Women In Wellness: Laura Erlich of Mother Nurture Wellness On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
Take care of your heart and maintain good boundaries. Life is hard, and relationships can be even harder. Keeping your lines of communication with loved ones open and clear, and taking care of yourself through having good boundaries is key to managing your emotional wellbeing.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Laura Erlich.
Laura began her career in holistic wellness after studying Traditional Chinese Medicine with an emphasis on fertility and obstetric care. After graduating summa cum laude from Emperor’s College, she founded Mother Nurture Wellness, a Los Angeles-based women’s health practice specializing in fertility optimization, pregnancy, and postpartum care. As an integrative health professional for over 20 years, Laura has helped thousands of families grow by creating a custom roadmap that targets each individual’s needs from nutrition, supplementation, herbal medicine, acupuncture, meditation, mentorship, and beyond. In 2015, Laura co-authored Feed Your Fertility, A Guide to Cultivating a Healthy Pregnancy with Chinese Medicine, Real Food and Healthy Living.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
My career working with women in the realm of holistic health dates back to the days of yore, the late 1990’s, when I hung out my shingle as a prenatal massage therapist in New York City. About a year later, I moved back to my hometown of Los Angeles and began my career as a doula and prenatal massage therapist. Wanting even more tools to work with, I got a masters degree in Chinese medicine and started bringing all of my skills together in my private practice, going on to co-author a book, Feed Your Fertility, and found a wellness center, Mother Nurture Wellness. Lately, I’ve pivoted to do more teaching and online coaching, which I truly am enjoying.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Years of witnessing incredible women give birth makes it almost impossible to narrow it down to one amazing story. A few awe inspiring moments include watching a mom go from early labor to pushing her baby out in under 5 minutes, after stimulation from one acupuncture needle! Another powerful badass mom labored for 5 days straight, others had emergency c-sections and I held their hand while their partner attended to the new baby. As an acupuncturist and herbalist, I’ve witnessed the magic of seeing people who struggle to become pregnant finally realize their dreams of parenthood. I’ve witnessed couples walk away and choose a childless life. Every day in my career is interesting, heart opening and inspiring, because of the pure grace, grit and resilience I witness.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
This is a hard one to answer. I think my biggest mistake was choosing to go into a business partnership with a friend. We were both very green, and we were functioning more on a series of leaps of faith than a solid business plan. We ended up parting ways, and I’d honestly rather have skipped the partnership and kept the friendship, when all was said and done.
The lessons I learned from this were some of the hardest of my life. Most notably, to be very thoughtful about entering into business arrangements with friends, and to be crystal clear about how you set up a business structure with someone you have a personal relationship with. I am grateful to have moved on and recovered both personally and professionally, but the relationships I lost in the process were a steep price to pay.
Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Working as an integrative fertility and obstetric specialist has afforded me the incredible privilege of supporting women to achieve pregnancy, and to bring their babies earthside as peacefully as possible, as well as helping them ease their shift into the postpartum phase. Throughout my career, I have applied the same philosophy to supporting my patients who are trying to conceive, by supporting their heart and emotional health with as much concern as I have for optimizing their physical wellness. Chinese medical philosophy opines that we are microcosms of the greater macrocosm- the world around us, which means that we are only as healthy as our environment. Through my work, I seek to educate as many people as I can about the importance of living clean, through nutrition, lifestyle, and our carbon footprint. Mothering means caring about the planet as much as our individual selves, and I seek to share that message whenever possible.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Eat whole foods as much as possible. Eating processed foods increases your carbon footprint and taxes your body. Eating foods that have been altered as little as possible is a major component of better health. I have seen women’s cycles regulate, moods stabilize and pregnancy nausea vanish when real food is the mainstay.
- Meal-plan! In order to achieve the goal of eating real, taking the time to plan and prepare meals for the week is an invaluable tool. Cut your veggies, marinate your proteins, think about what you are going to prepare and make it as easy for yourself as possible when you’re staring down making a weeknight dinner! One of my favorite things to do is to make a “salad bar in the fridge,” so all I have to do is mix and match veggies and protein for a quick meal.
- Get enough sleep. In order to give your body adequate time to detoxify and repair, sleeping a minimum of 7–8 hours a night is really important
- Make sure your digestive system is working properly. That means ensuring enough veggies and fluids and movement to ensure a daily bowel movement. It also means managing your tendency to worry and overthink, which can damage digestion (think nervous stomach) and lead to IBS-like symptoms.
- Take care of your heart and maintain good boundaries. Life is hard, and relationships can be even harder. Keeping your lines of communication with loved ones open and clear, and taking care of yourself through having good boundaries is key to managing your emotional wellbeing.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Given the moment we are in, the movement that would bring the most wellness to the most people would be to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels, which are the drivers of pollution, climate change, and political upheaval in our world. If we devoted as much energy to clean energy as we do to war, we would all be much healthier, and so would our planet. I wish I could start a movement that compelled humans to think more about the impact of their actions on the future, rather than choosing short term convenience.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Plan for a pandemic.
- Never have just one revenue stream
- Business ownership is not for the faint of heart, be prepared to work!
- Combining being a mom with owning a business is a lifelong balancing act that you’ll always be striving to get right
- Keep strong boundaries in everything you do
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
A through line in my work is the relationship we have to our environments, and working with people to make small daily changes to help their values line up more with their actions. While this definitely falls under the umbrella of climate change, I think it actually encompasses all of these hot button issues. Veganism is often an effort to be kinder to animals and the planet, our mental health is frayed from living in a sick world, and our climate is affected to a degree that stands to cause us great harm. As humans, we will only make it if we find our way back to what matters most, bringing health to our world through bringing health to ourselves.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
www.mothernurturela.com and @mothernurturewellness on Instagram
Thank you for these fantastic insights!