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Your NYC Neighbor: Elizabeth Mangum of Birth Focus and Nurture Brooklyn

Your NYC Neighbor – is a way of introducing New Yorkers to a rich community of savvy parents. New York is a diverse City bustling with all kinds of families and personalities. We also love to grab tips and recommendations from moms and dads in certain neighborhoods and throughout the 5 Boroughs, and especially people who have created a product, service or site that helps new parents or appeals to children. Meet Elizabeth Mangum of Birth Focus and Nurture Brooklyn.




Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Elizabeth. When I was growing up in Grand Rapids, MI, my family called me Beth, my high school friends often called me Bethany, and my husband now calls me Beth Anne. When I turned 25 and went off to grad school at the University of Michigan for social work I decided it was time to make a shift and officially began introducing myself as “Elizabeth”. Ten days after I finished the program I moved to NYC and just about every New Yorker I met called me “Liz” (which I still don’t love) and my first NYC friend called me “Lizard Breath”. These days I mostly go by “mama” to my daughter, Cora, and my son, Alister.

I share this story because it’s a great metaphor for the multiple hats I’m wearing these days. In addition to being a mother and a partner, I’m a business owner of a doula practice (BirthFocus,LLC), a birth/postpartum doula, a clinical social worker, and, most recently, the founder of a community resource center (Nurture{Bklyn}) for expecting and new families with children 0-3yrs in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.


What neighborhood do you live in?

I live in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn on the side closest to the Greenwood Cemetery. It also happens to be two blocks from Nurture{Bklyn}.


Why do you love it?

I love this neighborhood because it’s quiet and beautiful. There are families of all backgrounds and ages here and I just love our neighbors. The family who owns our building has a 3.5yr old and an 8mos old and they live right below us so they understand when they hear the pitter-patter (or stomping) of my children’s feet. I also love it b/c it’s super accessible to Prospect Park, the Kensington Stables (we love the ponies, especially Chocolate Chip!), a fantastic library, and a community garden. We can easily access multiple bus routes which my children love and I get to walk to work!


What do you do?

BirthFocus, LLC is a doula practice that offers a very unique way of meeting our birth and postpartum doulas – speed dating! We have a community partnership model so we meet regularly at various locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. I get to connect with doulas of all experience levels AND couples who are looking for birth/postpartum support. And, then, I GET to be their doula and watch them transform as they enter into parenting! It’s a pretty sweet job.

Nurture{Bklyn} is a community resource center for expecting and new parents. At Nurture I get to do what I love most…. connect people with each other in a nurturing way. I oversee our open play sessions for newborns to 3 yr olds, I teach childbirth classes, I connect with wellness providers who are interested in renting space here, and I get to talk to new parents every day about this circus-like thing we call parenting.


Why do you love what you do?

Mostly b/c I get to be messy within an organized framework, if that makes sense. I don’t have a predictable schedule (which ruffles my partner sometimes, of course); but, I love it. I love that my job often revolves around the full moon and babies are known to come at anytime. I love that I’m curating a village of parents that can step up to the plate for each other – including myself – when we need a listening ear or some spur of the moment childcare. I love that I get to watch babies being born and – sometimes even more exciting – that I get to hold space for parents to be born!


What’s ahead for you/your biz?
In the Fall I will renew my clinical social work license and I will start a private practice at Nurture{Bklyn}. I will focus on birth processing, preparation for birth/parenting, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorder with women and couples.


How you can reach Elizabeth

Elizabeth Mangum-Sarach

Executive Director/Owner, BirthFocus

Labor Support Doula – MSW – Mama to Cora (5.17.13) and Alister (2.17.15)

www.birthfocus.com – elizabeth@birthfocus.com – 512.534.8425

“There’s a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful – it’s that women are strong!”
Laura Stavoe Harm


If you get in touch be sure to use this code “BabyDoesNYC” – thank you!

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