Experts

In Order of Appearance

Christiane Northrup, MD

An internationally recognized authority in women’s health and wellness, Dr. Northrup is a board-certified ob-gyn physician, a visionary and a noted author. Her first book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, a New York Times bestselling book, has sold over 1.9 million copies and has been translated into seventeen languages. Northrup has written several other widely acclaimed books and has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, The View, Rachel Ray, Good Morning America, and The Dr. Oz Show.

Bruce Lipton, PhD

Recognized as one of the leading voices in the new biology, Dr. Lipton is a stem cell biologist, best selling author of The Biology of Belief, and recipient of the 2009 GOI Peace Award. He received his PhD degree from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville and then joined the Department of Anatomy at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine in 1973. Lipton’s research at Stamford University School of Medicine, between 1987 and 1992, revealed that the environment, operating through the membrane, controls the behavior and physiology of the cell, turning genes on and off. He has taken his award-winning medical school lectures to the public and speaks on hundreds of television and radio shows.

Joseph Chilton Pearce

Author of numerous books, including Crack in the Cosmic Egg, a national best seller, Magical Child, Evolution’s End, The Biology of Transcendence, and most recently, Strange Loops and Gestures of Creation, for nearly half a century, Pearce has written and lectured internationally on human development and the changing needs of children. His expertise spans a broad range of disciplines: psychology, anthropology, biology and physics. Pearce was a faculty member on child development at the Jung Institute in Switzerland and three different departments at Harvard University, the University of California and Stanford University which have each sponsored educational conferences featuring his work.

Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, IBCLC

Dr. Gordon is a nationally recognized pediatrician, nutritionist, lecturer, magazine columnist and author of numerous books including Good Food Today, Great Kids Tomorrow, Good Nights, Listening to Your Baby, and The ADD/ADHD Cure. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and associate clinical professor of pediatrics at UCLA School of Medicine. Gordon has been treating patients at his private practice in Santa Monica, California for 25 years.

Bob Sears, MD, FAAP

A board-certified pediatrician in private practice in Dana Point, California, Dr. Bob Sears is co-author of six books in the Sears Parenting Library, including the most recent addition, The Portable Pediatrician book and App. He is passionate about combining mainstream medicine with a more natural and holistic approach to pediatric care. Sears’ solo work, The Vaccine Book, highlights his passion for providing parents with a fair and objective look at childhood vaccines. He is an Advisory Board Member for Kaplan University Department of Health Services, Talk About Curing Autism, and Autism Care and Treatment Today. He has also appeared on CNN, The CBS Early Show, Dr. Oz, Ellen DeGeneres and the Dr. Phil show.

Marsden Wagner, MD, MS

As the former director of Women’s and Children’s Health for the World Health Organization, Dr. Wagner was responsible for women’s and children’s health in 45 industrialized countries for 15 years. He is a perinatologist and perinatal epidemiologist whose focus is on improving maternity care, including the appropriate use of technology in birth. Wagner has published 149 scientific papers and is the author of many books including Born in the USA, Creating Your Birth Plan, and Pursuing the Birth Machine. He has been featured in U.S. News and World Report, Health, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times and has appeared on Dateline and Good Morning America.

Peggy O’Mara

O’Mara is an award winning journalist whose work has been honored by La Leche League, International, the National Vaccine Information Center, the Holistic Moms Network, and the Western Publishing Association. She is the creator of peggyomara.com where she continues a 35 year tradition of curating important ideas and exceptional writing. O’Mara gained international celebrity as the publisher and editor of Mothering magazine and mothering.com, which she owned from 1980 to 2011. She is also the author of four books: Having a Baby Naturally, Natural Family Living, The Way Back Home, and A Quiet Place. A dynamic speaker, she has lectured and conducted workshops at Omega, Esalen, and Bioneers.

Robert Biter, MD, OBGYN

Dr. Biter completed his medical training at Pennsylvania State University where he was named Most Outstanding Graduate entering the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Best Resident Educator. He also received the Best Chief Resident nursing award during his postgraduate training. After being awarded the American Medical Association Foundation Leadership Award and the National Health Service Corps Scholarship, Biter moved to California where he founded Seaside Women’s Health and the upcoming Babies by the Sea Birth Center. While in San Diego, he has been named best Obstetrician Gynecologist by Ranch and Coast magazine for the last three years. Biter maintains his role as president of Her Heart’s Wish, a national wish granting program for terminally ill women and is also the founder of Seaside Giving, a local nonprofit organization.

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

For more than three decades students from around the world have sought Gurmukh’s classes in Kundalini yoga, meditation and pre- and post-natal. She is the founder and director of Golden Bridge in Los Angeles and New York City, premier centers for the study and practice of Kundalini yoga and meditation. Gurmukh’s video series, The Method: Pre- and Post-Natal Yoga, featured in numerous publications such as Vogue, Elle, InStyle, and The New York Times, as well as her appearances on Good Morning America, have introduced her and the vast, ancient teachings of the yogic tradition to a wide audience. Gurmukh is a founding member of Khalsa Way, an organization created to offer prenatal yoga and meditation and also to help women birth and raise healthy children. She teaches Khalsa Way trainings throughout the world. She has written two books, The Eight Human Talents and Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful.

Sarah Buckley, MD

A trained GP/family physician and an internationally acclaimed writer on gentle choices in pregnancy, birth, and parenting, Dr. Buckley’s articles have been published in Mothering, Midwifery Today, MIDRS (UK), Wellbeing (AUS/NZ), and The Complete Mother (Canada). She is also the author of the bestselling book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices. Buckley has presented at numerous international conferences, lecturing to physicians, obstetricians, midwives, nurses, doulas and childbirth educators.

Thomas R. Verny MD, DPsych, DHL, FRCPC, FAPA

Dr. Verny is one of the world’s leading authorities on the effect of the prenatal and early postnatal environment on development. He is a psychiatrist and academic as well as the author of 44 scientific papers and six books including The Secret Life of the Unborn Child and Pre-Parenting: Nurturing Your Child from Conception. Verny lectures and leads workshops on prenatal and perinatal psychology throughout the world.

David Chamberlain, PhD

A psychologist, teacher and pioneer in the field of prenatal psychology, Dr. Chamberlain was one of the founders of the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health and served as the president of the organization from 1991-1999. Currently he is on the editorial board of the Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, and is the founding editor of birthpsychology.com. Chamberlain has over 50 publications and is also the author of the book, The Mind of Your Newborn Baby, currently available in 12 languages.

Marcy Axness, PhD

Author of Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers and a member of Mothering magazine’s online expert panel, Dr. Axness is a leading authority in the fields of early child development, adoption, prenatal and perinatal psychology and the neurobiology of attachment. She is a popular international speaker, has a private practice coaching parents-in-progress, and provides training for professionals about the latest human development research. She feels that one of her most important credentials is being mother to Ian, 24, and Eve, 21.

Anna Verwaal, RN, CLE

Verwaal is a maternal-child health nurse, labor and post-partum doula instructor, UCLA certified lactation educator, birth consultant and birth photographer. In 1984, she received her nursing degree in Holland where she was born and raised and has since worked and traveled all over the world as a registered nurse in various obstetrical and home-health settings. Verwaal eventually settled in Los Angeles where she started her own private birth consulting, labor doula and lactation service. For the last decade, she has taught advanced doula and prenatal yoga instructor trainings. Currently she travels internationally to speak at birth conferences and give lectures and workshops to birth professionals about the cellular memory of the birth experience, the physiological and hormonal blueprint for birth and bonding as well as the deeply psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of giving birth.

Lauren Feder, MD

Dr. Feder is a nationally recognized physician who specializes in primary care medicine, pediatrics and homeopathy. Affiliated with La Leche League, Holistic Pediatric Association, and the National Center for Homeopathy, she is a frequent lecturer and has been featured nationally on television and radio, including most recently an interview by Dr. Oz on Oprah and Friends. Feder has also written for Mothering magazine and Homeopathy Today and is the author of two books Natural Baby and Childcare and Childhood Vaccinations.

Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD

Dr. Palevsky is a renowned board-certified pediatrician, sought after lecturer, and published author, who believes in utilizing a holistic approach to children’s wellness and illness. He received his medical degree from the NYU School of Medicine in 1987, and completed a 3-year pediatric residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, followed by a 1-year fellowship at Bellevue Hospital in the Pediatric Ambulatory Care Department. Since 1991, his clinical experience includes working in pediatric emergency and intensive care medicine, in-patient and out-patient pediatric medicine, neonatal intensive care medicine, newborn and delivery room medicine, and conventional, holistic and integrative pediatric medicine. Dr. Palevsky is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, past president of the American Holistic Medical Association, and a diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. He also serves as a medical advisory board member for the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts in NYC, and the National Vaccine Information Center.

Annemarie Colbin, PhD, CHES

An award-winning leader in the field of natural health and a highly sought-after lecturer and wellness consultant, Dr. Colbin is the founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, the oldest natural foods cooking school in the U.S. She has been an adjunct professor of nutrition at Empire State College in New York and at Touro College. Colbin is the author of four books: The Book of Whole Meals, The Natural Gourmet, Food and Healing and her latest, Whole Foods for Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach. She is featured in her own DVD, Basics of Healthy Cooking and a CD, The Five Phases of Food and has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs.

Aviva Romm, MD, CPM

A graduate of Yale School of Medicine, she is currently creating the first Women’s Health Internal Medicine Residency program at Yale University. She has been a midwife and herbalist for 25 years and one of the country’s first CPMs (Certified Professional Midwifes). Her numerous books include The Natural Pregnancy Book, Naturally Healthy Babies and Children, Pocket Guide to Midwifery Care, Naturally Healthy After Birth, Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parents Guide, and her recently released Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, a comprehensive textbook. She is the president of the American Herbalists Guild and owner and director of the new distance-learning course Herbal Medicine for Women.

Debra Pascali-Bonaro, LCCE, BDT/PDT (DONA)

Pascali-Bonaro is an inspirational international speaker in maternity care, a certified Lamaze International childbirth educator, a DONA International doula trainer, and an award-winning documentarian. She is the chair of the International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization, where she works with international organizations, ministers of health and grassroots community organizations to create optimal models of MotherBaby maternity care. Pascali-Bonaro serves on the board of directors for Childbirth Connection.

Aleksandra Evanguelidi, LM, CPM, Clinical Director for Midwifery Services

Evanguelidi began her midwifery training at The Hollywood Birth Center in 2001 and completed it in 2005. During this time, she was an herbal educator for Gaia Herbs and simultaneously completed a three-year midwifery curriculum from The National Midwifery Institute in Bristol, Vermont. Evanguelidi has been a California Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife since July 2006. She has also been a nutritionist for the last 10 years as well as a spiritual counselor. Evanguelidi’s vision for The Sanctuary Birth and Family Wellness Center, where she is currently co-clinical director for Midwifery Services, is to create a new model of integrated care that meets the complex needs of today’s families.

Paul Crane, MD, OBGYN

Dr. Crane is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and has a private practice in Beverly Hills, California. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1969.

Ina May Gaskin, MA, CPM

Called “the mother of authentic midwifery,” Ina May has practiced for nearly 40 years and is the founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Center which was founded in 1971 and has handled more than 2600 births with remarkably good outcomes. She is the author of Spiritual Midwifery, now in its fourth edition as well as Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding. Gaskin has lectured all over the world, at midwifery conferences and at medical schools, both to students and faculty. She was the president of Midwives’ Alliance of North America from 1996 to 2002 and in 2003 was chosen as Visiting Fellow of Morse College, Yale University. The Gaskin Maneuver, an extremely effective way of dealing with one of the most feared birth complications, shoulder dystocia, is the first obstetrical procedure to be named for a midwife and has been adopted by numerous practitioners. Her newest book, Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta, shows us how to trust women and value birth.

Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova

Tonetti-Vladimirova is a Russian born visionary and one of the co-creators of the “Conscious Birth” movement in Russia during the early 1980s along with waterbirth pioneer Igor Charkovsky. In 2006, she produced and directed a revolutionary documentary, Birth As We Know It, about the correlation between birth trauma and the quality of our life and what it takes to prepare for conscious birth and to deliver a baby gracefully, minimizing trauma for all involved. The documentary is already in 56 countries and has been translated into 12 languages. Tonetti-Vladimirova travels all over the world teaching “Birth Into Being” workshops and speaking at conferences focusing on the importance of conscious conception, pregnancy and birth.

Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD

Dr. Davis-Floyd is a medical/cultural anthropologist who has spent over 20 years researching issues in the anthropology of reproduction, focusing most closely on childbirth, obstetrics and midwifery. She is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas Austin. Davis-Floyd currently serves as program chair for the Society of Medical Anthropology, senior advisor to the Council on Anthropology and Reproduction, and editor for the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative. She is an international speaker and author of over 80 articles including her book, Birth As An American Rite of Passage.

Anthony Chin, MD, OBGYN

A graduate of UCLA’s School of Medicine, Dr. Chin, while serving, on their academic faculty received a number of honors, including the Chief Resident Teaching Award, the Standing Ovation Award for Excellence in Patient Care, and multiple research awards. He is in private practice in Beverly Hills and delivers at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, where he serves as the Secretary of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the department’s Performance Improvement Committee. Chin is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a Fellow of the Los Angeles Obstetrics and Gynecology Society and a Fellow Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Marshall Klaus, MD

Dr. Klaus is a world-renowned neonatologist and researcher who has extensively explored how parents develop a bond to their infant, the importance of breastfeeding, and the effects of social support for laboring mothers. It is largely due to his research on bonding that many hospitals now offer 24-hour visitation to preemies or sick babies, as well as “rooming-in” for healthy babies. Klaus and his colleague, Dr. John Kennel, conducted large studies showing that a doula’s support can reduce the complications of labor. He is also the author of several books including Your Amazing Newborn, Bonding: Building the Foundations of Secure Attachment and The Doula Book. Klaus teaches pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.

Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, MD, OBGYN, ACOG

A diplomat of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Gilberg-Lenz completed her undergraduate education at Wesleyan University and post-baccalaureate pre-med studies at Mills College. She earned her medical degree from the University of Southern California and went on to complete her internship and residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Gilberg-Lenz has been in private practice in obstetrics and gynecology in Los Angeles, California since 2000 and is the co-founder of Cedar Sinai Medical Center’s Green Committee. She recently completed her Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist degree at California College of Ayurveda and was board-certified in Integrative and Holistic medicine in 2008. Gilberg-Lenz appears frequently as an expert in women’s integrative health on television, online and in print.

Stuart Fischbein, MD, OB/GYN, FACOG, BAC Medical Advisor

Dr. Fischbein has been in private practice since 1986, after completing his residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He has a long history of support for Certified Nurse Midwives and Licensed Midwives and in 1995 co-founded The Women’s Place, an innovative model of collaboration between Certified Nurse Midwives and Obstetricians in Camarillo, CA. In 2004, Fischbein co-authored Fearless Pregnancy, Wisdom and Reassurance From a Doctor, a Midwife and a Mom. The second edition was released in 2010 (fearlesspregnancy.net). He was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for serving laboring women by the Doulas Association of Southern California and he is a founding member and medical advisor to the Birth Action Coalition. He currently supports and performs home births and he is the medical director of the Santa Barbara Birth Center, medical consultant to The Sanctuary Birth and Family Wellness Center and a contributor to Ricki Lake’s website. Dr. Fischbein appears in many educational videos on YouTube and About.com as well as in the DVD More Business of Being Born.

James McKenna, PhD

Regarded as the world’s foremost authority on mother-infant co-sleeping, Dr. McKenna is a professor of anthropology and directs the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. In recognition of his work in 2009, he was admitted as a fellow into the select body of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s most prestigious scientific society. McKenna has published over 139 refereed scientific articles in medical, anthropology, and psychology journals on co-sleeping, breastfeeding, evolutionary medicine and SIDS and he is the author of Sleeping With Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Co-Sleeping.

Kimberly Durdin James, IBCLC, Director of Lactation Services

An internationally board-certified lactation consultant, birth and postpartum doula, speaker, trainer and apprenticing midwife, James began helping women breastfeed shortly after the birth of her first child over 16 years ago. She has helped thousands of families and as a former La Leche League leader, has served families in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, where she was named one of the best lactation consultants in 2004 by Washington Families magazine.

Randine Lewis, PhD. MSOM, LAc

Dr. Lewis is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist and has studied both Eastern and Western Medicine. She earned her graduate and post-graduate degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, while focusing on fertility enhancement. Lewis directs Fertile Soul Retreats, speaks nationally on behalf of infertility organizations, and is a professional member of RESOLVE, the American Infertility Association and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. She is the author of The Infertility Cure and The Way of The Fertile Soul and has appeared on multiple radio and television shows featuring her successes in helping women conceive naturally.

Marilyn Milos, RN

Milos is the founder and director of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resources Center (NOCIRC), a genial integrity organization that opposes the genital modification and mutilation of children and has over 110 centers in 15 countries and roster status with the United Nations. Professionally trained as a registered nurse, she believes that circumcision of infants should be seen as a human rights issue. Milos is the co-editor of several books including Body Integrity and the Politics of Circumcision, Understanding Circumcision, and Male and Female Circumcision. She also won the NurseWeek magazine’s Nursing Excellence 2001 Patient Advocacy Award.