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Emerald Doulas

Emerald Doulas, LLC

Website: http://www.emeralddoulas.com/

Phone: 919-864-8361

Birth Fee: $1200

Postpartum Rate: $40 to $50

Fee Details: $40 per hour & $50 per hour on holidays for postpartum support. We do not charge extra fees for 'long' birth support

Birth Doula Experience: 8 years and 437 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 7 years and 565 families served

Birth Doula Certifications

  • Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) - Certified Labor Doula
  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula
  • Hypnobabies - Certified Hypno-Doula

Postpartum Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Postpartum Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, November 2011
  • Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), April 2012
Type of Practice: Group practice with shared call schedule

Clients per Month: 1 to 25 births and 1 to 30 postpartum families

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? No Home Births
Sadly, our insurance won't cover us for home births, but we can still provide support in the form of classes, infant feeding, placenta encapsulation, and of course, postpartum support

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • BirthWorks
  • ICEA (International Childbirth Education Association)

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Certified Lactation Counselor (The Center for Breastfeeding)
  • Certified Lactation Educator (CAPPA)
  • IBCLC Lactation Consultant

Other Relevant Certifications

  • Certified Placenta Encapsulator (International Placenta & Postpartum Association - IPPA)
  • CPR Certified - Red Cross
  • Healing Touch Practitioner
  • Rebozo Training
  • Reiki Practitioner
  • RN (Registered Nurse)
  • SERVSAFE® Food Safety Management Training

College Education

  • AA/AS
  • BA/BS
  • MA/MS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Addiction Recovery
  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Domestic Violence
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Previous birth trauma and/or birth injury
  • Relinquishing mothers
  • Single parents
  • Spanish Speaking
  • Special needs babies
  • Surrogacy
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • Twins
  • Vaginal breech birth
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • Antepartum doula
  • Aromatherapy
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Belly binding
  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Birth counseling for survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Breastfeeding Consultant Services
  • Child Passenger Safety Technician
  • Childbirth Education Services
  • Cloth diapering education
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Mother blessing celebrations
  • Parenting consulting
  • Placenta encapsulation
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Stillbirthday Bereavement Doula
  • Surrogates and intended parents
  • TENS units rental
  • Therapist or counselor

Languages spoken: English, Spanish, French

Certifications for Emerald Doulas

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Emerald Doulas

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Katie

I cannot say enough wonderful words about the lovely humans over at Emerald Doulas. We had Melanie and Kallyn as our birth doula team for the birth of our second son. They both helped us with confidence, calm, and comfort throughout my pregnancy. They gave me immeasurable peace of mind that we would have an ally, no matter what, on birth day and throughout this magical experience. Melanie was an amazing support for my husband and myself on birth day. I have all the love, respect, and gratitude for Emerald Doulas! ?????? We also took our older son to big sibling class, which was sweet and great for all of us. Their placenta services are also wonderful and could not have been easier to coordinate.

Posted 9/23/2019

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Stacy Peterson

Emerald Doulas is THE BEST!!! Looking back, I can't imagine how much going through the birthing process without their support, acceptance, and community. I also love the programming which supports the whole family, before and after birth. If you are considering hiring a doula in the Triangle, you won't regret using EmDo.

Also, if you are on the fence about hiring a doula, I highly recommend it. I wasn't sure about it initially, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. This is such a challenging and important part of your life and it really is the time to get the support and expertise that doulas can provide.

Posted 9/13/2019

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Leah Webster

Short review: EVERYONE DESERVES A DOULA!
Long review:
My husband and I became acquainted with Emerald Doulas at the childbirth education class led by Ashley, which not only equipped us with important information we needed to know about childbirth, but also allowed us to reflect on our emotions during that very exciting time of my pregnancy. Until taking the childbirth class at 5-6 months pregnant, neither my husband nor I considered hiring a doula. The warm and empowering energy we experienced at the childbirth class made me realize I wanted a doula to be there with me during labor, even though I wasn't sure what doula support would look like or what kind of support I needed. Turns out I really needed it! The midwives overseeing my prenatal care at Durham Women's Clinic couldn't have been more reassuring and enthusiastic about our decision to hire Emerald Doulas. They assured us we would be in great hands and have all the support we needed during labor, and they were so right! Melanie and Kallyn were our doulas, and they will have a special place in my heart for the rest of my life. They offered support before, during, and the weeks after my daughter's birth. They have this amazing way of knowing exactly when to check in or offer the perfect bit of advice and support when I need it. Kallyn was there for the actual birth of my daughter, and my husband and I cannot imagine doing it without her. Kallyn's warm and loving presence, wisdom, and support endured through my very long labor and was welcomed by me, my husband, as well as the nurses and midwives on staff. Even during labor, I kept thinking how grateful I was to have her by my side and could not imagine the alternative. If I ever have more children, we will most definitely be hiring and Emerald Doula again. We couldn't imagine it any other way.

Posted 8/26/2019

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Bo

It was wonderful working with Emerald Doulas. We first took the Child Birth Education and Infant Care Classes with Ashley and learnt a lot from her. Then we met Lauren and Abigail at the Open House and decided to work with them as our birth doula team. They were very patient and helpful leading up to the birth. My birth took 2 days and so was not what I had imagined, but having Lauren there made a world of difference. She brought so much cheer, knowledge, and positivity to my birthing room. She was extremely professional and empathetic and went above and beyond to support us every step of the way. She spent >24 hours with us in the hospital and only left 3 hours after my son was born. Since the birth, she checked in with us regularly and gave us advice about postpartum recovery, lactation, and sleeping the baby. Thank you Lauren! We have enjoyed being part of the EmDo community (Doulas for Life).

Posted 6/30/2019

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Jennifer

Melanie and Kallyn provided great support and information before and after the birth. Melanie was my doula during the birth and she was amazing. I had a hard labor which would have been much harder without her support and coaching.

Their community prenatal meetings were full of helpful information and I've made use of the regular new mother's group to ease into motherhood.

Highly recommended!

Posted 4/7/2019

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Visha Burkart

The team at Emerald Doulas is fantastic. My partner and I enjoyed meeting all of the doulas at their Open House, and we really loved working with our chosen doulas: Abigail P. and Lauren R. I felt as though our doulas blended their own type of magic with evidence-based birthing science. They were great sources of recommendations and reassurances. We had a very different birth than what we had "planned," but Lauren (the doula on call) was there to make sure my partner and I were supported - and we had a wonderful, beautiful birth, thanks in large part to her.
Even though I was transferred from the birth center to the hospital, Lauren created a safe space for us with string lights and a diffuser, a massage for me, rebozo work, and breaks for my partner (just to name a few things).
Having a birth (and postpartum) doula is a worthwhile investment. (EmDo has gifting options, too, which are perfect to put on your birth registry.) I am so grateful for the support and expertise from the EmDo team.

Posted 10/9/2018

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Emily McClure

Hands down could not have had two healthy babies with a healthy mental health without Emerald Doulas. I completely trust, adore, and respect every single female advocate on this team and proudly can call Ashley my dear friend. This group of women cares and I am truly grateful for them.

Posted 8/20/2018

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Joy Vidal

I highly recommend Emerald Doulas & I wish everyone could experience their amazing services. My birth doula was Melanie Patrick, who will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Melanie often referred to as "walking Xanax" provided everything I could have envisioned & more in supporting my first pregnancy and labor of my dreams.

After having such an amazing birth experience, we were then graced with the best postpartum doula around, Suzanne Lee. Suzanne, like Melanie has a very supportive, calming, and affirming spirit. She fit right in with our family and helped ease stress of the postpartum transition.

Then to top it all off, Victoria was our dynamic lactation consultant who supported us in ways I couldn't have imagined. Victoria is extremely caring, knowledgeable, and is very passionate about her work.

Emerald Doulas is a MUST and such a blessing to the families and communities they serve.

Posted 8/19/2018

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Lillie Cooper

I am honestly struggling to find the words to express the gratitude, love, and respect I have for the team at Emerald Doulas. My partner and I needed advocacy and support as we navigated pregnancy, birth, and now postpartum . . . it arrived in waves as soon as we found EmDo. Our amazing birth doulas, Melanie and Kallyn, were our lifeline through the entire pregnancy and I do not think I would have handled delivery as easily without them by our side; our lactation consultant (um. expert), Victoria, has ensured we are comfortable feeding our baby; and the support, love and knowledge we get from Suzanne, Ashley, and the rest of the team is priceless. The resources available for the EmDo community are invaluable and the friends we have met in the community are some of the kindest people. I felt more prepared for the birthing process thanks to these amazing ladies and now, as new parents, we feel equipped to tackle the challenges ahead because of their continued support. As our family moves towards new milestones, I know I have resources, allies, and friends and it is solely because of the experts at Emerald Doulas.

Posted 5/7/2018

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Elizabeth Hart

I don't know how anyone survives pregnancy, birth, or the first year of new parenthood without a team like Emerald Doulas. My husband and I agree that we got our money's worth well before I even delivered - Melanie and Kallyn helped me navigate the final, difficult months of my pregnancy. I went into every prenatal appointment feeling prepared and empowered thanks to their guidance, and the community prenatal meetings and childbirth class prepared us as well as we possibly could have been for such a life changing event. We have a lot of regrets about our EmDo experience - that we didn't hire them sooner, that we didn't call Kallyn in earlier during labor, and that we didn't take advantage of their postpartum doula services. When Kallyn arrived during labor, I felt so loved and cared for and empowered. She guided us through some unexpected turns, took such loving care of all of us, helped to give us the birth and the postpartum experience that we hoped for, and took photos of the experience that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. Kallyn & Melanie's home visits were a balm in those first, hard days at home. And there is no way I would have made it one week, let alone a year and counting, breastfeeding without the lactation support we received from Victoria before our son's birth, in the difficult early days, and throughout his first year. As amazing as this team of birth professionals is, what's even more impressive is the community that they have built. The weekly hangouts were sanity savers during my maternity leave. The love and non-judgmental support I have received from this community, both in person and online, has been invaluable and is worth many times more what we paid in doula fees. Hiring Emerald Doulas was definitely the best decision I made during my pregnancy, and easily ranks in the top 5 best decisions I've made in my life.

Posted 4/4/2018

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Meriel Shire

I cannot say enough wonderful things about our doulas from Emerald Doulas. Having Kallyn and Melanie support my partner and me from pregnancy to postpartum was truly such a gift, and a critical part of our birth experience. I loved the doula team approach, which ensured that we could always reach one of them (and often both of them) with questions or concerns whenever we needed. They both provided so much emotional support in the weeks leading up to our daughter’s birth, and Melanie was a tireless champion and calming presence during our long labor and delivery. She was truly there for both me as the birthing person and my partner, which allowed me to just focus on doing what my body needed to do. She collaborated perfectly with the medical staff and also helped advocate for me to ensure that I had the best experience possible. Her confidence in me and my body’s process never wavered, even when I had doubts and fears, and that calm energy and comforting touch was exactly what I needed to make it through. Even after our daughter’s birth, we stayed in close communication with our doulas and enjoyed a wonderful visit at home a few days later. We will forever treasure the love and support they provided for us, and consider them to be such an integral part of our family’s new beginning!

Posted 3/18/2018

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Maggie Bintz

I can't say enough great things about Emerald Doulas. Having them be a part of our birth experience was one of the best decisions we made during our pregnancy. We ended up having some serious complications during the birth, and Kallyn was there the whole time providing much needed comfort and support for both of us. Despite the medical scares, we felt like the whole experience ended up being very beautiful and positive, and Kallyn was a huge part of that. I can't imagine our son's birth story without her. We also participated in some of Emerald Doulas' many many resources—birth classes, lactation consulatations, community gatherings, etc—and loved all of them. 

Posted 3/7/2018

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Rebecca Stelter

I cannot say enough good things about our Emerald Doulas team, Melanie and Kallyn, as well as the Emdo community. Upon asking my husband how helpful he thought he would be during labor from 1-10, he said maybe 6 or 7. After that, I decided a doula would be the best thing to give us both the support we needed. I didn't have very strong opinions about how I wanted the birth to go, just that I wanted to avoid a c-section if at all possible. In the back of my mind, I was also interested in not having an epidural. I knew if there was any chance of that happening I would need lots of support.
We had a chance to get to know Melanie and Kallyn well before the due date and get any questions answered and express our concerns and desires for the labor and delivery. Our baby was breached and it was a great comfort to have Melanie with us when we went into the hospital for an ECV to attempt to turn the baby. It was a success and they were also very supportive as we waited and waited for labor to come. When it came time for the induced labor (2 weeks post due-date!), Melanie helped through all the contractions. She had so many tools and tips to make me as comfortable as possible, especially during the transition stage of labor. She helped both my husband and I know what to expect and answered our questions throughout the labor. Melanie, along with our midwife, and the nurse were so encouraging when I was pushing. After lots of pushing, it was determined that baby needed some help coming out and we were given the options to have a vacuum-assisted delivery or c-section. Melanie helped to make sure we had all of our questions answered and concerns addressed about the various options.
When I delivered the baby, we were in a room with lots of nurses, doctors, interns, etc. It was so helpful to have a familiar face in the room. Melanie also captured some amazing photos from right after the delivery that I will always cherish.
I highly recommend Emerald Doulas!

Posted 1/17/2018

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Amanda Fratrik

Both Melanie Patrick and Kallyn Boerner were fantastic as we awaited the birth of our second son. Melanie ended up being with us during the birth, and she was excellent during what turned out to be a speedy (and intense) labor! We were lucky enough to get the Emerald Package, and it is worth every penny. Having lactation support and postpartum doulas in addition to birth doulas has really helped smooth our transition to a four-person family. I would recommend Emerald Doulas to everyone, for all of the services they offer. Now if only newborns slept more than a few hours at a time...

Posted 10/28/2017

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Gigi Burkhalter

I don't know what we would have done without our doula! Kallyn helped me be a better birth support for my partner. When I needed to make quick decisions she helped me. When she saw something I could do to make it easier for my partner, she offered her wisdom. When I needed to take a break, she filled in. I really really really recommend having a doula, especially if you've never done this before. And I really recommend Emerald Doulas for their professionalism, wisdom, and breadth of services they offer. Thanks for helping us in this huge life transition!

Posted 8/28/2017

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Ayana Moore

I decided to hire a doula for my second pregnancy, hoping to have a much better birth experiences than the first as well as a VBAC. Emerald Doulas was recommended by my midwives and I could not have received a better recommendation. From the beginning, my doulas were 100% committed to my physical and emotional well-being. I contacted them after each doctor's appointment to debrief about how the pregnancy was progressing and to discuss my birth plan. They were always quickly responsive and provided invaluable information and resources, especially as my baby stayed breech a little longer than I'd hoped (she eventually flipped on her own). Fortunately, the delivery went very smoothly and I was able to have a successful, unmedicated VBAC. During the delivery, I really just focused on my doulas' voices, instruction, and encouragement. It was incredibly intense but they provided me with exactly what I needed every step of the way until my daughter arrived. I highly recommend having a doula present during delivery and I unequivocally recommend Emerald Doulas. Everyone I have interacted with from the practice has been incredibly kind, warm, and supportive and they offer numerous services and opportunities to support new or expanding families in both group and individual settings. If I decided to have a third child, I would without a doubt, hire them again.

Posted 8/2/2017

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kelly garcia

Suzanne and Carrie were wonderful to work with. They both were patient, relaxed and kind. It was so nice having their support which enabled us to get some sleep, not worry about dinner and relax knowing that we were informed. When Carrie and Suzanne weren't free Emerald Doulas found great doulas to fill in. (Thank you Ashey and Logan.) I would definitely recommend their services if you are looking for a doula in the area. 

Posted 7/13/2017

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Victoria C. Thomas

After experiencing a traumatic birth with our son my midwife recommended hiring a doula when I was pregnant with our daughter. I called Emerald Doulas that afternoon. Melanie and Sara were the doula team we were going to work with! My husband and I had an initial consultation meeting with them and I just knew they were going to be the support I needed for this pregnancy and delivery. Although I was very excited about our growing family I realized I was still having a lot of anxiety and fear lingering from the birth of our son. I wanted to do everything within in my control to have the birth experience I imagined this time. Working with Emerald Doulas was the best decision we made. From there Melanie and Sara became an incredible source of support and knowledge. They are both such calming and nurturing women and they provided the reassurance I needed and helped educate me and were able to help my husband to be an active partner. I started to feel better about this pregnancy and wasn't as scared. My husband and I took the Childbirth Education class offered by Emerald. This was the BEST class and I wished I had the opportunity to have taken that class before we had our son the first time we were expecting. It should be required that ALL expecting mothers take this class!

Melanie and Sara were always available to us for support, questions, you name it. As we approached 36 weeks Melanie and Sara we discussed our birth plan and my husband and I were feeling confident. They had truly helped me and provided me with the confidence to advocate for myself. I did have the birth I imagined and words cannot explain how happy I was about the entire birth experience and I know it's because we worked with Emerald Doulas. I recommend them to anyone and everyone that I can. The level of professionalism, classes, support groups, lactation consultants, postpartum doulas, etc. that are available to the expecting parents through Emerald Doulas are one of a kind.

Posted 6/24/2017

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Kelley DeAngelus

I cannot more highly praise everyone at Emerald Doulas.  I never intended on birthing with a doula when we found out I was pregnant with our first child.  I had many firends who birthed with doulas, but it just didn't seem to be "for me."  Then, tragedy struck and I was in a position where it looked like I might be birthing without my sweet husband.  Enter Emerald Doulas.  They were the most wonderful, warm, welcoming women I have EVER met.  I have tradiditionally been a person that takes awhile to warm up to someone, especially when it comes to sharing personal details of my life.  However, I instantly fell in love with all of them.  It really truly was like they were all old friends with whom I could share my most intimate questions and worries.  I also used their post-partum overnight services when I first came home from the hosptial and for several weeks afterwards.  that was the biggest help of all.  They answered my questions and worries, and loved on my sweet boy as if he were their own family.  I missed them terribly when it was time to transition on my own.  Please, please if you are at all thinking of using a birth or post-partum doula contact these fine women.  You will be so happy you did!

Posted 4/3/2017

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Susan Ellor

Our experience was fantastic. My husband and I are first-time parents who decided to deliver at WBWC.  I knew I wanted additional support during delivery from a woman who knew the ropes of child-bearing. After a really positive and educational (and lengthy) chat on the phone with Melanie, we came ino Emerald Doulas to meet her and her colleague Sara (both hypnobabies trained, which I also planned to use for delivery day).  From the beginning they made it clear that they were there for us an all ways surrounding the pregnancy, birth, and post-partum period. Sara was the one on call the night I went into labor.  She was a fantastic physical and emotional support, providing me and my husband with sage guidance and peaceful reassurance throughout the labor and delivery. She also helped me through a number of different maneuvers and comfort measures that helped the labor progress seamlessly (despite a posterior presentation). As labor progressed, I wasn't speaking much (had indeed turned very 'inward') and althuogh I was not that 'far-along' only an hour before, Sara sensed that we were very close to delivering. Trusting her intuition she convinced the midwife to come back in to our room, and just moments later we had our baby. Not only was she in tune with the process of brith, she was also keenly aware of our needs as first time parents. Despite our daughter being born in the early hours of the morning, she remained a warm and unhurried presence, and was with us (or nearby giving us a little private time with our newborn) for several hours until we encouraged her to get back home to her own bed for some much earned rest. She called to check on us once we were home, and both Sara and melanie came for a post-partum visit, and provided some great advice (and warm conversation). From our first conversation with Melanie to our smooth delivery with Sara, Emerald doulas was fantastic and has our highest recommendation for doula services.

Posted 3/28/2017

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Melissa Cole

Working with Emerald Doulas has been an amazing experience.  From my initial call with Melanie to home cooked meals with my postapartum doula Suzanne and lactation consults with victoria, I can't express how thankful I am for these amazing group of women.  Melanie had an amazing calming spirit from the start, which I was immidiately drawn to. She played a key role in my birthing experience being a great support to myself and husband.  Herself and Sara were always available to listen and answer any questions we had.  After my birth my husband decided to use their services for a postpartum doula, and although I wasnt on board at first, he made a great decision. I'd like to say the homecooked meals were the best part but it was also being able to feel supported by another woman sharing the newness of motherhood and all the changes that come with it. This team of women are amazing and you won't disappoint! 

Posted 2/27/2017

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Michael Gutierrez

When my wife first said she wanted a doula, I was skeptical. It seemed like an unncecessary expense in a time of necessary expenses. It also sounded vaguely new-age and I thought it would somehow involve crystals and chanting. None of this was, of course, true. There were no chants or crystals, just counseing and aid during this long labor. Their presence was not only necessary, but it made a difficult birth bearable. My wife spent nearly 50 hours in labor. Our birth plan fell apart when our son's delivery stalled and he was eventually born via an emergency c-section. Throughout this entire experience someone from Emerald Doulas was there. They provided relaxation techniques, moral support, physical support, and emotional comfort during this difficult time. They talked my wife through her fears and talked me through mine. They spelled me during the labor, giving me a chance to get a cup of coffee or take a quick nap. The nurses and midwives came and went, but the doulas were there the entire time. I can't recommend them highly enough.  

Posted 2/7/2017

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Jourdan Fairchild

My husband and I can't imagine our daughter's birth without the guidance and support of Emerald Doulas. We first read about the company online and attended an open house to meet the doulas in person. Chelsea and Melanie made us feel instantly comfortable with the process and helped us develop a birth plan that had all of our wants and needs in mind. They answered enless questions leading up to and after the due date. And even before contractions began, walked us through next steps. Once at the hospital, Melanie set the mood, put my fears at ease, and was by my side for 18+ hours of labor. What more can you ask for? She advocated for us, provided endless physical/emotional/mental support, and helped me tap a source of inner strength I didn't know I possessed. I'd recommend Emerald Doulas in a heartbeat.

Posted 1/9/2017

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Michael Noel

Oh my.  Where to start.  I truly believe the one indispensible component of our pre, during, and post birth experience is Emerald Doulas.  Knowing what I know now, I would have happily paid twice as much!  More than anything, the Doulas are such friendly people with hearts of gold.  They clearly are following their callings and are SO good at what they do!  Whether you are looking for prenatal classes and coaching, birthing support, lactation consulting, day or night postpartem help, new parenting support groups (which are free to customers), they've got you covered.  It's like having a small army of moms without the drama and politics of moms and mother-in-laws.  

Working with Emerald Doulas is without a doubt the #1 thing I would recommend to anyone who has recently found out they are pregnant, is already nicely along in their pregnancy, is about to give birth, has already given birth, or even gave birth a couple months ago and just wants someone to take care of their infant at night with a bottle so parents can finally get one full night's sleep.  They are amazing.  You will wish they lived with you!

I don't know how I could possibly write a review that is an accurate reflection of the way I feel about Emerald Doulas.  Just go talk to them... sign up... you'll love them!

Posted 1/7/2017

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Whitney Eibl

We loved Emerald Doulas and would highly recommend their services. One of the reasons we chose EmDo was because they were a group and we would get paired with two doulas to work with throughout our pregnancy and know one of them would be at our birth. Before signing the contract with EmDo it seemed like it would be a really big headache to find one doula to work with. Another benefit of EmDo is that they host community prenatal meetings with facilitated discussions that touch on a range of birth topics (ie comfort measures, feeding a newborn, navigating family postpartum) and those were very helpful. My husband and I enjoyed touching base with each other throughout the pregnancy at these discussions because as first time parents we weren't always sure what to talk about at home! Melanie and Sara were our doula team and Melanie attended our birth; praise her for sticking with us throughout the 25 hour labor (she came to the hospital around hour 8, if my fuzzy birth brain remembers correctly). I truly believe that without EmDo our pregnancy and birth wouldn't have gone as smoothly as it did. 

After we were home with the babe and grandparents had gone home my husband insisted on bringing in a postpartum doula to help me one afternoon. I really didn't think we needed it but it was so worth it. Suzanne visited us 7 weeks post partum and offered some guidance for starting to structure naps and let me take a nap. Since then we have been following her advice and the babe is responding extremely well to naps in the crib. Without Suzanne he'd probably still be napping while I held him! As a new mom I wasn't sure when to start working on naps in the crib.

And *one more thing* they host weekly and monthly meetups for new parents / moms / dads so they're really building a wonderful community. They also offer yoga too - I did some prenatal yoga and can't wait to try Baby & Me yoga.

Best thing we did with the pregnancy was sign up at EmDo!

Posted 1/3/2017

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Cheryl Schall

My husband and I hired Emerald Doulas because I had post partum depression following the birth of my first child. We didn't work with anyone during our first birth and I thought the additional support would have been welcome and beneficial for my physical and mental health.

I knew I had made a good choice even during the initial phone call with Melanie. She was patient and compassionate - she actively listened to my concerns and thoroughly answered all my questions. I had a high risk pregnancy due to gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension, so I was matched with Melanie and Ashley to be my doula team. They have been/are always available to me for questions and concerns.

I had a pretty fantastic birth experience and Melanie was a big part of it. I was in the hospital being induced for about 24 hours. I didn't call Melanie in at that time and she consistently checked in with me throughout that time, clarifying questions I had, and suggesting things that might make me more relaxed and calm. For example, I was complaining how I was feeling hungry and weak and she suggested that I request broth. It was such a simple fix and it made a world of difference. I felt so much better after I drank it and I would have had no idea to ask for that otherwise.

When I did ask that Melanie come in, she came right away. I felt confident with her by my side - much more in control and measured. 

I highly recommend Emerald Doulas. Beside their excellent doulas, they have so many great programs - support groups, sibling classes, yoga, etc. In comparison to my first birth, having Melanie and Emerald Doulas with me definitely made this experience much better. I am thankful for their involvement in my family's life.

Posted 9/26/2016

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stacey brower

I was very impressed from the first meeting! My first visit was for a lactation consult during my second pregnancy because I had low milk supply my first pregnancy. The lactation consultant, Victoria, was very knowledgeable and really listened to my needs. She also gave me space and time to grieve my first pregnancy frustrations with low milk supply and being an exclusive pumper the first time around. She spent at least 90 minutes with me and was very thorough and gave me a written breast feeding plan to meet my goals before my second baby was born. At this wonderful meeting I also learned more about doulas and everything that Emerald Doulas offered. All the staff in the office was welcoming, warm, and knowledgeable. I really wanted to go for a VBAC and they shared with me the VBAC rates at certain hospitals. My lactation consult ended up opening doors for me to find a high rate VBAC hospital as well as learn more about doulas. I later decided have a doula at my birth and I did not need to do more research, Emerald Doulas was the right choice for me. I had an initial 1 hr meeting to meet the doulas and ask questions before I agreed to have a doula at my birth. After I decided, they came to my house for an in home consult to review my birth plan. Again I always had the time and space to feel listened to, and address my needs, and my goals during my birth, and my vision of how a doula would help me.

During my birth it was so comforting to have another person than my husband be my advocate, help me achieve my birth plan, help my husband and I when labor was tough and see our options clearly. Emerald Doulas was also supportive and knowledgeable of hypnobabies that I decided to use for pain management. I can't say enough good things about what this group is doing. It made my second birth a happy memory and it was everything I wanted!

Posted 9/4/2016

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Sunny Yoo

I could go on forever about the wonderful ladies at Emerald Doulas, but if you're only going to read one sentence from my long testimonial, this is the takeaway: Hiring them was the best decision of our birth/postpartum experience.

As first time parents giving birth in a new city away from family and friends, my husband and I set out in search of support and it came to us in the form of Emerald Doulas. 

Originally we had set out in search of just a postpartum doula, but ultimately decided we wanted a birth doula as well. MK was the "lucky" doula on call for my exhausting 42 total hours of active labor (20 at the hospital). MK offered support both mentally and physically, providing pain management tips and letting me drape my heavy pregnant self all over her tiny body. I feel bad for ruining her back and probably breaking her fingers while I pushed. MK helped us feel safe, supported and as confident as we could be in a vulnerable situation. She helped me stay focused in the moment, and have a positive birth experience. It was also great to have extra support when my husband needed a coffee or food break.

And boy were we ever grateful for Suzanne's support once we got home from the hospital. There was a learning curve getting used to new life as a family of three (plus pets). It was great to have help with errands/food prep/packing for our move, a shoulder to lean on when things felt tough, and a treasure trove of practical tips for baby care. Suzanne helped us become more confident and comfortable in our role as first time parents. My favorite support was the overnights - getting quality sleep with minimal interruption does wonders to improve your mood and energy those first few weeks!

Emerald Doulas provided invaluable support for us during an exciting (but also mildly terrifying) time. It was the best decision we could have made for our family, no doubt. Thank you, Emerald Doulas, for everything!!

Posted 8/15/2016

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Deanna Crossman

We called Emerald Doulas and had a great conversation with Ashely about ourselves, our pregnancy, and our goals/desires/interest in working with a doula.  She paired us with Chelsea and Melanie and we setup a time to meet.  Once we did, we knew we found the right people for us! 

They were extremely relaxed and open to exactly what we were looking for in our experience (even if we didn't exactly know yet!).  They also gave us great info and ideas and pointed out things we could investigate and others that we needed to think about that we weren't even aware of.  I felt like we were headed into the experience with a team ready for whatever my little one was going to throw at them.

When the big day (night) finally arrived Chelsea was on call.  Everything happened so fast!  I went from first contraction to precious angel delivered in 6 hours.  Chelsea talked me through everything and guided me through the whole process.  She was a great guide for my husband during the whole process and helped him help me.  

Afterward Chelsea and Melanie came to visit and Chelsea wrote a wonderful brith story for us to keep!  It look me a few days to be able to read it without crying but it was so special and we'll treasure it always.

I would highly recommend these wonderful ladies to help you navigate the process and be your advocate!

 

Posted 7/15/2016

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Samantha Sweede

I was a low-risk pregnancy, but it was eventful and confusing. I had odd symptoms that my doctors couldn't explain, I wasn't receiving the support I needed at my OB office, and I reached a point where I didn't trust my doctors. During my last trimester, I reached out to Emerald Doulas.

Melanie and I hit it off immediately. She was instantly invested in me as a first-time mom and as a person. Not only did she answer my questions, but I felt like I was speaking with a girlfriend who cared about my needs and birth plan. She was personable and easy to connect with, I felt comfortable with her, and she provided the support and information that I was fighting to get from my OB.

My confidence rose the more I interacted with both of my doulas, Chelsea and Melanie. They were supportive, informative, and personable. They took an interest in me, they communicated effectively, and they checked in frequently. I felt like a priority and a friend, which helped me have honest conversations with them about my emotions and thoughts. I didn't always get clear or accurate answers from my OB office, but I could count on Melanie and Chelsea to be available and open. The more informative Chelsea and Melanie were, the easier it became to advocate for myself.

When I went into labor, I felt in control and my husband was able to advocate for me because of their support and encouragement. When I doubted myself, Melanie was there to encourage me. She said all of the right things, which helped me get through labor and face delivery with confidence and determination, instead of fear and doubt. I'm so happy that I had her there because I was able to stick with my birth plan, maintain a positive environment, and deliver my daughter in the environment and under the circumstances that were important to me.

Thank you for everything, ladies! I feel strong, capable, and confident because of both of you.

Posted 7/11/2016

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Lara Casey Isaacson

Emerald Doulas was a life-saver for us! Suzanne and the entire team changed our lives. They not only helped to care for our daughter with tender love and skill, they also cared for our family as a whole. Their thougtfulness made an emotionally draining time lighter. I feel more equipped as a mother because of what I learned from them too. We can't recommend them enough! Thank you, wonderful women of Emerald Doulas! - Lara and Ari

Posted 6/7/2016

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Lauren Varkey

I heard about Emerald Doulas through my midwife and am so grateful for hiring them. My husband and I are both in the medical field (he is an MD and I am an RN) and were looking for a very practical but also supportive Doula team. Both Melanie and Ashley were supportive of whatever birth plan my husband and I decided on. I didnt feel like I would be a disappointment if plans changed and I got an epidural. They were accepting of whatever we wanted. 

The most important thing for me was that the birth of our son remain an experience between me and my husband rather than between me and the doula. Melanie was an amazing facilitator of that. She was wonderful at helping my husband help me when we were in labor. She helped coach him to coach me which is exactly what I wanted. She was a wonderful presence in the labor room. Helping to get things when i needed them and helping me to reposition (epidural made it hard). She would quitely suggest things but also let things happen on their own. Melanie also took amazing pictures! My husband was really excited about that. So he could be coaching me while pushing and she was snapping the photos.

Both Melanie and Ashley came to visit our new family of 3 at our home after the birth. They helped us kind of debrief after the birth and helped with breastfeeding which was great to have that support in our home.

Overall I am so happy that we hired them and would do it again in a heartbeat!

Posted 5/26/2016

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Barbara Stover

I am so thankful to have found Emerald Doulas! As I sit here breastfeeding my one month old I think back to meeting my doula and how much she helped my husband and I. Words can not thank her enough for the support and help she provided. Without her Support my husband and I would have been at each other's throats with tension and stress. Sara provided us with strategies and techniques to work through the birth. She was a source of comfort and a non bias person that I could vent to or just turn to for support. She guided my husband and gave him direction when on our own I could not have communicated what I needed him to do and he would not have known what to do to help me. She made every part of my birthing experience wonderful. When we plan to have another baby we will call Emerald Doulas! I absolutely loved the class that we took to prepare for birth. It really helped to hear other from other pregnant women and their worries were the same as mine! Thank you Sara for everything! You were a blessing. 

Posted 5/23/2016

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Sydney Williams

Look at you, smart person, looking into a doula! This was one of the best decisions of my twin pregnancy, especially since I hired the EmDo team, so you should keep being brilliant and hire them. Their pre-natal care and guidance was like having your awesome big sister who's been there, done that, and looked fabulous while going through every curveball a pregnancy will  throw your way, backwards and in high heels.

At our first "is this the right fit?" meeting, my husband and I expressed some concerns in the OB care we'd gotten up to that point and thanks to the fabulous advice of the EmDo team, were empowered with resources to make some serious changes in care at the 26 week mark. Our new OB team fully supported our birth goals, and I ended up with two happy healthy baby girls and no C-section recovery. 

The team was fully supportive of whatever choices my husband and I made for our birth plan- in fact, I think they had more faith in me than I did! There was no judgement when I took my OB's advice to opt for an epidural for multiple reasons, but encouragement that I could get through it all, and they would be there with us. 

Their text support throughout my early labor got me through a rough night, and I don't know how I could have gotten through the delivery and unforseen complications without Melanie holding my hand. My husband was free to love on our healthy newborn girls while Mel focused on keeping me calm and blissfully unaware of the craziness going on around us. 

If you're on this site, clearly you're considering a doula, so give the EmDo ladies a call, meet with them at a cafe where there's amazing cake and coffee, and just get all the warm fuzzies I had from the first meeting through the postnatal follow up visit. It might be one of the best choices you make all 40 weeks! 

Posted 5/18/2016

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Erin Worsham

One of the best decisions we made was to hire Emerald Doulas! Being a first time mom, I was nervous about pregnancy/labor. We knew that we would be delivering our baby in a hospital with our OBs, but given that our OB practice rotated doctors (therefore, we wouldn't be sure of which doctor would be on call that day), I wanted to make sure there was someone with me that I trusted and was advocating for me and my birth plan.

Having Melanie and Michelle as an additional perspective than my doctors during the pregnancy was invaluable to ask random questions via email, text and phone. They were knowledgeable, supportive and I always felt comfortable asking anything.

Having the doula during the labor process turned out to be even more valuable than I anticipated. My labor was unexpectedly intense - from first contractions to delivery was only 5 hours and there were some complications. We almost delivered at home! Having Melanie there to tell me everything was going to be ok, walk me through what was happening during the chaos, and advocating for me in the hospital was worth every penny! The delivery was really scary but I can look back on it in a positive light and I owe that to Melanie's experience, support and encouragement throughout those crazy hours.

We were so happy with the birth doula that we signed up for postpartum doulas as well. Through daytime and overnight visits, we had their doulas cook, clean, do laundry, support me during breastfeeding challenges and answer all of my questions about how to care for my new baby. It was invaluable to have extra sets of hands and also gave me the confidence as a first time mom.

An additional benefit has been the courses and gatherings that Emerald offers for clients. We feel like we have joined a supportive community through Emerald and that has been amazing!

Posted 4/16/2016

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Patrick DSilva

Faced with the reality of having our first child while living a thousand miles from family, we knew that we needed support.  What we did not know is just how much support we would need, and that is where the angels at Emerald Doulas swept in and saved us.  From a very long labor and delivery to recovery from an unexpected C-section, to those first days and nights when my partner and I barely knew what day it was, on through today when we struggle with getting our baby to take a nap in his crib in the middle of the dreaded 4-month-old sleep regression, the women of Emerald Doulas are there for us.  Ashley, Melanie, and Suzanne have taught us everything we know about taking care of our baby.  Throughout the pregnancy, they responded to our frantic texts and phone calls with questions about pre-natal tests or what type of diapers to buy.  When our birthing time began, they were with us every step of the way.  As the father, I appreciate the way they treat me as an important part of the familty while also providing my partner with the special support that she needs.  I cannot conceive of a world in which we went through this process without doula support - both during the birth and post-partum - and I guarantee that if we believe our family needs to grow again, we will work with these women again.  Even as my confidence as a first time parent grows, I still look forward to their arrival, knowing that when one of them walks through the door, it means that an experienced and compassionate person will be there to help me stumble through these still early days of fatherhood.  That they do this without judging me for my ignorance is a blessing that cannot be repaid; that in doing this they teach me to trust the parental instincts I didn't know I had within me...now that's just a plain old miracle.

Posted 4/11/2016

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Katherine Jones

I am so grateful for all of the support that both Ashley and Melanie of Emerald Doulas provided for us leading up to the birth of our daughter, during the birth itself, and during our time as new parents. As this was our first child, my husband and I were unsure if we wanted a doula: would it be strange to have someone else right there with us during such an intimate experience? Hiring Emerald Doulas was such a good decision, and I truly can’t imagine doing it any other way. Melanie was there with us for the birth, and her calm nature, affirmations, and techniques to relieve pain allowed me to really experience the birth the way I wanted to, and allowed my husband to be present with me and not feel like it was his job to move things along or manage my pain. The entire experience would have had a different tone if we didn’t have Melanie’s support. Truly, I can’t recommend Emerald Doulas highly enough!

Posted 4/8/2016

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Emily Miller

Ashley Collins from Emerald Doulas was our birth doula, we also used Suzanne Lee and Melanie Patrick (as well as Ashley) for postpartum support after our son was born.  I cannot say enough about these women.  They made our birth and immediate postpartum experience so amazing.  They are all incredibly experienced, patient, well-informed, compassionate and a joy to be around.

Ashely was a huge asset to us during our birth.  Both my husband and I later remarked how we had no idea how we would have gotten through that (very long) day without her.

I feel almost all my knowledge of newborn care and most of my confidence as a new parent came from having doula support.  I know it helped me through a difficult birth and it continues to aid me in being a better, more rested, more cared-for parent.  Additionally, Emerald Doulas has provided both my husband and me a gathering place for new parents, which is so vital especially in the first few months.  I really love this business and, more importantly, the women who run it, they are really the best of the best in my opinion!  

Posted 3/28/2016

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Erika Parker

We had a wonderful home birth. Melanie was an awesome birth doula. My husband was very impressed and thought she did a wonderful job. Her presence was calming and supportive. Melanie is knowledgeable and helpful. Should we have another baby, we will definitely employ her services again. 

Posted 2/25/2016

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Amanda Flaim

Melanie Patrick was born to be a doula. As a second time mom with a very supportive partner, I felt fairly confident that I'd be able to navigate my second birth fairly well, but we are so grateful that we asked Melanie to help us through it.  Knowlng Melanie would be by our side provided much-appreciated calm and reassurance as I'd had a fairly turbulent and anxiety ridden first pregnancy.  Moreover, her care during my (rather intense) delivery was kind and very affirming the whole way through. She created the most serene atmosphere in the hospital. Beyond transforming the physical space, which did not feel like a hospital room at all, she helped create a respectful and kind emotional space with me, my husband, my midwife and each of the hospital nurses. While I still felt pain (by choice), I felt no fear. I would recommend Melanie as a partner through birth to any woman, regardless of what she hopes for her pregnancy, birth and child. I never felt that she had an agenda to push, and never felt judged for any of my choices. To husbands and other partners who want support and reassurance during the birth or who just want to be able to help the birthing mother without feeling fear or anxiety of their own, my husband recommends Melanie without hesitation. We are so grateful that she is a part of our daughter's story. 

Posted 2/22/2016

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Katie Linn

My husband and I knew early on that we wanted to work with a doula.  We were pregnant with our first child and like most, we did not know what to expect.  We knew a doula would provide us with practicial information, emotional guidance, and help us be strong advocates for what we wanted (and didn't). So when we first met Melanie, we knew instantly that she would be that person. Melanie was friendly, calm, knowledgable, confident, and was a great listener. Over three in-home meetings, she provided us with evidence-baseed information, modeled hands-on comfort techniques, including ones using the rebozo, aided us in creating our birth plan, normalized our fears and anxieties, advised us on how to communicate with medical providers, and most importantly, she taught us how to support one another. So when the time came for our lil' girl's arrival, we felt as prepared as anyone could be in this situation. Of course nothing went according to plan and we suddenly had many medical decisions to make to help progress the labor.  Melanie was there to support us every step of the way from explaining what these interventions entailed to holding my hand during contractions.  And most importantly, Melanie was discretely and subtly taking pictures of the entire delivery.  Once our daughter arrived and we began to decend into the fog of parenthood, we were able to look back at the moment that our lives changed and relive it in a way that helped us validate our decisionmaking, our pain, and our hardwork.  This was truly invaluable and for this, among many other reasons, we will forever be grateful to Melanie. 

Posted 1/17/2016

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