We hope that you're enjoying finding out more about our different instructors who teach the prenatal classes, mommy&me groups, baby music classes, and all the other workshops and sessions we do here at A Mother's Haven Boutique & Educational Center.
Our next interview is with Synthia Praglin - so many moms have had the benefit of being with Synthia in our Mothers' Gathering classes, which are wonderful education-support-community groups where new moms are together with other moms who have babies the same age. Everyone's going through the same stages and issues, and the instructor informs and supports the whole group through the huge life change of raising a baby!
AMH: What can new moms expect to learn or get from your Mothers' Gathering class?
Synthia: First and foremost, a sense of connectedness. Being a new mom can be very isolating and these groups can be very helpful in minimizing the isolation and loneliness. Additionally, I want moms to feel ‘normal.” It is important that they realize they are not alone in their feelings or experiences and that the group is a great resource for support. Each class addresses a topic geared towards the mom or her baby, so I always hope that they leave with some new information or tip to make the adjustment a bit easier.
AMH: What is your philosophy on parenting?
Synthia: There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to parenting. Each family has its own unique qualities and needs, thus the parenting approach that one chooses must ultimately fit well with those needs. I like to offer a “tool box” from which moms (and dads) can chose tips and techniques that work best for them.
AMH: How did you decide to get into this field?
Synthia: After having been at home with my son for 3 years I realized that it was time to do something in addition to being “Jake’s mom.” My educational background and personal experience including having been in a mommy group, were a perfect fit for facilitating such groups. I began teaching at The Pump Station in Santa Monica and received my certification in infant massage before accepting a position to expand the Mother’s Gathering program at A Mother’s Haven.
AMH: How would you describe yourself in 5 words or less?
Synthia: Empathic, supportive, good listener, good sense of humor (especially when it comes to parenting!)
AMH: What inspires you? What drives you?
Synthia: My 12 year old son inspires me to be the best mom I can be. Knowing that the mother-child relationship is the most significant relationship between two people keeps me constantly assessing what I am saying and doing so that he grows up feeling loved for who he is, not who I may want him to be. Children tell us what they need, we need only to listen with our heart.
AMH: How do you stay current in your field?
Synthia: Blogs, articles, books, workshops and very often, the moms in my groups! They are a wonderful source of information of which there is no shortage.
AMH: What products/resources would you recommend to new or expecting moms?
Synthia: The Sleep Sheep is great for helping little ones sleep.
AMH: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Synthia: I’d love to go to culinary school!
AMH: Favorite hobby? pastime?
Synthia: I love to cook and travel.
AMH:Favorite place to travel?
Synthia: Italy and Greece
AMH: Favorite spot in LA?
Synthia: Any new restaurant!
AMH: Best advice you've ever gotten?
Synthia: More of a quote than advice:
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.
AMH: Favorite advice to give new/expecting moms?
Trust yourself and trust what you know about your baby. If something doesn’t feel right, find the support you need. Don’t compare your baby to anyone else’s. They will all walk down the aisle and say “I do” just not at the same time.
Synthia Praglin, M.A., J.D., CIMI, CPE began teaching Mothers' Gathering (Mommy&Me) & Infant Massage classes after the birth of her own son Jake over eleven years ago. She found it was the perfect fit for her child development background and her own experiences of being a mom. Her professional background includes 15 years of experience in the fields of social services and law with at–risk children and their families. Synthia is certified by the International Association of Infant Massage Instructors and believes strongly that massage is a valuable way to promote bonding and communication between parents and their children.
Check out some of our previous Featured Instructor and Staff interviews:
Terri O'Donnell - Store Manager
Lauren Ryan - teaches Supported Birth and Caring For Your Newborn
Danielle Vorzimer - teaches Mothers' Gathering
Leslye Adelman - teaches Prepared Childbirth One-Day Intensive, Breastfeeding 101 prenatal workshops, and Caring For Your Newborn prenatal workshops. She also facilitates our weekly Breastfeeding Support Group, and is available for Private Lactation Consults.