Melissa McCrumb Photo

Melissa McCrumb

Melissa the Doula NYC

Website: http://www.melissathedoulanyc.com

Birth Fee: $2000 to $2500

Postpartum Rate: $35 to $45

Fee Details: I believe that every person who wants a doula should have one. If my fees don't meet your budget, lets talk and figure something out!

Birth Doula Experience: 2 years and 60 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 2 years

Doula Training

Not Specified

Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 2 to 4 births and 2 to 4 postpartum families

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

College Education

  • BA/BS

Languages spoken: German, Spanish

Client Testimonials for Melissa McCrumb

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Joyce Astrini

I moved to New York 2 years ago and without any relatives close by. Shortly thereafter I got pregnant. I was beyond happy, I couldn‘t wait to hold my baby in my arms.

However as a new mom I was a bit nervous especially when it was getting closer to the delivery date. I was about to enter my 3rd trimester when all the things about giving birth started to occupied my mind from the pain (I heard sometimes the labor can be more than 24 hours) to how am I going to push the baby out and more!! And on top of that my Mom couldn’t be there to help me through it.

During this time I talked co worker who was a new mom about my fears and concerns. She suggested that a dula may be worth considering. She recommended Melissa and said that she wouldnt have gotten through her own labor of 30hrs, without Melissa!

Long story short my husband and I loved Melissa and from the very first conversation.  Melissa is very knowledgable, calm, emphatic while at the same time not judgmental and does whatever she can to support your birth plan  

When the moment of truth arrived and my labor started Melissa was terrific. She helped me managed the pain of labor and the contractions. she was a great coach and procided me with information which helped me stay calm and make a sound decisions throughout the delivery.  She help me to breathe through the pain, put the right pressure every time I had contraction and even she help to capture the precious moments when my baby was born! 

After my precious baby boy was born, she made sure he could latch properly and taught me  some invaluble tips and techniques. She is also a lactation consultant which is a huge bonus  

 

I whole heartedly recommend Melissa if you are looking for a doula! She’s perfect! 

Posted 11/18/2018

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Aafje Van Summeren

Having Melissa as part of our birth team was the best choice we made! We interviewed several doula’s, however after meeting with Melissa we immediately knew she was the right fit. Her calm and kind demeanor paired with her knowledge and experience was exactly what we were looking for. We couldn’t have made a better decision! I decided early on in my pregnancy to have a natural birth and thanks to her I was able to stick with it. (And trust me, there were times I wasn’t sure I was able to do it!) At the hospital she stayed calm and focused on making me as comfortable as possible, suggesting different positions and ways to deal with labor. (Getting in the shower was the best!)


Thank you Melissa! I know I was very lucky to be able to stick with my birth plan, but it definitely wouldn’t have happened without your help!

 

Posted 8/17/2018

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Lily Golightly

I had a tough pregnancy- gestational diabetes, puking every day, asthma issues, it really wasn't great. I was so riddled with anxiety about the birth that I would wake up nightly during my third trimester in the middle of full blown panic attacks. Melissa was super patient with me before the birth- answering all of my insane questions about all of the things that could potentially go wrong, reassuring me, and giving me some great tools to cope for the big day.

I ended up being induced, had an epidural, and never once felt judged by Melissa. She stuck by my side throughout a 29 hour birth, woke up with me at night when there were some scary complications, and she transformed into an actual superhero during the 3 hours of pushing and birth of my son!

I remember at one point I was sure I wouldn't be able to keep going, that I would probably have to have a C-Section which I really didn't want. I was feeling super discouraged after being in labor for so long and not really knowing if I was doing any of it correctly. The turning point happened when Melissa told me excitedly that she saw could see my son's head and that he had wispy hair! At that moment I knew that I could deliver the baby and that encouragement really pushed me over the edge. Having Melissa in the room with me was SO helpful, she helped me advocate for myself and was a stellar cheerleader. 

Cherry on top? The moment my son was born, I turned to her, completely delirious and asked her for a bagel and iced coffee (since I hadn't eaten in over 24 hours and hadn't had a bagel in months) and she got them for me! I can't recommend her enough.

Posted 8/14/2018

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Mimi Choy-Brown

From our initial meeting, Melissa really took the time to listen to our story and needs. Her commitment to this being the birth we were looking for (as much as any of us can do that) was clear. While she was helpful and knowledgeable with resources, she also waited for our queue to make suggestions. Her gentle, clear approach in our initial meeting carried throughout.

During the prenatal visit, Melissa helped us to prioritize any preparation we wanted to do, reminded us of the all the details we had forgotten (when we asked questions), and showed us some positions to use for labor. She was available leading up to my due date when I had questions and even called me prior to a big storm to strategize should I go into labor. My daughter was over a week late so she was giving me lots of helpful suggestions on labor induction strategies and supporting me through my concern about a potentially big baby.

I ended up being induced in the middle of the night and Melissa was invaluable to us in navigating the hospital room - getting us extra supplies, advocating with staff, and helping us to use the complicated birthing bed to put me in comfortable positions. We would never have figured this out on our own and allowed me to get a little more rest. As labor became more intense, Melissa's voice - calmly, firmly guided me through each contraction. As the contractions intensified, her guidance grounded me. I had wanted to avoid getting an epidural, but in the end, for several reasons, ended up getting one. Melissa didn't skip a beat in supporting me with that decision in a way that honored my initial desire to avoid it and my present situation and decision to move forward with it.

We loved having Melissa as a part of the birth and highly recommend her. Melissa was so professional, kind, and responsive to us - when we needed guidance, help, and space. If we were ever going to have another, I would want her there. 

Posted 6/22/2017

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Alys Mann

When we first started looking for a doula Melissa was the first person I interviewed and I felt very comfortable with her. It only took one more interview to confirm that she was the doula for us. Our baby remained in breech position late into the pregnancy and ultimately, I was sent to the hospital early to have our daughter via C-Section. While the birth of our daughter didn’t happen at all as we had planned, Melissa was flexible and able to provide me with post-partum support after our baby arrived. She was beyond helpful as I was recovering from surgery and living on the 4th floor of a walk-up apartment. She would do everything from taking the trash down to our basement, helping with meal prep, watching our daughter while I grabbed a quick shower, and just talking with me about how things were going for me or what I was experiencing.

Melissa is a kind, non-judgmental, friendly, and super helpful person. I had no idea that I would need the post-partum help and support I did and I’m very happy Melissa was there to make the weeks following childbirth easier. I would highly recommend her!

Posted 6/6/2017

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Corinne Low

I cannot say enough wonderful things about my experience with Melissa. We worked with Melissa and her doula partner Aida, and Melissa ultimately attended our birth. Melissa and Aida were INCREDIBLY helpful and knowledgable in the prenatal visits, and helped us prepare for our birth and the post-partum period. They each bring different types of knowledge to the table, so it's like having two doulas for the price of one! When I went into labor, Melissa provided phone support until I was ready for her to come. As soon as she arrived, she brought a calming presence into our home. She helped me physically through the contractions, rubbing my back, etc., working in sync with my husband. She thought of everything and had a plan for everything, such as how to be most comfortable in the taxi on the way to the hospital. When it turned out my labor wasn't progressing and we had gotten sent home from the hospital twice, Melissa helped me cope with the frustration and reset my emotional state. She also suggested positions and techniques to try to get labor going. I felt safe and taken care of, and like I had an expert to help guide me through a scary experience. We delivered at Mt. Sinai West, and Melissa had worked there many times before, and so was an expert at navigating triage, the nurses, etc. As things changed and departed from my initial birth plan, Melissa was ready to help us make tough decisions, and support whatever path we chose. At one point, when I was shaking and vomiting in transition, I remember Melissa gently putting her hands on me and whispering calming words--in that moment, her presence was such a gift to me. It's something I'll always treasure. In the post-partum period, BOTH Melissa and Aida provided follow-up support via text, and Melissa visited us at home, helping us process our birth experience and make some plans to cope as a new family. I am confident that choosing Melissa as my doula was THE decision that led to a positive birth experience.

Posted 5/31/2017

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MICHELLE ELBAZ

3 words: best decision ever!

 

My husband and I cannot even begin to thank and praise melissa enough. There are no words to describe just how thankful and grateful we are to have found her/had her as our doula. From the first moment we facetimed her, we knew she'd be the perfect addition to our "birthing squad." 

 

While my doctor knew and supported my birth plans, we felt it was important to have another person on our side during labor. Especially since I was planning to go medication free. 

 

Long story short I had to be induced and things didn't go as planned, but Melissa stood by our sides for 60+ hours and made sure I stayed as close to plan as possible. I was in excruciating pain and my husband would not have made it through the days in labor/in the hospital without her love, support and help. She gave us the confidence we needed to survive!!! 

 

No matter what was thrown our way, we knew we'd be ok with her by our sides. 

Posted 3/25/2017

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j rose

We chose Melissa as our doula to help support and guide us through our first birth experience. We really liked how open minded she was and her calm temprament. It was very important for her to put our preferences first and foremost. She made sure to meet with us twice, before the actual birth, to build a good rapport and to truly get a good sense of who we are.

When pre-labor started, we called her to tell her and she was extremely attentive, and kept checking in every 20 mins. When we got to the hospital she got their immediately. As soon as the hospital let her be with us, she started several soothing technique to help my wife get through her contractions, which we're very helpful. She knew exactly what to say to help calm her down. She was instrumental for me as well. There we're times where I needed to leave the room for certain reasons, but I didn't want to leave my wife alone. Melissa was there to comfort her and keep her company while I was away. She also helped her with her breathing and offered solutions and techniques we never would have thought of.

In addition, she came and visited our home after a couple of days just to talk about the birth itself, and help us relive it since it was an intense time for us. She allowed us to remember things about it that we would not have. She also offered some really good advice to help my wife breast feed.

We feel like we could not have been luckier to have Melissa as our doula and third partner in this lifetime event. She helped to make this experience an easier and unforgetable one. We highly recommend Melissa to anyone considering a doula as she will definitely help to make your experience a better one on all levels.

We for one, will be calling her again when we have our second!!

 

-JR

Posted 11/18/2016

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Noa Nieuchowicz

Melissa is a great doula! Having decided beforehand I wanted a natural birth, it was super important for me to have a knowledgeable supportive person throughout the entire process, so picking the right doula was a challenge to say the least. My husband and I were looking for the right person for quite some time but none of them really 'clicked' or made us feel as comfortable as Melissa did. I am so happy and grateful to have had her present during the birth of our daughter.

If you’re thinking about hiring a doula, I would highly recommend you meet Melissa. I believe having her present throughout labor was a great decision that made the entire process flow as easily the way it did. She is a super approachable, calm, encouraging and positive person. She will listen to you and respect any decision you make.
We already know who we’re calling if we ever decide to have more babies! ;)

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!

Posted 10/22/2016

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Brittany Johnson

Melissa was an invaluable member of my birth team. I don't think I could have birthed my 8 lb 9 oz  baby after 34 hours of labor and without pain medication without her. I wanted an unmedicated birth and prepare myself using Hypnobabies homestudy.  I also wanted the physical and emotional support of a doula. I felt immediately comfortable with Melissa. She is wonderfully warm and relaxed and was everything I hoped a doula would be.

Melissa was so supportive of my Hypnobabies and readily used the lingo ("pressure waves" instead of contractions, ec.) and, in the end, listened to Hypnobabies on repeat for more than 24 hours (what a trooper!). She was a calm voice of reason and my constant cheerleader, especially when my morale waned. She gave me space when I was in the zone, and she walked through the fire with me when the going got tougher. It will always stand out to me how, after I had been stalled out at 7-8 cm for 7+ hours and decided to get pitocin, Melissa got me through completion (without the epidural that was increasingly attractive due to my fatigue) despite her own physical exhaustion after the 24 hour mark. She powered through with me, continually applying amazing massage and counterpressure that kept me relaxed and the intensity of labor manageable. Melissa was so proactive the entire labor, keeping me hydrated (I labored without IV hydration until the last few hours when I received pitocin) and suggesting new and helpful positions and other measures to try. Every time my ob came into the room, he commented how wonderfully supported I was and how calm and in control I was. When I decided to go for the pitocin, I floated the idea of getting the epidural. My ob told me he didn't think I needed it! He told me afterward how impressive my labor was and what an excellent job my doula had done.

Melissa has a calling. I feel like I conquered Mt. Everest and I couldn't  have made it to the top without Melissa as my sherpa.

Posted 10/13/2016

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Emily Morgan

I'm so happy we worked with Melissa! I found Melissa through the NYC Doula Collective and decided to work with her rather quickly. I liked how she described her outlook on her website as non judgmental and after talking to her on the phone, I felt comfortable moving forward with her.


We had a really helpful prenatal visit. Melissa took a lot of notes and talked through our birth plan and desires with me and my husband. I think our conversation helped me feel more relaxed about the birth and helped us both think through our strategies/outlook. I liked especially that Melissa focuses on the WHY of your decisions, so she understands where you're coming from and can offer solutions that help, vs just identifying the procedures you do/don't want.


When I went into labor, my water broke and my husband was in direct contact with Melissa while I began contractions. We chose to have Melissa meet us at the hospital since my contractions seemed to be progressing pretty steadily, and I wasn't in labor for long at home.


At the hospital, Melissa was a huge help. Just seeing her come in to triage made me more relaxed. She helped assure me everything was progressing normally, and suggested different positions when I was struggling. She supplied ice chips and cold compresses to my husband and was right there through all the pushing. My husband really appreciated her help and support - he felt much less alone during the labor and her expertise was really a comfort for him as a first-time dad.


One of my hesitations on working with a doula was that she would be judemental about an epidural or that you only need to have a doula if you're having a natural birth and so I was so happy to find Melissa. She made me feel supported no matter what my choice was, and I had an epidural.


I highly recommend Melissa and so glad she was part of my daughter's birth story!


-Emily

Posted 10/8/2016

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Regina Grant

My husband and I had the pleasure of working with Melissa during the birth of our little boy this past July. She is absolutley amazing and put us, first time parents, at ease. Any questions or concerns that I had in advance of my delivery, Melissa was always available to answer and offer encouragement. As soon as my water broke, I called Melissa. She kept me calm and talked me through the next few hours of labor before she arrived at my home. My labor turned out to be very slow with contractions coming far apart for over 12 hours. Melissa guided me and kept me focused as I grew more anxious. We walked outside for hours to help speed up the labor with slow progress. Once at the hospital Melissa helped explained what to expect next and what the doctors were telling us. As first time parents, we were going through a ton of emotions and fears that at times we couldn't understand what the doctors were saying. Melissa was always there to calmly repeat or explain what the doctors had said, which was a huge relief. With every contraction, Melissa was there offering support, massaging me, and suggesting alternate positions to alleviate the pain. She was a great support to my husband as well, who was nervous to see me in pain and unsure of how to help. The labor lasted for around 34 hours and we ended up having to do a c-section. Through out the long painful ordeal Melissa was our rock. As first time parents, unaware of the process, having someone as knowledgable and patient as Melissa was so helpful. She always respected all of our wishes and made sure to take lots of notes about our likes and dislikes and preferences. We are forever grateful to have worked with Melissa as I cant imagine what the long and painful experience would have been like with out her help. I would recommend Melissa without hesitation to anyone who needs extra support from a knowledgable, attentive, and patient doula. She also has a child of her own and offered great advice from her experiences.

Posted 8/31/2016

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Paula Higgins

I'm so happy we found Melissa! We couldn't be more grateful for Melissa's help, knowledge, and overall presence at the birth of our beautiful baby boy.

I initially connected with Melissa's through the DONA International website and after a quick introductory call I really liked her approach. When we met Melissa, there was an immediate comfort level for both me and my husband.

Melissa asked all of the questions we wouldn't have thought of and all the ones we planned to ask but completely forgot. Melissa did a phenomenal job of making the entire labor as comfortable as possible. She's an expert in getting your body into the right position/angle to help the baby progress. Melissa literally spent hours pressing on my lower back to help alleviate the pain. While my husband tried his best (God love him) to hit the right pressure points and keep my supply of ice chips flowing, Melissa had the ability to almost read my mind on what was needed or what was hurting. While being so hands-on and helpful, she also did a great job of keeping my husband involved in the process through helpful hints

While I approached this birth open-minded about an epidural, for me it came down the ability to move around. In the end, I gave birth naturally and I definitely do not think I would've made it through without Melissa. She is a phenomenal coach and a pillar of support.

We would both definitely recommend Melissa wholeheartedly. If we are lucky enough to have another baby, Melissa will definitely be getting a call. My husband came into the doula conversation open minded and wanting whatever would make me comfortable. Something that resonated with him was the amount of time you are in the labor room without the doctor or nurse. Melissa is someone that has been there and seen it all so it was great to have that experience in the room, often times lowering his heart rate by a simple nod to acknowledge everything is OK. She's a star!

Posted 7/13/2016

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Esther Shin

Melissa was great to work with.I felt comfotable with her the moment I met her. She was very personable and professional She was very accommdating as well. She didn't impose her opinions upon us but really listened to what we wanted in our birth plan. Melissa came to the hospital right when I needed her and stayed until I was wheeled away for my C-section. She helped me focus and was very supportive and encouraging the 14 hours I labored for. Her demeanor and voice were calm which helped me  stay calm as well. I would recommend her to family and friends that need a doula.

Posted 6/28/2016

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Eve E

Melissa was my doula (and more!) at my son’s birth earlier this month. While my husband is always wary of incurring unnecessary costs and initially wondered if hiring a doula was really something we needed to do, he now tells everyone that having Melissa there was absolutely critical and an amazing decision on our part.

When my water broke, Melissa was extremely easy to reach. My contractions hadn’t started yet and my obstetrician was threatening to induce in the morning (which I was trying to avoid). Melissa did a great job coaching me through when to keep moving and when to rest via text. I successfully got my contractions going and after about 2.5 hours, we called Melissa to come to our home as they were starting to get painful. She showed up quickly and was a calming presence during the bad contractions and a fun person to chat with during the easier stretches.

While my ob didn’t think my contraction pattern necessitated going to the hospital yet, my husband, Melissa, and I decided it was time to go in after Melissa had been with us about an hour. As she was helping me into a dry pair of pants and my husband was ordering an Uber, I felt something bulging, and before we knew it and without any pushing, the baby was out. Incredibly, Melissa was well positioned to remove the cord from around his neck and catch him. She handed the baby right to me and has us do skin to skin, and told my husband to call 911 (instead of calling my ob, like he otherwise would have done). We were all beyond grateful that Melissa was there to take charge in an emergency situation and when he’s old enough, we can’t wait to tell our little boy about this incredible person who was there when he was born at home!

Posted 6/25/2016

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Alex Fabrizio Sumpter

Our experience with Melissa was spectacular! She was incredibly thorough before the birth, taking detailed notes at our meetings and following up so that we knew she was understanding our preferences and needs correctly. She made some great recommendations to us before birth, such as having my husband read The Birth Partner, which was super useful to him in preparation for and during my labor.

Melissa was extremely flexible and always reassured us that she was there to support us and our wishes, as well as stating that if our preferences changed at any time, that was completely fine. She honestly made me feel so reassured and confident leading up to the birth!

My labor and delivery was perfect, and Melissa facilitated tremendously. Everything went quite quickly and intensely, and Melissa was extremely encouraging and helped me not feel too overwhelmed. When I decided to get the epidural (not originally in the birth plan, but a great decision for me!), Melissa handled my decision perfectly, not questioning or trying to get me to change my mind. She honestly could not have done a better job helping me have the labor and delivery that I wanted to have. She also was fantastic at helping manage all of the logistical stuff—getting our bags to the car, connecting with hospital staff, etc. It was so nice that that didn’t all fall on my husband! After baby was born, Melissa stayed for the perfect amount of time, helping make sure we were situated and calm before leaving.

Melissa’s postpartum visit was fantastic as well. She helped me give the baby her first bath at home—it was so great to have an experienced mommy there! It was SO nice to talk over the birth with her; I didn’t feel like I’d really been able to take it all in until then. Overall, I could not recommend Melissa more highly! Her calmness and confidence helped me feel calm and confident as well, and I was so, so thrilled with my birth experience.

Posted 5/6/2016

Birth Availability for Melissa McCrumb

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Postpartum Availability for Melissa McCrumb

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