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Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Actress/Director:

pic17“We would like to share with you our birth experience at Natural Birth Center & Women’s Wellness. A phenomenally serene and focused experience was absolutely had by all. Present in the room to witness the delivery of our gift were our daughter, parents, cousins and close friends. In fact the overall experience of birth to our second child, a boy, was so great that it made us regret not having the same experience with the birth of our daughter. While beautiful, of course, our daughter’s birth was done conventionally in a hospital.

We can’t over emphasize the importance of your birthing plan being carried out to the letter. Quite often, hospital administrations have an agenda with regards to over medicating and pressuring your vulnerable sensibilities during such an emotional time. These influences are designed to benefit Doctor’s schedules and the hospitals over all profit margins.

Read more about Salli…

While in the care of the birthing center there will be no pressure to do anything but have a wonderfully healthy birthing experience. With that said, our son’s birth wasn’t without complication. Unbeknownst to us all, our son was rear-posterior and the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. Despite these circumstances his vital signs during the entire labor process were all normal. As he crowned, Simona turned him so he would be properly positioned for delivery. Although that problem was resolved at the time of his delivery he would be blue in color and almost completely limp due to the cords pull around his neck. Usually this would be a time of much panic and concern but as a result of Simona’s skill and calm it was anything but. She was confident with the resolve of a medical health care professional of many years. More than two decades in fact. Her quick and accurate action left us calm and left our son healthy. Although the hospital is literally across the street, her actions made a hospital visit completely unnecessary.

Simona is a phenomenal mid-wife but more like a mid-mom to us! We couldn’t have been more blessed in having her be a part of our lives. Affectionately called Auntie Simona by our daughter, she has been just as caring and concerned in the post birth process as she was prior to our son’s arrival. We committed ourselves to doing the necessary research in finding the absolute best options for our experience And we can say with certainty that Simona is truly the best-kept secret in the birthing industry. We hope that you will choose to take advantage of this incredibly gifted asset.


Jamie Chan-Ortega, Licensed Acupuncturist, Owner – Oasis Healing Arts:

Jamie Chan OrtegaNever have I sung someone’s praises for their work, their gift, and their fulfillment of their calling, as much as I have for Simona. I tell everyone about her and the Natural Birth Center. I think so fondly of Simona.

She is precious.

She is so rare – that perfect synthesis of the expertise, authority, and knowledge which only the most seasoned obstetrician would possess… with the motherly warmth, womanly wisdom, and down-to-earth, approachable coolness of a midwife. Her experience and skill in helping thousands of mothers give birth naturally is not only reassuring to her patients, but simply awe-inspiring, to have a lifetime of such service.

I had the most blessed, most perfect experience with Simona as my healthcare provider for my second pregnancy and birth. Through a life-changing 36 hour labor, Simona visited me twice in my own home as I labored from Thursday night to Saturday morning, she called me and my husband to see how I was doing, affirmed that all was well with me and the baby, and encouraged me – so gently yet authoritatively – when I felt like giving up… I knew, throughout every minute of my labor, that she was on duty like a solider. She was alert; beautifully, confidently attentive; and ready to take the best care of me… and she did. And I knew she would. I trusted her completely.

Read more about Jamie…

I gave birth to Keoni last December in the water, right here, no medication…. full of joy and peace, no fear whatsoever…. because God was with me, and because Simona was with me.

I call Simona an angel. That may seem cliche, or too grand of a word, but it’s true. She is like an angel. Sweet, strong, and so very capable. So incredibly thorough. An expert of experts. A mother of mothers. A hard and diligent worker. Deeply committed to her work. Genuinely passionate about this thing called Birth. I am so very thankful and blessed, to have had her care throughout my pregnancy, labor, and birth. Right after I gave birth, I joked with my husband that I wanted to have another baby asap, just to experience Simona’s care all over again. It was nothing short of miraculous. She and the entire staff of the Natural Birth Center hold the warmest, fuzziest place in my heart. I pray only the best for you, Simona, your family, and your staff, and for continued success for many years to come. Peace, Love, and Wellness.


Esther, Paul – Dane Eagle Rice

Esther-PaulThe hospital near my house didn’t offer private recovery rooms. That is what initially led me to look for a birth center. I couldn’t imagine sharing such an intimate and private moment with complete strangers. When I saw the pictures on Simona’s web site, I thought it was too good to be true. From the moment I walked into Simona’s, I knew it was even better. I never imagined I would have my baby in a beautiful room with a four poster bed, big jacuzzi tub and our own kitchen and balcony. I was lucky enough to have almost all of my prenatal care from Simona, so I almost took it for granted. That was, until I visited the ‘back-up doctor’ for insurance purposes. Sitting in the waiting room, amongst twenty other ‘patients’, for the better part of an hour, only to be seen for five minutes, I realized that this could have been my birth experience. It was such a stark contrast to the welcoming atmosphere of Simona’s; walking into her office as if it were home, receiving a welcoming hug and talking about the week’s happenings as though we were members of her family. Poor Simona, our visits (they were much too nice to be considered appointments) were never less than an hour, partly because we always had lots of questions, but mostly because we had so much fun chatting to Simona and Nancy.

Read more about Esther…

This was my first pregnancy and I think I was even more fearful of labor than most in the beginning, but Simona was always so reassuring and available to answer any questions. She made both of us feel like we were absolutely prepared. We took Bradley natural birth classes. Every time the teacher talked about things to be concerned about during labor and delivery she would look at my husband and I and say, ‘You two don’t have to worry about that since you’re having the baby at a birth center.’ Not a day went by that either myself or my husband would say, ‘I’m SO glad we are having our baby with Simona!’.On the big day, our son, of course, decided to get things going in the middle of the night, but Simona was right there, answering the phone herself, as promised. (Try and get that with an OB/Gyn!) Simona and Nancy were perfect, leaving my husband and I to our privacy as much as we wanted, but being right outside the door when we needed anything- from a drink, to advice, to just some extra encouragement. And encouraging they were. Sometimes it seemed like it was only their words that kept me going.

My pushing stage lasted an incredible 4 hours! I have no doubt that, had I been at a hospital, they would have tried to talk me into having some sort of intervention (whether that be pitocin, the use of suction or forceps or even the dreaded c-section). Simona always believed in me. Thanks to her calm demeanor, her cheerful encouragement and her constant reassurance, our son was born, underwater as we wanted, beautiful and perfect. Simona handed us our son right away. We spent the first two precious hours with our baby, breastfeeding, holding him and staring into his alert little eyes rather than having him whisked away for tests like they do in hospitals. I can’t say enough good things about Simona, but I suppose it says it all that, if I had it all to do again, I wouldn’t change a single thing.


Arielle Alcorn

ARIELLE ALCORNSimona, I haven’t forgotten about writing reviews for you! I’m afraid I’ve just encountered a dearth of time lately. I wanted to make sure I had time to write a succinct and well-thought review. My yelp account did expire, and I don’t want to put the effort in to maintain one. I will write another review on google. At the present time of writing this their system is down and I cannot post it.

It may please you to know that when we went to get Charity’s hearing screening done, the nurse who tested her mentioned to me that she had done a few of your clients. She said she had heard only the best about you and the birth center, and said that she will be going to you if and when she becomes pregnant.

I’ve attached some photographs to this review, please let me know if you are unable to receive the files.

When I became pregnant with my first child, it quickly became clear to me that the conventional route of pregnancy and childbirth was not ideal. In fact, I found the clinical, impersonal nature of the convention leaving me feeling empty, confused and overlooked- shunted through the system as an afterthought.

Read more about Arielle…

Not so at the Natural Birth Center!

I was about 20 weeks pregnant when I discovered Simona’s wonderful center. I immediately felt relaxed as soon as I entered. Simona listened carefully to me as we discussed my wants and ideas about birth-something that seemed impossible for me to get from the hospital.

The prenatal care I received from that point on was professional, thorough, and respectful of my wishes. My options were explained carefully and completely. I loved the fact that I could call and talk to Simona at any time with my concerns. It was also easy to schedule appointments without having to wait days to see someone. The staff were competent, conscientious- and fun!

I believe the birth that I had was the best birth I could have had. I would not have had it, if I had chosen the hospital route! With the support of my birth team, including of course Simona and her staff, I was encouraged and reassured that I could stick to my natural birth plan.

I did; I fully experienced the marvel of welcoming my daughter into the world, and in a loving and peaceful environment.

One of the best parts of my birth experience was immediately after the birth. I was able to keep my daughter with me, to share her first moments and hours with her while she was examined and I rested. I didn’t have to spend long and pointless hours in a hospital before being discharged.

I will certainly be going here again should I be blessed with subsequent children, and I will recommend anyone who is expecting to look into the Natural Birth Center.


Rebecca P.

REBECCA PAMAZING AMAZING AMAZING! I can’t say enough good things about Simona and the Natural Birth Center & Women’s Wellness.

We started our search for a midwife after spending 2 months under the care of a OBGYN. We noticed during our visits to the OBGYN that we would spend 50 minutes in the waiting room and 5 minutes actually seeing the doctor. Being that this was our first pregnancy, we were looking for a different experience. We were looking for a caregiver that could give us additional care and time we needed during our visits. We also realized that we wanted a caregiver that also believed that being pregnant was a natural state and who used natural homeopathic remedies. But our biggest concern was not getting a c-section unless it was absolutely medically necessary. We soon realized that no doctor would be able to satisfy this concern.

Read more about Rebecca…

This is when we decided to look into midwifery. We really didn’t know much about this field so we did a lot of research on the internet and via documentaries, such as “The Business of Being Born”. This was the right road for us. A midwife was exactly the type of caregiver we were seeking. Someone who would spend more time in our appointments answering questions. Someone who believes in homeopathic remedies. And ultimately someone who would deliver our baby naturally without the looming threat of a c-section or any unnecessary medical interventions and/or medications.

Once we decided we wanted to go with a midwife, we started our search. This was a very difficult process. There isn’t much information or resources for midwives in southern California. But we eventually found a few birth centers and midwives that practice in our area. We interviewed a variety of midwives until we came across Simona Istrate.

Simona was professional and warm from day one. We met her in her office which was a good 30 minutes from our house in Burbank. We talked and explained what we were seeking and she reassured us of her skills and experience. She has over 20 years of experience and she was not only a midwife, but also a Nurse at the Hospital located right across the street. She has full hospital privileges, so if any medical interventions were required during labor, she could transfer us into the hospital and she could continue taking care of us. This was very important to us. And was one of the many reasons we decided to go with her as our caregiver.

We met with her on our regular monthly visits. Then bi-weekly and by the end of my pregnancy weekly visits. On the day of our labor, Simona was amazing. She was on top of every moment and continued giving me options as unexpected situations arose. I spent a total of 7 hours in labor, 4 of which were in her birth center. Without going into too many medical details, Simona more that exceeded our expectations. She was extremely professional and knowledgeable. I was impressed with her sensibility, professionalism and skills. I can’t say enough good things about our experience with Simona and her birth center. We had a beautiful healthy baby girl on January 17, 2013. I have no doubt that we wouldn’t have had such a natural and nurturing experience if we hadn’t chosen Simona and her Natural Birth Center. We’re already talking about our second child and how we definitely want Simona as our midwife again.

 
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