Melissa Johnson VIRTUAL AND IN PERSON SUPPORT  Photo

Melissa Johnson VIRTUAL AND IN PERSON SUPPORT

Drawn From Love Birth and Photography services

Boise, ID Service range 50 miles

2084126795

Http://instagram.com/drawnfromlovedoula

Birth Fee

Not specified

Birth Fee

Not specified


Birth Doula Experience

8 years and 100 births attended


Doula Training

  • DONA International, March 2011

Type of practice: Solo practice

Clients per month: 2 to 4

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attended births at Walter Knoxx in EmmettSt Lukes RMC In BoiseSt Alphonsis RMC In BoiseSt Alphonsis RMC In NampaBirklund Maternity Center in NampaProvidence Hospital In Portland OregonMountain Home AFB Hospital, Mountain Home Idaho

Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Have attended atTreasure Valley Midwiveswhole Life Midwifery Boise Women's Health and Birth Centerand New Beginnings The Baby Place

Attends home births? Any Home Birth


Special Services Offered

  • American Red Cross First Aid and CPR
  • Antepartum doula support
  • Aromatherapy
  • Baby sign language education
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Belly binding
  • Belly casting
  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Childbirth education services
  • Cloth diapering education
  • Henna belly designs
  • Lactation consultant/counselor services
  • Military families support
  • Miscarriage support
  • Mother blessing celebrations
  • Parenting consulting
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Prenatal or postnatal massage
  • Reduced rates for women considering adoption
  • Satellite doula (for remote and rural clients)
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Surrogates and intended parents

Fee Details

Welcome, and congratulations on your baby! I would be Happy to assist you in the planning, navigating, and education of your upcoming journey into Parenthood or growing your existing family. Please feel free to contact me for your free consultation meeting and learn about all of the different ways as your doula I can empower you through the whole process. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Boise, ID Service range 50 miles

Client Testimonials for Melissa Johnson VIRTUAL AND IN PERSON SUPPORT

Post a testimonial for Melissa Johnson VIRTUAL AND IN PERSON SUPPORT

Morgan Van Ry

2/26/2020

We hired Melissa to help with the birth of our first child. I had no prior experience or knowledge, so having her support prior to labor, and during labor was invaluable. She introduced us to the most incredible midwife, Kristi Rhodes, and for that I am forever grateful. We were not educated on all the options we had for our birth, and Melissa was there to help us fill in the blanks as we asked for guidance. My labor started on Thanksgiving night, and Melissa was there to support us. I particularly loved her support for my husband. She knew exactly how to help him help me without stepping on his toes. She also took photos and video during labor and birth, and afterwards, put together a birth video. This gift will be cherised forever. Thanks Melissa!

Liz

2/24/2020

Melissa was a  wonderful part of our birth. While laboring in the tub she came in and put her hand on my back and instantly took away the pain of my contraction, she continued to surprise me with new ways to help ease the pain and was so patient in teaching my husband how to help me during my contractions.  She took the most beautiful video of our birth story and helped us with affirmation's and constant encouragement. During my labor I didn't even notice when she was taking photos or videos which was wonderful!.  She has so much knowledge to share about birth & breastfeeding and a bonus is her  fun personality.  I absolutely loved having her as apart of my birth team and would highly recommend meeting with her to see if she is a good fit! You won't regret it! 

 

Kaylee Stanwood

2/11/2020

This being my first pregnancy, I researched a lot and previously watched my sister have 2 of her 3 babies, natural unmedicated births. I felt pretty prepared for my natural unmedicated birthing center birth. My husband and I attended a birthing class just weeks before my due date, where we met Melissa. I had heard how great doulas are, but again I thought I was prepared. Melissa offered to send me some natural births that she had been a part of just to help prepare my husband and I for what we were about to experience. When I looked her up on Facebook, I saw a post from a friend of mine who had also used Melissa's services and had many great things to say about her. In learning that a very important aspect in labor is to stay relaxed and allow your body to do what it's meant to do, and realizing when I go into labor, it would be whoever was on call at the birthing center, I realized that I would feel more calm/relaxed/confident if I knew at least one consistent person that was experienced and that I could trust to be there. We ended up hiring Melissa just two weeks before my due date. I can't emphasize enough how much her expertise, support, and calm encouragement brought such peace of mind through my birth experience. Which ended up being over 36 hours of labor, and resulted in us transferring to the hospital to get an epidural and rest so we could successfully birth my precious baby girl. What could have been a very scary experience was smooth, and peaceful, because of the support and experience that Melissa gave. She also made a beautiful birthing video and took precious photos throughout the whole process so I can look back on the experience with happy memories instead of dread or stress. I'm so very grateful for Melissa, her personalized care, her years of experience, her sense of humor, and I would hire her again in a heart beat. I HIGHLY recommend her to anyone who is contemplating using a doula. Melissa is the best!

Ashlynn Banning

1/15/2020

Having Melissa as a part of my pregnancy and birth journey was one of the best decisions I've made. This was my second pregnancy, and I wanted to have this baby without an epidural, which I didn't do the first time so it was like I was experiencing birth in a whole new way. I was scared and didn't know what to expect. Melissa jumped in every time I needed her, she filled in the gaps of knowledge I didn't have and was there when I needed support.

When it came time to have my baby she was there for me in every way I needed. She kept me comfortable, calm and helped ground me when I felt like panicking. If she wasn't there I wouldn't have reached my goal of doing this without an epidural. It was like having a mom there for me who is perfectly educated in pregnancy and childbirth.  

She was also there for my husband which meant everything to me. She taught him tricks on how to keep me comfortable throughout pregnancy and birth and made sure we were both taken care of.  I wish we had her for my first birth; she made all the difference in the best ways. Having a doula like Melissa made this birth experience one that was positive and I'll always be grateful that she was apart of our journey. 

Karen Piercy

1/5/2020

Before I was pregnant, I knew I wanted a doula. I had learned of them in school and had seen what they could do. I was, however, unaware of exactly how essential Melissa would be through the entire experience: prenatal, labor and postpartum. Melissa provided two prenatal sessions, which weren't techniques on breathing (although she does talk about it), but more a therapy session for the family on hopes, fears, and wishes of birth. We were able to touch on fears I didn't even know I had and ways to alleviate them. She was able to get to know my husband and see how our relationship worked. Then labor happened. I thought I was doing great, and then she showed up and showed me everything she could do. Changing positions for optimal effectiveness of contractions. How best to breath to let those contractions get stronger. Counter pressure during back labor. A punching bag when I accidentally went swinging during transition. Someone to tell me I was doing great when I started to doubt myself. A go between with my midwife so I knew she was always up to speed without me having to worry. She allowed my husband to be my emotional support while she took care of the physical pain and eased the contractions any way she could. Then postpartum happened. A time where many women are left to their devices with a new babe, sore nipples and lots of questions, and a husband just as confused. Melissa checked in frequently, seeing how we were adjusting, and came to the house for a visit as well as breastfeeding help. When the struggle continued for several weeks, she provided advice and referrals to professionals on how to solve the problem efficiently and effectively. If all that isn't enough, she provides photos from birth as well as a newborn photo shoot. I may have thought I needed a doula before I had my baby, but I didn't realize how much I needed Melissa. She provided an indescribable amount of support, love and knowledge to the birth experience that was invaluable. 

Rob

11/21/2019

I could not have been happier with the choice we made to get a Doula, and the choice we made with asking Melissa to be our Doula.  The birth of our first child was not normal by any means, and could have been so much better.  We wanted to avoid as many problems as possiable, and wanted the peace of mind that someone would be there to help guide us in meaningful ways.   

When we first met with Melissa she helped my Wife develop a pain management plan with a few different options just incase one didnt work.  Melissa also worked with me on pain relive methods that I could use to help my Wife with.  After the meeting we felt a lot better about everything , and  I felt very confident that I could help my Wife more than ever througout the birth. 

When my Wife started labor we had no idea just how much of a long haul it would be.  Nearly four days of contractions that never seemed to steady or even out.  Melissa had no trouble coming by our home a few times to show me some additional ways I could help my Wife through the contractions, and showed my Wife some positions she could use to help get more rest.  After nearly two days of my Wife not being able to sleep Melissa really came throug for us and helped my Wife get the sleep she desierved.

During my Wife’s active labor Melissa was an absolute blessing for us. At times I was a little unsure how to help my amazing Wife, but Melissa knew exactly when to step in to help and when to let me be there for my Wife.

I was so thankful for everything Melissa did for us.  After the birth she continued to be a wonderful help, and gave my us some great tips to make sure my Wife’s recovery from labor was a success.   I know my Wife and I could not have made a better choice in asking Melissa to be our Doula, and if we decide to have another child, I know we will ask her do be our Doula again. 

 

Spencer Ronneburg

8/23/2019

When my wife first came home to tell me she wanted a doula I was a little apprehensive and skeptical but also at a point where I just wanted this pregnancy to be what she felt it needed to be so I told her yes. See we lost our forth child about half way through the pregnancy and it was devastating. We had decided that we wanted to try again and were taking every precaution we could and doing everything we could to help with all the anxieties that came with it. Little did I know by me agreeing to Melissa as my wife’s doula not only would she help my wife with any questions that came up but so much more. Melissa was more then willing to help with anything my wife needed and still is, six weeks after delivery. She is not only just part of my wife’s care team but a true friend. She helped me be as hands on as I felt I needed to be and guide me through how I could help, not to mention she knew I work nights and even brought me a drink to help keep me awake during the whole process. I can not thank Melissa enough for everything she has helped with and continues to help with. If you are having second thoughts about a doula I highly recommend you give Melissa a shot and have a sit down with her to she how much she really can help.

Kelcey Ronneburg

8/22/2019

Continued.... 

 

this pregnancy was not the easiest. We had just experienced a 2nd trimester loss and got pregnant very quickly after. So my anxiety levels were high. Everything was pretty much textbook though until the 3rd trimester when I went into pre-term labor. In the doula/client agreement it discusses the time period Melissa is “on-call” for you. So when I was admitted into antepartum at 28 weeks for a magnesium drip I panicked that not only could I potentially have a micro-preemie but I may not have my doula either (who, by this point in my pregnancy was a pillar for me... I had succumbed to the friendship by then) . I sent Melissa a text to let her know what was going on and she was as supportive as support can get. She came up and sat with me any chance she got and when she couldn’t come see me, she was constantly checking in through calls and texts. 

Pregnancy is unpredictable. And I know now, that had I actually delivered early (thank goodness for wonderful providers and modern medicine that kept me pregnant) I know for certain she would have moved mountains to be there right by my side. Even the last couple weeks she would let me know any time she was leaving the Boise area so I could call the minute I went into labor (again, still didn’t happen). 

Melissa is the best. I want to shout it to the rooftops but also, not share! ??

Kelcey Ronneburg

8/22/2019

When I hired Melissa for Doula services I had no idea how invaluable she would be. There was a chance my husband wouldn’t be at the hospital for the birth of our daughter due to work so I hired Melissa to be there for support. Little did I know that she would be one of the only reasons I made it through a precipitous and pain med free induction. My daughter is my 5th baby but first to be delivered without an epidural and I cannot even imagine doing so without Melissa by my side. Her knowledge and insatiable love for what she does is unimaginable. If I had any idea how great of an experience child birth would have been with my 1st four babies, I would have had a doula from day one.

Melissa has become family to us. It’s funny because I remember an early conversation about how her, I and my midwife would all grow an awesome friendship and I kind of just laughed it off because who becomes friends with their OB providers and labor coach... joke is on me because that is EXACTLY what happened and I wouldn’t want it any other way 

Hiring her will be first on my to-do list in the future if and when we decide on one more family addition! 

 

Ben P.

8/21/2019

This was our first child, so when my wife wanted to hire a doula, I was pretty skeptical.  I figured that the hospital would have plenty of nurses, doctors, etc that we wouldn't need a doula.  Boy was I wrong, having our doula (Melissa) there was the best decision we could have made!  Melissa provided lessons before the child was born, teaching me how I could provide relief for my wife when she was having contractions, teaching us about the birthing process, and teaching my wife about breast feeding.  When my wife starting having contractions, Melissa was there for us providing coaching and showing up to the hospital with us.  During the birth, Melissa was invaluable!  She not only helped my wife give birth, but was there for me as a husband giving me advice and guidance.  After the birth, Melissa was there for us as well, helping us with boding techniques and breastfeeding.  My wife and I would highly recommend have a doula and would definitely hire Melissa again!

Shantel

8/14/2019

I am so glad we decided to use a doula with our first baby. I'd heard good things about having a doula, but I wasn't sure it would make a difference in my birth experience. My husband was also skeptical about spending the money and having another person involved during labor.

After delivering, me and my husband were so grateful we had Melissa as part of the process. She was able to provide direction, and support through a very long night of intense labor. She was also able to support my husband. We had great nurses and medical staff, but they do not provide coaching and support like a doula. Having Melissa as part of our experience was wonderful. I would not change how my delivery went, and a big part of that was thanks to Melissa.

Colleen Hancock

8/12/2019

Melissa was incredible and I can't imagine doing this without her! She helped me get into the right mindet for labor, eased my pain and discomfort during it, encouraged my husband to be exactly what he needed to be and walked me through the first tough moments of breastfeeding. I highly recommend her. She is a game changer!

Liz and James

6/22/2019

Melissa was, in a word, AMAZING.

She was hands on from the beginning with James, teaching him how best to help me throughout my labor. This knowledge allowed him to feel both valued and useful during a time when a lot of dads feel helpless to make a meaningful contribution.

We were pretty self sufficient after things really got rolling, but she never left our sides. Her being there was a calm source of confidence for me - I knew that if I had any questions or something didn't feel right all I would need to do was voice that and she would do whatever I needed to help get things back on track.

The pictures and video that she took are so beautiful. She's really a gifted photographer and the way she cut everything together to make a keepsake video turned out wonderfully. She set it to the song Tightrope from The Greatest Showman, and now I can't hear that song without getting weepy and emotional ??.

My only regret? That it took me so long to post this review!!!! If you're looking for a warm, steady presence at your birth to really help keep you and your partner at ease then look no further, you've found her.

Megan

5/30/2019

My fiance and I found out we were expecting our first child in late July. I had always known that I wanted a natural birth so I researched birthing classes that were geared towards achieving a natural birth, and came across Confident Birthing classes. We signed up and this is where we learned about the value a Doula brings to your birthing experience. We went home and searched for Doulas, and found Melissa! She is worth the investment and we couldn’t  have achieved the natural birth without her. We had a unique delivery but she was there every step of the way to bring our baby girl into the world. Andrew thought he would be off to the side, but Melissa made sure he was involved. He played just as an important role as she did, they teamed together and helped me through one of life’s toughest adventures! There is a reason Melissa is a Doula, and I’m glad we found her :) highly recommend a Doula and definitely recommend Melissa. She will be part of any future deliveries we may have!

 

Haley Bethune

5/5/2019

Melissa has been our doula and photographer for the birth of both our daughter and son.  Both of our births were phenomenal, beautiful experiences, and she has been a huge part of our story.  Melissa has deep knowledge and experience with birth, and was a supportive presence from the moment we met her.  She was key in helping me process what was important to me in my births, in helping me navigate early labor at home and figure out when to go in to the hospital, in providing comfort measures that allowed me to labor without medication, in supporting my husband and empowering him to be my key support and advocate.  And most importantly to me, she was a phenomenal encouragement to me - her words of affirmation and encouragement are some of the key things I remember from my labor, and helped me feel powerful, informed and capable.  She worked seamlessly with our midwife, and made labor easier, more enjoyable, and even fun.  She has an awesome sense of humor and helped me laugh and find the joy even in intense moments.  

One of the greatest gifts that Melissa gave us has been talent and gift for capturing our story through her photography.  I didn't realize how important the photos of the birth would be until after the birth of our daughter - seeing the images and videos of the labor and moments that Melissa captured after the birth are truly some of my most prized posessions now.  It was so nice to be able to do maternity and newborn photos with someone we knew so well and our entire  family is so comfortable around.  

It is clear that this is not just Melissa's job, but her passion and calling.  We will forever be thankful to Melissa for the incredible support she has given us through the birth of our family.  My hope is that every couple preparing for the birth of a child would have the same kind of loving, empowering support that Melissa provided us.

Kelsie Vincent

5/5/2019

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to hire a Doula ASAP. I was planning to interview a handful to make sure I found the best match for my husband and I. Melissa was the first Doula we met, and we decided we didn’t even want to look at anyone else as we instantly felt a connection and felt she was perfect for us. Having a natural birth in the hospital was something that was very important to me. Melissa helped me find the perfect medical provider who was exactly what we needed/wanted. She was always a text or phone call away if I needed ANYTHING. She calmed me down and guided me whenever I felt nervous or unsure about anything. Melissa educated us on so many things and helped us feel confident in ourselves. Our little baby girl came early and I started having symptoms of early labor at my baby shower that she attended. She stayed in touch with me throughout the day and thank goodness for her, because I am pretty sure I would not have gotten to the hospital as soon as I did without her guidance. I was a bit panicked, but having her there comforted me and made me feel much more at peace. She was also an incredible support for my husband, and she kept him engaged, hydrated and caffeinated throughout my labor. We both feel like she was our guardian angel and I don’t know that I could have done a natural birth without her. She has also been helping me with the difficulties of nursing. She has been willing to talk to me or visit to help me at any time. Both my husband and I feel so incredibly blessed by Melissa and all of the support she has offered us. I will absolutely have Melissa as my Doula for all my future babies. I would highly recommend Melissa as a Doula no matter what kind of birth you are planning for. Side note, her photography is beautiful and hanging out with her is a blast. ????

Philip Vincent

5/3/2019

As a first time dad I had no idea how much knowledge I was lacking. I have spent a reasonable amount of time around kids and watched my closest friends have, and raise there baby while I was living with them. I’m an experienced RN in cardiology so I have a fairly strong grasp of the human body. All that being said, being a “birth partner” is so much more than I expected. From the early appointments to the breastfeeding, Melissa has been been a supportive and knowledgeable, teacher and coach. Her wealth and breadth of knowledge is only surpassed by he willingness and eagerness to help. When we have a question or need help, she is available day or night (Sorry Melissa, cats out of the bag). 

All of the support is awesome, but let’s talk about the actual birth. Melissa is HANDS ON. She did not hesitate to pull me around and place my hands to squeeze my wife’s hips to offload birth pressure (lesson 1). She helped coach breathing and relaxation. She advocated for me to able to catch my baby, so the first touch my baby experienced was her father. She even held a latte up to my mouth so I could drink, while my hands were busy doing labor massage. 

We have had our new baby home for 4 days and we have heard from, or been visited by Melissa every day. She has been helping with breastfeeding, which turns out to be much more complicated than anticipated. We still have a newborn photo shoot to setup, which we may delay so we can keep Melissa around for a little longer (sorry, not sorry). 


She provided prenatal photos, labor photos, and newborn photos. So far we couldn’t have been happier with the pictures. When my wife told me she wanted to hire a doula, I had a real concern with the value of the service, but after going through the process with Melissa at my side, I can’t imagine doing it without her. 


Best money I have ever spent. 

Andrew

4/30/2019

continued...

Melissa showed up, and seriously saved the day.  She had all the pressure point tactics, ideas, and guidence to get us through without an epideral (the main goal.). She knew when to help, when to be hands on, and when to let us be in the moment.  She was very knowledgeable with what we could do to alleviate some of the discomfort as well as what would happen if we went with option A, B, or C.  It was cruicial.  On top of that, we had a very abnormally positioned little baby that made the delivery extremely rare without an emergency C-Section.  Melissa truly did enable us to have the birth that we wanted.  Without her, I don't think we would have had anywhere near the experience we had and it wouldnt have been such an amazing experience.  She has checked on us several times after the birth to help with things and make sure everything is going great as well.   We can't thank her enough and we really do reccommend her (and I don't reccommend anyone unless its an extremely rare, or extraordinary experience.). Thank you again Melissa!  

Andrew

4/30/2019

Our experience from the Dads point of view:  

We first met Melissa from doula match.  My fiance and I were taking the Confident Birthing class and after the second class she had mentioned that she wanted to hire a Doula.  To be honest I didn't even  know what the hell a Doula was prior to the class and even after the classes it was still a little murkey.  And it was by far and away the best thing we could have done with our birth.  We are/were new parents and didn't really know exactly what all it entails, we just knew how we wanted it to go in an ideal set of circumstances.  We had a pretty set in stone set of expectations that we wanted to follow and with both of us being fairly stuborn, we wanted it to go that way.  We "interviewed" her at a starbucks and started chatting with her about what she does, how she handles situations, her style, etc.  We felt that it was a good fit, and at the time more or less what we were expecting--another advocate in the room with us during the birth that knew our birth plan and what we wanted to accomplish, what we were willing to sacrifice, etc.  It turned out to be so so so much more than that.  She itterally saved the day.  My fiance had prodermal labor (SP? Back labor) for 5 straight days leading up to the actual birth; and she was miserable  Melissa answered so many quetions for us at all hours of the night about everything that was going on, tips and tricks to try and the importance of getting as much rest as possible.  This was after a membrane sweep and we were considering another intervention before gher water broke and we were at the hospital, at like 2 am I had to call her bc I simply couldnt help--didnt know what to do to keep her from the pain she was in...to be cont.  

Domenic Jones

3/11/2019

Melissa was recommended to us by one of our friends and I couldnt be happier that we took their advice. This was our first and with that there's going to be little fear of the unknown. I think the biggest thing was how much more relaxed I felt once we met with her and she explained what her role would be and also how she would help me help my wife. If i wouldn't have known the hip squeeze that she taught me, I would have felt helpless during early stages. In the delivery room she brings this sense of calming to what could be a very frantic situation and is like conductor in the way she can read the people and situation in the room and guide it for my wifes best interest. I highly recommend using Melissa and can guarantee you will not regret it.

Mandy Pence

1/26/2019

Melissa was phenominal to work with during my pregnancy, delivery and post natal care. She helped us prepare for the arrival of our son with prenatal and breast feeding classes in our home. She was available around the clock for any questions or concerns we had. She also offers amazing photos and video throughout the proces, which will be forever cherished!

My husband was initially apprehensive about using a doula as he did not want to feel left out of the process. Melissa was able to provide my husband with tips and tricks that empowered him to be much more invloved in the birthing process than many of my friends husbands had been. She was there for him when he had questions or needed support, but let him really play the role of my birthing partner. She never made him feel left out or underutilize. 

Melissa is the ultimate doula! She is compassionate, kind, wise and educated. I would recommend her to anyone looking for doula services. 

Megan Zaldain

1/21/2019

If I could give expecting mothers one piece of advice, I would say take time in choosing your labor and delivery team. I had an incredible team!

A huge part of that team was our Doula Melissa Johnson! I really can’t say enough about this women. Amazing is an understatement! The birth of our son was a wonderful experience... how many ladies can say that? Although intense (like every birth) I never once felt worry or overwhelmed. I felt confident and was empowered by Melissa’s words of encouragement! The areas that she can make a difference in your experience are endless! She provided emotional support for not just me, but my husband as well. She gave me guidance on all the different labor positions to help make things more comfortable; offered amazing after birth support; nursing help; even showed us the all important swaddle (she is the queen ??). Melissa goes above and beyond all expectations! However, her talent doesn’t stop at the swaddle. She is also an incredible photographer! She put together the most beautiful slideshow of that day that we will forever treasure. Her experience, virtuosity , and passion for what she does makes her the ultimate package! Everyone needs a Melissa! Thank you for making that very special day unforgettable! We love and appreciate you!

Trever Zaldain

1/5/2019

I am a first time dad, that was super nervous about my wife being pregnant. We wanted an all natural birth and took a confidant birthing class to help prep us for this life changing experience. It wasn’t till our last class, which was a mock birth rehearsal that we realized we needed a little more help. We reached out to our midwife and she got us in touch with Melissa.

Melissa was our saving grace! Our birth of our little man wouldn’t have been the same without her! She didn’t make me feel like I was a dad that was in the way and she helped give me confidence in what was going on during the birth. Above all she assured me that everything was okay and normal with my wife through out labor and delivery. Melissa did not only take care of my wife, but also me. She made sure I was rested, had eaten, even showed me how to do counter pressure during contractions. Whenever I felt overwhelmed she made me feel secure. If I didn’t know what to do or how to respond to my wife’s cues, she would gently guide me. I never once felt like she over stepped or that I didn’t have a role to play. In my humble opinion I dont know why anyone would go through such an intense, overwhelming, yet the most miraculous life changing event with out her!!!

Did I mention she is an extremely talented photographer! She put together the most beautiful slide show of the birth of our baby boy. A priceless, precious momentum that we will treasure forever.

Her services did not stop there. She has been a huge help to us after our baby arrived. She is a forever friend. Needless to say I would pay for her help over and over again! Thank you for everything Melissa!!! You are an amazing person and fantastic at what you do!!! You truly have a gift! Words can’t express how grateful we are for your service. Thank you!!!

Andrea Speed

12/19/2018

To even explain how much I love Melissa Johnson as a person let alone a doula I need to explain my experiences with birth. My first two were C-sections done in California (don’t even get me started) which led me to have my third at a birth center in another state. Come my fourth child I wanted the birth center feel with pain management. So I elected to have this birth at a hospital under guidance of a CNM who was amazing. She mentioned having Melissa as a pain management option and was I glad I had her there. She helped direct a friend and my husband where to push on my back and knees and had the magic touch herself. Of course I called her for the expectancy of my fifth child before I did my CNM!! Luckily she was available to help. This time it was just me and her and the CNM. Oh and a bit of laughing gas which made labor blissful between her magic hands and added IV Newbane. I swear we were linked because I only had to think of how great it would be for a drink and Melissa would appear with the hefty hospital cup or a barf bag to gag into. My favorite part was her calm voice and laughter to help through translation. I tell all my girl friends that ask to get a doula just from my experience with Melissa. She is amazing and very chill which helps to have when the world feels like it’s falling out under you. She made sure the nurses where aware of my preferences in such a firm but unassuming way that no one made a fuss. (Bad experiences in California made me question having a baby at all in the hospital again. She took the bad taste and changed it to something wonderful) Melissa listens and hears what you need and then goes out of her way to make sure your needs are met. She is also a freakin amazing artist who does henna.  She knows her business of making mammas relaxed and in their element to have a better than good birth experience. There was no awkwardness ever.  Just love. 

Faith Hunt

10/30/2018

Where to begin with how wonderful it is to have Melissa at the births of both my first and second daughters! She is an amazing support for both my husband and myself, she keeps me calm and focused and my husband encouraged and feeling very helpful:) 

I love her counter pressure and massage techniques, its woderful how she teaches my husband how to do them as well so that we can be working as a team to get that baby out! Melissa is such a calming presents in the labor & delivery room and I would highly encourage anyone of my friends to have her for their births!  

 

Jennifer Morgan

10/17/2018

Melissa was a godsend to my husband and I. She was there for me during the scariest part of my pregnancy and made me feel calm, cared-for, and confident.  She is knowledgeable and matter-of-fact. She always had my best interest at heart. She also did what I couldn’t do during labor, which was care for my husband. She was someone I could look to for help, and she was someone that my husband could look to for guidance and support.  I will choose to have Melissa with me in the delivery room for all of my pregnancies.

Ryan and Melissa Galler

10/12/2018

We just had our third baby 3 days ago by a successful vba2! And I can honestly say that I don’t believe I would have been able to accomplish it without Melissa. From the moment we met her I instantly felt comfortable and that I could trust her. She was a constant support through the remainder of my pregnancy and always had the right words to say to keep me calm, more patient and my head in the right space. My body had never gone into labor on its own before so I didnt know what to expect or what to do when it did. I messaged Melissa with any and every little thing that I was experiencing and she talked me through it all giving me piece of mind and calming my nerves. And when the day came she was available for every call and message to confirm labor and was waiting for us at the hospital when we arrived. My labor progressed fast and hard and she had the perfect touch to ease my pain. Because she had shown my husband many ways as well, the two of them were my absolute rock and support system through the entire labor. She is so knowledgeable of what a laboring mother needs and how to support the dad at the same time. with each contraction I didn’t have to look for her because she already knew it was coming and her touch and pressure made it so much more bearable. Having that trust there meant the world to me! She stayed with us till 2 hours after birth and then came back the next day with our video and photos. Being able to relive such a hard miraculous experience through the video is indescribable. My husband and I cry together every time we see it. She took our maternity photos as well and we are so happy to have those memories of excitement With our kids! I am so eternally grateful for Melissa and everything she has done for us. And I know our relationship won’t stop here because we have found a wonderful friendship in her too! I can’t possibly thank her enough! 

Ryan Galler

10/11/2018

From a husband and fathers perspective! Our third child was born 2 days ago, and let me tell you the whole experience was the best and I owe so much credit to our Doula Melissa for making this birthing experience go so extremely well. So, three months ago I had no idea what a Doula was. Getting a Doula meant a lot to my wife, so I decided if it helped ease her mind then I would be ok with it. I admit I was spectical as I thought a Doula would take my place in the delivery room... I could not have been more wrong!! Melissa gave me all her years of knowledge and experience so I could be a rockstar throughout the delivery. She met us at multiple time before delivery to go over what to expect, and was there at the hospital from the minute we got there until hours after delivery. Melissa has such a vast knowledge on laboring, she showed me how I could help ease my wife’s pain, and made me look like I’ve been doing this for years! She was always there, so if I had to use the restroom or grab food, I didn’t feel guiltly leaving my wife’s side. She recorded the whole experience with pictures and the most heart warming video. There’s so much more to be said about Melissa, and I couldn’t be more grateful!!

Melissa Morgan

10/2/2018

Melissa is awesome! She is extremely dependable. Responded to all my messages in a timely manner, and made herself on-call the last few weeks leading up to my baby's birth. That was very comforting to me.

 

She and my amazing midwife, Kristi Rhodes, empowered me to have the beautiful birth experience that I wanted! I just love Melissa!!! :)

Peter Privon

9/29/2018

This was our second experience with birth and a doula. Writing from the perspective of the husband/father Melissa did a great job supporting my wife and I as part of our birth team. I have been through Bradley Classes, read countless books and articles about pregnancy and birth to support my wife through the process but in the end, having an experienced doula has been crucial to achieving our goals of a natural, unmedicated childbirth.

We met with Melissa in the early phases of pregnancy and she was great at asking questions and seeking to understand what our needs and desires were. She was able to focus on my wife Katy and give her advice to make pregnancy more comfortable while also coaching me on how I could help before we even got close to labor. Once we were getting close to labor Melissa was very accessible and was there as I provided status updates so we could plan the right time for her to join the process.

The most critical need I had for a doula was to 1. have someone who knew when was the right time to go to the hospital (we were laboring at home) and 2. give me guidance and advice on how I could best comfort and encourage Katy during active labor and pushing. Melissa filled both these roles. As we got well into active labor and pushing at the hospital Melissa and I worked as a team to apply pressure to relieve discomfort as well as making sure Katy was comfortable, had water, ate regularly, etc. 

I cannot stress how much Katy and I enjoyed this birth experience and how much Melissa contributed to this joy. Her focus on mamma comfort, gentle coaching so I could be effective in my role of husband-coach, and the pictures she took during the process helped us achieve our desired birth and have pictures to remember them by. 

I would highly recommend Melissa to anyone and for the husbands out there, you'll find in her an expert coach so you and your partner can share in the amazing experience of birth. 

Joseph DiFidi

9/26/2018

My wife Nicole and I hired Melissa as our doula around the middle of Nicole's pregnancy, and we are very happy with our decision.  She has proven herself worth every penny and then some as our doula, maternity and newborn photographer, and lactation consultant.

She made herself available and took time early on to meet with us, review birthing plans & strategies, and answer every question we could think of.  Her dedication has been evident throughout the past handful of months, to include two lengthy photo shoots with us, a tour of the hospital's facilities for every portion of labor/delivery/recovery, doctor appointments, and of course the entire labor and delivery process itself.  Having her experience and knowledge with us through one of the longest nights of our lives gave us peace of mind in a very challenging situation.  As a husband and new father, I can say that she did a nice job of helping and supporting us both while respecting my role in the experience. 

Melissa's follow-up with us in our initial days home from the hospital with our baby paid huge dividends in setting my wife's mind at ease and answering our questions, which made the transition easier for all of us.  She has also taken numerous amazing photos of all three of us that are thankful to have, and have intern helped us to share the entire experience with loved ones near and far.

We are thankful we had Melissa as our doula (and photographer and lactation consultant), and we highly recommend her to anyone in the area considering her services.

Katy Privon

9/26/2018

Melissa has been absolutely wonderful! Her calm demeanor has made me feel comfortable from the very beginning. In labor she was an invaluable resource. She gave me such great relief with her knowledge of the birth process, gentle hip squeezes, and massage. She provided the perfect gentle reassurance to my husband and helped him to be the perfect birth coach. She also managed to take beautiful photos throughout the process. Melissa is my second doula and I can not recommend her enough.

Nicole Donato DiFidi

9/25/2018

I am beyond thankful for the support and knowledge Melissa provided throughout my whole pregnancy. She made herself available to us early on with multiple visits to review labor positions and strategy. As a doula and photographer, Melissa was able to capture our whole journey from maternity shots, to beautifully done labor and delivery photos, as well as new born pictures once we made it home from the hospital.

One of Melissa's assets which made the whole process easier for first time parents was her familiarity with the hospital. Due to all of her experience, she knew her way around the hospital, understood the rules about who could go where, and even knew what resources were available in each respective location. Having her as our advocate with this familiarity and level of comfort made a challenging situation much less stressful than it could have been.  

Melissa helped me to labor naturally, something I never thought I could do. She provided as much help and assistance for the labor as my husband and I needed throughout the middle of the night and well into the next day. 

The second day I was home from the hospital, I was completely overwhelmed and questioned my every move. Melissa reached out to me to check in and provided the help and assistance I needed at a critical time. She immediately came to our home and answered every question I had about breastfeeding, and general new born baby care. By the time she left that afternoon, my husband and I felt reassured and positive about our parenting.

I have an incredibly supportive partner in my husband, and we were both so thankful to have Melissa with us through this amazing journey!

Faith Boyd

5/10/2018

Melissa was wonderful!! She is down to earth and listens. She's not afraid to ask hard questions and offered support prior to, during and after our birth. One of my friends described it best, "She's the big sister you want at your birth." She supported us and was very knowledgable. She also worked great with our midwife and OB/GYN. When things got touch and go for both myself and our daughter she remained calm and helped us to focus, she encourged my husband and I. She has remained in contact with me and offers wods of encourgement. She is a blessing to our family. 

RandyKarly Reed

4/20/2018

Advice for the husbands out there...


If you are like me, when your wife approached you about hiring a doula you probably thought it was an unnecessary additional expense. Well I'm here to tell you it's not! I’m positive she saved us money. We did not have a doula for our first child and I found myself getting in all kinds of uncomfortable positions to help comfort my wife when she was laboring. Double hip squeeze and all kinds of back breaking positions, plus trying to remember what we learned from our birthing class. It wasn’t easy. With our second child we hired Melissa and she was awesome! She was so much help to my wife and I before, during, and after the delivery of our son. Not only did she do a lot of the uncomfortable support things during labor which free’ d me up to hold my wife’s hand and help encourage her; she also took maternity pictures, newborn pictures, and came to our house a few times when my wife was having trouble getting the new baby to latch/nurse correctly.


We unexpectedly went into labor early, and Melissa even left her own birthday party prematurely to come meet us at the hospital. We had planned to have her help us labor at home by when my wife’s water broke and contractions started we had to get to the hospital quick. Melissa had a lot of experience recommending various laboring positions and even took tons of pictures during the birth which was really cool for my wife to see since she never would have otherwise.
All I can say is that if we ever had another kid I would hire her in a heartbeat. 10 out of 10!

Danielle Costa

4/19/2018

Being a first time mommy I was terrified. I didn't feel confident in myself and how I wanted my birth to go. That was until I met Melissa. Through my entire experience she gave me so much comfort and helped me make decisions that were best for my family. From being at my appointments to answering texts whenever I had questions she was there. I really wanted to have my baby without an epidural but was terrified that I couldn't handle birth without it. Melissa gave me the strength and confidence that I needed. During labor she was always there comforting  and doing whatever it took to get me to that point. She also taught my husband ways to be involved physically and emotionally. She stayed and made sure my baby was latching properly and also continued to check on us to make sure everything was still going well. Plus her pictures are amazing too! I am very happy that I decided to hire Melissa. I honestly couldn't have done it without her. She made my birth experience better than I could have ever imagined. I recommend her to anyone that's looking for a doula!

Danielle Costa

4/18/2018

Being a first time mommy I was terrified. I didn't feel confident in myself and how I wanted my birth to go. That was until I met Melissa. Through my entire experience she gave me so much comfort and helped me make decisions that were best for my family. From being at my appointments to answering texts whenever I had questions she was there. I really wanted to have my baby without an epidural but was terrified that I couldn't handle birth without it. Melissa gave me the strength and confidence that I needed. During labor she was always there comforting  and doing whatever it took to get me to that point. She also taught my husband ways to be involved physically and emotionally. She stayed and made sure my baby was latching properly and also continued to check on us to make sure everything was still going well. Plus her pictures are amazing too! I am very happy that I decided to hire Melissa. I honestly couldn't have done it without her. She made my birth experience better than I could have ever imagined. I recommend her to anyone that's looking for a doula!

Daryll Douglas

1/30/2018

Choosing a doula is something that mattered a great deal to both my husband and me. We struggled for years with infertility, and when we learned that we were expecting our daughter, making sure our birth was a joyful, positive celebration was very important to us. When we met with Melissa, we were immediately sure she was the right person to help us welcome our little miracle into the world. She is not only very experienced in birth, and knows the birth process inside and out, but she is passionate about the beauty and wonder that is inherent in bringing a baby into the world. We knew right away that Melissa would be a huge support for us, and that she understood how important it was to us to bring our daughter into the world in the right way. For Jon as a father, it was very important that we find a doula who would not take his place, but rather would show him what to do to best support me. He was looking for someone to coach him on how to coach me as I labored. For me as a mother, I wanted to find someone who would be able to support me, empower me, and of course show me how to labor in the most effective and peaceful manner. Melissa was a great fit for us both. Melissa always says that birth brings a baby into the world, but that it also makes a mother. I found this to be absolutly true. Many things changed over the course of my birth, and much of what I had "planned on" in our birth plan did not work out. Changes in plans are typically difficult for me, but Melissa encouraged me to trust my body, trust myself, and to be confident in my ability to make the right choices for me and my baby - also things that do not come naturally to me. With Melissa's support, I came out of the birth of my daughter and into motherhood with this sense of peace, strength, and confidence, which is something that I have carried forward with me and which will impact the way I parent my daughter. We are forever grateful to Melissa for all of her support.

Michelle Rudd

1/29/2018

Melissa is an amazing doula!! Throughout my entire pregnancy and birth she was there, she is great about being there as much or a little as you want. My birth was 28 hours and she was there for the enitre time. Not only did she help provide support to me and my husband, when my daughter went to the NICU she knew just was to do.  I'm preganant with my second and she was the first person I contacted because I knew I wanted her there. Not only is she an amazing doula she is also a very talented photographer, and took the most beautiful photos to capture our birth (which I didn't even realized she had time to take). I can't recommend her enough!!! I should have posted this sooner, but I just wanted my review to be as amazing and she is!

Haley Fletcher

11/14/2017

Melissa was great at supporting via text and in person leading up to the birth, including coming to our home to teach us techniques and answer our questions.  She has a 'flexible, laid back' style of business - she makes you feel like she is there because she really wants to be.  She doesn't come over with a curriculum or check list, but instead dialogues with you to meet you where you are.

Though I had a long labor (40 hours), I was able to do it without medication in large part because of the role that Melissa played.  She always seemed to know when to step in and when to step back.  She was incredible with massage & different pain relief techniques.  She would jump in to fan, provide water, etc whenever needed, but was also fantastic at supporting my husband in being the primary support for me.  For my husband, this allowed him to be there for me but also to take a moment to grab a sip or water or text my family with updates without worrying.

Melissa was SO encouraging throughout the birth - her cheers and encouragement uplifted me in moments when I was getting tired or things felt like they were dragging. She did a great job of keeping me as informed as I wanted to be, but also helped me stay in the moment and concentrate just on what was right in front of me.

Melissa and my midwife had an incredible relationship, with clear mutual respect.  They were able to communicate directly with one another during the beginning stages of labor and together helped advise us as to the right time to go to the hospital.  They also worked seamlessly in terms of supporting the final stages of labor, the immediate after birth, and the transition to breastfeeding. 

The icing on the cake were her photography skills.  She captured the raw emotion of the birth experience so beautifully, and her photos and video are truly some of our most prized posessions now.

Mary Mothersill

11/12/2017

Melissa was an absolute treasure! I couldn't have done a 46 hour labor with 4 1/2 hours of pushing without her by my side. She gave me so many relaxation techniques and always made sure I stayed hydrated. My birth plan changed due to being in labor so long but I made it to the tail end of labor without an epidural and I'm a huge wuss with pain. The pictures she takes are amazing too I have a treasure I can keep the rest of my life with the birth video she made. I'd HIGHLY recommend Melissa!!

Tom Mothersill

11/8/2017

My first child was delivered with no doula in a hospital with an OB, which is what i've always heard would be the "conventional" way of doing childbirth. I had read a book that talked about the benefits of doing it the all natural way (typically less tearing, shorter labor along with a few others). My wife (Mary) agreed with the logic, but she was terrified at the idea of having to deal with that much pain. She met me in the middle with a statement that she wouldn't commit to anything for sure but would go as natural as possible. When we got to the hospital, all of that was shattered because most of the nurses made it clear they thought doing this without an epidural was completely unrealistic (much less without drugs of any sort). It was never a question of "if," it was a question of "when." 

Having a doula and a midwife the second time around made things completely different! Every decison Mary made was clearly respected, and if any change was made to the plan it would start with a suggestion and a few options presented to her. My wife chose to be induced, even though she was explicitly warned that it would most likely mean that things would not go according to plan. 

In the end, very little went according to plan because the baby ended up being much bigger then anyone anticipated (10lbs 3oz) and when it came time to push we discovered he was literally stuck. But what matters to me is that with the support of Melissa, Mary was able to go through 42 hours of labor after coming to the hospital (most of it in very high spirits) before the baby came.

Having Melissa as a doula meant that someone Mary could trust was constantly comforting her and reminding her about techniques to make things progress easier. Fellow husbands, trust me when i say your wife will tell you to shut up near the end, and that is a time when only the doula can really help to guide her at all!

Also really nice to get free professional photos!

Melissa Johnson

10/9/2016

Melissa Johnson's response to Andrea Barber's testimonial below:

Thank You for your feedback. I take positive respectful constructive criticism to heart. Everything in my contract and the way I conduct my business is clear and concise. Every mother, in her time, I pour my heart into and she receives my full attention. It is truly my goal in life to create an amazing life long business for myself. To make each client as pleased as I can, within reasonable requests. With understanding and mutual regard.  

I am so blessed with a plethora of wonderful families... 

Andrea Barber

9/25/2016

*MAMA BEWARE*

I hired Melissa in March (my due date was late Aug). She met with me and explained what all a doula does (she also offered to do maternity, birth and newborn photography as well as my placenta encapsulation) and I was very excited to have some extra support for a more natural birth with my second baby! I hadn't heard much from her aside from a few likes and comments on fb and I included her in group texts with my midwife. I contacted her late in my second trimester to do my maternity photos and attempted to schedule the session 3 different times. Each time she would come up with a reason (like not having enough gas in her car) why she couldn't make it after the session had been scheduled for weeks. As we neared my due date, I just got an awful feeling about her reliability and finally explained to her that based on her recent behaviors, I didn't have much faith that she would be available for my birth and that I would like a refund. She refused to give me even a partial refund even though it is not stated on her invoice that the money is non-refundable..

I was forced to spend the last few weeks of my pregnancy finding last minute photographers and figure out if she did or did not pay the placenta encapsulator. A friend donated her time to be my doula and I had a completely magical birth despite the situation. 

I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS DOULA!!

Cheryl Rupe

9/5/2016

Melissa was amazing to work with and truly helped make my labor and delivery process so stress free and wonderful!  I was initially worried that my husband would feel replaced in the delivery room.  But upon our first visit with Melissa we knew that she would be a fantastic addition to the team and indeed she worked seamlessly with our midwife and my husband the day of  our daughter's birth and I can't imagine now doing it without her! Her visits  prior to baby's arrival ( where we worked on labor positions and breathing and steps her and my husband could take to make me more comfortable ) were just as important and helpful as those visits after ( where we worked on breast-feeding and ensuring baby had a good latch which eliminated pain and discomfort for a new time mama learning to nurse).  In addition to her amazing services as a Doula,  she also provided us with amazing pictures from our daughter's birth and newborn shots that we'll treasure forever!  Melissa is an amazing Doula and anyone who has the pleasure of working with her will be so blessed to have her part of that very special day!!

Donald Rupe

9/1/2016

I'm so thankful that Melissa was a part of this process with my wife and I. I couldn't have asked for a better support for her before, during labor and following the birth of our baby. She helped my wife in laboring at home until time to go to the hospital and stayed with us to give support with contraction pain and techniques to help manage that pain throughout labor. Melissa showed us ways to make my wife and baby comfortable in order to get rest. Since she is a lactation specialist she has really been helpful in my wife being confident with feedings with our baby after she arrived. Thank you again Melissa fit all your wonderful work in taking care of my family

Jacqueline Cropper

6/13/2016

When I found out I was expecting my third child last winter I knew one of the first people I was going to tell was Melissa! She was my doula for my second baby and I knew I HAD to have her with me for this birth as well. My baby decided to come past my due date and at night just like her brother and sister. Melissa was always there when I needed her throughout my pregnancy and she was ready to go when I called her to let her know my water broke. She met me in triage and never left my side for more than a few mintues. She helped to comfort my husband who was uneasy about an unmedicated labor, and she put him to work. My active labor came on hard and fast and Melissa was right there to support me along the way. She was great about making sure I was emptying my bladder (something that is very important during labor), hydrating, changing positions, and using non-pharmacological methods of pain control (hypnosis, counter pressure, etc.) She also worked wonderfully with the Labor & Delivery staff and my OBGYN. My labor progressed smoothly thanks to Melissa's help and my baby was born in a little under and hour and a half from when it had started. I know that Melissa played an instrumental role in my quick and uncomplicated labor because with her by my side I was fully confident that I could handle the work of labor and that my baby would be born safely into this world. I know not all deliveries go as expected (I am a Labor & Delivery RN and IBCLC), but I am so thankful for Melissa's help with my picture perfect labor and delivery. If you are considering a doula, please, hire one! You will be in for even more of a treat if you hire Melissa! 

Kathleen Lorenz

6/2/2016

Melissa is a treasure. As soon as my husband and I met her we were at ease with her laid back personality and friendly demeanor. 

Prenatally, she was very open minded to our hopes and desires but at the same time encouraged and helped us talk about the things we needed to. 

Our birth ended up a csection (breech baby!) and she was such a calming presence. Her photography is beautiful, she caught every little moment we wanted to remember. 

Melissa had a heart of gold and is a fantastic support in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. 

Heather Richardson

5/26/2016

I don't even know how to begin expressing my appreciation and gratitude for Melissa Johnson and the experience that she created for me through my pregnancy of both my children.  During my first pregnancy, there was a lot of apprehention and anxiety on my part due to being a new parent.  Melissa jumped right in and gave me the knowledge, love, support and confidence to embrace this new beginning.  She made the experience so wonderful that I just had to have her at my son's birth.  Again, without fail, Melissa brought me into the moment and made it such a special and wonderful experience.  This pregnancy was a little more difficult physically, mentally and emotionally but Melissa knew how to handle every moment with patience, sympathy and care.  We consider her part of our family and highly recommend her to any other mom's and dad's looking for an amazing doula : ) Hugs

Chris Richardson

5/23/2016

This testimonial is about our exceptional experience with Melissa Johnson.  My wife and I live in Portland and we flew Melissa out back in 2013 for the birth of our first child.  Melissa was such a blessing to have especially for first time parents.  She is a wealth of information and an absolute comfort to have by our side.  So we decided to fly her out again for the birth of our second child last week.  Once again, the knowledge and comfort she brought to both my wife and I during such an experience can be unmatched by none.  She was able to comfort my wife, like the first time, and help her with anything she needed.  This time our little two and a half year old was able to share this beautiful experience with all of us.  And she is so happy to have a baby brother now.  In addition, Melissa brought her camera and put together an unbelievable montage of photos for us to watch the next day.  She is an outstanding artist as well and we had her draw a portrait of our first which we will have done for our new little guy.  I would recommend Melissa to anyone who is thinking about or looking for a doula.  Thank you so much for everything Melissa.  Chris. 

John Lorenz

5/6/2016

From the start, I was on-board with having a doula accompany us on our journey of childbirth.  Being our first time, I welcomed the idea of having someone with a lot of experience in the room with us.  Melissa brought that experience, but also compasion, and made us feel special with small thoughtful gifts and by giving her time.  As it turned out, our daughter stayed breach and we had to have a c-section, whichs would seemingly require less doula-ing.  Even so, Melissa was right there with us for appointments leading up to the birth and making us comfortable with everything going on.  She was with us the whole day and made herself available at all hours as we got through those trying first weeks of new parenthood.  The world needs more people with hearts as big as Melissa's!

Paul Catalino

1/12/2016

For the fellas.....

This is my experience with a doula from beginning to end in a few sentences. 

At first I thought it was the dumbest idea I'd ever heard.  Why would I pay for an extra body to get in the way during delivery.  Then I spoke with my brother.  He hired Melissaa.  He kindly convinced my wife that Melissa was necessary.  So like any guy that doesn't want to fight with a pregnant woman, I was a gentleman and agreed.  We met her at the Dr.'s office.  She was there when we found out that my wife was pregnant.  I thought that was pretty cool but it's very  uncommon for that to happen so don't get your hopes up.  Then, thoughout the next 9 months we got to know her and I got to know what a doula does.  She met with us and showed us some pretty cool pain reducing places I could push on to comfort my wife.  There's a lot more to it but she made me excited to be able to comfort Sarah in a way I didn't think was possible.  Then it was time for our son to come.  She was in labor.  I was a nervous and tired mess.  Melissa helped me to relax and took on my role as the physical comforter so I could become the emotional comforter.  I was able to hold her hand and look her in the eyes.  I was able watch what Melissa did and saw that it was reducing the pain.  I don't know about you, but seeing my wife in pain made me want to punch someone so they'd hurry up and make it stop.  Melissa's presence calmed Sarah.  It calmed me.  Because of our doula Melissa I was able to catch my son.  Not help.  Catch.  All the way.  If we have more children we will have a doula no questions asked.  If you want a man's true, real and entire experience shoot me an email.  I would love to tell you in full detail how amazing Melissa is.  paulcatalino@gmail.com

Sarah Catalino

11/11/2015

I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa before I was even pregnant. My husband and I wanted to try to conceive and I was anxious to get the ball rolling. Melissa came highly recommended and I scheduled an appointment with her asap. I instantly knew Melissa was someone I could easily bond with and would enjoy her presence at my birth. I knew I wanted to try to have a natural birth and i felt Melissa would be someone that would help me achieve my goals. At my request Melissa introduced us to a midwife she thought I would fall in love with and connect with. At our first appointment together we all found out I was pregnant. It was such a great way to start our journey together as patient, midwife and doula team. We truly fell in love with Melissa and the midwife she highly recommended to us. We were all such a perfect fit.Over the 9 months Melissa kept in contact with me making sure I didn't have questions and attended any of my prenatal appointments I wanted. She was there when we found out we were having a baby boy.I wasn't sure how I would handle such a vulnerable situation with insecurities and all the things that come with natural birth, but when my labor took off, Melissa was so encouraging and helpful. Every insecurity or concern l had went out the window. She showed me techniques to manage my pain and included my husband by showing him how to help me too. It all ended up being more than I could have ever dreamed of. She was my strength and encouragement when I wanted to give up. If she ever stepped away I silently thought I wouldn't get through the next contraction without her help.Melissa helped me reach my delivery goals despite any of the bumps in the road we experienced. She helped make my husband and I's natural labor experience a beautiful, miraculous memory we'll never forget. I'll never go through another labor without Melissa present. She truly feels like part of the family now. Thanks to Melissa we also have some amazing birth pictures.

Terri Fuller

9/18/2015

I gave birth to twins august 20. Melissa was absolutely amazing. She knew what I wanted before I said it. She held my hand the whole time. And she took absolutely beautiful pictures. I'll be doing another surrogacy here soon and I hiring melissa as my doula aging is at the top of my list. :)

Patricia Crist

9/15/2015

My wife was expecting our fourth child and I was a little nervous about it because she had hopes to deliver this baby naturally. At 38 weeks our midwife was going to be out of town and it caused some anxiety for my wife. She was concerned that if she did go into labor during that time she would not have the support that she wanted in order to carry out her birthplan. Our midwife encouraged us to seek support of a doula and recommended Melissa to us. Within just a few days my wife was able to meet Melissa. She was happy, sincere, and genuine in wanting to help us achieve our goals for this birth. She came to our home and gave us pointers for comfort during labor; birth ball, pillows, massage, double hip squeeze. These things sounded simple enough, but made us wish we had someone there with our previous births to teach us these tools. Our kids loved her and she helped them understand things about their new baby too. Melissa gave me peace of mind; knowing that my wife had the extra support she needed at the end of her pregnancy. It was nice to know that Melissa was just a call away any time we had questions. When my wife’s labor had progressed and it was time to go to the hospital, Melissa was already there waiting for us when we arrived. My wife delivered our daughter less than an hour after checking in. I was impressed with the quiet rush that happened to get my wife to the delivery room. Melissa was calm, positive, and reassuring. She was intuitive about my wife’s needs at that stage of labor and she had one heck of a double hip squeeze! Our natural childbirth experience was amazing and empowering for us. Even after delivery, Melissa came to visit at the hospital, offer support for breastfeeding, and just check in on my wife to make sure that she feels supported during this transition at home. We are grateful that she was able to share in our experience. If you have the opportunity to work with Melissa – I strongly recommend you take it!

Victoria Bayes

9/3/2015

When other women around me were getting pregnant and going through the experience, I hardly thought twice about it or what it may be like. When it was my turn it became my world and has forever changed my life. It brought me great comfort having Melissa with me, knowing that I could rely on her experience and trust in her genuine character to take good care of me. Her level of involvement was absolutely perfect: neither too smothering nor too absent. She supported me WHEN I needed it exactly HOW I needed it. Her presence throughout my birthing journey was priceless to me, and I would not have been more pleased with any other to share such a beautiful thing with. From the depths of my heart and with sincere gratitude, I owe her a huge thank-you!

Crystal Aguilar

8/15/2015

Melissa was recommended to me by my midwife. I personally was excited about having a doula by my side to help with all angles of birth. I interviewed Melissa and immediately knew she would be a great fit. My family was at first very skeptical on why a doula was needed. My whole goal this pregnancy was to do everything I could to help avoid any post-partum depression which I did get with my first born. Melissa ensured she would be with me every step of the way and whenever I needed her. She was in fact always there for us! From our pre-labor meetings and coaching us to our three days of long labor in the hospital. She slept in the hospital with us while I continued to have contractions all night long. This allowed my husband and mother to get some rest. Even while taking care of me she captured the most amazing pictures of my delivery and family.

Melissa showed up the next morning in the hospital after my son was born to check on how was doing and to make sure breastfeeding was going well. Melissa continued to be a huge support several weeks after delivery as I had several issues breastfeeding. She made sure I latched well and gave me the knowledge to empower me to breastfeed and to not give up.

I continue to reach out when questions arise and she answers me right away even though her part is completed. Melissa was inspiring and knowledgeable and we are thankful for her love and help support. My family was extremely happy with Melissa. They now understand why having a doula during birth is needed and they are thankful she was there.

Thank you Melissa for everything you have done for us! We love you!

Gil Aguilar

7/31/2015

When my wife first approached me on the obtaining the services of a doula I truly was against it. Then I looked at the big picture in regards to supporting my wife's birthplan. First off I needed to be open minded about what a doula does and is.I then started to see that having the services of a doula made my wife more confident in ensuring all the necassary steps were being covered to accomadate her/our birthplan. 

I look back now and the whole process of having a doula is one which I feel was one of the smartest choices we have ever made. Melissa came highly recommended and was there for us start to finish and I am more than honored to say she is what I would cosnider now a close friend. 

 

She went above and beyond what was required and assisted in every phase duing the delivery of our wonderful baby boy Maxxon. Melissa is a doula that I will highly recoomend to all my close friends that might be considering the services of a doula.

Brandi Bentley Arnold

7/25/2015

Melissa was a godsend after I transferred care at 28 weeks to a new midwife.  She spent so much time with me during my pregnancy making sure I was getting the care I wanted and then was with me for close to 30 hours during my long labor. She was a tremendous support for both of us and also took gorgeous pictures that truly captured the experience.  Her follow up care after the birth has also been outstanding.  I couldn't imagine my birth without her.

Morgan Patterson Brawley

2/17/2015

Melissa is the most amazing doula ever! This is our second pregnancy with her and she was always available to answer any questions I had through my entire pregnancy no matter how small or insignificant. When it came to my labor and delivery there was no way I could have made it through without her there. It was important for me to go as natural as possible and the only reason I was able to do that was because of Melissa's help and expertise. Even better I know she is available to help me with any postpartum or lactation questions or concerns that I might have. Because of her I have very fond memories of both of my labor and deliveries. She was invaluable to me and my husband and I can not recommend her highly enough.

Chris Richardson

11/13/2013

Hi, my name is Chris out here in Portland, Oregon.  My wife Heather and I were expecting a baby girl just before Halloween of 2013 and we talked about contacting a Doula.  The reason we decided to find a Doula was for the additional support structure, health benefits for the baby and the wealth of knowledge that are taught and absorbed during and after the birthing process.  This was our first baby so I'll admit without a Doula I would probably have searched for videos and scrambled through literature for what to do with a beautiful new born baby.  So we heard of Melissa Johnson out in Boise, Idaho and decided that she would be the perfect fit in helping us and teaching us all the important things two new parents need to know.  When Melissa arrived in Portland I knew that we had made the right choice.  She prepped us the night before and really calmed Heather and I as we prepared for the early morning rise and new arrival of our family.  When we got to the hospital early on Wednesday morning Melissa further calmed both of us as the nurses, anisthesiologist and doctor were coming in and out of our room in preparation.  Then it was time.  They wheeled Heather out to the delivery room and Melissa and I were waiting for the confirmation to enter.  This was the point where I was so grateful that Melissa was there to coach me and really calm my nerves.  Then the doctor told us to enter and Melissa, showing her composure, told me what to do amidst the chaotic scene.  Our baby girl Isla was born at 8:00am and it was such an overwhelming joy to hold her.  Melissa then showed us eveything from the correct way to latch, proper holding techniques, feeding techniques and of course diaper changing.  In fact the whole maternity ward at the Providence Hospital was raving about how good Melissa was.  We really couldn't have done it without her.  Thank you so much, Chris, Heather, Isla and Eraser.

Jacqueline Cropper

6/29/2013

Melissa is amazing! I decided to hire a doula when I found out I was pregnant with our second child. I wanted to avoid getting an epidural and I was looking for someone to provide continuous labor support because my husband would be overseas during the birth. My husband and I both agreed that Melissa was exactly the person I was searching for. She stayed in contact with me during my pregnancy and when I decided to have an induction at 41 weeks she was right there by my side supporting me the entire time. She was very responsive to my needs during labor. We worked together to get my daughter to turn into a more favorable position for delivery, and without her I never would have achieved the epidural free delivery I was hoping for. Melissa was so wonderful and even the hospital’s staff was extremely impressed with her! If I am still in Idaho when I have my next baby I will definitely be hiring Melissa again!

Morgan Patterson Brawley

5/7/2013

Melissa was amazing. I would not have been able to have a natural birth if it hadn't been for her help and support. She was in constant contact with me when I went into labor. She met us at the hospital when I decided it was time to go. She was also supportive of how I wanted to give birth. She never tried to push one method or another. She was very  knowledgable and was more then happy to share all of her knowledge but in the end she just wanted be supportive of me. Since I wanted a natural birth she had a variety of methods to help me with pain management. Between her and my husband helping me manage my pain she made my labor very pleasent and almost enjoyable. She stayed with me after the delivery of my son and helped make sure he was nursing well and that I was doing well. I can not speak highly enough of Melissa. I have been recommending her to all of my friends and family who are planning on having children. If and/or when I have more children I hope that Melissa will be available tot help me with them. 

Kyle Butterfield

3/21/2013

Melissa did a great job as my doula. Her motto is that she will do anything you need. During our prenatal's she reiterated this several times. During my labor she lived up to this motto. She was willing to do whatever I wanted her to do, so that I could be comfortable. She even told me to yell at her if she was doing something I didn't like. I never had to yell at her, because she was a natural at observing my behaviors and responding to those behaviors. She is very friendly, has a great sense of humor and treated my husband and I with kindness. She did a great job of helping my husband fulfill his role as a support and partner during the labor. I will use Melissa again and would recommend her to anyone.

Rebekah Pruett

1/8/2013

I just gave birth to my 2nd baby a perfect little boy! I cannot express how different my two experiences have been. I had a little girl 2 1/2yrs ago, had an epidural, and was given pit. There were no complications with the birth and we were both healthy BUT my daughter was a horrible nurser and I suffered from post partum depression, the troubles with nursing didn't help our bonding and the first few months of her life were very difficult. After doing some research on the side effects of epidurals and pit I decided I wanted to try a natural birth. I was skeptical that I could do it because I'm a pansy when it comes to pain! My husband introduced me to Melissa. Our husbands are war buddies and he thought her expertise might be helpful. Melissa met with me twice before I gave birth and provided me with encouraging words and great advice on how to deal with the last couple months of pregnancy. I was overdue and Melissa was there encouraging me to hang in there and wait till he was ready. When I was 5dys overdue I scheduled to have my water broken. Melissa was there with my husband and me when I checked it and stayed with us through the whole process. After the Dr. broke my water Melissa was there making sure I was comfortable, showing me different positions to ease the pain, reminding me to release tension, and reminding me of questions I had for the Dr. When my contractions were coming closer and stronger Melissa massaged my hips and helped me through each contraction. Before I knew it, it was time to push and my handsome little guy was born! Melissa was very aware of what was important to me and spent the entire day making sure I was comfortable. She showed me a few techniques to help with nursing and my little man latched on right away. The birth of my son was a wonderful experience and my husband and I are so grateful that Melissa was there to cheer me on! We love our little man so much and had such a wonderful experience with Melissa as our Doula!

jeff pruett

1/1/2013

Melissa was amazing!!! My wife just gave birth 5 days ago to our second child. It was a completely different experience from our first birth. Our first birth, my wife use all the drugs and shots you could get. This time she decided she wanted to do it NATURALLY and that is when we found Melissa. Melissa spent time with my wife showing her good positions to sleep in, ways that I could massage her, the birthing ball, and great books to read. She consistantly checked in on my wife to make sure she was doing well and letting her know that she was there if she needed anything.

The day of the birth Melissa was there in minutes. I was blown away by how she dropped everything and rushed to my wife's side. As we walked the halls of the hospital, Melissa showed my wife certain movements and positions to lessen the pain of the contractions. During delivery, Melissa was there massaging my wife's back and shoulders, helping with breathing techniques, positioning my wife in multiple positions to help relieve her pain, and encouraging her all the way through until the end. Overall, Melissa spent over 12 hours in the delivery room with us.

Having Melissa there helped out so much. All I had to do was hold my wife's hand and tell her I loved her. Melissa did every thing else and made this experience ten times better than our first. I have a better appreciation for my wife and the birthing process. Doing it all natural is the way to go. Without Melissa, we wouldn't have made it. She was amazing and we will be using her again in the future. We love you Melissa. Thank you for everything!

Anne Edmonds, LCSW

11/10/2012

As a social worker at a homeless shelter, I was seeking pro-bono doula services for a client in need. The client was a scared first time mom with no family or support services. Thankfully, Melissa Johnson responded to the need. From my first meeting with Melissa, I could tell she was exactly what we were looking for. She was very knowledge on all aspects of pre-natal care, the birthing process and post natal care. She continued to go above and beyond throughout the whole process. She was there during nighttime emergency visits to the ER. She attended doctor’s appointments to help the young mom understand the latest developments with her pregnancy. She took time to teach much needed pre-natal information and worked on a detailed birthing plan. She continued to raise the bar by gathering donations for the mother and son who were in need. Through the donations the soon to be mom was able to provide every needed item on the baby register list. Most importantly, she stayed by the mother’s side in critical times. She provided much needed advice to the mother during the labor, provided comforting massages to alleviate the pain and then she was there with the skills needed when the labor got difficult. I cannot express how thankfully I was that Melissa was there during the most critical time in this young mother’s life. She was professional, thoughtful and continued to go above and beyond. She continues to be there for this young mother to help with post natal care and ongoing education on raising an infant. I would highly recommend Melissa’s services.

Kelly Arispe

8/9/2012

Melissa is a wonderful Doula. She helped us reach our goal to deliver our precious baby boy medicine free. She offers sincere encouragement and was a wonderful support to my husband, mom and me before, during, and after the delivery. She has very strong hands and offered WONDERFUL counter-pressure that really helped during hard contractions, and she was able to gently offer suggestions so that my husband knew how to offer me the support I needed when the labor was especially tough. She deeply cares about her job and was there for me to answer questions weeks before the delivery- sometimes even in the middle of the night! When I went into labor, she was immeadiately at the hospital and stayed with us several hours after our son was born. She never left my side and even let my husband and mom take a nap so they could be well rested when I went into active labor. We are so thankful for her and could not give her a stronger recommendation.

Erin Vidal

6/27/2012

I am a first time mother, and at first I did not think I needed a doula. I was SO wrong! I really wanted a natural childbirth, and without Melissa I may not have accomplished that goal. She was very supportive during labor. There came a point when I realized she started reading my mind - like when I needed a certain focal point to stay where it was or a cold washcloth on my forehead. It was awesome to not even have to ask. I felt so cared for. It made me be able to handle the pain better.

My husband was not there for my labor because I could not bear to have anyone in the room. I didn't know I was going to feel that way until labor started, so I am very glad I had a woman support person, my doula, Melissa to be there for me. I know for a fact that if I would have been able to have my husband be part of the labor, she would have made him very comfortable. They met a few days before my labor started, and he said, "I think I am going to need her there!" This first birth is going to be remembered so joyfully, and I feel I owe a ton of that credit to Melissa. 

Birth Availability for Melissa Johnson VIRTUAL AND IN PERSON SUPPORT

= Available. Calendar last updated: 05-31-2020