23 years and 2000 births attended
Type of practice: Other
Clients per month: 3 to 7
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
North Dallas Doula Associates is the premier doula practice in the metroplex and is the #1 pick of Dallas physicians for their patients, as well as, themselves!Over 500 VBAC's supported!
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
Served on the board of a domestic violence shelter (as a former client and survivor), former in hospital hospice care & end of life provider, lead hospital educator & assistant to the coordinator of parent and new family education at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, studied Neuropsychology (Behavioral & Brain Sciences) Voted Best Doula in Dallas 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018, 2019 & 2020 Certified Gynecological Teaching Associate for Texas A&M University. Director of Parent and Prenatal Education at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas & Medical City Las Colinas. Master Level Doula.
Melissa has been serving women for over 20 years. She is the founder and owner of North Dallas Doula Associates, the most award winning doula practice in DFW. She is an experienced Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and the Director of Parent Education at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas & Medical City Las Colinas. She is a DONA trained birth doula & ProDoula Elite Doula, mother of 5,and a Gynecologic Teaching Associate for Texas A&M University. Primarily practicing in Dallas, she has attended thousands of births and over 500 VBAC deliveries. She is non judgmental and inclusive. She has extensive knowledge in high risk pregnancies & deliveries, as well as promoting a circle of care within the birth space. Melissa is highly esteemed and respected by the medical staff and is considered a valued member of the birth team. Melissa schedules new patient consults in the NDDA office Monday through Friday.
Dallas, TX Service range 50 miles No travel restrictions
My experience with Melissa has been absolutely amazing. Melissa was my doula for both of my children and without her there I am sure I would have opted for an epidural at some point, even though I REALLY wanted natural child births. (Luckily I had her so I was able to do both labors without an epidural.) Melissa also played a crucial role in getting my son delivered safely when a code blue was called on me due to shoulder dystocia (one of his shoulders was stuck and his air supply was being cut off.) Due to her expertise, Melissa was quick in action to maneuver my leg into a position that allowed my son to be born. Without her there, he could have remained stuck longer than he was, which could have led to serious injuries or death. If you are on the fence on getting a doula or hiring Melissa or one of the other amazing women at NDDA, this is your sign to do it. <3
When having a baby you want someone who honors your goals of care, has a peace about their presence, and helps you to tap into your inherent birthing superpowers. Melissa Espey-Mueller is that person. She is a girls girl and your biggest cheerleader. She empowers you with her knowledge of birth from her first hand experience as a doula, as well as her commitment to research and continual learning of all things related to birth/maternal/fetal health. Melissa's great rapport with OB providers in the DFW area makes for fun and enjoyable deliveries. Melissa's love and support does not end after pregnancy and delivery. She is an invaluable resource in the postpartum period as well. She is well connected to those who provide specialty services such as lactation support, chiropractic care, pelvic floor therapy, infant oral tie releases just to name a few. Everyone needs a doula like Melissa Espey-Mueller on their birth team. You won't regret it!
Melissa was amazing throughout the whole process. She had a very thorough meeting with me before agreeing to partner with me. Any time throughout the pregnancy that I would have questions or maybe be discouraged by what the provider had said, she was always so quick to send an encouraging text and tell me exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. When it was time for me to go the hospital, Melissa was actually sick, but she was able to send Sarah in her place and that was a huge blessing. Sarah was incredible as well, especially given that we hadn't met or spoken before and she just jumped right in and was super hands on helping me through labor. Eventually Melissa felt well enough to come to the hospital and it was right at those last moments of needing some special moves in order to get baby where she needed to be and then she was there for delivery and that was super special. She was right there next to me taking pictures for me and cheering me on. I just felt so supported and encouraged by her in those moments. I look forward to partnering with her in the future when I hopefully have another baby.
Melissa was such a blessing to us as we welcomed our third son into the world! She is so incredibly knowledgeable and helped me try so many different positions in order for labor to progress. Her rapport with the hospital staff and medical team was also such a key asset for us. Having Melissa a part of our birth team made our special day so enjoyable and stress free as possible.
There aren't enough kind words to say about the benefits of having Melissa as your doula. Her kindness and attentiveness encompass everything she does and her wisdom shows as she walks with mamas in labor. And just when you don't think you can do the labor thing a moment longer, she carries you through, and you have the most amazing baby and birth story to go with it. I just had my 4th baby with Melissa as my doula and consider it one my greatest blessings to have had her by my side.
As first time expecting parents, we knew Melissa was going to be such an invaluable member of our labor and delivery process from the moment we met her. Her presence exudes a quiet, calm, confidence with many years of experience to back it up. She was there as a supportive partner in the process to help answer our questions through the pregnancy and educate us so we could evaluate what decisions we would make along the way as well as when our baby arrived.
During early labor we stayed in constant contact while we labored as long as possible at home. When we arrived at the hospital, she met us within a very short time and began supporting the active labor process with positions to try, counter pressure to help with pain management and anatomy position, and asked questions on how I was feeling so we could adjust our plans and position as needed. She was not only a great coach for me during a tough labor, but she was a great partner for my husband to help give us all the confidence through the process.
Ultimately after trying for over 4 hours through transition without progressing in dilation or baby station, total exhaustion of my body, and variability in the babies vitals, I submitted to an epidural. It wasn't part of my plan in a natural birth and I had felt like I could not do it in my own but was failing by asking for the epidural. Melissa's emotional support through that decision was invaluable. She reassured me that this was very likely what my body needed to relax and safely being our baby into the world.
I would absolutely recommend Melissa to expecting parents. She will empower you with evidence based resources, compassion, guidance to emotive your mental and physical readiness, and her many years of experience
This post is so long overdue and I'll never be able to find the right words to fully explain how grateful I am to have had Melissa's support during both births of my children. If you have a wink of anxiety surrounding birth, you need Melissa and her incredible team of resources to love you into your new role of motherhood.
She truly does mother mothers. Melissa’s knowledge and evidence-based approach to birth are second to none. Her presence calmed me instantly in both of my children’s arrival earth-side. Without Melissa, I do not think I could have had the unmedicated, powerful, and life-altering birth experiences that I had. I feel so blessed to have had her unwavering support and encouragement through two pregnancies.
My husband was skeptical at first, and now he is the greatest champion for having doula support through pregnancy and birth. We often joke that we could have a baby in a field - just as long as Melissa was there! We treasure her to the core!
From educational courses, to gently answering all of my random text messages, to teaching me to be more aware of all medical options in complicated circumstances, Melissa was my personal lighthouse of guidance.
Labor is a whirlwind. In all of the happenings in the delivery room, her voice was the only thing that could get through to me and nothing else mattered. In a room full of movement, I was able to stay focused and only remember her voice. Thanks to her presence, calming demeanor, and steadfastness I felt so much more equipped and empowered for both births. MELISSA IS A FORCE! To know her is to love her!
Melissa was a wonderful person to have by our side as we navigated the birth of our first child! She was supportive, compassionate, super knowledgeable and REAL! She was always available if we had questions or needed anything. She helped us feel confident and prepared before, during and after the birth of our son.
Melissa was simply fantastic before and during my labor. Prior to labor she helped us navigate our birth preferences and really prepare for the arrival of our daughter. While in labor, Melissa was supportive, kind and directive. Which was exactly what I needed. She was able to get me in different positions and a better mindset that helped my labor process quickly once I hit transition. Best decision we made in our labor was to hire Melissa!
From the moment I met Melissa I knew I had made the right decision in hiring a doula. I have had fear of delivering a baby my whole life, until she educated and informed me along the way. She even gave me the confidence to try to deliver unmedicated. Having her in the delivery room honestly made it feel like a party! As much as she positively impacted my experience, she did the same if not more for my spouse. My wife said she loved having Melissa there to advocate on my behalf, so that she could focus on me in different ways. It was the best experience we could have imagined!
Melissa Espey-Mueller was our doula through all 4 of our births/pregnancies. She is hands down ???? the best doula ever!! I cannot begin to express our gratitude for her birthing knowledge, calming demeanor, positive support and endless love and care she has provided our family. We met Melissa in 2009 when we were pregnant with our first child. She was the instructor of our birthing education class at Baylor Dallas. After soaking in all the knowledge she had to share with us about the birthing process, we decided to hire her as our doula for our first birth! Although we had some speed bumps during the birth she was able to help my husband and I navigate everything and every birth thereafter! She is AMAZING!
If you have the opportunity to have Melissa support you for your birth, you are a lucky one. I feel so lucky that she was with us on this journey. On paper, I think my birth experience sounds traumatic (pre-eclampsia, emergency induction, forcep delivery). But, I look back on my birth experience as an amazing and magical day. I expected my birth plans to go out the window, but they really just ran out the door and as far as possible. I was so anxious and scared and she was so supportive. She helped me advocate for myself and my baby. I don't know how I would've made it through without her! And I think my husband needed her even more than I did. She was such a great support for both of us first time clueless parents. She is such a big part of our birth story and we love to tell it! She saved the day in so many ways.
If and when I have another baby, I am calling her the second I get a positive test to reserve her. We will not be able to go through this again with her!
Having Melissa as my doula was a blessing. She was there for me through my entire pregnancy, from the moment I found out I was pregnant, to my postpartum period. Her knowledge is incredible!!!
There was nothing better than having her as a support system who made me feel strong, and brave.
I cannot wait for my future journeys with her by my side, and to see and experience the amazing things a woman’s body can do time and time again.
Melissa was everything I needed and more to have the birth experience I wanted! She was very communicative leading up to my birth and made herself available for questions. During labor she knew exactly what needed to happen for me to progress. She helped me manage the pain and get through the whole experience. I can't imagine having done it without her.
Melissa was my doula for the births of both my sons at big Baylor in Dallas. My first was born in April 2019 and my second in January 2021. I really wanted natural births because I'm allergic to most pain meds and metabolize anesthesics quickly. However, I questioned my capability for natural birth as a very petite woman in my late 30s. Melissa was highly recommended to me by my OB and my coworker who is a women's health physical therapist. I knew Melissa was right for me the moment I met her! She was so knowledgeable, current on research, and experienced as a doula. Even more, she is a mother of 5 and much of her wisdom comes from her own birth experiences. Melissa supported me through both pregnancies and births. While I was in labor, she had me move and position myself in ways to guide the baby and expedite the delivery. She also guided the medical teams throughout the process so they could fully support me. It was like watching a conductor of an orchestra really! Both of my births were unmedicated and without injury or tearing. I also discharged home within 24 hours. Melissa helped me achieve my birth goals. When my second son was born, she immediately noticed a lip tie and advised me to seek a pediatric dentist and one of her lactation consultants if breastfeeding became difficult. By day 2, my son wasn't latching so I took her advice. His tie was clipped and an NDDA lactation consultant met with us that week. By the second week post partum, my son was nursing without issue!
I can't recommend Melissa and her business enough. NDDA truly offers comprehensive care to expecting and post partum mothers. I'll always be thankful for her!
I will always be thankful for having Melissa by my side. I moved to Dallas 1 month before giving birth and I delivered by myself because my husband had to stay with our oldest one. Melissa was with me the entire time, holding my hand and she reassured me when I was nervous. You can’t go wrong with Melissa! Again a huge thank you for everything you have done!
My experience using Melissa as a doula was something I will never forget! She gave my husband and I SO much peace; from our first zoom call to when she walked into my hospital room! This was our first baby and labor, and we had no idea what to expect. Having someone like Melissa made both my husband and I feel confident that no matter what my labor was like, that we'd be taken care of! Melissa is so insanely educated on birth and labor, which was a God-send for my back labor and in making tough decisions on what to do next! It was 100% the right choice for us to have a doula and we are so happy ours was Melissa! Can't wait to do it again with the next baby ;)
THANK YOU will never be enough to her!!!!
This is my second time working with Melissa, and she is truly excellent. As with my first child, she answered all of the questions I had leading up to the birth of my son, and then served as an incredible guide/partner throughout my labor and delivery. A resident ended up delivering my son (the attending physician was detained at another birth), but she wasn't able to be present until the last minute. Melissa was with me every second, providing critical moral support and helping me move into different positions to ensure that things were progressing. She and the nurse almost ended up delivering my son...! But they were both so wonderful and knowledgeable that I never felt worried. In short - Melissa was an absolutely indispensable member of my birth team. I couldn't have done it without her and can't recommend her highly enough.
I was referred to Melissa by my Obgyn when I expressed interest in having a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with my second pregnancy. It was a referral that I am forever grateful for. Melissa not only offers her extensive knowledge; that can only be obtained with vast experience, but also an open ear for ALL THE QUESTIONS. I had a very long labor with my son and, had Melissa not been in my corner, I know it would have ended in another C section. She is so highly respected that when she makes sugggestions, people listen and it's in her clients' favor. I can't even express how empowering it was to achieve a VBAC with my son, and Melissa was the guiding light that made it happen. So empowered in fact, that I had my 2nd VBAC with her a few years later. I can't recommend Melissa and her company enough. She is the best in the industry. It's in her bones. Like literally, her instincts are only those that are aquired because she is doing what she loves to do. It's her calling and it shows in the quality of her craft.
I will be forever grateful to Melissa for being our amazing doula! We hired a doula for our second baby after a disappointing experience with our first birth. Melissa's company, North Dallas Doula Associates, came highly recommended by my Midwife. I knew I wanted an unmedicated birth, and I also knew that I needed an expert in the room to help me and my husband. She made me do hard things, talked me off a ledge or two, and knew exactly what to do/say to make me feel like I could do anything. Melissa was there for me throughout my pregnancy answering questions and offering suggestions. She was indispensable during the birth, helping us with activities to get the baby engaged, holding my hand, holding space, and communicating with my husband about what I needed. After birth, she helped me get the baby latched and got me settled in. A bonus is that she is well known and respected at Baylor UMC, so the nurses and staff trust her expertise with laboring moms. During my postpartum period, she was also very helpful in getting me connected with a lactation consultant to help with a tongue/ lip tie issue my baby was having. I would HIGHLY recommend Melissa and would hire her again in a heartbeat.
It's not every day you get to recommend a doula who wasn't physically present for the birth, but when my second son came unexpectedly fast, Melissa was a huge support over the phone as precipitous labor resulted in an ambulance-born healthy kiddo! Her coaching and love were crucial in a chaotic time, and her knowledge and support evident even over the phone. She met me at the hospital (not even where we planned to give birth!) and helped me make the craziness into a truly beautiful memory. What a pleasure to have worked with her!
I had the amazing privilege and opportunity to work with Melissa for over a decade as a Labor & Delivery nurse at BUMC. She truly is the absolute best at what she does. I saw this day in and day out as a nurse. However, I got to experience this incredible gift and passion she has so much more sweetly, because she was also my personal doula for both of my daughters' births. I had two very different birth journeys with my two girls...now I see how fitting that is as they are two TOTALLY different young ladies...but Melissa was there to support, love, encourage and guide me through both experiences. I 100% know that God brought Melissa into my life, and I am so very honored that she calls me sister!
I am so thankful to have found Melissa when I was pregnant with my first child three years ago. I was planning for an unmedicated birth in the hospital and my OB referred me to her. She ended up being invaluable as I had to be induced with Pitocin. Melissa gave me and my husband confidence, support, advocacy, and knowledge both before and during labor, and we truly could not have accomplished an unmedicated birth without her. I tell people all the time that her fee was the best money we have ever spent! We hired her again for the birth of our son last year without hesitation and had another successful unmedicated delivery after a Pitocin induction. Melissa is truly the best of the best and a gift to our family!
Melissa was such a great addition to our birth team. She is so experienced and knowledgeable, her personality fit in perfectly with our group. She is gentle and firm all at the same time, something I think really helped me progress. I was so happy we chose her TWICE!
Melissa was recommended by my OBGYN and as my husband now says it was one of the best decisions we made in preparing for the birth of our son Ian. She is prepared and knows what she is doing and makes you feel secure and supported. She was available for us pre birth to answer any questions or concerns. She is like your couch guiding you but is not intrusive as you and your partner are still the main players in this amazing journey.
When the main event came she was such a huge support to my husband and I and believe me you need it. It was totally worth it. She also was super helpful afterwards with breastfeeding guidance and support.
My experience with Melissa was truly amazing. She carefully listened to my birth experience wishes and helped me narrow down my rambling, pregnancy-brain ideas and concerns into a coherent plan. She provided me with evidence-based suggestions for improving my birth experience without pressuring me to choose one path over another. I ultimately had to be induced at 41 weeks and 4 days, and despite having two client inductions on the same day, Melissa still made feel like I was her number one priority when she joined me in the hospital room. When my plan for an unmedicated birth completely changed after an hour and a half of back labor post-induction, Melissa worked Closely with the doctor and nurses to help ensure my labor progressed comfortably and safely. After my son was born, she immediately helped with breastfeeding both at the hospital and the week after by phone. Though it may seem small, after I was finally able to eat again but couldn’t think of where to send my mom to pick up food, she kindly gave us a list of suggestions so I didn’t have to make a decision in the craziness post-delivery. I am so grateful to Melissa and her team. No matter what your birth plan/goals are, they will provide support and a listening ear in a completely non-judgmental setting. I would highly recommend Melissa to anyone seeking a Doula.
My first born was born Csec due to complications.About 4 yrs later I got pregnant again!I live in a rural area and healthcare here is limited and was that my only option is another Csec.I always wanted to have a natural birth and after researching VBACs I felt it was possible if i could find the right support.I originally looked into midwifes.They were great but I lacked the confidence in a birth far from a hospital due to the complications of my first born.My mom works in the dallas area and one of her patients spoke about having a succesful natural birth of twin babies so she got the contact for me.I thought if thats possible, anything is.They referred me to Melissa a doula that I knew nothing about.When I first spoke with her she gave me all the confidence needed to have a VBAC success.She also referred me to a MD so that I would have the comfort of knowing a MD was also part of the care.Melissa was always a phone call away for any concerns we had throughtout the entire pregnacy.Finally the day came when I went into labor.She was there to coach me through it all.My labor progressed slowly and my baby decided to come sunny side up.The MD started to worry a Csec was going to be needed.Melissa is so confident in moms and their strenght and knew not to give up!She told them no Csec yet!She coached me and the hubby through it all.Taught him how to support and comfort me.I cant imagine what labor wouldve been without her!It ended with a successful VBAC story and a healthy baby born on mothers day!She was there supporting me even on Mothers Day!A day she should've been with her own family instead was there for mine.I will forever be thankful for her time,confidence,knowledge,and resources she has for us mothers wanting to make our dream birth a success.These are reasons I highly recommend Melissa.Mothers may not want the same delivery options I wanted.She supports your choices and is there to be an advocate for the most healthy,succesful birth!You keep us strong!
Hiring Melissa is by far the #1 best thing we did for the unmedicated hospital birth of our first daughter. Her knowledge and calm presence were truly invaluable during my labor and delivery. She guided me in a way that allowed me to have very productive contractions and I was at the hospital for less than four hours before my daughter was born. Melissa was also a wonderful advocate and guide; she has an obvious rapport with the medical staff, and while we were busy being enamored with our baby, she was able to see the big picture and give us tips that made the remainder of our hospital stay more beneficial for us. I also credit her (and the wonderful nurses at Baylor) with helping us get off to a great start with breastfeeding. We count her as one of our blessings for this pregnancy!
We loved having Melissa as our doula. We are first time parents and even though we attended a couple classes and read a few books, labor is one of those things where you really just have no idea what to expect so we decided the help was worth it (and it was!). The day I went into labor I started having contractions at 2am. At around 6 I texted Melissa to see what I should do, and that was the start to one of the best days of my life! Melissa was available and gave me advice all day without even having to see me. This let my husband and I relax and hang out comfortably all day and we had so much fun! She helped me get in to see my doctor towards the end of the day to check dilation so we wouldn't get to the hospital too early (I didn't even know we could do that!), and then since it was rush hour and we didn't know how quickly things would pick up she let us stay at the NDDA office near the hospital. She got us set up and then left us to have some privacy for a few hours since I was still managing contractions fine. She came back about 9pm because she wanted to see if she could get things moving since I said I still felt pretty good. She set my husband and I up in their bed with a peanut ball, told us to get some sleep and said she'd come back to check on us.... Flash forward ten minutes and my water broke! Peanut balls are magic! :) She was back very quickly and we caravanned to the hospital. Melissa pretty much ran the show from there! She helped me find the most comfortable positions, set up my diffuser, gave me a cold washcloth, talked me through pushing, and gave awesome hip pressure. I had our son about 30 minutes after we got to the hospital and Melissa even had to catch him because the doctor wasn't there yet! After he was born, she stayed around for a while to help with nursing and to bring my family back. Things would have been SO different without her!!
I knew having a drug free natural birth would be hard but I had no idea until it was actually happening how hard it truly was for me! My labor came fast and quick and with in 5 hours of contractions starting we welcomed our baby boy. Because my labor was so quick, the contractions were much harder and it was very difficult for me to recover in between each one. There was about a 45 minute window where we were in the hospital with out Melissa our doula as she was still driving to the hosptial from her home. During that 45 minutes, the contractions took over my mind and I started demanding the epidural. There was just no way I could do this! Then Melissa swooped in and took over. She had me immediately moved to new positions and the epidual word was never spoken of again...she magically made that word disappear from everyone's vocabulary! The next two hours went so quickly. Melissa helped me push through each contraction, she kindly allowed my husband to take control as well and help me through each one too. They were my team and they helped me every step of the way and there is no way I could have done it with out them. Melissa knew that our goal was to bring our baby into the world naturally and she made sure it happened. She did not allow the pain to dictate the way our labor would go! Two weeks later I am so proud of our journey and enjoying every second with our little man. I feel empowered and strong and healthy! Thank you Melissa for helping our family start this wonderful journey as a family of three!
We had an awesome birth experience with Melissa. This was our first baby and we had no idea what was best to do and how long things should take. We are planned and over cautious, so of course both of us were trying to rush things and get ready for a hospital trip when my contractions started early in the morning. Melissa was great at staying in touch and providing one recommended thing to do at a time everything was designed to help get us rest or help progress the labor. We stayed in touch all day when it got to be too unnerving to us to go home from downtown Dallas, she offered for us to stay at her office until it was time to go to the hospital. She let us in and got us set up, and then let us have some space, which was nice because we later realized I didn't progress as much when I was being watched! When things picked up she joined us and used props they had to help me get in more conducive positions, one of which helped break my water. We left for the hospital not long after that, and that's where Melissa REALLY shined!! I feel like she did everything while we were there! She got me in good positions, gave pressure point massage during contractions, set me up with cool rags, set up my diffuser, and most of all was constantly speaking in a very reassuring voice with encouragement and tips. I delivered my baby less than an hour after arriving to the hospital, and since the doctor wasn't there yet, Melissa actually caught our little guy!! I loved my birthing day and cannot imagine what it would have been like without Melissa!
Melissa is absolutely amazing!! I know what it's like to not have a doula and let me tell you , you won't be disappointed in hiring her. With our second daughter she gave me so much hope for a better birth than with our first. She was so supportive of all our wishes and always there when we needed her. My husband and I both never want to go through a birth again without her! Even a few weeks after delivery our daughter was having some problems nursing and she was there to help us figure it out. So thankful we found her and looking forward to having more babies with her in the future!
Melissa was my doula for the birth of my baby girl Cora on August 18, 2016. She did an excellent job, and I truly couldn't have done it without her. I was able to achieve a birth experience that was safe and how I wanted it to be because she was there to help me. I am a first time mom and she was both educational and supportive in explaining everything to me. She kept me calm and focused, and I felt like she was my advocate throughout the entire thing. Here are some things about her and her group that you might find helpful to know-
She values all aspects of birth training and support from mindfulness and relaxation to the medical interventions that can be necessary to promote safe birth. She will not pressure you into any one thing.
She deals with people really well. This is important because you will have various doctors and nurses that you do not know become involved during your birth. In the last month of my pregnancy my OB took medical leave, and Melissa was able to pick up with the new Dr. and communicate with him well, which not everyone would have done.
Her group North Dallas Doulas has an excellent backup system so you won't be left in a lurch if she is busy at some point when you need her.
If you call her in the middle of the night, which I did, she will be just as calm and friendly as she is during the daytime.
She will check in with you before and support you after the birth experience with help and referrals. My baby needed a frenectomy and I trusted her referral, and we are in a better spot now because of it.
I value competence above all else in medical providers and advocates, and she consistently impressed me with a depth and breadth of experience and advice.
I am sure there are other things to write but I have a nursing date on the sofa! Long story short, hire Melissa, you will not be sorry! :)
I'm forever thankful for our Doula, Melissa! She was so kind, heard all my concerns, and made talking with her so easy. She provided a safe place to vent about my first birth experience, not that it was terrible... I just wanted more and decided a Doula was the best option. It really was.
She was so helpful throughout my pregnancy, helping me navigate my options, and structure my birth plan to reflect my true desires. Helping me listen to my body, and build my birth tribe... Or team to bring baby earth side.
My husband and I were able to keep in contact with Melissa through the early stages of labor and then quickly in to the very active stages of laboring at home and in the car. She provided great recommendations to help me transition, and gave me the support I needed to build my confidence for delivery.
Little did we know she would unexpectedly be the one to catch our baby girl... in the car... at the hospital. Without a doubt she went above and beyond caring for me and my family (my toddler, husband, and mom). Helping us with everything, I mean everything!
Welcoming our baby earth side with her is something I will forever treasure and you will too ? She is a wonderful woman, that I proudly call a friend, my Doula that I cannot imagine having a birthday without her.. and we look forward to having her be with us for our next experience.. God willing we expand our family in the future!
Please take the time to speak with her... And know that you have great support with any NDDA Doula.
Melissa was wonderful! My labor progressed very quickly, and I credit Melissa with much of that. She led us through the labor process and had me try different positions and approaches that I truly believe helped move things along. Beyond that, she continuously reassured me that, YES, I could do this - even when it was excruciatingly difficult and I questioned my ability to make it through a vaginal, drug-free delivery.
Post-delivery, I struggled with breastfeeding and Melissa was invaluable on that front as well. She identified my daughter's Class 4 lip tie and posterior tongue tie and connected me with an excellent pediatric dentist to correct the conditions. She also came to my house and spent 2.5 hours with me on breastfeeding - and this was the day before her doula practice was scheduled to host a major open house to show off their new offices! I'm sure that spending the afternoon with me wasn't on her schedule for the day, but she did it gladly.
Bottom line, I highly recommend Melissa. She is knowledgeable, attentive and passionate about what she does. I won't hesitate to use her again if the opportunity arises.
Melissa is an amazing doula. She is attentive, has an aweome intuition, and always knows what to do or say in any situation. She has a special magic touch at making a patient feel at ease. She communicates well with nurses, support staff and physicians, bridging that gap in a way I have never seen before (I am an obgyn). Her clients always sing her praises and I have never had anyone have a bad experience with her. She makes my job so much easier! :) I would recommend her without reservation to anyone!
I met with Melissa early in my second pregnancy, and right away felt such warmth and sincerity in her demeanor! Based on conversations and her actions during my labor, it's obvious that she has a ton of knowledge and insight into birth. She was ready to answer my questions and offer advice via phone from the moment I hired her. I didn't check in with her too much until late in the third trimester, when she reminded me that she was interested in how things were going, and that I shouldn't feel like I'm bugging her. At the birth, she was incredible! I'm certain her knowledge of positioning ensured steady progress toward delivery. She is clearly familiar and beloved by Baylor nurses and staff, and at a shift change she basically picked (politely requested?) the nurse we would work with (who was also wonderful).
My husband is a very capable and supportive birth partner, and he was nervous that Melissa may usurp his role. He reports that Melissa made him feel even more adept and supported him in supporting me.
We are both so impressed and grateful to Melissa. We will absolutely hire her again, should more births be in our future.
I have been practicing obstetrics in Dallas for 32 years. My philosophy was born from my dad and old Marcus Welty doctor who taught me the importance of caring for each person uniquely. Melissa engenders and embodies the things that make the birthing experience what it is meant to be. She is kind, compassionate, well trained, and supportive. My patients love her and agree Melissa enhances and deepens their journey of becoming parents. Her skill, wisdom and empathy are unmatched. I have had the privalage to work with her on numerous occasions. Whenever my patients tell me they are using a doulas and say it is Melissa I know my job has been made easier. She is wonderful.
Im so thankful we had Melissa at our birth! Despite months of preparation for an unmedicated vaginal birth, we were footling breech and ended up with a c-section. Melissa gave us additIonal resources to help us understand our options with a breech birth and how to try and get our baby to flip. Looking back I think it was critical that Melissa ultimately left the decision of having a csection between me and our Doctor. She didn't push us either way... Even though she already spent over an hour with us writing our unmedicated birth plan weeks earlier.
once we made the decision that if our baby doesn't flip we'll have a csection we really doubted the need for Melissa. However, I am so grateful she was in the recovery room with us. I was so worried that bc of the csection I'd have trouble breast feeding. Melissa helped us with our first latch which immediately relaxed me... We were going to be fine, more than fine. Not to mention she took some amazing photos in the delivery room.
Thank you Melissa for getting us off on the right foot!!
I can't say enough wonderful things about Melissa. She has truly become like family, empowering both my husband and me in our journey through parenthood. Although she was attending another birth when I went into labor, Melissa made sure to keep in contact with me, providing support by phone, reassuring my husband and me that we were fully capable of managing early labor at home, and even sending Laura Geimer (another amazing NDDA doula) to sub in until she could be by my side. My labor was a long one (42 hours!), and Laura and Melissa advocated for me and helped me explore every avenue possible to have the birth I planned. When it became apparent that a cesarean was absolutely necessary, I was confident going into the OR knowing we did everything possible to try for a natural birth, something for which I will forever be grateful. What could have been a traumatic experience became one of the most empowering experiences of my life, and I have Melissa to thank for that. Between the postpartum doulas, placenta encapsulation, Mommy and Me lunches, and numerous phone calls and texts asking for advice, Melissa's support has continued well into my fourth trimester and been unwavering. She has created an incredible community to support women and their families, and I feel blessed to be a part of this tribe! NDDA will forever be a part of our family, and I will undoubtedly call upon Melissa to assist us in all of my future births.
Modification of previous post - Melissa refunded half of the payment $500 after this post and after we spoke again. We discussed the circumtances were unusual regarding not being able to connect the night of my labor and making sure future clients had the contact information of another doula should a similiar situation happen to another client in the future.
I have known Melissa since 1999. I am an obstetric anesthesiologist. What has always impressed me about Melissa is the breadth of her knowledge about what we as anesthesiologists do. Melissa's willingness to be open to many options during childbirth allows her to be supportive of her patient's choice even when her patient chooses not to go through with the natural delivery she had expected. Her experience allows Melissa to advocate for her patient as well as giving the patient confidence that when Melissa says an epidural is the way to go, she can trust Melissa's advice.
The Melissa I know is smart, knowlegable, kind, compassionate, positive, and supportive. I know my patient will be well prepared if and when she chooses to receive an anesthetic, espectially when Melissa is her doula. It is always a pleasure when I enter the room when I see Melissa there. Good luck, and trust Melissa.
I hired Melissa to be my doula and paid the $1000 fee up front. I met with her to interview her and second meeting was a week or so before I delivered. I asked specifically for the phone number to a back up doula in the case she wasn't available. She said it's not necessary bc "I will be at your birth."
Well the night I went into labor I called her at 9pm to tell her contractions started at 6pm. She said she was tired and leaving another birth and going home to rest and to call her when my contractions were 5 minutes apart lasting one minute long for an hour. She suggested drinking a glass of wine and taking a bath and rest. My husband and I called her later 6 times - YES 6 TIMES - and she never answered and there was no option to leave a voicemail. Within the next hour my labor progressed and my water broke and I hit transition at home. We had to rush to the hospital so quickly at 4am that I barely made it. I arrived at the hospital 3 minutes before my baby was delivered. It was VERY scary, traumatic, frustrating and confusing, which are the reasons I hired a doula to begin with - to help and support me and my husband through my natural delivery.
Melissa came to the hospital for about 20 minutes arriving an hour after my baby was born and helped a little with nursing. She never called me to follow up or set up a follow up appointment. We emailed her we were upset and asked for a partial refund and she agreed to help me with nursing. She came over twice a few weeks after the birth which was in fact helpful - but a very weak attempt to remedy the situation AND not worth the $1000 we paid.
I am so disappointed in her service, communication, unreliability and refusal to refund any money when she did NOTHING during my labor and delivery and made it worse. I write this because I want to protect other women from going through what we went through.
I first met Melissa as a resident Physycian, and had the opportunity to observe her services throughout my training. When I became an attending physician, I quickly began working with her with my own patients. She is compassionate and caring, and has a knack of knowing what the patient (and spouse) needs. When the time came for my own delivery, she was u waiving in support and love throughout my pregnancy and delivery. She is a calming force, and a wonderful system. I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to work with her and call her my friend.
I first met Melissa in 2005 when I was pregnant with my first child. She was my birth instructor and taught me so much about giving birth and caring for my son. I ended up with a c-section after a breech baby, but she was always my go-to and was there immediately after he was born in recovery to help assist with breastfeeding. Years later when I decided to have another, I contacted her and told her I wanted her wtih me for a VBAC. After finding out that my son was breech like the first and the cord was around his neck, she told me about the gentle c-section. I was so excited to know that I could still hold my newborn in my arms as soon as he was safe earthside. She informed my doctor and the nurses what they needed to do to make this a family-centered birth and they were extremely open to everything she suggested. She was AMAZING. I was my doctor's first gentle c-section and I was honored. She made it truly special and I feel so blessed to have had her with us. Again, she was there when I nursed him and has been so helpful with different questions since birth. I can't say enough amazing things about Melissa and NDDA. She truly cares about every single family and loves what she does.
As a FTM, I felt my best shot at a natural, unmedicated birth, would be to hire a doula, someone who would advocate for me. I asked my Dr of many years who she could recommend & that is how I was referred to Melissa. When we first met, we immediately clicked. We laughed & joked like old friends. She was straight forward with me about my need to "plan" everything out & I admired her extensive background. She was genuine & deeply passionate as she talked about her servitude. At her recommendation, I met with other doulas, but my mind was always on her. She was patient, kind, & supportive, even through all my FTM questions. When I went into labor, 1 week before my due date, she was with another mom but we remained in contact & she provided ways for me to rest & stay comfortable as I prepared for what was to come. Active labor came & she sent her back up to be with me but still remained in contact every step of the way. When it was time to go to the hospital, Melissa arrived & gave me what I asked for. She helped me give it my best shot. I was in labor for almost 72 hours with about 60 of them being unmedicated. With her help, multiple techniques, & awesome coaching, I was able to try to bring my baby earthside the way I had visioned. My daughter, however, had her own plan & I ended up having a c-section. Even through that, Melissa held my hand, kept me informed, & she fully supported my husband & I. She also took photos that I will forever cherish of the birth that I otherwise would not have remembered. She was even there waiting for me in recovery for my first precious moments holding my daughter & nursing for the first time. I plan to use her services for my future children & I feel like she was not only my doula but someone who has touched my life in a very special way. For that I will always hold her near & dear to my heart.
I can't say enough good things about Melissa! With Melissa, I was able to have a natural vbac even with being induced. It was an amazing experience that I largely credit Melissa for!
Going into this birth I knew I didn't want another c-section and felt that having a natural birth would give me the best chance. My obgyn recommended I contact Melissa. Immediately upon contacting Melissa I knew she'd be fantastic! She was easy to talk to and left my husband and I feeling excited and confident about our upcoming arrival. Throughout the pregnancy Melissa was a great sounding board. As my due date approached and the last few week got tough Melissa was there to provide emotional support as well as tips on how to get through the last uncomfrotable parts. I ended up scheduling an induction and Melissa was ready to assist me. She showed up at the hospital just as I felt like labor was changing and picking up and she began to work her magic! Labor was not easy land there is absolutely no way I could have ever accomplished the birth I wanted without Melissa. She was so amazing and knew when I needed encouragement, when I needed to be pushed and when I needed a little break. Everything about my birth experience was a success in my opinion and I have Melissa to thank for that. I highly recommend Melissa!
I have had the privilege to know Melissa for almost 10 years. I have personally witness the greatness and brilliant career calling this woman has ventured into. As a nurse I get to work along side Melissa and know 100% her clients/families/friends will get the birth experience they will talk about for many years to come. A healthy mom and healthy baby is always priority but always with the intent of empowering women to understand their body will do what is intended. I am truly grateful to have Melissa as part of my team in births. It is always a relief to walk in a patients room and see her work her magic. It is a plus she is my dear friend but I would trust her, I have trusted in her, to care for my family friends and past, present & and future clients who will get 110% of genuine love, care, compassion, strength, empowering and support needed. She is pretty awesome!
When I turned to Melissa I was 28 weeks pregnant with twins and scheduled for a repeat c-section, and disappointed. I remembered Melissa as the instructor of my child birth classes years before and hoped she would have insight into my situation. Melissa was immediately encouraging and confident that I deserved a chance at the kind of birth I was hoping for. With her years in the field she quickly pointed me to providers that would support aiming for a VBAC deliver of my twins. She helped me connect with other services (chiropractor, massage, etc) that would help prepare my body and mind. Melissa has such a straight forward and confident manner that I needed facing so many unknowns. My husband and I felt so empowered with Melissa in our corner which aleviated much anxiety. As my labor began Melissa's late night phone calls kept me reassured of what steps I needed to take. The day of delivery Melissa was on the floor with another client who was also delivering. She made sure we had an amazing doula by our side and stayed very involved checking on me and offering suggestions to guide my progression while also focusing on the client she was with. Melissa was a major part in helping my twins be delivered in a healthy and safe way and as I had hoped they could be. I am so grateful for Melissa's guidance during my pregnancy, delivery and even since then. She is such a source of knowledge and support for women.
As an Obstetrician, I have had the blessing to work alongside Melissa Espey-Mueller for many years with Melissa serving as a childbirth educator and as the most caring, flexible, well-educated Doula with whom I have ever worked !
Many obstetric patients approach their upcoming labor experiences with tunnel vision about their anticipated labor plans. Unfortunately, labor and babies don't always follow a set pre-conceived labor plan. There have been some Doulas who I have worked with who also have tunnel vision about the approach to labor. Melissa does not and never has, supporting flexibility for both the patient and the obstetrician, for which the obstetrician is eternally grateful! Whenever a patient of mine is nervous about her upcoming labor experience or a patient who is looking for a Doula, I will always refer my patients to Melissa! She is THE BEST, hands down !
I definitely didn't want to write this review because it means that you might love and need Melissa as much as I do! Melissa is extremely qualified with exquisite knowledge, abundant experience, and a servant's heart. I don't know if I can recommend a better Doula!
Melissa was my doula for both of my children's births and she will be at any future births. My first birth: we moved to Texas when I was 20 weeks pregnant. We were HIGHLY recommended to hire her and I didn't even know what a doula really was. All I knew was that (being a chiropractor' wife especially) we preferred natural birthing methods. My husband had adjusted me throughout the pregnancy, but Melissa kindly hinted that we might need to check out a pregnancy specialist chiro. She knew how important that would be to a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery and from the very first adjustment I felt better than I ever had before. (My husband was VERY impressed and doesn't even attempt my pregnant pelvis anymore :-)). Unfortunately I had jumped on that train pretty late in my pregnancy, and a 10-pound baby girl simply would NOT slip under my pubic bone for a vaginal delivery, so I ended out with a C-Section. I remember being afraid of subsequent "big baby-->C/S".
2nd Birth: From the first OB appointment, Melissa began telling me what became my birthing mantra, "You CAN do this." A VBAC would be such a redeeming breakthrough for me, but I still didn't believe I could really do it. With proper chiropractic care from beginning to end (and I mean the hours before pushing) I felt my body was very prepared to deliver. Also Melissa informed me she had completed extra training SPECIFICALLY for my previous case, and learned positioning techniques to help my baby slide into proper position (wow!). All of that to say, after a MUCH shorter labor, and only about 4 hours in the hospital, I delivered my 9 POUND 10 OUNCE VBAC boy completely naturally!! <3 <3
Melissa was a God-send for us! When my midwife unexpectedly left partway through my pregnancy, I was very fearful that I wouldnt have the support or type of birth I wanted. So my husband and I decided to hire a doula. Melissa made us feel completely comfortable and at ease. When my son arrived 5 weeks early (completely unexpected), she walked us through everything and met us at the hospital immediately. She helped bring a calm to both me and my husband - which we needed. She seemed to know what I needed/wanted before I needed it. It gave me the confidence that I could deliver naturally, and I did! I can't say enough about how glad I was that she was there.
I really hate writing this review. Melissa is so amazing and knowledgable, I'm afraid she'll be booked up for when I have my next baby! I've had Melissa as my doula for both my 2 babies so far. I definitely plan to use her again for any more. She works especially great at Baylor University Medical Center where she has personal relationships with the staff.
My first birth was a whirlwind and I did end up having an epidural rather than natural like I wanted, but Melissa was right there through it all. She was actually with another mother at the same time so she had her back-up doula come to be with me. She checked on me constantly throughout my laboring and was right there to hold my hand when it was time for pushing.
For my 2nd baby we had experience on our side, and knew my birth would be really fast so we were better prepared for natural birth. She had me do chiropractic care in the 2 months before Baby was born which was AMAZING for my aches and pains, and moved Baby into position. On labor day she was incredible. I would say "it hurts here," and she knew exactly where the baby was and what position I needed to be in to move the baby further down the birth channel. It was seriously like magic. When my water broke she called the hospital and knew the doctor on call was "knife happy" and she said "He will not touch you. We are going to wait to go to the hospital until the baby is ready to come out." Melissa had knew that the birth was going exactly as it should and that we could wait until the very last moment to go to the hospital. We did and I literally had my baby within 20 minutes of getting there. She was even haus enough to help carry me from the potty to the bed while my baby was crowning. Talking about "carrying her weight!" I didn't even meet the doctor until 5 minutes after!
Melissa knows so much and has such a sweet heart. I highly recommend her, unless you are pregnant when I am, then I want her all to myself.
I was referred to Melissa by one of my best friends, who claimed that Melissa was in large part responsible for the successful drug-free delivery of her ten-pound baby girl. When my husband and I met with her, I knew that I wanted her as part of my birth team. The most memorable part of that interview was her explanation of how she would be working with my husband and me together...not replacing him in his support role, which was very important to us both (and to her too, as we learned). Out of respect for my doctor that I completely trusted and deemed captain of the birth team, I ran the idea past him. He knew Melissa well and was very supportive of the idea. At the beginning of the process, I was nervous of what I'd do if I received conflicting advice from my doctor and doula. From day one, Melissa positioned herself as my educator and advocate. She never took a defensive or judgemental position against the doctor or medical teams. She pulled from her experience as an OB nurse and as a labor and delivery nurse to explain why the doctors advise what they do. As appropriate, she would offer different perspectives...not to affect my decisions, but to educate me on my options. A few times during my pregnancy, I reached out to her for advice or suggestions. Leading up to delivery, at our in-home visit, she made my husband and I (and our puppies) feel very prepared and supported. Honestly, by the last month, I was more nervous about breastfeeding than I was labor. I had complete confidence that my birth team (husband, doctor, doula) was going to get me through it...and I was right! Regardless of what you envision for your birth plan...and regardless of the support team you already have in place...I can assure you that Melissa will bring an invaluable perspective, well-educated advice and God-given talent to your experience.
Melissa is truly one of a kind. As an L&D nurse I have witnessed her gift with her clients first-hand. She is funny, gentle and unassuming. She gives women the freedom to journey through their birth experiences their way, free of judgment. She also has a knack for gaining rapport and earning trust from the entire birth team. She is a life-changer and a world-changer. It is always a pleasure to work with her, because I know that her patients will feel empowered during their birth process, with her by their side. She is truly meant to do this work.
I was fortunate to find Melissa. She offered support and comfort before I went into labor and eased my worries about the labor. She was able to offer several classes during my pregnancy as well as introduced me to great people that helped prepare my body for the task. I am going to be honest I was skeptical at first because how can this lady that I just met be willing to protect my interests during the biggest event of my life, but behold, she was my voice. Once I went into labor Melissa was there from the very beginning, coaching and guideing me so that with every contraction my body progressed. I can write a book on how in love I am with her so let me just bullet point some highlights.
Melissa has been our doula for all 3 of our births. We originally met her when I was pregnant with our 1st as she was teaching our prepared childbirth class. I was about 7 months pregnant and had never questioned having an epidural until we learned more about how natural childbirth was an option and with the right support it can be an incredible experience. We decided to hire Melissa as our doula for our 1st. it was one of the best decision we have ever made. Not only did Melissa walk with me, help us manage labor with he melodical tone of voice, make suggestions of what to do next, but she also assisted my husband and promoted his support for me during the birth of our 1st. On top of it she took some of my most cherished photos. I felt like a million bucks after the delivery of our 1st and with Melissa's help I was able to have a natural childbirth experience. Melissa was also present at the birth of our 2nd child which was also a fantastic birth. I didn't realize that she had more useful ideas to get things going. Although my 2nd birth was shorter it seemed like it was a lot longer but Melissa kept me focused and she used massage techniques that kick started my contractions and made me progress. We didn't realize how vastly different each birth can be and we thought we knew exactly what to do after our 1st but having Melissa by our side to help was invaluable. Then a few years passed and we relocated out of TX & I got pregnant. I called Melissa to ask for advice on how to find a good doula. Then about a month before delivery we were relocated again to a city where we knew nobody. Once again her services were point on, she taught my husband where to massage and it kick started my contractions. i didn't think it could get any better, but my 3rd was by far my best birth. All 3 were natural births and we couldn't have done it without Melissa! Now she is not only our doula, but our friend! We love Melissa and will hire her again and so should you
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