After having my first son in early 2011, I instantly became obsessed with everything baby! I joined a Mommy and Me group in Los Angeles where I met 11 other amazing women whose babies were born within weeks of my son. I had no idea the positive impact this group would have on all of us nor did I ever think that the women would become some of my best friends. I didn’t know it at the time, but this group would change my life.
Katrina is a mom to one fun little girl! Though she and her family relocated to the Pacific Northwest in 2016, she is a Southern California girl at heart with the best things in her life having happened in Orange County. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton with two BAs in Anthropology and Women's Studies. She worked as a preschool teacher's assistant, an executive assistant, a marketing account manager, and worn many hats in the nonprofit world. She clearly thrives on organization, community, connection, and a deep purpose. The New Mom School has not only played an integral part in her own journey through first-time motherhood since late 2014, it has allowed her to put her skills and strengths to good use! She hopes every mom gets the love and appreciation they deserve, as well as the opportunity to be surrounded by the supportive mommy tribe at The New Mom School.
Melanie is an Orange County native, having spent a few years in Los Angeles while attending the University of Southern California. After graduating with a business degree, she entered the corporate world working in online media and advertising. She's been in the industry since 2010, starting in operations and eventually moving to human resources to focus on training, development, and recruitment. Beginning in 2015, she's been on the business development and operations side at small online ad consultancies, which has been a very welcomed change of pace. As of 2018, she is also a trained birth doula, through DONA, and a certified lactation educator counselor (CLEC), which allows her to tap into her passion of helping mamas through the most transformative time(s) of their lives. As a New Mom School Alum, she can attest to the powerful impact the program has had on her journey into motherhood, and she's ecstatic to be able to help facilitate the same experience for all the new and experienced moms coming through The New Mom School doors.
Britton Lunde, B.A., CCE, CPE, is one of our amazing group facilitators. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Social Science with an emphasis in Child Development from UC Irvine. She received her Childbirth Educator Certification and Postnatal Educator Certification through International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) and is a certified Kindersign Instructor. She has 12 years experience teaching Early Childhood, Kindergarten, Childbirth, Parenting and Postnatal classes. Her passion is to reach out to all new mothers and families and empower them to be the best parents they can be. She continues to support mothers and families with her fun, informative and helpful classes/workshops throughout Orange County. Britton is a proud mother of three daughters and can relate to all of the challenges that motherhood brings
Nicole Hollins is a New Mom School alum and one of our group facilitators. Nicole’s experience in early childhood development started at a very young age. She spent the majority of her teenage years and early 20’s working with her mother at her developmental preschool on the East Coast. She graduated from Baylor University with a BA in Business, but spent a majority of her time studying as a Family and Consumer Science major. She has experience in child development, family theories and meal management to name a few. She also has extensive experience as a nanny for several different families with children of various ages. She enjoys getting to know new moms and sharing her experiences and knowledge. She lives in Irvine with her husband, Steven and daughters, Charlotte and Olivia.
Keira is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who runs a mental health practice that is founded on the idea that communities and families are more connected, effective, and joyful when they are made up of emotionally healthy individuals. Her own battle with postpartum depression, and her personal struggle to become emotionally healthy gave her knowledge and perspective that she uses to help other mothers on their own journeys. She currently provides individual counseling, parenting classes, parent coaching and relational classes for young girls in her Lake Forest Practice. Keira graduated from CSULB in 2005 with a Masters in Social Work. In addition to her private practice, she has worked in the group home, public school, and university settings, providing therapy and life skills to individuals and groups. Keira has always had a heart for children. She babysat all through high school and college and was an Au Pair in London for 6 months during her sophomore year of college. She is very excited to be surrounded by babies and support new moms as they begin the beautiful journey of motherhood. Keira has been married to her husband, Mike (a high school teacher), since 2007, and is honored to be the parents of her greatest teachers, Marlee and Jack. As a family, they love to play music (they all play at least one instrument!), play games and be together outdoors.
Brooke Harrington is one of our group instructors and a New Mom school alum. Her love for children and families began at a young age when she started babysitting in junior high. She knew early on in life that working with children is what she was meant to do. Before college, she spent her time as a nanny to numerous families, worked as a paraprofessional in a moderate-severe special education classroom, and taught dance and music to children in low income areas. She went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development from Cal State Fullerton with an emphasis in Family and Community. She continued on to earn her teaching credential as an Education Specialist and taught Special Education for 4 years. In all, her passion has led her to have over 10 years of experience working with children and families. She and her husband welcomed their first baby, son Phoenix, in August 2018. As a New Mom school alum, she can confidently say this was one of the best decisions she made; to join this “tribe” of women supporting women through the transition to motherhood. Brooke is thrilled to now be on the other side and help facilitate a wonderful experience for the next group of mamas and help them feel empowered and supported to be the best parents they can be!
Abby is a certified Music Together instructor and one of our group facilitators. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Elementary Education and went on to spend many years as a teacher and teacher coach in Aurora, Colorado. In August of 2011 Abby and her husband gave birth to their first son. Within a month of becoming a new mommy, she and her family moved from their home in Colorado to start a new adventure in Southern California. During this time she began taking Music Together classes in Redondo Beach. It was here that she formed lifetime friendships with a group of nine mothers who had all given birth to their first child within weeks of each other. The relationships between moms and babies quickly formed a new family that would see her through the birth of two additional sons. Abby’s dream for all new moms is to find their own tribe who will offer the same support that she was so fortunate to find in this amazing chapter of life. Abby began teaching Music Together classes in 2014 and continues to find joy in the faces and voices of her classes. She is excited to bring her knowledge of child development and love of teaching to The New Mom School. When she is not teaching, Abby loves spending time exploring with her family. She and her husband have three energetic and amazing boys who fill her life with adventure.
Maritza is a New Mom School alum who has always been passionate about working with children. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in Child and Adolescent Development. Her passion for working with children began in college when she volunteered for a nonprofit organization working with underprivileged children. She soon began working in social services where she assisted families in crisis, provided them with resources, and focused on ensuring children’s safety. Most recently, she joined the Newport Mesa Unified School District in 2013 working in their special education department. While her focus was in ABA behavior therapy, Maritza has worked in many different facets within the department as a part of the Autism clinic team and a teacher in a moderate/severe SDC classroom. Collectively, her 10+ years of experience has allowed her to work with children of all abilities and ages ranging from infancy through early adulthood. Her calm and patient nature has served her in this role over many years, but after attending the New Mom School herself, she knew she wanted to be a part of this amazing organization. Maritza is a new mom to a beautiful baby boy and lives in Newport Beach with her husband and dog who is still adjusting to life with a little brother.
Liz has always had a passion for working with children and her caring personality helps to make a meaningful and effective therapeutic relationship. As the director of Pure Pediatric Therapy, Liz feels that the family and the child’s overall outcomes play an important role in therapy, and Liz strives to include them both in daily treatment. Liz is especially passionate about working with children who have oral motor and feeding concerns, and has worked with infants and children of all ages in a variety of settings, including the neonatal intensive care unit, outpatient pediatrics, sensory integration clinics, and school systems. Education: Bachelors of Science, Therapeutic Studies, Boston University Masters of Science, Occupational Therapy, Boston University Advanced Practice Certification in Feeding and Swallowing (SWC) In her free time, Liz enjoys spending time with her husband and her two children, going to the movies, and traveling.
Dawnita is an IBCLC Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Certified Public Health Nurse and Board Certified Nursing Instructor. She received her schooling from Loma Linda University with an emphasis on Social and Cultural Diversity. While working with at-risk populations, traveling to Botswana, Africa and providing health care on the Navajo Indian Reservation a deep appreciation was formed both in recognizing important differences and connecting on common ground with patients. Her most important life achievements have come at home with a full family of four children and a best friend for a husband. Specializing in her career as a Maternal Health Nurse, Dawnita has a well-rounded experience with the birthing process, care of the newborn, maternal recovery and breastfeeding. She has had the valuable opportunity to work as an IBCLC in the hospital setting and in her Private Lactation Practice in the comfort of mothers' homes. Dawnita receives referrals from several Pediatric and OB practices in Orange County and values her good relationships with the physicians she has worked with for so many years. She is honored to be able to have had a part in so many memorable moments of childbirth and families growing and looks forward to passing along knowledge and encouragement to your family as well.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who’s great passion is working with women and couples on their journey to becoming parents and in the transition into being a family. I received my Masters in Social Work at NYU and got licensed as an LCSW 10 years ago. I have had a private practice in both Newport Beach and Irvine for the past 8 years. I work alongside my clients as they prepare to start a family, throughout the challenges of pregnancy and postpartum, and during the transition into parenthood. Early in my career, I developed an interest in helping mothers through this emotional and physical transition into motherhood. While so much of parenthood is full of joy and excitement, there are also difficult periods of time when parents seek guidance and direction. I am here to provide that much-deserved assistance to help make this journey as smooth and joy-filled as possible.