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Meet Lauren Aardema Borrego of Mello Wellness in Calabasas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Aardema Borrego.

Lauren, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and always had a passion for working with women. My mother is a Medical Aesthetician and my father is an Attorney, I witnessed both professions helping people, and I admired their work and looked at them as my role models. After highschool, I went on to UCLA and received my Bachelor’s degree in Women Studies. I furthered my education with various other certificates, and became certified by by the Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute as a Vaginal Steam Facilitator. Additionally I took courses in Holistic Health, Crystal Healing, and Natural Remedies. The focus of my work is helping women on the full-spectrum of women’s health and birth.

As a Vaginal Steam Facilitator, I work with women who are trying to achieve a healthy, more regulated period, trying to conceive, struggling with infertility, or working to heal themselves postpartum. As a Birth and Postpartum Doula, I have attended nearly a dozen trainings, ranging from “Introduction to Child Birth,” “Breastfeeding Basics,” “Newborn Basics,” “Comfort Measures with L&D Nurses,” and more. Over the last seven years, I have developed a deep passion for birth, postpartum care, herbal holistic practices, aromatherapy, vaginal steaming, crystal healing, and women’s health. As a Birth Doula, I am privileged to help women and their partners make their pregnancy and birth, a positive and informed experience.

As a Birth Doula, I have experience working with families who want unmedicated births, medicated births, VBAC births, and cesarean section births (or what I like to call, “belly births.”) I’ve attended both home births and hospital births, ranging from Ventura County to Los Angeles. I have also volunteered with non-profit organizations to help combat the crisis of maternal mortality for WOC (women of color). My expertise is diverse and dependable. I offer support to every family, regardless of what their birth plan looks like. I believe in informed consent for all families and provide families with the appropriate resources to feel confident going into labor.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The transition from Corporate America to the Birth industry was not a seamless road. I had worked and grown accustomed to the dynamics of Corporate America, but found myself restless and unfulfilled. Leaving my job at a an Architecture and Design firm was challenging; However, the challenges provided me with the opportunity to recognize my “true calling” and set the intention and mindset in moving forward, and being brave, to make a career change. This profession has challenged me daily to be more self-aware, compassionate, understanding, and empathetic. I am always evolving, as is my practice in both the birth world and the women’s health sector. Financially, there was a major adjustment and shift; having gone from a consistent income, in to a field where work has significant ebbs and flows was challenging. The challenge and risk that came with making and finalizing a career change, pales significantly in comparison to the fulfillment of working with families and birth.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mello Wellness story. Tell us more about the business.
After graduating UCLA, I went on to work in Marketing, Recruiting, and Human Resources. I also worked Social Media gigs on the side, but was passionate about women’s health and holistic healing. I began to study birth, postpartum work, and healing through natural remedies, and started to implement what I was learning into my own lifestyle. My studying at college, was done, but I continued to study women’s health and volunteered my time advocating for reproductive rights and working with the unhoused population in Downtown Los Angeles. Volunteering in this sector, and my experience in Human Resources, allowed me to develop a unique skill set in helping individuals in a wide variety of circumstances. I left Corporate America back in 2018 and continued to further my education and skills in Women’s health.

As I mentioned earlier, my mother is a Medical Aesthetician and I grew up watching her research and understand both the holistic side, as well as the medical side of skincare. I was fascinated by her work, but knew I wanted to transition into something slightly different. At this point, I had been practicing Vaginal Steaming for several months, and I began to receive various inquiries on postpartum healing, so I began studying how steaming can benefit women postpartum. The nature of steaming helps develop a bond between the client and practitioner, and one of my client’s asked me to support her at her upcoming birth. I spent hours pouring myself over books, articles, movies, documentaries, and more to study and better understand how I could support her at her birth. After I attended her birth, everything changed for me and I fell in love with birthwork. From there, I studied various books, and was heavily influenced by the writings of the Spiritual Midwife, Ina May Gaskin, and I completed a training to become a Birth Doula at BINI in Sherman Oaks.

The name “Mello” comes from a combination of both my mother’s name (Melissa,) and my name (Lauren). I hope to one day own a business space where her and I can collaborate together to offer a wide scale of services to women. In the meantime, it is a dedication to my mother and the influence she played on starting my own business in this field.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck is a tricky word to use. I don’t necessarily believe “luck” is the reason I have created a successful business for myself. I have worked very hard to earn the success I have as both a Birth Worker and Vaginal Steam Facilitator. I do recognize that I was born into a situation where I had privilege and easier access to higher education and trainings; I am cognizant of that privilege. As far as luck, and how that has played a role in Mello, I am a big believer in manifestation and hard work. I personally believe that I attract the right clients that are compatible in working with me. I’m thankful to the universe (and wonderful referrals!) for sending clients my way.

Pricing:

  • Vaginal Steam Session: Initial intake: $75, subsequent sessions: $55
  • Postpartum Steam Session (rental for 7 days; includes herbs, sauna, and cycle analysis): $500
  • Birth Doula rate: $1,300-$1,600 (I work on a sliding scale and offer tiered packages)
  • Postpartum Doula rate: $35/hr

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Michelle Sobel Photographer

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