Thursday, December 10, 2015

Give the gift of...

Hello and Happy Holidays!
I hope this post finds you well!

As we are in season for being thankful and the season for giving I want to thank all my clients for the opportunity to support them in the most amazing way possible; in the miracle of life, what an amazing gift and moment to be thankful for! I am so grateful! In appreciation I am hosting a Client Appreciation Gathering. I look forward to seeing all the women and their partners that I have supported on their journey to parenthood, and seeing how big and beautiful their children have grown. I will be sharing pictures of our gathering in a future post.

Are you still looking for the perfect gift for a mother-to-be? There are so many things this highly consumerist society
tries to convince mothers that they need! I know, I was one of them! Then I realized that all my baby needed was love, nutrition and warmth, and that my arms could provide it all... and for when my arms could not provide it? Maybe some clothes and a safe place to sleep... ok and some diapers ;)  unless you plan on doing eliminations communication (see more on that below). I also learned that what made for the most loving and peaceful birth experience was the care and support I received during birth. With the high rates of unnecessary interventions and c-sections it is something that is very overlooked! One of the reasons I am a doula!

So it comes from the heart and a place of service that I say that one of the better gifts a mother-to-be can receive is doula services to help her welcome her baby with love and peace.

In the spirit of giving get $50 off the Basic Doula Package and $75 off the Full Doula Package if you purchase services by December 25th, 2015.

Also, please remember that for any mother-to-be that you refer and contracts doula services with A Loving Birth you will receive a $25 gift card in appreciation for your support. Just fill out the gift certificate below for the amount of $50 (on me, or more if you want to add to it). You will get a $25 gift card and the mother-to-be will get $50 off doula services!

Birth World:
In the Holiday Spirit here is a link to some beautiful pictures of Christmas births! My daughter was born December 18th, so I get to celebrate a Christmas birth too!

Natural Birth Tip:
So, do you really know what a doula does? Do you know there is evidence supporting the role of a doula? Did you know that doulas can help reduce c-sections and unnecessary interventions and help achieve a natural birth? Well continuing the theme of doula services today I will share a link on the Evidence for Doula Support...

Parenting World:
What is Elimination Communication you say? It is watching your babies cues for when they need to use the potty starting at birth! Yes that is right! I never put it into practice although it sounded interesting but with my busy and unpredictable life style not something I was able to do. However, I feel it can be really great and work for some pare
nts. So here is more on that

Appreciation Gift Card:
Thank you Elena C.! You will be receiving a $25 gift card in appreciation for referring a client that contracted doula services with A Loving Birth! So thankful to be a part of another loving birth in the making!


Make sure you RSVP by calling 561-808-3142 as space is limited.
Private Childbirth Education Classes are always available for your convenience.
As always, thank you for your continued love and support.

Wishing you lots of love and happiness in this Holiday Season!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Gift Certificates, Classes, Breech, Vit D and more!

Hello! I hope this blog post finds you well!

We have started our bi-monthly meditations! It is so nice to take a moment, quiet your mind and connect with your baby. Having a baby growing inside you can feel so surreal. Taking a moment to slow down and make that conscious connection with your baby can make it all that more real and special! The next meditation is scheduled for Tuesday, October 13th at 5:30 pm.

On Saturday October 10th we will be starting our 4 weekly 2 hour Childbirth Education Series. Can't make it this week? No worries, you can jump in at any time! But make sure you RSVP as space is limited.

Please see below for mediation and class details.

If it rains we will meet at The Sol Oasis in Boynton Beach. You must RSVP by calling 561-808-3142.


The first class will be held on Saturday, October 10th at 10:30 am.
Make sure you RSVP by calling 561-808-3142 as space is limited.
Private Childbirth Education Classes are always available for your convenience.

Birth World:
A woman is 36 weeks and her baby is still breech (head up)... she is told it is not safe to deliver vaginally and that she needs a c-section... but is this true? Are there other options? According to
the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada breech birth under the right care is safer than a c-section and has started to train their physicians in breech birth. Hopefully the US will follow suit soon. In the mean time there are obstetricians in South Florida, with knowledge and experience, willing to deliver breech births. So if you or someone you now is in this situation please know there are other and safer options. Contact me and I will be happy to help you navigate them. To learn more about the safety of breech births I leave you with the following links.

There are also things that a mother can do to help her baby turn head down, is a great resource for that.

Natural Birth Tip:
More and more mothers are choosing to have a natural birth, and it is not surprising because the benefits for both mother and baby are many, and the risks for unnecessarily medicated births are real. So what are  some things you can do to increase your chances of a natural birth? There are several, but today I will only touch on one.  We discuss how to achieve a natural birth in my classes and it is part of the support I provide my doula clients (if they so choose).
Today's tip: The choice in care provider is key in helping you achieve a natural birth. Your care provider will provide more or less support and make suggestions for interventions, or not. Depending on the type of care provider these interventions may be more or less necessary, and can be based more on their preferences and beliefs than on actual evidence. A good resource to help you make informed and evidence based decisions is But keep in mind there is still a lot we don't know about birth... so always listen to that voice inside you, no matter how soft, it is always there to guide you.
So the next question would be, how do you know if your care provider is supportive of natural birth??? I will be happy to help you find one, and accompany you on your journey to parenthood; one of the many supportive roles I take on as a doula.

Parenting World:
I often hear and see the questions: Is it necessary to supplement my breastfed baby with Vitamin D? We know that Vitamin D has become very popular recently and that it is estimated that most Americans are deficient in this essential vitamin... so when it comes to our our babies, what are we to do? Isn't breastfeeding supposed to be a perfect source of nutrition for our precious little bundles of joy!? The answer is YES! So where does that leave vitamin D supplementation? The following research suggests that if the mother has adequate levels of vitamin D the baby will get what he/she needs through breast milk. Here is the research article explaining what breastfeeding mothers can do to insure their babies are getting adequate amounts of vitamin D... Maternal Versus Infant Vitamin D Supplementation During Lactation: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Baby Showers and Holidays Coming Up!
Still not sure what to get the mommy-to-be? What a better gift than the support of a doula and/or informative and inspiring childbirth education classes! To purchase a gift certificate please email or call 561-808-3142.
As always, thank you for your continued love and support!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Childbirth Education and Meditation

Barefoot and Pregnant... on the beach!
Come join me and other pregnant mothers and their partners every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 5:30 pm at Gulfstream Park (weather permitting, if raining we will gather at The Sol Oasis) in Boynton Beach for a FREE meditation session... a time to get away, put your toes in the sand and sea, calm your senses, and connect with your baby. Bring a towel. RSVP is a must by calling 561-808-3142.

Childbirth Education Series:
The new group series is set to start on October 10th, they will be held at The Sol Oasis in Boynton Beach, on Saturdays from 10:30-12:30. They will be held once a week for 2 hours in a 4 week rotating series, so you can start at any time. Drop in for one or sign up for all. Individual classes are $30, $100 for all four.
Subjects to be covered are: I
ntervention Intelligence for Pregnancy and Birth, Intervention Intelligence for Birth and Baby, Comfort Measures, and Creating a Birth Plan.

Great on their own, or as an addition and support to other childbirth education classes.
RSVP is a must by calling 561-808-3142.
Of course private Childbirth Education Classes are always available for your convenience.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Special Gift, New Classes and More!

I am back in Florida and ready to take on birth clients and start the childbirth education classes and guided meditation sessions!

To celebrate my return I am offering a special gift certificate worth $50 off of any doula services or private childbirth education classes! There is an added bonus for the  "gifter"! All you have to do is print it, fill it out and give it to a mother-to-be. She will get $50 off and you will get a $25 appreciation check once services are contracted, as a thank you for helping create a loving birth! If you are the one seeking services the gift certificate will entitle you to $75 off!
NEW Meditation Series:
Barefoot and Pregnant... on the beach!
Come join me and other pregnant mothers and their partners every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 5:30 pm at Gulfstream Park (weather permitting, if raining we will gather at The Sol Oasis) in Boynton Beach for a FREE meditation session... a time to get away, put your toes in the sand and sea, calm your senses, and connect with your baby. Bring a towel. Meditations will start September 22. RSVP is a must by calling 561-808-3142.

Childbirth Education Series:
The new group series is set to start soon, they will be held in Boynton Beach, exact time and location will be TBA. They will be held once a week for 2 hours in a 4 week rotating series, so you can start at any time. Drop in for one or sign up for all. Individual classes are $25, $75 for all four.
Subjects to be covered are: Intervention Intelligence 1 & 2, Comfort Measures, and How to Create a Birth Plan. Great on their own, or as an addition and support to other childbirth education classes.
RSVP is a must by calling 561-808-3142.
Of course private Childbirth Education Classes are always available for your convenience.

News in the Birth World:
Did you know that the baby is the one that starts the birth process? That it is actually something in the baby's lungs that is released into the mother's blood stream that initiates labor? Did you also know that they just recently discover the actual proteins that are released by the lungs!!?? They discovered it a few months ago after many years of research. The baby is the driver of labor. It is so important to respect the chemical process that takes place in a beautifully orchestrated fashion. To learn more about this incredible finding see this link:

Parenting World:
It is hard to find evidence based holistic dental services, well, I am happy to say I did! Although a little far for us, as they are located in Miami, it was worth the drive. I took my daughter in who is prone to cavities. My son who is 7 years old doesn't have any and yet my daughter 3.5 has several. I am so happy to have found Assure a Smile. After one visit I feel it is the right choice for us and I am happy to refer them to anyone seeking a more holistic approach to dental care. Here is a link to their blog where not only can you access their office information but you can read interesting articles on oral health for the whole family.

I hope you found this post's information to be useful. Don't forget to take advantage of the gift certificates and sign up for the upcoming meditations and classes!

Today I leave you with my new logo/design that a client created for me. It is so beautiful! I am in love and so very thankful!
As always, thank you for your continued love and support,
Zeresh Altork, CD, CBE, M.Ed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Taking births in September and beyond

Hope you had a nice summer and that the "school" year is starting out well.
After a very productive summer; organizing, interpreting and facilitating Barbara Harper's Waterbirth Workshops for midwives in Spain I am back in Florida and ready to start seeing clients with due dates in September and beyond.
I also have a few surprises for pregnant mothers and past clients. Stay tuned I will be posting about that soon.
It is good to be back! I look forward to serving my new pregnant clients in Palm Beach and Broward counties.
You may reach me by phone at 561-808-3142
Or by email at zeresh at a loving birth dot com (typed separate for security reasons, please type as email)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

In love!!!

Absolutely in love with a custom image a client made for me!!! Blessed!!! 
And of course it is copyrighted! No no using without permission please. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Will be back at the end of August!

Hello! I hope this post finds you well!

I have a lot of wonderful news to share and I finally have a return date to Florida!
All the workshops that I organized through  this June in Spain have been a success!!! The two full weeks of travel and workshops were filled with learning, inspiration, open minds and open hearts! We have shared days with midwives, doulas, obstetricians, pediatricians, heads of obstetrics, heads of hospitals, mothers, fathers and babies! There have been tears and smiles, questions and answers, and a desire for more! It has been an honor and a pleasure to organize all these workshops and be the professional interpreter for Barabra Harper, an amazing woman and world renown midwife, author, gentle birth expert and the founder of
Here are some pictures of the workshops :)

Workshop in Barcelona

                       Workshop in Madrid
Presentation at the Pius Hospital in Valls
I have to say being around such amazing people and so much learning I too have been able to soak up a lot of that learning and knowledge, ready to continue my journey not only as a doula but as a student midwife! That is right! I have finally decided to take the plunge and I have started to study to become a midwife!
In the mean time I am available and excited to be taking on new birth clients for due dates in September and beyond, I will be back in Florida at the end of August. If you are pregnant or know someone who is please feel free to email me or call me to see how I may best support your pregnancy and childbirth needs. (My Florida number is operational and of no cost to you even if you call me while I am in Spain).

As always, thank you for your continued love and support,

Zeresh Altork, CD, CBE, M.Ed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fifteen things great L&D nurses do, or avoid, in natural births.

Many L&D nurses are very knowledgeable and respectful, a great support for moms and a pleasure to be around. Here are some things nurses do, or avoid, to make a mother’s experience all that more positive. Thankful for the amazing nurses that have been and are supportive of mothers in labor with a desire for natural birth. 

 1.   Support the mom. Supporting the mother’s wishes is very important for the positive progress of labor. On the other hand it is great when we know our own limits and comfort zone. So it is very thoughtful when a nurse doesn’t feel comfortable or supportive of a mom and her birth choices, that she ask for another nurse that prefers natural births to switch with. Moms pick up on those vibes and although some may have the courage or mindset to ask for another nurse others may not.

 2.   The myth that natural birth plans are a curse for a c-section. It is well known that some L&D nurses when seeing a natural birth plan will think it is just a matter of time before it ends in a c-section. Those thoughts alone can really affect and derail a mother’s chances of natural birth. Supportive nurses check those feeling at the door. It is normal that mothers with natural birth plans that end up having a c-section stand out more than others, specifically because of their strong wishes for a natural birth. However, in the US the c-section rate is 1/3, and in some states and hospitals over 50%, so unfortunately it is very likely that a mother will end up with a c-section, not because of her birth plan but because of unnecessary interventions. Another reason to respect a mother’s birth plan. Supportive nurses respect that birth plan, or if a deviation needs to be made, explains why beforehand; most moms will be flexible if a true need arises.

 3.  Don’t come in the room unless absolutely necessary. Moms know nurses have a job to do and will be glad to help things go smoothly, but there aren’t too many things as disruptive to a natural birth as the constant checking, monitoring, and above all controlling or even just watching. Nurses that don’t have a good reason to come in, don’t, and when they do they  knock, keep the voice calm and soft, don’t talk amongst themselves, don’t talk to mom during contractions and keep the lighting as low as possible, if more lighting is needed they ask the mom if that is okay with her. They offer encouraging and supportive words (usually between contractions) which are always welcome, those are the best kind. 

 4. Don’t linger. Just like not coming in unless absolutely necessary, they don’t stay unless absolutely necessary, one of the things that can slow labor down is for a woman to feel watched or judged. However, if the mother doesn’t have a doula (or even if she does) and a nurse feels she could use more emotional and physical support that is always a wonderful thing for a nurse to do (of course if time permits).

 5. Insisting on hospital protocol. Most mothers that want a natural birth
are usually pretty well informed and are aware of hospital protocol such as: 
hep lock, IV, restrictions about food and water, monitoring, vaginal checks, etc., and the scientific evidence behind those protocols. If a mother refuses to
 follow protocol respectful nurses will not continually insist on protocol; they share their training and the protocol requirements and then listen to what the mother is telling her.  If the mother wants to go against protocol by making an informed decision, she has the right to informed refusal (and informed  consent) so it is wonderful when that is respected by telling her she is understood and that her wishes and her decision respected and noted in her chart.

 6.  Don’t ask pain level or offer an epidural. The mother doesn’t need to be reminded about the intensity of her contractions or have to interpret or quantify her contractions, letting her experience it as she is. Also, mothers who want a natural birth are very aware they have the option to receive an epidural (and other coping techniques and medications), they will ask for one if they want one.

 7.   Know a doula is there to help. A doula is there to provide emotional, physical and informational support to the mother and her partner, and at other times to just “hold the space” when mom wants or needs space to go through the birthing process on her own (so if you see a doula sitting in a corner for a moment, don’t assume she is not doing her job, the doula is most likely checking in on the mother and making sure her needs are being met). Often times a mother that has a doula is well prepared to make evidence based decisions. If  a mother is doing something against protocol it is not because the doula “told her” to do it, the doula is there to support the mother’s decisions even if those decisions are against protocol or even against the doula’s own personal beliefs or opinions. A respectful doula will support the mother without getting in the way of the nursing staff, stay by the mother’s side but step away when needed. A doula will also be glad to help the nursing staff in any way she can, such as helping so that the nurses don’t have to run back and forth with ice, water, towels etc. So if allowed and helpful, nurses can show the doula where the water, ice, microwave, extra towels, chuck pads, gloves, vomit pails etc. are; a doula should be more than willing to help provide the mom with those things and help keep mom and her space clean and comfortable. Here is a link to a study on doulas and nurses working together.

   8. Positions. Encourage a mother to be in any position she chooses. No one should ever tell a mother what position to get into, if labor is evolving favorably and the mother is listening to her instincts she will get into the position that is most beneficial and comfortable for her. Some nurses tell the mother to lie down in preparation for the OBs or Midwife’s arrival; if the Midwife or OB requests that the mother adopts a certain position the mother should do so only if she chooses. Supportive nurses don't tell the mother in what position to get into in preparation for or when pushing, again if the mother is supported and the labor is progressing adequately the mother should be encouraged to listen to her instincts and get into the position she chooses.

9.     Pushing. Encourage the mother to listen to her body, push instinctively without direction. Nurses respectful of natural birth don’t tell a mother how or when to push. No: “Deep breath, count to 10, push, push, push!”, that is purple pushing and not only unnecessary but harmful. The mother should not be “actively” pushing at all, her contractions will be doing the necessary work to help birth the baby. It is a common misconception that a mother needs to push in order to birth her baby, her body will automatically be helping the baby down and out.

10.The baby is being born and the OB or Midwife has not arrived yet. Sometimes babies come out very fast, before there is a chance to notify the OB or Midwife, or while they are on their way. Gentle nurses tell mom to listen to her body, encourage her to catch her own baby and be prepared to help her if needed, making sure baby does immediate skin to skin, and that the cord remains intact. Keep calm, help is right there and everything is going as it should.  So they don't need tell mom to stop, to not push, and don’t put their hands on the baby’s head to keep him/her from being born.

11.  Be the mother’s advocate. Unfortunately many nurses are often witnesses to obstetrical violence. It is a hard line to walk between doing what is right for the mother and doing what their job requires (this often happens to doulas too). It is best to err on the side of the mother; it is better to do what you know is right than to silently sit by and allow the mother to suffer unnecessarily (i.e. unnecessary episiotomies, fundal pressure, purple pushing, mothers forced into positions they don’t want to get into, talking down to a mother, etc.). What is helpful is to encourage the mother (or her partner) to find her voice so that she can speak up for what she wants, deserves and is her right.

12.  Assets. A nurse is very valuable and has an important job to do; monitor the mother 
and the baby to make sure that labor, mother and baby are doing well. They are often 
more present than the OB or Midwife, who often arrive towards the end of labor or during pushing. Which is another reason nurses are so important, they can have a huge influence on a mother’s labor. A wonderful, loving and supportive nurse can help a mother feel respected, cared for and safe, and in turn help the progress of labor tremendously. Unfortunately the opposite is also true, so in both cases a nurse can directly affect how labor progresses. So before walking into a women’s labor room, it is helpful to take a deep breath and find that space within yourself, that space of love, support, caring  and patience, leave everything else outside and remember that inside that room is the 
space of a woman giving birth; which is after all one of the most important days of her life, a day she will remember forever, a day that the nurse will always be an important part of, 
a wonderful opportunity to make a positive, lasting impression.

     13. The golden hour. The first hour or two after birth is extremely important, it is when the maternal newborn bonding occurs and is strongest. The golden hour starts as soon as the baby is born, when the baby should be placed immediately on the mother’s chest as the cord pulses out (without being clamped until after the delivery of the placenta), no suction is needed, no hat is needed. All the baby and mother needs is the closeness and the opportunity for eye contact, skin to skin, breastfeeding and bonding. Eye ointments, vitamin k, weighing, measuring and bathing can all wait until after this golden hour or longer, and should only done if the mother chooses.

14. Latest research and recommendations. 
It is very important to continue reading up and educating ourselves on the current recommendations for birth. It often takes too long for science to back what we already instinctively know, and finally be pushed down the pipeline to be implemented. So it is wise to be ahead of the game and be informed. If a mother comes in requesting something a nurse has never heard of or understands, what a great opportunity to learn something new by looking it up, chances are there is good science behind it.

   15. The lesson is always love. In the end all that matters it to treat others with respect and love in everything we do. Birth is one of the most important times to practice that lesson so that we may welcome babies into this world with love and help the mother in her transformation.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Getting ready for Spain

I will be leaving for Spain on June 8th. I have a couple births coming up between now and then and am willing to take one more. However, I am slowing down a bit and will not be offering the free classes or meditations in the next few months because I am so busy organizing Barbara Harper's (internationally renown midwife, for you non-birth junkies) Waterbirth Workshops that will take place in Spain this June.  It will take place in 4 cities in Spain and they are continuing to fill up! Very excited about that! You can learn more at

Because of these workshops and my annual visits to Spain I will not be around for classes or births in June and July (unless you are in Spain, or want to come with me!). I don't have a return date yet, but will return for any clients that book with me with due dates around or after August. The next blog post will be when I have a return date. Until then I wish you a happy Spring and Summer.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

March classes

Please join us for the following FREE classes

Pregnancy Guided Meditation
March 9th
 at 5:30-6:30 pm

Come and join us for a calm and relaxing hour in which you will quiet your mind and turn within, to create a deeper connection and awareness to your changing body and growing baby.

It is often hard to find a moment to slow down, sit quietly, listen to your body and your intuition and especially connect to the baby growing inside you. This guided meditation will provide you with the opportunity to be present in the moment and enjoy your pregnancy at a deeper level. Your partner, should he choose to come, can join you in the journey of the guided meditation and relaxation offering an opportunity to connect with you and your baby in a more profound way.

Stay after for a short Q&A to discover ways to create the pregnancy and birth you desire.

Meditations will usually be held on the first Tuesday of the month at 10 am and on the 2nd Monday of the month at 5:30 pm. Please be sure to check the schedule for any changes.

Intervention Intelligence Class
 March 23rd 6:30-8:30 pm

This class will discuss common medical interventions in pregnancy and labor, as well as newborn procedures. If you plan to give birth in the hospital you need to know: what interventions are done and what procedures are followed, why they are done, what the benefits and risks are, which ones are optional, and how to go about making the best decision for yourself and your baby. Recognize that you have choices, discover what a respectful birth is for you, and learn about different philosophies and techniques for comfortable childbirth. This way you can make informed decisions and play an active role in your birth experience.

This class will usually be held on the 4th Monday of the month at 6:30 pm. Please be sure to check the schedule for any changes.

Both classes will be held at The Red Tent in Boca Raton
4838 Northwest Boca Raton Boulevard, 
Boca Raton, FL 33431
PH: (561) 865-5791
For more information and to reserve a spot please call 561 808 3142

Monday, February 9, 2015

A wonderful birth!

I have a wonderful birth to share with you and information on classes being held.

I had the pleasure of getting back into the swing of things this new year with one of the most beautiful and sweetest births I have ever had the honor of serving. Luckily it seams that more and more clients are making informed decisions that help them create the birth they want. This last birth was with a repeat client who had a previous difficult hospital birth. With that experience behind them they decided to have a home birth with respectful midwives which lead to a sweet, gentle and fast birth. What does that mean? It means doing what the mother wants, being in the position she wants and were she wants, spontaneous pushing (never told how and and how hard to push), in an upright position as the baby is being born, as the baby gently emerges (no pulling on the head), baby guided into the mother's arms by the mother's hands, while leaning on dad, no suction, no hat, placenta is birthed on its own, the the cord is cut with no hurry, skin to skin, low lights, and taking a moment to take it all in. It truly is so beautiful to witness such a miracle, I feel so blessed!
In addition to accompanying women and their partner's in pregnancy and birth I feel it is very important to create a good foundation for a relaxing and trusting birth. That is one of the reasons I enjoy offering pregnancy meditation and childbirth education classes, to help women create that foundation for the birth they want.
We had our first guided meditation on February 3rd, with the company of some lovely pregnant women. In the Childbirth Education tab are the classes and meditations offered the rest of this month. You can also register here. I hope you can join us and that you help us get the word out to help create even more loving births!
As always, thank you for your love and support,
Zeresh, CD, CBE, M.Ed.