PRAISE

 

Layla’s infectious energy and passion for the cause of breastfeeding and natural birth is creating positive progress in our society. When women, like Layla, engage in society proactively, they give women’s experiences a voice and recognition. Layla’s event and workshops allowed a lot of women from around the world to work together, learn from, and inspire each other. Extraordinary things can happen, when ordinary women like Layla, decide to take action about such important issues.

— H.E. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi

I just finished reading the email that was sent to us to give us a sample of what we are to be learning in this upcoming summit and wow! I want to say that I just feel so DEEPLY fed and say thank you to Layla B for being willing to give this offering to us today. I often struggle with reconciling modernity’s disconnection from culture and community we have had to suffer for its “progress and advancements”. I know so many friends, family members, clients, and myself who have experienced difficulty during this realm of motherhood from the lack of wisdom that we need to be passed down to us to truly nourish our ourselves. I find myself trying to figure a way to marry science and spirit together again in a way that feels grounded in the diverse reality of the modern world without sacrificing the natural medicine afforded to us by Spirit. Sometimes it can feel difficult or overwhelming but I am so encouraged by all of you, from all over the world, answering the call to create a culture that is rooted in the richness and wisdom of the past. I find we are touching the elements of what is timeless and learning to adapt new things which can be fun! I want to tell you all thank you for all of the work you do every day and extend my gratitude to all who are involved in this summit. Thank you for your leadership, your courage, your faith in a better vision, and for you being willing to open up this sacred wisdom to us all. I can feel this will be very powerful and hope we can honor God’s Will in it all. Sending everyone love, wherever you are today! Thank you all again, may God’s Grace and protection be upon you. 🌹

— Tekoa

My encounter with Layla was great; she took the time to explain it, however, words don't measure to the feeling produced with the 'Closing the Bones' session, if I have to describe it will say its a mix of the having the perfect spa treatment stop on the right day/time you needed the most coupled with a space of being understood, nurtured and celebrated for becoming and being a mom. Thank you Layla!

— Annie (Postpartum Client)

Lovely wonderful Layla!! Thank you so much for yesterday. I cannot explain how much yesterday’s gathering filled my soul. Your work is so beautiful, important and necessary, you are truly blessed and a blessing. So thank you very much. I am so hopeful for our futures as mothers and birth keepers and changing maybe not the whole world but someone’s world and that for me would be more than enough.

— Zachi

It was a real privilege to attend the Sacred Postpartum Wisdom workshop with Layla. As a Postnatal Doula it was fascinating to get a glimpse of how women in Morocco are traditionally cared for during the postnatal period. Simply wonderful to sit in circle with so many inspiring women and realise how much more unites than divides us. I really hope I can learn more from Layla and the women of Morocco one day. Thank you Layla.

— Lucy Baena

Layla Thank you very much for organising such an inspiring afternoon with us all. I learned so much and am very grateful for your efforts and enthusiasm to ensure that such wonderful postpartum care and wisdom can be shared in this way. With love

— Abbi

Layla was very knowledgeable and offered me sound advice. One of the selling points for me seeking advice from Layla was based on Layla's actual experience in the retreat business industry. I would highly recommend working with Layla if you are seeking expertise in this area. Layla's approach was open, honest, constructive and supportive which was exactly what I needed. Thank you Layla ❤

— Nichola

It was with great pleasure that I was able to participate in the conference put on by Nature’s Way Dubai. I was able to learn from the other speakers which doesn’t usually happen to me. Most of the time, I speak alone, all day. I really appreciate this opportunity to hear what other speakers say. Most of all, I was very pleased to be able to meet so many good charming people from several parts of the Middle East. It was a wonderful experience for me.

— DR. JACK NEWMAN - 2015 HEADLINE SPEAKER

Dear friends: This is Natalia Ferrari, Victoria`s Donda advisor, and I wanted to thank you in her name, and mine too, for the wonderfull time we spent with you all. Not only because of the cause that gathered us, but also because it was interesting to interact between women from all the world and be moved by their experiences and way of life. For politicians is very important to keep in contact with real life... I hope you have noticed that in Victoria´s way. We hope we would stay in contact and exchange new ideas. Please keep us informed about activities with regard to women rights to raise our kids in a more natural and healthy way. We want to thank in a very special way (she is so great) to (Umm Muawiyah) and without whom we would have never met. Please extend this mail to all other women that participated.

— NATALIA FERRARI- ASSISTANT TO H.E. MP VICTORIA DONDA PEREZ, FROM ARGENTINA

I am very grateful to Layla for inviting me to present at this wonderful conference together with Nancy Mohrbacher and Sheena Byrom. I think we were a great combination of speakers very much complimenting each other to give a very well rounded agenda that took up from pregnancy through to toddler. I thought the other speakers were wonderful and gave brilliant presentations adding great depth to all the topics and highlighting the amazing work everyone is doing. I loved working with the participants both in the workshop and the yoga retreat and it was a joy to bring Active Birth to this part of the world for the first time. The teaching and information was superb and I came away very inspired to continue doing my work.

The retreat in the desert was sheer bliss – a fantastic setting, wonderful people participating, not to mention amazing food! The babies, families and kids who were around were a joy to meet as well.

— JANET BALASKAS - 2016 HEADLINE SPEAKER

Thank you for inviting me to act as MC, and to speak at the 2nd Annual GCC Natural Birth & Breastfeeding Conference in November 2017. From the moment you contacted me to meeting you in Sharjah months later, your communication, planning and hospitality was exceptional! First class - thank you!

First of all, the conference was excellent - a great mix of wonderful active birth theoretical and practical skills, inspiring talks from international and local speakers, and exciting exhibitions for maternity workers and parents. The wide-ranging topics discussed, and the breadth of knowledge of the speakers, made it a world-class event, something to be proud of. And on top of all that, the venue was amazing, and the food spectacular! I felt totally spoilt, and I LOVED meeting other delegates and birth workers. I was so impressed with how you welcomed delegates Layla, and their children!

Then the retreat in the desert! Well, we were blown away with our luxury surroundings, amidst the natural mountains of sand. We felt the impact of the tranquility and pampering almost immediately, and we didn’t want to leave…. The care and attention from each and every member of staff, the 5 star plus food, the pool and backdrop - what more could we ask for? Time to sit and relax, to talk about birth, to share stories….and for all the delegates to learn new yoga techniques from Janet, was the ultimate experience for anyone interested in maternity care.

You have incredible skills Layla, making things happen with your spirit, passion and drive. I feel incredibly lucky to have met you.

Thank you again,
xx
Sheena
www.sheenabyrom.com

— DR. SHEENA BYROM (OBE) - 2016 HEADLINE SPEAKER

My story with Layla and Nature’s Way is one of unending amazement! When I first heard about the conference, in October 2014, I was in Dr Jack Newman’s office in the International Breastfeeding Center in Toronto: he told me he had been invited at a conference in the UAE for the next year. I was of course delighted, and at the same time amazed, because the name of the organiser was completely unknown to me, who had been in contact with most of the breastfeeding advocates in the UAE for more than 15 years.
Then, during a meeting of Sharjah Baby-Friendly Campaign, the program of this conference was presented to the Scientific Committee for review. My amazement increased even more, by seeing the caliber of the other international speakers invited, and the comprehensive vision of Nature’s Way, encompassing birth and breastfeeding.
So how to describe my feelings of admiration and humbleness when I discovered that this was a grass-root initiative, from a mother without a health professional background, a mother who wanted to share gems with other mothers, empower them, as well as push health care providers to move in the right direction. It reminded me of the spirit of the La Leche League founders.
Even further, Layla , through her deep conviction and hard work, had convinced H.E Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi to be the patron of this conference.
At the conference itself, the causes of amazement and wonder continued to rain: a professional-level organiSation, achieved by a 8+-month pregnant-mother of a toddler, teaming with her husband, a unique blend of attendees (health care professionals, mothers and babies filling the room with oxytocin), participants from the region and beyond, including the founder of the ‘Happy Carrier’ project from Uganda, the incredible MP from Argentina, and of course Ina May Gaskin… Layla and her husband have truly demonstrated that great changes can happen, with God’s permission, through dedication and perseverance. May God bless them and their family.

— DR. EVELYNE RUF - 2015 PARTICIPANT & 2016 SPEAKER

I don’t know if there are words to express my delight and gratitude for the wonderful event that you and Nature’s Way Dubai organized this weekend. It truly was a wonderful mix of individuals all with the same goal for better, healthier options for women, infants and families around the time of birth and new young life. Thank you for inviting me and allowing me the opportunity to share the time with you all. Good luck with your birth – I am sure that with all the positive energy you are ready. I do hope that you will have some time for rest first and wish you and Abdullah the very best. Stay in touch and I hope to meet you all again.

— NOREEN HEALEY - 2015 SPEAKER

Dear Layla,
Just wanted to thank you a lot for sharing your stories and passion to all of us.
I LOVE your determination and the way everything seems so simple with you.
I LOVE how you take actions and their consequences they have on the community.
I LOVE the way you make us realize how we are responsible for ourselves and for other women, hence for the future generations. And this is so important...

— ELEONORE

I want to thank you for the conferences. It was a real pleasure for me to help you and to assist to the conferences. They were very interesting and fascinating. I am full of energy and full of new informations. I hope you are happy too and you could organise another event about GCC birth.

— SOPHIE MATTHYS - 2015 VOLUNTEER

Dear Layla,
I think of your gracious, gentle ways every day since meeting you. You are such a sweetheart.
I’m so happy about meeting everyone and hopefully, being able to offer a contribution.

— GAIL TULLY

The event was very professionally handled and I believe our brand got good exposure. We already had a very good feedback. I am looking forward to our future collaborations.

— PALMERS - 2015 EXHIBITOR

Layla, thank you so so much for the amazing opportunity today. It was a dream come true to meet Ina May! Thank you again so much, I know you put so much work into this conference, and it showed. It was very professional and a great joy to attend! God bless!

— KATIE - 2015 PARTICIPANT

I wanted to thank you for a very enlightening conference and for the opportunity to have our display at your event. It was a great occasion to network with others in pre and post natal care and to get valuable advice from inspirational figures like Dr. Jack Newman and Ina May Gaskin. Well done on organising such a wonderful event!

— MALAAK - 2015 EXHIBITOR

The line up for the Natural Birthing and Breastfeeding Conference was amazing. Two key international professionals, Ina May Gaskin and Jack Newman, and a fabulous selection of regional speakers covering a range of birth and breastfeeding topics. After hearing these wonderful speakers, we were all inspired to improve birthing experiences and breastfeeding rates and I fully believe that the conferences and other events organized by Natures Way, will be instrumental in changing both birth and breastfeeding in the Middle East.

The conference was educational and great for meeting like minded birthing professionals and other parents/parents-to-be.

I enjoyed being a part of the conference and sharing my birthing experiences, which was a very powerful inclusion into the programme. This has given me further regional recognition and additional speaker opportunities for which I’m very thankful to Layla for.

The retreat was a lovely combination of relaxation, socialization with other birthing professionals and up close/personal time with the amazing Ina May Gaskin. Ina shared with us many insights into her experience of birth over the past 55 years, including hints and tips for educating parents and helping labouring parents as a Doula. My absolute highlight was assisting Ina with the Rebozo to demonstrate to our peers how powerful the Rebozo is as a tool for Doulas, Care Providers and Parents. All-in-all the conference was a great initiative whereby we could meet key international and regional birthing professionals on our doorstep and be inspired to be the change.

— NIC BAMBURY - 2015 PARTICIPANT & SPEAKER

Hi. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the conference and the day with Ina may today was absolutely awesome! Thank you so much for taking the initiative to do this. It must have been really stressful and hard work at times but you should be really happy and proud of your achievement. Looking forward to the next one X.

— JASMINE COLLIN- 2015 PARTICIPANT

I had a wonderful time attending the retreat with Ina May Gaskin. I was looking forward to listening to her talks about her insights and experiences of natural birth throughout her career and also enjoyed the company of an amazing group of passionate and driven women of different backgrounds based in the Middle East and working in the birth domain as midwives, doulas and CBE’s. The location itself really was a beautiful retreat hidden away in the desert and we had the full 5* treatment. The desert safari was a “must do” experience! I was honoured to have been able to attend the 1st GCC Natural Birth Conference organised by Nature’s Way. Everything was superbly organised and all the talks were thoroughly enjoyable particularly those presented by Ina May Gaskin and Dr Jack Newman. I learned so much about breastfeeding and am looking forward to the next conference.

— UMM IBRAHIM - 2015 PARTICIPANT

I was lucky enough to attend the Natural Birth and Breastfeeding Conference in Sharjah along with the retreat and I am still bursting with excitement. It was such a huge privilege to be able to listen to speakers such as Janet Balaskas, Sheena Byron and Nancy Mohrbacher and especially to spend such an intimate time with both Janet and Sheena at the retreat. I really did learn so much. I also loved the range of speakers from across our very own region, great to see we have so many passionate experts here in the Middle East. I so enjoyed meeting and chatting to ladies from literally all over the world, so many interesting stories and an amazing wealth of knowledge. Both the conference and retreat were beautifully organised by Layla. They were well structured, perfectly timed and very welcoming to us all. Thank you Layla for giving us all the opportunity to learn so much and for all your hard work, I know it is appreciated by so many.

— NICKY LANGLEY - 2016 PARTICIPANT

So thankful to have a visionary like Layla who brings together amazing speakers and amazing birth workers to share and spread our knowledge. We are all committed to restoring normality to birth, but we cannot do it alone. The workshops, retreats and conferences organised by Layla and Natures Way, enable us to meet and work together to make the changes possible. So wonderful to meet ordinary women doing extraordinary things, to be inspired and to add essential skills, tools and wisdom to our birth work. Thank you for making it possible.

— KAREN WILMOT - 2016 PARTICIPANT

The first Natural Birth and Breastfeeding conference held in Sharjah in 2015 was a huge success. Midwives and doulas came to meet our hero Ina May Gaskin and to share the extensive knowledge of Dr Jack Newman. Everything ran smoothly and the range of topics covered was vast and informative. We all left with a renewed sense of purpose about why we do what we do and a clear vision for the way forward. The hands on workshops were excellent and well attended. I can only imagine that the next one will be as brilliant and I hope I can attend to meet and network with birth workers from around the world.

— KAREN WILMOT - 2015 PARTICIPANT & SPEAKER

I enjoyed the conference. It was very informative and excellent source of practical information. It was extremely insightful, well organized and well worth the time. It gave me an opportunity to meet colleagues, share experiences and build a network. Certainly I am interested in attending more inshallah.

— MONA ALSUMAIE - 2015 SPEAKER & PARTICIPANT

I am really thankful to have attended this amazing retreat and conference. I had such lovely time with wonderful people from all over the word in a beautiful resort in the middle of a breath taking desert with very taste food. It was awesome being with Ina May and other knowledgeable professionals. Thank you so much Layla for making it happen and I am looking forward for the next event.

— LARISSA VITORIA - 2015 PARTICIPANT

The conference last year was truly one one of a kind. In a few days it brought together many of the world’s leading natural birth and breastfeeding experts and all health professionals interested in lactation and natural birth in the entire region. There was researchers, lactation consultants, midwives, pediatricians, public health professionals, nutritionists, mothers, breastfeeding advocates, governmental officials and more. It was a great learning but also networking experience. Looking forward for the conference this year as well.

— MIRNA EL-SABBAGH - 2015 PARTICIPANT

I only attended the Ina May Gaskin study day....What a fabulous day, to meet Ina May Gaskin. I have read her books and wise words on birth, watched her videos, so meeting her in person and hearing her wisdom on birth at the birth conference was a dream fulfilled.

— NATALIE WELLS - 2015 PARTICIPANT

Once again I must say “WOW” - you put together an amazing conference and so close to the birth of your second. Really I am praying now that God would greatly support you and be gracious to you!

— NICOLE - 2015 PARTICIPANT

A little bit late but I really wanted to express my deep gratitude for all your hard work and dedication that went into arranging such a successful and inspiring conference of incredible people who are all working together to improve birth outcomes and the birth experience for mothers and babies (and fathers of course!) I did not get to network nearly as much as I would have liked to because I was so nervous about my presentation but I am so looking forward to the next one or any other events that you are part of and I would love to be considered to be a speaker again or to work with you on any other projects that you have in the pipeline.

— KAREN WILMOT - 2015 PARTICIPANT

I attended the retreat with Ina May Gaskin in September 2015. I felt incredibly privileged to be able to spend so much time so closely with Ina May and other like-minded women. I believe we are very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and learn from such experts, something I had dreamt of but never thought would be possible in UAE. I learnt a tremendous amount and felt inspired and empowered on my return home. The venue itself was wonderfully relaxing, the accommodation and food excellent. I felt the conference and retreat were very well organised I am looking forward to attending the next retreat in November.

— NICKY LANGLEY- 2015 PARTICIPANT

Hi Layla!!!

I LOVE when women are able to,sort of speak, take their mental arm and reach into another’s heart/my/soul to pull out the buried funk!{like you just did} :)

I read this earlier and I honesty spoken in my head Such a long response but kept refining and refining To Find the TRUTH not just excuses {excuse really Means a well planned lie} And this is what I ‘boiled’ It down to is that I’m having an issue with working/putting Intellect with Intuition to = my life’s ‘work’ I feel it takes both and what conflicting aspects They can be
.
.
.
So much more I can say but agh
Much Love and Laughter to you & yours <3
Thank You Truly

— SARAH

The conference 2015 was a sparkling event! I had the great pleasure of being the master of ceremony, which was a dream come true as my favourite midwife was the headline speaker! Ina May Gaskin. The conference explored birth options, good patenting decisions making and dynamic speakers!
The 2016 must not be missed as Janet Balaskas will enlighten you as she has done to me since the beginning if my midwifery life cycle- thank you Layla for making this one of the best updates ever!

— TRACY NAMEL - 2015 MC & PARTICIPANT

Dear Ms Layla,
I would like to thank you for organizing this conference which I so enjoy.
Natural Birth and Breastfeeding are vital in the life of women which is sadly lost.
God Bless and wishing you and your husband success in many such more endeavors.

— DR. NAIK - 2015 PARTICIPANT

You have planned this course with such consideration, delicacy and respect, your foundation is set for a beautiful learning environment.

— LEA OUAI

My highest respect, deepest appreciation and admiration for who you are and what you do. It all came about after watching your video about Postpartum Tradition in Morocco! Well, being from Lebanon another Arabic country, I have experienced this same belief and was so rejoiced to see someone like you elaborating and digging deeper into this sacred tradition , reflecting education and knowledge to the race of motherhood and women in general hoping to get them educated and let their soul saturated with this most tender and affectionate treatment during the most difficult time of their lives! I was deeply moved watching your video and crying through it all and kept watching over and over until my emotions calmed down and started to just enjoy it without crying.

— Hoda

Layla is extremely knowledgeable about the postpartum traditions in Morocco and was able to learn the inherent rituals and share them with the international community with passion and dedication. Her initiatives to help her homeland's keepers of birth such as the Qablas/Midwives and other women in her community allows us to learn without any appropriation risk. Closing of the bones ceremony is not only beneficial to the woman's body but nurtures her soul and allows her to recover spiritually. I've learned a lot and cannot wait to use it to celebrate women and heal them.

— Baida

Thank you Layla for such an informative closing the bones training.
After having my bones closed by a fellow Doula I really hoped for the opportunity to offer this service to my own clients and so was really pleased when you announced this course. It was very interesting to see the similarities and variations between the Moroccan technique and other communities.
Can’t wait to get my cloths delivered and start offering this service.

— Jane