Wholistic Women’s Healthcare strives to provide high-quality, comprehensive healthcare to women in every stage of life. During pregnancy and birth, midwifery care is exemplified by the education and support the family receives. Prenatal appointments last an average of 1 hour, giving expectant parents the opportunity to ask questions, discuss important decisions, and feel like their voices are being heard. During labor, the licensed midwife and trained assistant are present to guide mothers through their delivery and immediate postpartum in the safety and comfort of their own home. After the baby is born, the midwife provides attentive care to mom and baby for six postpartum weeks.
Annual well-woman care with a midwife includes a pap smear (if indicated), a clinical breast exam, a basic physical, and education relevant to each individual woman. This type of gentle, personalized care is ideal for young women coming in for their first pap smear or anyone who prefers a more personalized experience.
Ensuring that both parents are in good health before conception is an important and often overlooked aspect of primary healthcare. Many health conditions are not treatable in pregnancy due to an increased risk for the baby. Ideally, these conditions would be addressed before pregnancy. Simply living a standard American lifestyle can lead to a depleted system that would benefit from some attention before pregnancy is attempted. A pre-conception appointment with a midwife includes a basic physical, dietary assessment, and laboratory testing as indicated. These 90 minute appointments allow ample time for asking questions and creating a plan for any necessary changes before becoming pregnant.
VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)
Midwifery care for pregnancies after a cesarean focuses on optimal nutrition and lifestyle choices to keep clients low-risk as well as allowing space to work through any emotions that haven't yet been processed from previous birth experiences. It is important to research the risks and benefits of VBAC to ensure that it is a good fit. For more information regarding who is a good candidate for VBAC, visit our Resources page or Contact us.
Placenta encapsulation is the process of preparing the mother’s placenta by separating the membranes and umbilical cord from the placenta, rinsing and draining maternal and fetal blood, and dehydrating it to then powder and place it into capsules for the mother to ingest. Benefits of ingesting the placenta may include the reintroduction of beneficial vitamins, minerals, hormones, proteins, and other nutrients to her body following labor and birth. It may also help prevent “baby blues,” increase breast-milk production, shorten healing time, increase energy levels, and provide an over-all feeling of wellness as the mother transitions into her new role.
Lauren Slak LM, CPM
My journey into midwifery started half way around the world, in the bustling city of Mombasa in coastal Kenya. I had the privilege of working with a visionary Swahili midwife who fought tirelessly for mother's rights to safe birth while attending deliveries in the clinic beneath her apartment. It was in that clinic that I learned what it was to be a midwife and realized I would never be happy doing anything else.
I graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California with two bachelors degrees and went on to complete my training as a Licensed Midwife (LM) at Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery in San Diego. I have attended both home births and birth center births, seen hundreds of babies take their first breaths, and witnessed the beautiful transformation that takes place when a woman becomes a mother (whether its for the first time or tenth time).
I believe that helping women bring their children into the world with love and tenderness is a critical component of making the world a more loving and tender place. “Birth, after all, isn’t just about making babies, but also about making strong, capable mothers who believe in their own inner strength” – (Barbara Katz Rothman).
What people are saying...
I cannot say enough nice things about Lauren. Her demeanor is absolutely lovely and gentle, but she is also wealth of knowledge and very skilled. She provided all of my prenatal care, attended my birth, and provided postpartum care as well. She always spent a generous amount of time with me, not only discussing clinical information, but making sure to establish a trusting relationship through providng emotional support as well. Lauren is genuine and kind and passionate about her work. She practices evidence based care and always provides informed consent. Her presence at my birth was confident, but so peaceful and supportive. I am so grateful to her for providing top notch care for me and my family so that we could have the most beautiful, peaceful, dreamy homebirth. If you are looking for a loveable midwife who also has mad skills, she's your girl. I want to have more babies just so she can be my midwife again :) - Emily A.
Lauren is amazing and inspirational! My husband and I were incredibly blessed to have her at our home birth and hospital birth. To start with she rushed over to our house on minimal sleep, having just attended a long overnight birth, she somehow had the energy to be fully present with us. She exuded a glowing confidence that, without saying anything at all, washed over me completely. She was instrumental in our perseverance of 36 hours of labor at home as well as with the decision to transfer (baby was posterior with his hands up around his face). We had tried everything the midwives could think of to change his position manually. Once at the hospital she stayed on top of sticking to our birth plan as much as possible, to the point of feeding me spoonful after spoonful of ice chips because the nurses were worried of a fever. I did not end up with a fever. She stayed right by my side through 2 1/2 hours of pushing and once our beautiful boy was born, she helped me control my bleeding by saying, "You just have to turn off the faucet now." With those words I was able to visualize what I needed to do and within a minute my bleeding slowed. As I floated slowly out of the haze that is laborland, I realized I had a tight grip around her waist with a fistful of her shirt. Ha! I had no clue how long I had been locked like that. Not only had she been an essential emotional support, but she had also become a strong physical support! My husband and I are planning to have more kids (not right away though!) and we can't imagine our future births without her! - Elizabeth I.
When I decided to have a home birth I wasn't sure what to expect- but I am so thankful that I did. My home birth was so different from my older daughter's hospital birth. It was so peaceful and beautiful. I never thought that I could have a beautiful birth experience..but I did. This was largely due to having Lauren as my midwife. Lauren was a so pleasant and considerate- open to whatever my needs and wants would be during delivery. She made me feel so positive about my pregnancy and my baby's birth. She is relaxed and down to earth towards the natural process of having a baby. She made me feel at ease because she was so genuinely happy to help me have my baby and help me afterwards. When I was in labor and she arrived, she brought such a sense of peace and calmness with her. I can still remember her sweet voice reassuring me when she arrived. She felt like a sister that I felt so comfortable to be around. I am so blessed to have had Lauren as my midwife. - Nicole H.
I had a WONDERFUL home birth experience and am so grateful to Lauren for having a part in that. My biggest concern with the birth was being told what to do and not being able to listen to my body (having to feel like I'm fighting with whomever is in the room with me). Lauren was absolutely perfect! She would give me options letting me decide in a calm manner that allowed all involved to feel at peace. I loved when she would tell me "If you like you can set the intention for.." It was such a comfortable way of letting my body decide and process what she was saying. She definitely helped to facilitate a calm/peaceful (a goal of mine) birth with her quiet confidence while keeping me hydrated and moving along. She was there to support my birth while still allowing me to have my own birth process. When giving recommendations or check-ups she always made me feel comfortable which is so important for a new mom where almost everything little thing can make you feel inadequate (i.e. breast milk, latch, sleep, poop, etc). This is a big deal because even though I come from a large family, have taken care of newborns and researched a lot it's amazing how almost every little comment or look can make you feel this way. Lauren never once made me feel like this. In fact she would calm me down from that place in my head at every visit we had. This sounds so odd to a lot of people but I watch the video and am awe at how beautiful the whole process was for my family. My husband and I often talk about how wonderfully our birth went and how blessed we were to be able to have Lauren there as our midwife. We look forward to having her at our future births! I can't say enough about how truly fortunate we feel to have had Lauren as our midwife. P.S. the convenience of the encapsulation was great as well. - Jaleen T.
I had been planning on having a midwife for my second birth and am so grateful that I found Lauren. Pregnancy and birth are such precious times and I am so thankful that I got to develop connection and be cared for by her.
She is abundant in information helped me and encouraged me to improve my diet. She is totally engaged and even when I brought my 2 year old to prenatal appointments she was so kind and patient and always made an effort to involve her. I decided on a homebirth, and the during the whole process, communication with her was so easy. She gave me the perfect amount of space and was right there when I didn't even realize I needed her. She was full of peace and encouragement the whole time and helped me catch my baby! So grateful to have had Lauren and would recommend her to everyone!! - Erin C.
I was so fortunate to have Lauren as midwife for my recent homebirth! She was absolutely wonderful throughout my prenatal care and always available when I needed her. I instantly felt comfortable and calm with her, she just has that kind of personality... makes you feel important, heard, and more like a trusted friend!
Our homebirth went absolutely amazing, honestly I couldn't have wished for a more spectacular birth team. Her and her assistant, Mel, held our birth space with so much love and respect, allowing my husband, daughter, and I to really have our own experience and were there to witness and support and encourage us through it all. I really just don't even have enough wonderful words for them! So so blessed to have had them as part of our sacred birth experience and I am so glad to have made some lovely friends along the way. Lauren will -without a doubt- be our midwife for our next birth! - Tiff D.
Where do I even begin?! Lauren Slak is the best. After researching and interviewing several midwives and care providers, I literally knew within five minutes of meeting Lauren that I wanted her to be my midwife. My husband was instantly on board with her too. She is so warm and kind and has a graceful confidence about her. Prenatal visits were awesome--never rushed, always exactly what I needed. She cares for you on a mental and emotional level (as well as physical) which I truly valued in preparation for my first home birth (after a natural hospital birth two and a half years prior). The care she provided during labor was fantastic. She and her partner midwife were so calm and comforting throughout the process. They struck a perfect balance of following my lead while providing gentle, loving guidance when I needed it (and I definitely needed it!). Postpartum care has also been wonderful. I'm already looking forward to my next pregnancy and labor...and my baby's only eight weeks old! - Madison S.
I simply cannot say enough wonderful things about Lauren and the service she provided! She was truly incredible from start to finish and I can honestly say I will miss not having an excuse to see her! Not only is Lauren extremely knowledgeable and well read in the practice of midwifery, she is down to earth and has a real passion to connect and uplift the women and families she works with. I would recommend. if not insist upon using, Lauren to ANYONE considering home birth in Orange County. I feel I not only found a fantastic health care provider but a dear friend and sister. - Natalie B.
Lauren's dedication to protecting and empowering parents through their natural birth choices is just awe-inspiring. This is a very educated and competent woman who is all heart and intuition and endless energy to care and shape things correctly for *your desired future. She is not pushy, she is persistent and awake and caring beyond belief. She aided in turning my baby safely from breach at 34ish weeks, and stayed with me in labor for 4 days until my baby was born! When the worst happened (for me at the time) and we had to transition to a hospital birth Lauren not only saw me through all 24 hours of that but checked in repeatedly while I was in the hospital afterwards, even though she was under no obligation to do so. She really is just a smart, compassionate, conscious and wise woman and can't recommend her enough. - Kimberly A.