the womb totally stressed out and had a full blown panic attack. She pulled me out of the session and suggested I speak with my mom. My mom explained what was going on with her during her pregnancy with me, and it all made sense. I felt everything she was going through. So now I have built a pregnancy coaching business called “Rooted for Life” that helps create a solid foundation for your child to grow. The better and more supported the mother feels so will her baby within. 

Nourishment: What’s the most important piece of advice you have for expectant moms?

Lori: Every women, child, pregnancy and birth is unique. In all my years I have never seen the same birth, no 2 women, relationship or child are same. What might have worked for your mother or best friend might not be the right thing for you. Take the time to know yourself, your family, your child and what your truth is. You will have tons of people (with the best intentions) projecting their views and ways onto you. If you don’t know who you are and what feels right for you, you might get carried away in the fear of being a new mother. I never treat 2 women, children or births the same, instead I tune into who they are, help them find their truth and support them in their authentic way. 

Nourishment: Do you have nutritional advice for vegan pregnant moms? 

Lori: There is a common misconception while pregnant, that eating for two means you need to consume more food. While pregnant you only need 250 -300 more calories then you do before you were pregnant. Chances are if you are eating a typical American diet you are getting way over the daily calories needed even without a baby growing inside. Instead of worrying about eating enough food, focus more on the food’s nutritional value. Everything you put in your mouth goes right into your baby’s development, forming the structure from which they will grow. The healthier you eat the better you will feel and the stronger your body will be to support your pregnancy. You can shift your awareness simply asking yourself these two questions: How is this food feeding me? How is this fueling my baby’s development?

Nourishment: What are foods to avoid during pregnancy? 

Lori: Do not eat food that is processed or refined. Stay away from canned foods or plastic bottles that contain BPA, which is a major hormone disrupter. Try to eat organic certified whole foods. 

Nourishment: What vegan foods do you recommend to get optimum nutrients for mama and baby?

Lori: I’m obsessed with spirulina. It’s super high in protein, B vitamins, iron and essentials fatty acids.  Eat seeds, nuts, beans and legumes for protein. Choose leafy greens, spinach, goji berries, dried apricots and prunes for iron. Try chia seeds, dark leafy greens, kale, almonds, sunflower seeds and beans for calcium and avocado, coconut oil, walnuts, almond butter and flax seeds for omega fatty acids.    

Nourishment: What are the biggest challenges of having a vegan pregnancy? 

Lori: I have found some of my vegan pregnancy clients get anemia so I have them take liquid Floradix and Spirulina right from the start.  

Nourishment: What is the role of the doula and the new mom? 

Lori: A postpartum doula works with the mother a few days or weeks after birth. They provide breastfeeding and bonding support, help with house chores, light cleaning, cooking and errands, support sleep by helping with the baby so you can rest, share information about baby care, nurture and care for the mother and sometimes do infant massage. 

Nourishment: Any favorite vegan products you would recommend for pregnant women? 

Lori: Coconut oil makes for a great after bath lotion for baby. Also my belly butter is awesome 2 jars or coconut oil, 1 cup of raw coco butter, 1/2 cup of raw Shea butter and 1/4 cup of jojoba oil. Melt it in a pot. Store it in cool place.   

Lori Bregman, founder of the Rooted for Life Pregnancy Coaching Program, a complete body, mind and spirit support system that helps women through fertility, pregnancy, birth, and into new mommyhood. As a doula, healer, and life/pregnancy coach, Lori has over 20 years of experience helping clients transform their lives.Throughout her career, Lori has studied with and learned from some of the most renowned healers and spiritual teachers across the world. These teachers have shared with her their wisdom, from spirituality, intuition, body/mind awareness, herbs/vitamins, aromatherapy oils and the healing power of foods to doula work, bodywork, yoga, and numerous other forms of holistic healing. She has always been especially drawn to working with pregnant woman and new mothers, and geared much of her learning toward pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Today she has built a thriving career based on her passion for fostering healthy moms and healthy babies .




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.  

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.


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 )



My suggested winter reading

My suggested winter reading

A little variety for pregnancy , birth , kids , parenting …. xoxoox lori

MOON JUICE – Replenish after birth with this new mama juice package

 Yesterday I was speaking with my friend Ronda (a brand new mommy )  she was telling me all about these new mama juices .She has been drinking for the past week ever since she birthed her GORGEOUS daughter a week ago . These juices are from the juice store moon juice in Venice Ca. What makes Moon Juice so magical is that the vegetables, fruits, and leaves are hydraulically pressed between 2 steel plates. This pressing action doesn’t heat or oxidize the produce. The result is a nutritionally packed, live juice that is stunning to taste, and loaded with enzymes, vitamins, trace minerals, and other vital elements. One bottle of Moon Juice contains over 3 pounds of raw, 100% organic produce. They do not pasteurize their juices, they are live and with proper refrigeration they will maintain their nutritional stability and will taste crisp for 72 hours after being pressed.

Their New mama juice package-

Im all about replenishing , nourishing and recharging for all my new moms after birth . Your body has just created a miracle and completed a marathon! Time to heal yourself and feed you tiny one with powerful doses of greens, strengthen your body and enrich your milk with carrots and coconuts. Increase milk supply and calm colic with the soothing power of fennel. Super charge on raw protein, omegas, and vitamin E with the chia pudding.

This package includes – 

1 Fennel, frond & herb
1 Gracious Greens
1 Carrot, lime & coconut
Chia Pudding


After having a baby people will be calling you and asking if you need or can they bring you anything ?  Tell them the new mama juice package from moon juice would be awesome !!!!!

For more info

507 Rose Avenue
Venice, CA 90291

Eat dates for labor

Eat dates for labor

check out my new article I just wrote  for Elizabeth street !!! It includes my pregnancy date smoothie !!!! click on link above … dates-fruit

LABOR AID – The best drink to help support you throughout your labor

I was chatting with my SUPERSTAR doula partner , the ever so fabulous Erica Chidi the other day about what we like best for our girls to drink during labor . I am a huge fan of coconut water or a mixture of red raspberry , nettle and hibiscus  leaf teas with some honey (drink hot or cold ) Erica told me she makes this AWESOME labor aid for her ladies . I loved it so much I asked her if I could share it with you all ..  I am proud to say that from now  on I will be making Erica’s Labor Aid for all my births that I have coming up !!! Thank Erica – You ROCK lady !!!!!


             ERICA’S LABOR AID – 

 Make about 5 cups or fills a 600ml Balls Mason Jar. 
  3 to 4 organic red raspberry leaf tea bags
4 cups of filtered water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 teaspoon good sea salt
2 tablespoons of Liquid Calcium & Magnesium ( I like Flora Floradix Calcium-Magnesium Liquid )
Boil two cups water, once boiled, add the loose tea leaves or tea bags and steep for at least 30mins
Strain tea and pour into blender 
Add two more cups of water, lemon juice, raw honey, sea salt, and liquid calcium & magnesium
Blend well and store in the fridge. 
It will keep for at least a week, so you can have it ready to go when you need it. I’d suggest having some prepared around 37 weeks.
Why it’s good?
Red raspberry is a uterine stimulant and helps facilitate effective contractions
Raw Honey, provides glucose for extra energy as you labor
Sea salt and calcium and magnesium help to replace electrolytes lost through sweating and exertion during labor and prevents muscle fatigue


Time has been the focus and theme of my life right now . It seems with more on my plate that there isn’t enough time in my day . I have been working on how to manage it , pace myself and allow enough time to get things done.


Being that it is the theme of my life right now it was very synchronistic that I got to go through a magical labor and birth with the totally awesome Dr Paul Crane last week . The over all theme over her labor was time . Dr Crane allowed us time . We had the time to labor at home , time for her cervix to dilate , time for baby to drop and get into the right position , time enough to push and tons of skin to skin time afterwards for bonding .

Over the years of doing the work that I do I have often found that women aren’t allowed time to have and birth their babies. It’s different if you have a midwife or a home birth but in hospitals women need to be given more time . ( obviously if there is trouble with mommy or baby it’s a different story ) Dr Crane allowed us to push for almost 4 hours ( something most doctors won’t let you do ) He was a big boy but my girl because of allowed TIME pushed her baby out . Over the course of pushing she actually grew stronger . There is a natural powerful  force that we have as women that takes over you in labor if you surrender and allow it in . It’s the strength of the great mother who will do anything for her children.

Dr Crane was telling me during labor that he lead a talk earlier that day to his fellow colleagues that women need more time in labor . That the C- section rate is way way too high and could go dramatically down if they were allowed more time to labor , especially for pushing . Well Dr crane last weeks amazing birth was your conformation !!! I bow to you sir !!!

I am friends with labor and delivery nurse all over the united states and they have told me all kinds of stories about how doctors try and control the time and pace of labor to fit their life. They say things like , ” At 12 am start pitocin so I can make my kids soccer game in the morning”. Soooooooo not cool !

A few weeks before I worked with another totally FANTASTIC doctor Paul Hackmeyer . The first words out of his mouth after seeing us in his office in the morning was, ” You and baby look great , go home and labor for as long as you can , I will give you all the time in the world to have this baby as I am not on any schedule other then this baby and yours” . I hugged him and said , ” OMG I love you , you are AWESOME !!! 🙂

For you ladies , please note – Labor takes time !! Especially for first time moms . The average labor for a first child is 24 hours . Knowing that , it is important to pace yourself and manage your time and energy wisely . Think of running a marathon , you wouldn’t do it on no sleep , food or water . You wouldn’t use up all your energy at the start knowing you have a long way to go and that last mile was going to require all your strength , Of course not . Take your time , labor at home for as long as you can , hire a doula to coach , support and guide you so you can better ride the waves of each contraction . If it is very early on in labor like in the middle of the night try and sleep or rest . Throughout the course  stay hydrated , eat little meals and snacks , relax in-between contractions , learn pain management skills such as breath work , meditation , visualization and massage ( all those I do throughout labor with my clients ) . Prepare yourself before with yoga and exercise again you wouldn’t run a marathon without training for it . Also babies have their own timing of when they are ready to be born . I know the end is can be really uncomfortable . Of course you can do  try and do things to bring it on and help labor along but just know and trust that your baby will come when they are good and ready . There is a natural divine timing to all things .

Anyone who lives in LA and is looking for a great doctor I highly recommend these 2 fabulous men !!! They have been doing this for a very long time and are both extremely passionate about whats best for both mommy and baby .  Not to mention they both were so present and spent so much time with us during the labor . If  ever or when I have a baby and if I decide to use a doctor vs a midwife I can tell you right now one of these guys will be by my side during labor and birth .

Dr paul Crane – (310) 659-5810

Dr Paul Hackmeyer – (310) 967 – 4325

Rooted For Life

May 2023


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