We started from the same place as most of you.  Knowing nothing about childbirth save for this (click on video):

Which we began to think was sorta crazy.  So we went about exploring and quickly became fascinated by the magic of the human body- how intricately we are designed and the brilliance of the defense mechanisms in place. 

And as we spent more time "in the field" we began to realize just how much there is to learn about our selves from birth. Because the thing about the birthing process is that it's a total release into the unknown. We don't know when it will happen, how long it will last, what it will feel like... it's truly a practice of complete surrender and presence. 

Cue the cheesy life metaphor.  

But it's true. And we believe there is much to be learned from birth and from tuning into the body's signals that can be applied to practically everything. 

And thus, Brilliant Bodies was born to inspire:

  • Awareness of body and mind

  • Trust in our own brilliance

...via creative, non-fear based education and content (yeah, we're making cells cool), workshops, gatherings, and services

 

Your way is the only right way. You are Brilliant.

 
 

Ashley spivak

I was born on October 17th at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC after years of my mother trying to conceive. My parents were on their way to an adoption agency when they found out they were pregnant with me. My mom got to the hospital while in early labor and I ended up being delivered via C-Section. 

 
 

NATALIa HAILES

I was born on June 24th in Manizales, a small town in the coffee region of Colombia. My mom started labor early in the day and I came earth-side at around 1:30 pm after a dose of Pitocin to speed things up so the doctor could watch a soccer game. I had a small scratch on my head and was 6lb 8oz.

 

ASH

I'm a DONA International Certified Birth Doula, childbirth educator and prenatal nutritional consultant. I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with Honors in Comparative Arts and Anthropology and practice a variety of therapeutic cooking, breath, movement, mindfulness and bodywork modalities. In addition to working with clients and facilitating workshops, I also helped write and develop the Clean Plates restaurant guidebooks, cookbook, mobile app and email publication Motivate. My work can be seen across multiple digital and printed platforms including Yahoo Health, Epoch Times and Cosmopolitan. I have developed and taught workshops in multiple educational and corporate settings including Whole Foods and Equinox gyms. I love drinking coffee on my balcony in the mornings, biking over and jumping off of bridges, dancing and dinner parties.

ASHSPIVAK.COM

 

NAT

I was born and raised in Colombia and have lived in NYC for the past 10 years. I've worked as a Birth Doula for over 3 years and am co-founder of Brilliant Bodies and CYCLES + SEX. I am DONA Certified, a Breastfeeding Counselor and Wellness Coach.  I live in the East Village with my husband Roger. 

NATALIAHAILES.COM

 
 

ABOUT OUR BIRTH GATHERINGS

Attending the birth gathering was eye opening, and I appreciated learning about birth options in a supportive (and fun!) environment. These are not just for the pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant, but for all women and their partners.
— Carla Fleisher

ABOUT OUR STRESS REDUCTION WORKSHOPS

I really enjoyed this multifaceted workshop, and it included many more aspects than I had anticipated — including creative exercises, sound, vocalization, movement, breath work, meditation, ritual, and more. It was a fantastic complement to more run-of-the-mill childbirth education and prenatal yoga classes.
— Amelia

ABOUT OUR DOULA SERVICES

"I had the extreme pleasure of having both Natalia and Ash help with the arrival of my daughter. 

I first met with Natalia and felt such a warmth and kindness, coupled with a broad knowledge base and professionalism, I knew she would be perfect for my birth. Natalia was up front that because of tight schedules there was a better than usual chance her partner would be on call for my birth so I also met with Ash, who was equally as warm, kind, knowledgeable, and professional. 

When my water broke three weeks early both Ash and Natalia were in contact with my husband and I all day providing advice, encouragement, and support. When the time came, Ash attended the birth of my daughter and was extremely supportive. She provided information and options when things didn't go as expected and was completely supportive of my decisions. She worked well with the doctor and nurses which added so much to my peace of mind. She also worked well with my husband which helped him to stay calm so he could be actively involved and ultimately enjoy the experience. Since I went into labor so early we had not yet talked about any specifics for my labor (only preferences) but Ash expertly guided my husband and I through pain management, breathing techniques, and positions. She seamlessly stepped in when she was needed and stepped back when appropriate. Because of Ash (and despite things not going at all as planned) I had a wonderful, low stress birth. Since my daughter's birth both Ash and Natalia have kept in touch and provided support, advice, and information about breastfeeding (and anything else I have had questions about). I couldn't be happier with my experience."

- Crystal, Brian, & Baby Amelia

“From the moment we met Ash and Natalia, we felt an instant connection due to their calm personalities, their unwavering work ethic, and their support in the kind of birthing experience that we were hoping to have. In our two meetings before d-day, they answered every question my husband and I had about natural labor pain management, pregnancy symptoms, breastfeeding, you name it. And in between all the “work” talk, we got to know each other and develop a friendship that I felt was necessary for someone who was going to be such an integral part of such an intimate experience. 

                                                            photos by http://themelideos.com/

                                                            photos by http://themelideos.com/

Words cannot even explain how much it meant to me to have Natalia there with us during my labor and for Leo’s birth. Every time I recount the story to people I just have to talk about how INCREDIBLE my doula was! From the moment she arrived at our apartment, my nerves were calmed. She reminded me exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. She was such a brilliant presence throughout the entire thing and for that I will be forever grateful.  For most of my labor I felt like I was in a meditative state and was pretty checked out of what was going on in the room around me, but I truly felt her there the entire time. Pouring water over my back in the tub, the pressure point on my hand during a contraction, the massage on my legs just when I felt I was going to collapse…she always knew exactly what to do at the right time. 

Tim and I would not have been able to do this without her. She let him be my main support but stepped in when he didn’t know what to do. She encouraged me, guided me, and reminded me that I could do this. I felt like a lioness, a goddess, a wild thing, and I can’t thank her enough for giving me the freedom to be just that."  

- Merrill, Tim & Baby Leo