My journey began the day we discovered we were pregnant with our first child. During this stage of my life I realized that over the years I had been programmed with various subliminal images of fear relating to women in labor. I discovered that modern media had done women an incredible disservice by instilling fear and apprehension that resulted in negatively formulating my ideas regarding labor and birth. I realized that this emotional baggage I had been carrying around needed to be quickly abandoned.
My newly formulated goal of dispelling fear, discovering the beauty of birth, and finding the confidence within myself was attained through education. I started devouring every book I could find and took various childbirth classes. One of the first classes we took was a basic hospital course offered through our hospital. After completing the course I was left feeling that I had a very good understanding of what to expect of the labor and delivery staff but unfortunately I didn’t have a clue as to what I could do for myself. As a result we then signed up for a Bradley Method® class. Fortunately, through the Bradley® classes we learned specific tools to dissolve and resolve the negative associations we had regarding labor and birth. We learned to utilize specific tools and techniques that would allow us to work with the contractions and allow our labor to progress smoothy and naturally. We were ready!
In the summer of 1997 we delivered our first born with the wonderful midwives and labor & delivery nurses at Stanford Hospital. The entire process had unfolded smoothly and naturally with my supportive and loving husband at my side enabling me to feel safe and secure. We were so fortunate to experience the miracle that birth was intended to be. On this day, I realized that this wasn’t just the birth of our son, but the birth of our family. It was such an incredibly empowering experience that was full of such beauty, amazement and unconditional love that words alone could not express the miracle we shared that day. I understood that my birthing experience shouldn’t be deemed (under normal circumstances) as a ‘medical emergency’ but that these experiences and emotions should be nurtured and respected. And with this, I had discovered my calling; to help encourage, support and educate other expectant families in their extraordinary and memorable journey.
We now have 4 beautiful children, all of whom were born naturally in a hospital setting using the tools and techniques I currently offer in our ‘Birthing Naturally: Partner Supported Childbirth’ Prep Classes. We have truly been blessed.
LORI’S BIRTH PHILOSOPHY
Lori’s birth philosophy is that birth is a natural expression of life and that in most cases it unfolds in a beautiful manner. However, her personal beliefs will not be a basis for judging any family’s birthing preferences. She also believes that this event is not just about the birth of a baby; but the birth of a family, and she continues to base her support on empowering all in attendance in their chosen rolls.
Lori’s goal is to help educate parents in birth and to help create the best possible birth experience within the goals of her clients and within each birth situation as circumstances arise. She encourages each family to stay healthy, low risk, and well educated so that they may make safe and satisfying evidence based decisions regarding their prenatal care.
Lori believes in the power of a woman to give birth and believes that birth works. Lori trusts that women are fully capable of bringing babies into this world in a peaceful, dignified and glorious manner. She will work with you to share her experience, trust, confidence and knowledge. Lori feels that it is an incredible honor and privilege to be invited to witness and participate in the miraculous event of each new life.
Lori Ismail CBE, CLD encourages couples to feel empowered to allow themselves a safe and satisfying birth experience according to how they personally see their birth unfolding. She provides nonjudgmental and objective educational, emotional, and physical support to new families. Lori continues to encourage couples to prudently set their own goals and priorities together as a team in a way that will allow them to feel nurtured and respected during one of the most important times of their lives.
Lori has been working as a birth professional in the Bay Area since 1998. She has been a certified childbirth instructor affiliated with the Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth for 13 years (1998-2011). She currently continues to teach ‘Birthing Naturally: Partner-Supported Childbirth’ classes, is a labor support Doula, and Lactation Counselor. She teaches her classes at Blossom Birth in Palo Alto and at Harmony Birth Resources in Campbell, California.
The Blossom Birth community sought Lori out to join their team as a member and staff in 2007. Harmony Birth Resources requested that Lori join their team as a member and staff in 2010. She is currently a member and staff of Blossom Birth and Harmony Birth Resources and continues to educate and support families throughout the Greater Bay Area.
Lori is intimately familiar with The Bradley Method® (having taught these classes for 13 years) and currently continues to teach ‘Birthing Naturally: Partner Supported Childbirth’ classes, standard childbirth preparation courses, childbirth intensives and refreshers. She works as a labor support doula and lactation counselor. She has continued her education by attending a twins training course, ’Advanced Doula Training’ workshops and ‘Advanced Breastfeeding’ seminars with Treesa Mclean and Audrey Kalman, ‘Tongue Tie’ training with Dr. Jessie Young, ’Pelvic Floor Training’ workshops with Leslie Howard, and ‘Spinning Babies: Easier Birth Through Fetal Positioning’ with Gail Tully.
Lori is a professional member of Bay Area Birth Information (BABI), Bay Area Birth Association (BABA), Blossom Birth, and the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS). She is also a yahoo group member of BABI Families, BABI Peer Review, Bay Area Bradley, Family-Harmony, Blossom Families, South Bay Doula Pool and South Bay Birth Circle.
Lori currently resides in the Bay Area.