We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Aardema Borrego and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
I’m not sure that there is necessarily an “end goal” with my line of work; the work is never-ending and constantly changing as a Doula. I have personally found that birthwork itself and my role as a Doula is shifting into providing various forms of support to each family. My skills are expanding into other areas of wellness and family support. I hope to eventually lead retreats and gatherings for expectant families and incorporate a variety of services that can support individuals across a spectrum of well-being. I recently moved to a home near Topanga Canyon and I envision hosting small-scale workshops and retreats that would include sound bath meditation, yoga, hiking, and a sense of community. Another crucial element that I would like to incorporate into my work is trauma-informed services and grief support during pregnancy and postpartum. After the passing of my father in January 2021, I recognized an absence of support for individuals who were trying to conceive, or who were pregnant, or a new parent, who had lost their parent(s). Grief is complex and non-linear, similar at times, to the creation of life and birth. Whatever the future holds, I hope to continue helping support individuals and families in a wide capacity.
What should our readers know about your business?
The road to begin birthwork was complicated initially, and had you told me ten years ago I’d be working as a Doula, I’m not sure I’d be convinced. Friends comment on this and tell me that I am a natural caretaker and that I was meant to be in this field; I don’t disagree with that sentiment. Nearly a decade ago, I attended UCLA and completed my BA in Women Studies (now referred to as “Gender Studies!”) I would go on to work in various different companies after college, but continued to read and take courses on things that interested me outside of my scope of work. My background prior to birthwork was primarily in Marketing and Recruiting. I worked at private equity companies, did website and content development for start-ups, and worked for an Engineering and Design Firm. Ultimately, I felt stagnant and unfulfilled by the role(s) and the lack of interaction with individuals on a more meaningful level. I began exploring holistic healing modalities and became enthralled in studying fertility, herbs, women’s health, and pregnancy. From there, my interest in vaginal steaming developed and it extended and developed into a passion for helping women, and families in a multitude of ways. Steaming introduced me to various individuals who were on the wide spectrum of where they were at with family planning. Some of these individuals were trying to gather a better understanding of their menstrual cycles, others were trying to get pregnant, and many were looking to steam to heal as a part of their postpartum recovery. After making deep and meaningful connections with many of my clients, I was asked to attend a birth of a close friend of mine. I began reading and studying the scope of work as a Doula and decided to embark on a new journey; she was my first client as a Birth Doula, and the rest is history! I went on to complete trainings as a Birth Doula, a Postpartum Doula, and took dozens of classes on comfort measures in labor and delivery, breastfeeding, rebozo techniques, “Spinning Babies,” and more. I am thankful for the journey through various fields of profession. I met my husband at my former corporate job, and my background in marketing allowed me to create a brand that was recognizable, comprehensive, and welcoming to my clients.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am one of the rare people who was born and raised in Los Angeles! In fact, the home my husband and I own, is only two blocks away from the home my parents live in, and the home I grew up in. My grandparent’s home is just down the street from that home too! All-in-all, we are three generations in this neighborhood, (hopefully four eventually!) There are many beautiful places to visit in my neighborhood. My community borders on Calabasas and Topanga; I would first take my friend to Malibu and spend the day walking the beaches and visiting the small boutiques along the coast. We’d grab fish and chips at Neptune’s Net and watch the surf from the coastline. We’d spend time hiking the beautiful, serene trails of Topanga and visit the local-owned shops in the community. Some of the most beautiful ceramics can be found in the stores of Topanga, as well as healing herbal blends, tinctures, refillable eco-friendly home products, and bohemian clothing. I have a few different “go-to” restaurants, but my all-time favorite is a small, local Italian restaurant called “Nicola’s.” This is where I’ve spent every major celebratory event; ranging from my birthdays, to my college graduation, celebrating my engagement, and more. It’s a quaint, family-owned restaurant on Ventura Blvd. and it never fails to leave you feeling happy, full, and welcomed. After exercising and indulging ourselves in some amazing meals, I would take my friend to go see my mom, Melissa, who offers the most luxurious facials and skincare treatments. She’s based out of Old Agoura and having a treatment by her is a wonderful and pampering treat. I always leave feeling fresh, dewy, and luminous! After our beauty session, we’d go to my favorite breakfast stop in Agoura, WildFlour Cafe. They have the most delectable assortment of baked goods, pastries, and brunch! My personal favorite is the italian breakfast which consists of a fried egg, marinara sauce, and basil atop a baguette. I own a Golden Retriever named Ladybug, and any friend of mine, is a friend of hers! Goldens are notorious for being very friendly and super social, so we spend a lot of time at our local dog park, Serrania Park. The park is beautifully landscaped and I love to go with friends to walk the loop of the park and watch the dogs play. I’m very fortunate to have grown up in an area I love so much, there truly is so much to do in this pocket of Los Angeles. My husband recently added string lights to our backyard and it really makes the yard feel like a mini retreat! I know we’d also spend a lot of time enjoying our fire pit outside, looking at the oak trees, and walking the neighborhood together. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family, and my husband, John, have been fundamentally involved and supportive while I have pursued this career and journey. None of my success would be possible without the phenomenal and unwavering support of my loved ones.
Michelle Sobel Photography