Aki Raymer, MA Aki Raymer, MA is the founder of Parenting Paths, a parent coaching practice dedicated to helping families experience the joy of living and parenting authentically. At the heart of Aki’s personal and professional life are three values: lifelong growth, human connection and authenticity. Aki empowers families to to discover and implement strategies that reflect their own unique values. This model allows families to navigate life transitions, address behavioral challenges, improve communication and implement effective discipline tools without sacrificing connection and joy.
Aki is a coach, speaker, Infant Mental Health specialist, and certified Positive Discipline educator. She has created her signature Parenting Blueprints with clients in the United States and abroad, facilitated lifestyle and discipline workshops, led many a toddler in circle time, and has worked with families, schools, and children in a host of capacities over the last decade.
Along with becoming a parent, Aki counts begin donned “Aki-wan Kenobi” by a client as one of her proudest moments. Connect with Aki, find out about upcoming events and explore her blog at: www.parentingpaths.com.
Amy Griffith: After receiving a B.A. in Art History from the UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC, I found my true path was in helping others find food again. I am a certified Health Coach through the INSTITUTE FOR INTEGRATIVE NUTRITION, a certified Nutrition Consultant from BAUMAN COLLEGE, and am a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NUTRITION PROFESSIONALS. I have become an expert in therapeutic nutrition, the prevention of illness, and the promotion of optimal health, in a way that’s balanced and individualized. Since giving birth to my 15 month old son, I have chosen to focus on prenatal, postnatal health and nutrition. I also love to help parents introduce their children to the wonderful world of solid foods. You can find out more about me at embracehn.com.
Angelique Millette (PhDc, CLE, PCD/CD [DONA]) is a parent coach, pediatric sleep consultant, pediatric sleep researcher, and lactation educator who works with families across the Bay Area, the United States and Europe for the past 18 years. She specializes in infant/child sleep development and how parents can meet their own sleep needs while helping their young ones meet theirs. Angelique developed The Millette Method© a multi-disciplinary approach to family sleep. The Millette Method© does not follow one specific sleep method, but rather uses a “tool-box” of many different methods to help families. The Millette Method© takes into account family schedule, infant/toddler/child development, temperament, and parenting philosophy, all while keeping an eye on sleep deprivation, parental overwhelm, depression and anxiety. Angelique’s research addresses how infant sleep locations/methods are related to maternal postpartum depression/anxiety, maternal/infant sleep quality, and attachment.
Angelique teaches sleep workshops to parents and parents groups across the country, and works with families in their homes, on the phone, and also via Skype © to provide individual and unique sleep methods and solutions for parents and their infants and young children. Angelique presents nationally to practitioners showing them the benefits of using a multi-disciplinary approach to solving infant and toddler sleep issues. To find out more about Angelique Millette, The Millette Method©, upcoming workshops, or press/media, please check out www.angeliquemillette.com. To find out more about Angelique’s new sleep swaddle, The Hands to Heart Sleep Swaddle™ the only hands up swaddle that becomes a sleep bag: www.heartswaddle.com.
I’m Beth Rees and I’m a perinatal (birth & postpartum) doula living in the San Francisco, Bay Area. I’ve been doing birth work since 2006 and have been working with women and families for over 20 years. I became a certified doula through the Natural Resources Doula Training program under the guidance & instruction of home-birth midwife, Abigail Reagan, CPM CD. I worked and studied at UC Santa Cruz – first as a student of Feminist Studies and Anthropology; then later as a program coordinator of the UC Santa Cruz Women’s Center. I began doing advocacy work promoting healthful communities with an emphasis on sexual and women’s health. When a dear friend of mine became pregnant that I found the “doula path.” I studied with the American School of Herbalism in Western and Traditional Chinese herbal medicine. With Five Flavors Herbs, I helped craft herbal remedies and teach perinatal herbal medicine classes with the Sylvan Institute of Botanical Medicine. As of March 2012, I am a Certified Lactation Educator and Counselor (CLEC) via UC San Diego Extension. In January 2013, I participated in “Heart & Hands” midwifery intensive under the tutelage of the divine and wise Elizabeth Davis, CPM.
I create home in San Francisco with my husband and 13 year old “bonus” son. Beyond being a birth enthusiast, I enjoy cooking, crafting fiber arts, hiking, swimming, tea, coordinating life celebrations and parties, auto restoration, traveling and spending time with my loved ones – in and out of the City
Bill White, director of Touch Blue Sky’s baby sign language program, received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychobiology from University of California, Santa Cruz. He facilitates baby sign language programs at Carmel Blue in North Beach, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health and Dignity Health Hospitals, Peninsula Jewish Community Center, Child Care Coordinating Council of San Mateo County, DayOne Centers, Babies And Moms, Blossom Birth Services, Stanford University child care centers, Creative Child Learning Centers, Harmony Birth and Family in Campbell, and multiple city recreation departments. Bill is passionate about the benefits of signing with children and is the proud father of two hearing sons who both sign. In addition to teaching sign language courses, Bill works as a commercial print model and hand model in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has had 25 years of dance training and has taught dance classes locally to children and adults. He was also Director of Operations for Kidsfaire for five years and has been the Fashion Show Director for Modern Bridal Productions.
Chris has a breadth of experience caring for women, infants, and families. She is a Registered Nurse, with a B.S. from the University of Rhode Island. She worked in psychiatry and women’s health, including high and low risk labor and delivery, post partum, newborn nursery, at the first Alternative Birth Center in San Francisco, and Planned Parenthood clinics. She taught fitness and nutrition in teenage mother programs, birth control and sex education to disabled teens, facilitated mother/daughter coming of age groups, as well as Mama Circle ,a support circle for new mothers for over twenty five years. She worked alongside midwives at homebirths in the Bay Area, for over twenty five years. Chris co-founded Natural Resources, a Pregnancy and Childbirth Resource Center, where she created the first doula training program, and facilitated Childbirth Preparation Classes, Breastfeeding Classes, and Post Partum groups. She is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant, (IBCLC), and a Certified Lactation Educator,(CLEC), both through the University of California San Diego. She gave birth to three children in very different ways, and lives happily with her husband, dogs, cats and chickens in Moss Beach. Chris offers Lactation Consultation at your own home as well as Post Partum Doula care. If you have questions about her services, do contact her directly at 650-728-3950/ 415-309-4495. Her home website is www.mamatomama.com.
Dana Lazarovitz Thompson
Dana started her nursing career as a school nurse in Oakland and for the last 5 years has been working for the City and County of San Francisco in a specialized home-visiting program with first-time moms, from pregnancy through baby’s second birthday. Dana’s passion is working with women and families, helping to empower them to be the best they can be, through education, support and encouragement. Dana is particularly passionate about teaching CPR and believes strongly in the value of knowing how to prevent accidents and respond to emergencies. The CPR class covers infant/pediatric/adult CPR, choking rescue, use of an AED and includes certification good for 2 years through ASHI (American Safety and Health Institute). When Dana is not working, she is busy at home with her 2 and 4 year old daughters. Dana is also an IBCLC and always excited to share her breastfeeding experiences.
Emily Bonn, a native of the SF Bay Area, has been working with children for nearly 10 years as a music educator from toddlers to teens. Emily brings a wide range of musical styles to her classes from bluegrass, old-time and rock, and mixes her repertoire between ukulele, guitar and banjo. She is excited to join the Carmel Blue community and looks forward to sharing her love of singing. In her spare time, Emily performs as a vocalist and guitarist with the 8-piece Western Swing band, The Lonestar Retrobates and recently completed an album of bluegrass with her country swing band, The Vivants.
Kari Marble has joyfully taught infant massage and communication to hundreds of families since receiving her certification with Kalena Babeshoff at the Foundation for Healthy Family Living in 2004. Her classes are highly regarded for their warmth, inspirational and educational content, and sense of nurturing community. Kari is the mother of two happily massaged children as well as a certified yoga teacher, massage therapist, and birth educator with a passionate and extensive specialization in the childbearing year and healthy family living. See www.WelcomeOm.com for more about Kari’s offerings.
Kelly Gray, Manager of Education at Carmel Blue, CMT, CD (DONA), CBE, is a Lamaze trained childbirth educator, a mother, a massage therapist, placenta encapsulator and a Birth Doula. Kelly grew up splitting her time between the urban landscapes of California and the rolling hills of West Marin, and at an early age found herself inspired by bodywork and activism. After finishing massage school in Sonoma County, she established a massage therapy practice that focused primarily on pregnancy and postpartum massage. However, her hunger for healthcare justice could not be ignored so she spent ten years as an Area Director for a local healthcare union working with the hospitals of the Bay Area.
The birth of her own daughter was a pivotal moment and inspired her to dive into the world of reproductive health; attending births and teaching families about the inherent power of motherhood. Knowing full well that when a baby is born a mother is also born, Kelly has designed a class that demystifies birth while guiding class participants to discover personal beliefs around pregnancy, partnership, birth, and parenthood. As a birth doula, she is equipped to objectively discuss Bay Area hospital’s individual cultures and protocols and has many birth stories to tell. In addition, Kelly provides up-to-date information and insights into birth research, support measures, community resources, communicating collaboratively with your providers, and all the powerful dynamics parents face as their children enter this world.
When not attending births or teaching at Carmel Blue, Kelly is volunteering with the Birth Justice Project (teaching childbirth prep for incarcerated women), hiking and making art with her family, and eating good food cooked by someone else. Kelly sees the work that she does in helping women and families have empowered births as one part of a life long love letter she is writing to her daughter. www.ninemoonsdoula.com
Leah Keller, CPT, MA is a certified personal trainer and the creator of The Dia Method®, a prenatal and postnatal fitness system endorsed by medical and birth professionals worldwide. Leah empowers and equips women to exercise safely during pregnancy, labor with confidence, and restore core strength and total body fitness after birth – no matter how long it’s been! With over a decade of experience, Leah coaches clients to achieve their individual fitness goals through customized workouts and nutritional guidance.
The Dia Method grew out of Leah’s private training practice in New York City, and it earned unparalleled medical validation when researchers at Weill Cornell Medical School published their findings that Leah’s program resolves diastasis recti, a common yet under diagnosed condition that compromises core strength and function. In 2016 Leah moved to San Francisco, where she lives with my husband and young daughter.
Raquel Scalon RYT
It took only one yoga class for Raquel Scalon to feel deeply moved and curious about the benefits of this practice. With over 800 hours of training, she has become skilled at modifying yoga to the needs of pregnant women. She strongly believes yoga is for everyone and feels fortunate to help women in such a special time of their lives.
Rebecca (Plum) Elowen
Rebecca (Plum) Elowen, LM, CPM, IBCLC is a Midwife and Lactation Consultant who offers well woman care, lactation consultation, support groups, birth supply rentals (birth tubs, hospital grade breast pumps, tens units & more), fertility support and education in newborn care in SF, Marin and the East Bay. She strives always to uphold the midwifery model of care, offering information and empowerment, so that her clients can look back on their accomplishments with pride and a deeper sense of their own true power and wisdom. Rebecca received a B.A. in Psychology (with a emphasis on parent-infant attachment and bonding) from Mills College in 1999, became a Birth and Postpartum Doula in 2001, and became a Licensed & Certified Professional Midwife in 2010. In 2013 she became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and was trained in the Mindful Motherhood curriculum created by local practitioner and author Cassandra Vieten. Rebecca has taught classes in newborn care, postpartum preparation and breastfeeding at CPMC, Kaiser, Natural Resources, and privately since 2003, and has been facilitating various support groups for new parents since 2007.
Rebecca Walsh, Director of Early Childhood Matters, has over sixteen years experience working with parents and young children in Early Childhood Education. Rebecca holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development (2002) and a Master’s of Arts degree in Religion and Psychology (2006). Rebecca has spent years working with diverse student populations in roles from co-founding an ESL preschool in Prague, Czech Republic; directing a preschool in a homeless shelter in San Mateo, CA, to her current position as supervisor and teacher mentor at Pacific Primary School, one of San Francisco’s finest Preschool For All models of emergent curriculum with a strong commitment to racial, family, and socio-economic diversity.
Sandra Lloyd, CHT, CD, has been active in the San Francisco birth community since 2003 as a Childbirth Educator, Birth Doula, and founding member of the San Francisco Doula Group. She received certification as a Hypnotherapist in 2010 from the Foundation of the Sacred Stream in Berkeley. Currently in practice as a Depth Hypnosis Practitioner, Sandra is uniquely qualified to assist clients in addressing issues related to birth trauma, PTSD, anxiety and depression, and life passages. She has had the privilege of attending more than 350 births. In her classes, Sandra is well known and appreciated for her compassionate presence and ability to teach and motivate her students with humor.
Sarah Middelton, MA, CD (DONA), CMT comes to this work with 12 years of experience in infant and child development and family support. She is a DONA-certified birth and postpartum doula, overnight doula, licensed pregnancy massage therapist, and private childbirth educator. In 2006, Sarah completed her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute where much of her studies revolved around family systems and early childhood development.
In 2007, Sarah became a mother herself and experienced firsthand the confusion and anxiety that can come with trying to understand the sleep needs of a newborn, infant or toddler. She discovered how complex and essential the simple act of sleeping is for both the child and the parents.
In her classes and in work with families Sarah offers a reassuring and gentle approach to infant and child sleep that is both flexible yet consistent, research based, and most importantly nurturing and connected.
Susan Bell has been working with infants and young children for more than 15 years, as a nanny, mother, and postpartum doula. Since 2004, when she worked as a mentor to teen mothers in Seattle, Susan has been helping mothers with breastfeeding. She is a certified postpartum doula, a member of DONA, and a Lactation Educator/Counselor (CLEC) through the prestigious UCSD Lactation program.
Teri Voorhes, an an associate with Touch Blue Sky’s baby sign language program, began using American Sign Language after her son Robert was born with Down Syndrome. She was advised to use this with Robert as a baby as his verbal speech would be delayed. The first time Robert signed “more” “music”at his Early Intervention class she was hooked. Robert is a High School graduate now and still uses ASL to finger spell words he can’t enunciate.
Teri has continued her education in American Sign Language and has been teaching in her sons school since 2005. She has had great success with spreading the magic of Sign Language through presentations at Ability Awareness Day, teaching songs to classes to perform at assemblies and general classroom instruction. In 2011 Teri became an Advanced Signing Time Instructor and began teaching in an After School Program and Baby Sign classes throughout the community. She has presented at many Special Needs conferences throughout the Bay Area.