Here is a partial list of the impressive specialists who present to Babytalk LA Groups…
Dr. Cigal Shaham – Pediatrician
Dr. Shaham is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and works as a pediatrician at Roxbury Pediatrics in Beverly Hills. She received her B.A. with honors from UC Berkeley, and her MSc in Regulatory Science from USC’s School of Pharmacy. She worked at Children’s Hospital LA before obtaining her M.D. from the Ben-Gurion University Medical School for International Health in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center. Dr Shaham received the Pediatric Residency Leadership Award after completing her Residency in Pediatrics at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, where she was also the American Academy of Pediatrics Delegate. In addition, Dr. Shaham sits on the Health Advisory Board for Early Head Start and is mother to a 3 year old son, who teaches her something new every day.
Donna Eshelman, M.A., G.C.F.P. – Movement Specialist Donna is the founder of Stellar Caterpillar®, an innovative infant-focused practice that teaches skilled movement to healthy babies and offers an interactive online guide for new parents. Integrating a graduate degree in dance from UCLA and international studies in kinesiology, movement analysis, and motor-learning, Donna has created movement techniques that are a catalyst for physical, emotional and cognitive growth. Through workshops she does with our parents, she teaches that movement training enhances much more than just motor development, it creates physical confidence and fosters positive self-image.
Jenni June, LLC, Certified Child Sleep Consultant
Jenni works with our parents to educate them on developing healthy sleep habits for their infants and toddlers. She is a Certified Family Sleep Consultant, a Certified Lactation Consultant, and a Certified SIDS prevention and Safe Sleep Educator. She has just wrapped her new series, “Baby Care with Jenni June” for the BabyLeague Network. Jenni is also a Certified Pre/postnatal Stress Management Coach and the proud mom of 4 teenagers!
Linda Hanna, RNC, MSN/ED., IBCLC – Breastfeeding Educator
Linda educates our expecting parents on how to have a successful breastfeeding experience. She is firmly of the mind that each mother’s experience is unique, and she is committed to helping each family come up with a strategy that works best for them and their newborn. She does most of her work out of her My Nursing Coach van, the nation’s first mobile breastfeeding center, which is outfitted with everything a nursing mom could ever need! Linda grew up in New York and earned her BS in Nursing from SUNY Stonybrook. She has been a registered nurse since 1978. After moving to California, she worked at Cedars-Sinai, Hollywood Presbyterian and Kaiser Permanente.
Dr. Jay Goldberg – M.D., F.A.C.O.G.
A member of the Women’s Care of Beverly Hills Medical Group, Dr. Goldberg has worked with us to develop our Expecting Parents Program. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1996 after completing his undergraduate education at the University of California-San Diego. He completed his internship and residency training at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. As a founding member of the Cedars-Sinai Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology, he has been at the forefront of laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery. Dr. Goldberg has been awarded the Cedars-Sinai Obstetrician of the Year award and was recipient of the Golden Apple Award-given by the resident physicians he teaches. His charity work includes: Autism Speaks, Hirshberg Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, First Ladies Initiative Birthing Center in Namibia, and Hole in the Wall summer camps.
Julia A. White, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Dr. Julia teaches Babytalk LA parents how to keep their babies as healthy as possible. Influenced by her own experience as a child in the hospital, Dr. Julia has since had a passion to care for children experiencing illness. She received her Bachelor of Science from Oklahoma State University in Nutritional Sciences. She then went to medical school at the University of Oklahoma where she received her Doctor of Medicine degree. Having spent time in Southern California as a leadership consultant prior to medical school, she decided to move to Los Angeles for training in 2005 at UCLA Medical Center. After completing residency in 2008, she served as Chief Resident for one year in addition to working at a local urgent care. She then joined the office at Robertson Pediatrics in July 2009, and is currently an attending physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Michelle Carlson– Hand in Hand Certified Instructor
Michelle is passionate about helping others find their way through the murky business of being a connected parent. She believes that listening partnerships are the cornerstone to moving through difficulties, and as such, Michelle has helped our parents make meaningful connections, work on sibling rivalry, and alleviate power struggles. Aggression, fears, withdrawnness and sleep are just some of the struggles she has shared and helped others rectify. Before becoming a Hand in Hand certified instructor in 2015, she worked for 12 years in public schools as a teacher and counselor. Michelle lives in Los Angeles with her two girls 7 and 10.
Dr. Sonya Sethi Gohill, MD, F.A.A.P. – Pediatrician
Dr. Sonya established Brentwood Pediatrics in 2010 with a commitment to building long-term, high quality relationships with their patients. After graduating from Stanford University with honors, Dr. Sonya attended UCLA Medical School and completed her pediatric residency there. She is a certified lactation counselor and has been featured on TV show The Doctors as well as in the LA Times. Dr. Sonya advises our families on staying healthy from both a preventive standpoint and also how to deal with sickness and injury. She is an active fundraiser for the Bumi Sehat Clinic in Bali, an honorary angel for Baby2Baby, and a mother of three.
Pattie Fitzgerald – Child Safety Educator
Pattie is the founder of Safely Ever After and is nationally recognized for her work as a Child Safety Educator and Children’s Advocate. Pattie educates parents and children of all ages with vital life skills to protect kids from sexual predators and abduction. She is a former preschool teacher and a former court appointed Child Visitation Monitor. She is the author of two highly acclaimed children’s books, “No Trespassing-This Is My Body!” and “Super Duper Safety School”. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, MSNBC and CNN.
Brooke Fries, MSTOM – Licensed Acupuncturist
Brooke is passionate about helping families thrive using the tools of Chinese medicine. She is the founder of The Elemental Family, an acupuncture and herbal wellness center that is focused on holistic pediatrics, fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum support. The Elemental Family prides itself on complementing routine pediatric care for all childhood health concerns. Brooke attended Stanford University and received her Chinese medical training at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in NYC. She worked onsite at the New York University Fertility Center before moving back home to LA to start her own practice. She is the mother of a toddler and feels alternately humbled and inspired daily by the challenges and joys of parenting.
Shira Lenchewski, M.S., R.D.– Dietitian
Shira Lenchewski is a dynamic, results-oriented Registered Dietitian with a strong science foundation, and a meaningful understanding of the interplay between food and the body. Pulling from her nutritional science Master’s education at New York University, and her deep love of good food, Shira works with our parents to help them guide their children towards a healthy relationship with food. Shira’s approach is built on a clean-eating lifestyle, emphasizing whole, organic foods with big flavors. Shira is the resident nutrition expert at LaurenConrad.com, and has been featured on Glamour.com, POPSUGAR Fitness, Refinery29, The Real Girl’s Kitchen, and Fitness Magazine, amongst others.
Michael Kleinman, DDS – Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Michael Kleinman educates our new parents on how to best take care of their children’s teeth. His philosophy is simple: Avoid restorative treatment through strong preventive practices and if that is not possible use the best techniques backed by the most current scientific evidence. He firmly believes that almost all dental disease is avoidable and enjoys teaching parents about what preventative measures should be taken at home. He attended The University of Maryland Dental School and continued his Pediatric Dental Residency there where he served as Chief Resident. He is currently a clinical instructor at UCLA Department of Pediatric Dentistry. His extensive training and gentle manner enable him to care for all children, including those with medical, physical, or mental disabilities. When not in the office, he is kept very busy at home with his three young children.
Anat Simantob – Tax & Estate Planning Attorney
Anat educates our parents about how important it is to plan for the well-being of the children, including creating trusts, choosing a guardian and setting up educational savings plans and life insurance. She is an associate with Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP where she assists clients with a broad spectrum of estate planning issues such as tax planning, probate and trust administration, conservatorships, guardianships and dispute resolution. She has a BA from UCSD and attended UCLA for Law School. She is also the mother of two!
Stacey Landberg – M.S., CCC-Speech Language Pathologist Stacey has provided individual speech therapy and diagnostics to over 1000 children in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Florida. Her specialties include early intervention, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, oral-motor planning, specific language impairments, craniofacial anomalies, speech sound disorders, high-risk populations, feeding impairments, supervising students/speech assistants, parent education, professional training, program/presentation development, and understanding screen science.
Allyn Shapiro – School Placement Specialist
Allyn presents to our parents on how to evaluate schools. She is an educator who worked for forty years as a teacher, school principal and administrator in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Central Offices. She has experience in evaluating schools, instructional programs and staff. She works with parents and attorneys to identify the “best fit” school placements for children whose strengths and needs are critical factors to be considered in school selection.
Les Bronte – CPR Instructor
Former Mayor of Beverly Hills, Les works with our Expecting and New Parents to train them in CPR and other safety techniques. His focus is on prevention, but he also gives our families the tools needed to deal with emergencies. Among other positions, Les is currently the Vice President & Administrative Coordinator of Beverly Hills CPR, an American Heart Association authorized training center.
Lauren Maddahi – Registered Dietitian
Lauren Maddahi is a Registered Dietitian who discusses maternal and child wellness through nutrition. She received her Masters of Science in Nutrition Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2014 and her Bachelors of Arts in European Studies from UCLA in 2010. She takes inspiration from her own past of battling with weight and body image to empathize with her clients and motivate children and adults alike to have a positive relationship with eating nourishing foods.
Sona A. Tatiyants – Attorney
Sona addresses estate planning needs from a young family’s perspective. Shes discusses how to protect your minor children and assets including wills, trusts, guardian nomination for minor children, special needs trusts, and more. Sona received her J.D. cum laude from Southwestern University of Law and her Masters of Law in Taxation (LL.M.) from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles with a focus on estate planning and taxation. She is a proud mother as well as the founder of Tatiyants Law P.C.
Doyin is a daddy, husband, author, and public speaker inspiring our groups to think, laugh, and learn while evolving as parents and as people. His Daddy Doin’ Work blog has rapidly grown to become one of the most popular daddy blogs in America. His passion for fatherhood is documented in his book titled, Daddy Doin’ Work: Empowering Mothers To Evolve Fatherhood. Doyin is an in-demand speaker on modern fatherhood and has been interviewed by respected media outlets/personalities such as the TODAY Show, NPR, Katie Couric, USA Today, CNN, Parents Magazine, Yahoo!, Huffington Post Live, DL Hughley, Vanity Fair, Essence Magazine, Sunrise Australia, Fox News and more.
Lindsey works with our parents to help them be strong, healthy and feel good about themselves. She has over 10 years of experience in the dance and fitness industries working alongside top choreographers and fitness professionals in Los Angeles and New York. Lindsey is the owner of LEM Fitness, providing small group and one-on-one personal training, fitness and yoga throughout Los Angeles. She is involved in Rockin’ Mama Life which offers prenatal/postnatal yoga, fitness and wellness to hip, healthy mamas. As a personal trainer, yoga instructor and motivator, she is committed to providing fun, innovative and scientifically effective programming that promotes a healthy body as well as a healthy mind.
Amy Hochstein – Licensed Speech Pathologist
Amy Hochstein, Licensed Speech Pathologist, talks with our parents about articulation and language development for their children. She is a highly skilled clinician with experience in the evaluation and treatment of both children and adults with a broad range of communication issues. Mrs. Hochstein is trained in PROMPT, Floortime and early intervention methods, and has conducted social skills groups. Amy is part of the The Beverly Hills Speech & Language Center (BHSLC), which has been treating children and adults with a wide range of communication challenges for the past 25 years.
Randy Kaplan – Family Music Specialist
Randy works with our parents on fostering an appreciation of music in children and employing music to develop children’s language, cognitive, and gross motor skills. In his songs for children and their families, Randy blends American Roots, Country Blues, and Comedic Storytelling. His recordings have won top honors from NAPPA and appeared on Top Ten lists the world over—including those of PEOPLE magazine and NPR. Randy has been honored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Parenting Publication Awards (NAPPA). He studied philosophy, writing, and literature at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and at U.C.L.A.
Amelia Winslow – Nutritionist
Amelia is a nutritionist, chef, and busy mom who believes healthy eating should be simple and fun, not stressful or overwhelming. She advises our parents on healthy ways to introduce solids into a baby’s diet, and give our toddler parents great ideas for delicious and nutritious meals. Amelia holds two Master’s degrees, in Nutrition and Public Health, from Tufts University. She started Eating Made Easy, a site that answers your food & nutrition questions and offers practical, creative, science-based tips to make eating at home with your little one easier.
Andrea Orbeck – Celebrity Trainer & Fitness Expert
Andrea, a former national athlete with the Women’s Canadian Bobsled team, studied Kinesiology at the University of Calgary and is recognized as a Pregnancy Fitness Specialist with the AFPA and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. While she is responsible for sculpting some of the most enviable bodies in the world, including Heidi Klum’s, it is her work with everyday women–particularly those going through the body transitions associated with having a baby–that drive her passion for fitness. Andrea works with our moms to help them get back into shape and feeling great about themselves!
Sae La Chin – Car Seat Safety Specialist, Baby Planner & Mom Fitness Guru Sae La is the founder of SayBayBee, a baby planning company that guides new parents through the preparation process while saving them time, money, and energy. Her specialties include customizing baby registries, organizing nurseries and installing car seats. She is a proud member of the NY Safety Coalition to ensure the safety of children in vehicles. Sae La was featured on CNN as the “go-to” personal shopper representing BuyBuyBaby. As a professional dancer (Broadway, Radio City Rockette, MET Opera Ballet, MFA in Dance from NYU), she also created a Prenatal Dance Fitness Workout as well as a workout for Mom and Baby. Sae La is a new mom to son Parker.
Christina Simon, Private School Expert
Christina Simon speaks to our parents about the considerations of a private school experience and the roadmap to sending their children to private schools in Los Angeles. She is the co-author of Beyond The Brochure: An Insider’s Guide To Private Elementary Schools In Los Angeles and she writes a blog about the same topic. She is the mom of two kids who have attended several private schools in the area. Christina holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley and an M.A. from UCLA.
Michelle Nelms, Children’s Swim Teacher
Michelle works with our parents to give them ideas for how to raise a successful, safe and joyful swimmer! Michelle specializes in children’s swimming, techniques and pool safety. Having taught thousands of private swim lessons all around Los Angeles, Michelle is an expert on developing a childs’ ability to swim with ease and grace. She teaches our parents skills they can work on at home to facilitate happy swimming.
Brittney Castro, CFP®, CRPC®, AAMS® – Financial Planner
There are so many things to think about financially when you have a baby…budgeting, educational savings plans, insurance. It’s overwhelming! It is Brittney’s mission to educate and empower new families to become confident handling their finances. Brittney majored in Economics at UC Santa Barbara and attended the College for Financial Planning to get her CFP. She is the owner of Financially Wise Women.
Thais Doyle, Ph.D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Thais Doyle is a licensed clinical psychologist who works with children and families at Cognitive Behavior Associates. She received a PhD from UMBC in Maryland in 2010. She works with children with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and behavior problems using research-supported techniques. She talks to our parents about Positive Discipline, a more gentle parenting approach which focuses on preventing misbehavior, connecting with your child, and avoiding harsh discipline. Dr. Doyle is a new parent herself and really enjoys working with young children and new parents!
Kim Walls, M.S. – Baby Skin Care Kim educates our parents on the importance of baby skin care. As the CEO of Episencial® and the mother of two young boys, Kim is well suited to discuss the relationship between optimum health and skin care with new parents. She is a sought after industry advisor to leading health advocacy organizations including Healthy Child, Healthy World, Infant Massage USA, the Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals Association and Pregnancy Awareness Month.
Lisa Pierson Weinberger – Attorney
Lisa, owner of Mom, Esq., is an employment lawyer with a niche practice dedicated to the needs of moms and moms-to-be. From helping women to understand and maximize their maternity leave benefits, explain reinstatement and pumping rights, negotiate part-time and flexible work arrangements, and counsel families on issues relating to their domestic employees, Lisa is an invaluable resource for LA parents. A graduate from Washington University in St. Louis and the UCLA School of Law, Lisa worked at the law firm of Greenberg Glusker in Century City for seven years before opening her own practice.
Lily Nichols – Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Pilates Instructor Lily helps expecting moms choose the best foods and the safest exercise to “build a healthy baby”. Her private practice, Nichols Nutrition , focuses on integrative whole-food nutrition, food sensitivities, and prenatal nutrition. Lily received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics with honors from Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst and completed her accredited dietetic internship at L.A. County+USC Medical Center. She is the perinatal dietitian and diabetes educator for Harbor-UCLA Women’s Health and Perinatal Group. An expert in gestational diabetes, Lily has consulted for the California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program: Sweet Success. She writes about mindful movement and enlightened eating on her blog, Pilates Nutritionist.
Jennifer Johnson, Perinatal Exercise Specialist Jennifer Johnson is a certified pre and post natal exercise specialist and founder of Pasadena-based Fit for Expecting. Her practice focuses exclusively on the perinatal period of a woman’s life. She works with our Expecting Moms to create safe and effective exercise programs for before, during and after pregnancy. Jennifer’s specialty certifications include Perinatal Exercise, Perinatal Health and Wellness, and Health Coaching. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis.
Lucas Topham – Massage Therapist/Infant Massage Therapist
Lucas, having been trained at the Utah College of Massage Therapy in several modalities including infant massage, has been working as a professional massage therapist for over 15 years. Having four children of his own, his practice has grown into a love for empowering families with their health in the home through massages and teaching the use of essential oils. Because one of Lucas’ children had several health issues as an infant, he has also been able to find solutions for his family and is passionate about passing what he has learned to to other families so they have tools to help with sleep, colic, fevers, ear infections, stress, and many other common ailments.
Katie Smith – Sleep Consultant and Parenting Coach Katie has been working with families for over twenty years and is the owner of The Independent Child. Katie works with our expecting parents to teach them to establish healthy sleep habits and an environment conducive to sleep from the beginning. She provides our new parents with insight into the most common sleep problems children have, and she advises on behavioral issues common in toddlers. She has a BA in Child Development and training in the RIE philosophy.
Ingrid Von Burg – Yoga Instructor
Ingrid is an experienced Mommy and Me Yoga instructor who shows Babytalk LA parents how to incorporate their little ones into a yoga practice. She received her teacher training certification from Maha Yoga, as well as her certification for yoga for kids from Shana Meyerson at Mini Yogis. Ingrid also plans family yoga and wellness retreats through her business Yoga Luxxe.
Norah Vasen, , CHES, RYT-200 Hour
Norah is a Certified Health Education Specialist with the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing and a Registered Yoga Instructor with the Yoga Alliance. She works with our Expecting and Current Parents on wellness topics including nutrition and yoga. Norah attended the University of Houston and holds two Bachelor degrees: Health Education and Promotion and Fine Arts. Wellness, health, yoga, and working with women are at the center of her life. She recently moved from Texas to Los Angeles and enjoys her work with the Babytalk LA community.
Kathy Sinclair – Baby Sleep Expert Kathy Sinclair works with our parents to help their babies become lifelong healthy sleepers. She has studied closely the secrets and nuances of baby sleeping patterns, and has recently been appointed to the position of Managing Director of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants (APSC), the foremost international organization for baby sleep professionals. Kathy is a graduate of Australia’s prestigious Charlton Brown Nanny College, a Certified Post Partum Doula, a Lactation Educator and a Certified Happiest Baby on the Block Educator. As head of Baby Sleep Solutions, a sleep consultation service, Kathy does online and telephone consulting to families who need to get more sleep quickly and without fuss.
Lisa Knakal, MA MFT – Family and Child Therapist Lisa’s qualifications as a licensed marriage and family therapist include a BA from UCLA and a Master”s Degree from The Phillip’s Graduate Institute in Clinical Psychology. She has additional and specialized training in Attachment and Object Relations Theory, Child Therapy and Child Social Skills Training and sub specializes in infertility and adoption counseling. She founded The Integrative Counseling Group in Calabasas to be a special source of assistance for couples, individuals and children facing a variety of presenting issues. Lisa is the busy mom of a two year old which informs and inspires her desire to help families work toward achieving greater balance and peace.
Francine Lederer, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Francine Lederer is a Clinical Psychologist and Life Transitions Specialist. She has been providing therapy for nearly a decade and is the owner and director of LA Talk Therapy where she runs both Couples Therapy and an Expectant Mothers Group to help facilitate awareness, guidance, support, change and growth. Starting a family and having children is a huge adjustment on our mind, body and emotional well-being. Dr. Lederer helps parents make sense of their changing roles and become better equipped to take on parenthood!