We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Brodt and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Leah, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
For the past 15 years, I have had the honor and privilege to hold space for women. Teaching them how to heal and learn to trust their bodies through movement, yoga, and meditation. I have a unique situation as the outdoors is my “office”. In 2008, I realized that getting my clients outside to breathe and move was an essential part of my services. This freedom of space and location gave me the opportunity to bring my daughter to most, if not all my sessions. She has grown up seeing watching women of all sizes, pregnant, postpartum and overcoming many physical limitations like my two hip replacements. I can’t think of a better way to raise my daughter but to have her be a part of what I do. I love being a stay at home mama and getting to introduce her to her village.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started my journey to becoming a birth worker almost 20 years ago. I was living in Seattle, going to school , incredibly unhealthy, and depressed. I gained over 40 pounds in two years by spending 4-5 nights a week partying and ending up in the drive thru at 3 am. After realizing we couldn’t afford to buy any more “fat” clothes, my best friend, Kaytee Teichman, and I joined a gym. We got introduced to strength training and I took my first yoga class. The rest is history! We both became certified personal strength coaches and I got certified as a yoga teacher. I moved to San Diego in 2005, and ran my first marathon in 2010. After many more races and another marathon, I began to experience intense hip pain. Severe Osteoarthritis actually runs in my family and I was being told at 32, I needed a full hip replacement. I got pregnant with my daughter in 2014 and I owe my strong, pain-free pregnancy to my yoga practice and lots of walking. 2 years later, I decided to have my other hip replaced before the chronic pain set in. The past 8 years has been all about learning to celebrate my body for what it CAN do. After the birth of my daughter I felt empowered to share my struggle and show up for birthing people through all the ups and downs of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I appreciate my struggles and am certain it has made me stronger in mind, body, and spirit.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since my best friend introduced me to San Diego back in 2005, I would bring her back and take her to all the places she took me that convinced me to move here from Seattle. If you like the beach and love to hike, Torrey Pines is the spot. This breathtaking land overlooking the ocean has my heart. My favorite place to eat is Shank and Bone in North Park. This Vietnamese-inspired, incredibly-fresh favorite is my go-to when I don’t feel like cooking. You’ll find me out paddling on Mission Bay at lest once a week with my best friends and family. San Diego is truly an outdoor-lovers paradise and I hope to never take it for granted.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My incredible Doula, Meghan Johnstone for being just what I needed throughout the birth of my daughter. I knew from the moment we met, she was going to guide me on this journey. She has become and amazing mentor and a mama I love and respect. My husband, Christian, who has always encouraged me to do this work. His ability to show up for me through pregnancy, labor, and especially postpartum inspired me to give back what I received after Stella was born. He fills in the gaps when I have to go to a birth and is excited to hear all the details when I return. The schedule of a birth worker is mostly on-call, and I am so grateful for his steady support. I have to give a huge shout out to all the birth workers in San Diego. I could not have asked for a more inclusive sisterhood.

Website: www.zenmamasd.com

Instagram: @zenmamasd

Facebook: @ Zen Mama

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