Testimonials

BIRTH & POSTPARTUM DOULA

“During my pregnancy I found your yoga classes and partner workshops most helpful. The partner workshops we took (the rebozo scarf techniques one and the second one for breathing techniques) were extremely hands on and super helpful. The yoga element was really missing in my life and I feel I was able to implement a lot of the breathing and visualization techniques in my day to day life during the pregnancy. I found myself calm and prepared for the big day.  [During my labor] You were there through my whole birth experience, and extremely knowledgeable when it came to the technical medical questions we had no idea how to answer. You were my best advocate and protector and I felt secure at all times and was able to fully trust you when it came to challenging the rules and regulations we were given by the hospital staff. It was so great to have your support during such a vulnerable but important moment. You helped me stay focused, hydrated and nourished. You kept the atmosphere calm and I felt safe and protected at all times. You used different techniques to help me with the pain during and between the contractions. I loved the massages, the essential oils and the tens unit. You had all the tricks and I loved it all as much as that was possible during the intense pain. I am forever grateful! You were extremely helpful postpartum with my questions and concerns regarding lactation. We weren’t doing it right and after just one hour of you being there and analyzing with me what the issues were, our baby was able to latch properly and my painfully engorged breasts were relieved. I call it Keya’s Magic!   You were so sweet to bring some thoughtful postpartum goodies for baby and I, best gifts ever! We most appreciate the breastfeeding pillow which is truly our “breast friend” now and we use it all the time. You even brought a cute winter jumpsuit for our upcoming trip to the cold desert. So so thoughtful! You are so cordial and very professional yet approachable, and as friendly as can be. You were there for us from day one and worked around our schedule and complicated demands. I hope my friends who are pregnant will be lucky enough to work with you in the future. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without you!” Pavlina Alexsandrova & Shea Varge Nov, 2015 UCLA Westwood

“During the (very) long labour, you were there for most of it and helpful with breathing and relaxing techniques and help, keeping me focused and comfortable.  I felt secure with you there for sure, it was calming and reassuring! If you weren’t there, I would definitely have showed up to hospital much sooner than we did (either time).   You are thoughtful, kind, helpful, supportive and a great listener. I would definitely recommend you to my friends, co-workers etc. for doula support!” Olivia Natawidjaja & Andy Levine Nov, 2015- Little Company Of Mary Hospital, CA

 

“We are amazed by your grace, knowledge and support. Knowing you were with us on our journey made me feel confident that my voice was being heard and that the choices I was making were right for me and my family- which you are now part of xo.  You need to clone yourself so everyone can benefit from having you during their journey!”  Sonia & Mark Costa  Aug, 2015 Cedars Sinai Hospital, CA

 

“Keya is excellent at providing detailed explanations about what to expect during pregnancy, labor, and after labor.  It was so refreshing to have her as my doula because she obviously tailors services based on each family’s needs. Not to mention I found her yoga classes to be invaluable as she teaches with such care and wisdom. Keya is very confident, observant, and I feel she reads people well. It also helps that she has two children of her own and was so open to share what has and has not worked for her.  During the birth, I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Keya! In fact, I vividly remember one moment when she stepped off to the side and I yelled ‘Keya, where are you!’ lol – labor was intense and there were moments I didn’t think I’d be able to continue.  But there she was with that superwoman shirt,  breathing and chanting with me, helping me ‘breathe my baby down’ and helping me understand I could do it.  I remember another moment when we all first arrived at the birth center.  I was sitting in the car waiting for a contraction to pass.  Keya came up and greeted me in such a gentle way, it made me feel at ease.  As intense as things became, I never felt like she was unsure of what to do.  She’s extremely confident, yet humble and I believe that builds trust and confidence in clients.  It’s obvious that Keya not only loves what she does but that she’s found her gift. And I thank her for blessing us mamas with that gift! After the birth of our beautiful baby boy, Keya observed my breastfeed latch and provided many helpful tips.  I felt pretty clueless days after giving birth, so her follow-up after birth, the visit, the placenta pill delivery, and the phone calls really made me feel good.  Each and every visit, phone conversation, and text exchange was so pleasant and enjoyable for me.  I always felt comfortable sharing my challenges and happy moments with Keya.  I never felt like I was just a ‘client’,  but instead a good friend or family member.  All of my questions and needs were met and she definitely exceeded my expectations of what I thought a doula would do (i.e., detailed overview of vaccines, actually practicing comfort measures, providing in-depth explanations, providing your amazon registry, recommending classes, following-up).  If we decide to have another little one, Keya is my only choice!” Janie & Ausar Warren July, 2015 – Community Birth Center, CA

“Keya is simply magical. Ive taken her yoga class and was so impressed by her presence and her knowledge of the pregnant body that I asked her to be my doula. Keya was always very professional – always quick to respond with all the information that we needed. Our pre birth meetings were super helpful and Keya was full of resources. Not only did she give us a list of things to consider but she hyperlinked everything to Amazon so that it was easy for us to get anything that would be helpful. In addition – she gave us some simple resources to read and give us more information if we needed it. During the birth we had to change gears several times and at each stage she helped me and my husband adjust and refocus. Keya served as a calm and steady presence through what was a very long and difficult birth. When it was time to deliver she helped me understand all that was going on around me and gave me full support. She also came by post partum and gave me much needed advice on breastfeeding and a range of other things. Working with Keya was one of the best decisions my husband and I made – she is exactly the kind of person you want standing by your side as your little one makes their way into the world!” Sarah & Jimmy MacCarthy, July 2015      UC Santa Monica Hospital, CA

“Keya Merah Nkonoki was my postpartum doula. I honestly don’t know what I would of done without her. She was indispensible, knowledgeable, and compassionate. I call her the baby whisperer because babies seem to melt in her arms. I had a difficult birth that lead to an emergency c-section. She visited me in the hospital and was there when we got home from for those first couple of nights to help me and my husband through some difficulties. She helped me with pumping, bottle and breast-feeding, and my general recovery because I was not up on my feet for several weeks. She is incredibly knowledgeable with just about everything from what products are great, to what exercises help recovery. My baby is now 3 months old and Keya does monthly visits with us where she addresses all my questions and concerns. I just learned some infant massage techniques and we are starting elimination communication. Keya is a great listener and I would recommend her to anyone!” Allegra & Willie DiStephano, May 2015 UC Westwood, CA

“My family had a wonderful experience with Keya as our postpartum doula!  Keya began working with our family when my son was about 5 months old and helped me tremendously, especially as a first time mother.  Keya helped us with everything from feeding (breastfeeding, bottles, solids) to helping us around the house to just giving me a little time to rest and re-group.  Keya was gentle and nurturing and respectful of our family’s style of parenting.  She took my son for walks, sang to him, danced with him, read to him and conforted him.  She was always smiling and positive and I know that she truly cared for my son.  Her support was invaluable!!” Tawny & David Krintzman, Venice, CA May, 2015

PREGNANCY & POSTPARTUM YOGA

“I found your prenatal yoga classes invaluable!  You have a beautiful way of making every mama feel special during class and I love how you involve everyone,  tailoring the mantras/poses to our needs by asking questions.  All of that combined with the actual practice and I always walked away feeling at ‘om'” Janie Warren, July 2015

“Keya is an amazing instructor! I am currently 27 weeks pregnant and I have taken prenatal yoga with several instructors and Keya is by far my favorite! I go to her classes in Culver City and Mar Vista and enjoy every minute of the experience! She is very hands on and helps you with the poses, her classes are perfect for any level of fitness and at any stage of pregnancy. She is great about modifying the poses so you don’t feel intimidated if you’re not quite the yogi you used to be pre-pregnancy. Friendly and relaxed atmosphere.” Pavlina Alexsandrova  Aug. 2015

“I took many different pre-natal yoga classes when I was pregnant and my favorite by far was Keya’s classes at The Moving Joint. I love Keya and looked forward to her classes every week; I wish that she had daily classes! They felt soooo good on my pregnant body and helped keep my pregnant mind peaceful and at ease. Keya is also a doula and imparts knowledge that will help with birth and postpartum during class. She is an amazing spirit and force and you would be lucky to have her guidance and loving support for your birth.” Lauren Dalke, Aug. 2015

“I took prenatal yoga with Keya at The Moving Joint and had her help me after the birth of my baby as a postpartum doula. Keya is a fantastic yoga teacher and is always sharing tips/movements/poses to help during labor. I used a lot of what she talked about during my labor. Keya is also a wonderful postpartum doula. It was great to have her help. I don’t know how I would have made it through those first few weeks without it!”Christine Darcy, Aug. 2015

“Keya is the most knowledgeable, loving pregnancy and postpartum yoga teacher I’ve encountered. Being a mother two times over, her instincts with pregnancy yoga are incredible. As a result of my yoga practice with Keya during my pregnancy, my baby’s natural birth was quick, smooth and without complications. I highly recommend Keya!” Melia Kai Ford, June 2015

“I have worked with many yoga teachers and Keya Merah stands high above all of the rest!  She has the extraordinary ability to mix technical expertise and attention to perfect positioning with an empathetic and encouraging manner.  Keya has taught me more in the few months we’ve been working together than I learned over the past five years going to classes.  She’s showed me how to use my breath and where to place it in order to get deeper into the poses and maintain them longer.  My aim was to stretch very tight muscles and release stressed joints.  Each lesson takes me closer to my goals.  And then there’s the gong – something that needs to be experienced not described.  She’s lovely to work with and beautiful to watch.”
Lisa Rich, May 2015

 

LACTATION COUNSELING

1.How was I able to support you most over the course of our days/weeks together? “Helping me to find my voice/plan in terms of BF.  Developing a plan to try in order to feel more successful with BF.   Creating room in the schedule for self-care.  Help in setting up baby equipment and discussing how to use them.  Normalizing experiences of being a new mom.  Moral support.  Massage and comfort.   Assisting in processing the birth experience and finding ways to connect with my baby. “
2.  Was there any area that you feel I far exceeded your expectations?
“Helping me focus on what was working for me and my baby.  Becoming a sounding board in order to help me find my own way with BF.”
Allison & Sam Plotkin, April 2015 
  • "Thank you so much for your work with Rose... You were very warm and gentle and patient with my baby.  So much more so than I think I tend to be... I must say that I’m really going to miss having you here to help tonight!" (Overnight support with baby girl)

    Anna LanePostpartum Doula
  • “Having Keya there made me feel that much more confident. She used her instincts and experiences to follow my lead, providing the exact support I needed. Every birth should have a doula and if it's Keya, well then you have the BEST.”

    Ana Matallana & Roger LA, CA 2014 Cedars Sinai Hospital
  • “I don’t know what I would do if I did not have Keya at my birth!  It was the most comforting and magnificent thing my husband and I could have done to prepare ourselves for the birth of our child. Thank you is simply not enough!”

    Lisa & Damian Baxter LA, CA 2014 UCLA Westwood
  • “Keya made me feel secure and strong about my birth experience! She was a great support!!”

    Jimena SalasLA, CA 2014 Kaiser West LA
  • “Our birth experience with you was] Great! I felt like you arrived right when I was ready to have your support and you had a lot of different tricks & techniques to help me through the contractions. My husband & I felt very supported at home, when we needed your guidance the most. Without your expertise at home, we would have gone to the hospital much too early and been denied admittance. You were great about making suggestions (walking in the hall and different positions) once we were at the hospital and encouraged me to try them without pushing me too hard.”

    Chad & Linda JacksonLA, CA 2014 UCLA Westwood Hospital Midwifery Program
  • “I am so grateful for your presence at Lola's birth.  I never felt alone and appreciated your ability to take charge and help me ground myself as much as possible.  You put my mind at ease and allowed me to follow my natural instincts during the delivery.”

    Erin Mckeen & Pablo LA, CA 2013, Sanctuary home birth
  • “You were absolutely amazing.  You couldn’t have been more caring, committed and effective as a doula.  I would never have lasted as long without you, being in the agonizing pain I was in!  Your breathing techniques were wonderful.”

    Jeni Rohlin & AmitLA, CA 2013, Good Samaritan Hospital
  • “As one of my prenatal yoga teachers, Keya was an integral part in my physical and spiritual preparation during this pregnancy as well as my first pregnancy two years ago.  My husband and I agree that Keya was an amazing and integral part of our birth experience!”

    Emily & David Goodberg LA, CA 2013, Sanctuary home birth
  • “From the moment we met with/interviewed Keya we felt a connection.  Keya is a warm and calm person that we immediately felt a connection.  Keya is a warm and calm person that we immediately felt would be a great addition to our birth team.  Since my mother was supposed to support us during the birth we were still undecided whether to hire a doula at all.  But when our son decided to come earlier than expected and my mother was not around yet, we immediately thought to invite Keya to our birth.  She was incredibly flexible and came to our birth (which was already in progress) on short notice in the middle of the night.  She provided me with breathing support, gave me massages and suggested different comforting ways to help me to stay calm and focused during labor contractions.  She worked well with my husband and the midwives.  She also made sure my husband and J got something to eat right after our son was born and helped clean up afterwards.”

    Lisa & Jae Yang LA, CA 2013, Sanctuary home birth
  • “Keya has provided an immeasurable service by being my doula!  Without Keya, I would not have had the natural birth that I dreamed of.  I will always be grateful for the emotional support, massages, aromatherapy, and positive energy that Keya provided.”

    Kamille & Ron Maslon LA, CA 2013, Cedars Sinai Hospital
  • "Thank you Keya Merah Nkonoki for assisting in my labor & all the yummy yoga, robozo, doula techniques, great energy, love & light you brought. Sage, Praveen & I feel so blessed you were on our team. Thanks to Keya, I have a healthy, happy yoga baby.  Now that my son Sage is one year old, his favorite thing right now is going into down-dog (using his head with booty straight up in the air) and arching into backbends with glee!  During my 2nd and 3rd trimesters, I took prenatal yoga with Keya... at Yoga West.  I loved how she always brought a different spiritual message to each class, but the same rock centered energy.  She even brought us gratitude rocks at one class, and I still have mine that says "free"... As luck (or the universe) would have it, I got to have Keya at my side, helping me with yoga stretches and breathing, all throughout three long days of active Labor!... Everyone in my family was so impressed by Keya's grounded energy and sweet light she brought into our home and my birth process.  She let me squeeze her hand, lean into her with each surge (contraction), do lunges in our courtyard - whatever it took to keep things moving and flowing... My beautiful, healthy son Sage and I are eternally grateful. Namaste."

    Summer E. Sinclair LA, CA 2013, Cedars Sinai Hospital
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