Melissa Harris Photo

Melissa Harris

Melissa Harris Birth Services // Womb Service

Website: http://www.melissaharrisbirth.ca

Phone: (250) 514-3009

Birth Fee: $900 to $1500

Fee Details: I accept payment plans of different types to suit your payment schedule and budget. I can accept cash, cheque, e-transfer, or paypal as payment. I also provide private prenatal classes in your home for $200, or can rent you a TENS machine if you are not my client. All of my birth clients have access to my TENS unit during their birth.

Birth Doula Experience: 8 years and 100 births attended

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, March 2011
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 2 to 5

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I attend births at our local hospital and can help you achieve a positive birthing experience within the hospital setting. Whether you have a doctor or midwife as your care provider in the hospital, I can seamlessly join your care team for the birth of your baby.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
I look forward to attending births at birth centres in Victoria.
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
I attend homebirths and can help maintain a calming atmosphere, and provide you with comfort and confidence during the birth of your child with your birthing team.

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Lamaze International
  • Certified Childbirth Educator (Douglas College)

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Breastfeeding Educator (Douglas College)

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Single parents
  • Surrogacy
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • VBAC
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Breastfeeding Consultant Services
  • Childbirth Education Services
  • Military families
  • Parenting consulting
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Surrogates and intended parents
  • TENS units rental

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Admin of Doulas of Victoria

Languages spoken: English, some French

Certifications for Melissa Harris

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Client Testimonials for Melissa Harris

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Rachel and Daryl

Words cannot express how much we appreciated Melissa’s support during and after my pregnancy. Melissa brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. She was always willing to answer our questions, and provided helpful advice for our family including how we could make the delivery experience comfortable, managing the transition of a new baby with their older sibling, and tips on breastfeeding.

During labor, Melissa was my constant strength and she never left my side! She guided us through the entire labor experience by making my husband feel included in the delivery process and providing me with an encouraging voice during the times when I needed it the most. Melissa also helped us to have an empowered birth by ensuring that we had all the information needed to make the best decisions in the moment. My husband and I especially appreciated her sense of humor in the delivery room and we will always treasure the memory of singing to the top '90s hits!

Thank you Melissa for making the arrival of our baby such a memorable experience. You will always have a special place in our hearts!

Posted 4/17/2019

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Renae Snell

I could not recommend Melissa for her doula services enough! From her pre-birth consultation onward, Melissa was very thorough and thoughtful in making sure both my needs and those of my husband were met durin labour and delivery. Melissa was always there, even with encouraging messages of support, in the weeks after birth when sleep deprivation took the best of us.

Posted 7/12/2018

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Oamy and Jake Moir

My husband and I were unsure at first if we wanted to hire a Doula but I have to say it was the best decision we made! Time and again we heard from our friends that a Doula not only supported the Mom but also supported the Dad throughout the whole process. This really resonated with us. My husband really wanted to make sure he was helpful and supportive throughout labour and having someone there who would be able to guide him made total sense. Furthermore, having a professional who isn’t emotionally invested is very helpful during tough scenarios, it’s not easy to see your loved one in pain. That being said, we were so happy we chose Melissa Harris! She not only met but exceeded our expectations. My labour was longer than the average persons but Melissa didn’t leave my side. There were ups and downs and times where I didn’t feel decisive and a bit foggy but Melissa was able to help me clear my thoughts, talk it through with both myself and my husband and help us make the right decisions for myself. Thinking back at my labour I am so thankful Melissa was there to support me and just as importantly, support my husband. We both felt really great afterwards about how things went with Melissa. Melissa comes with so much experience and knowledge so from the gecko we felt like we were in good hands; she was also our instructor at our prenatal classes! I highly recommend Melissa. Any of you on the fence about hiring a Doula, don’t be! That extra emotional support, having someone answer all your questions as they come to you before, during and after labour and the support for your partner is invaluable. Thank you Melissa for helping us bring our beautiful baby boy into this world.

Posted 5/9/2018

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Terra

This was our first baby and we had left getting a doula until the last minute....I was already in labour when we had called melissa for the first time. After speaking with her over the phone she had already made me and my man feel more calm. Melissa had offered to come to our place or meet us at the hospital when we were ready. We met Melissa at the hospital shortly after , by this time my boyfriend was starving and already tired and Melissa had no problem taking over and making sure I never felt alone. She sat holding the shower head on me for hours ! My labour and delivery did not go as planned and it did get a little scary for us. Melissa was there to offer support for my whole family and especially my boyfriend . He was able to joke with Melissa in the labour lulls and she was also there to show him ways to help or comfort me along during the harder times. Once all was said and done and baby Myla was born Melissa was still there as great support . She helped with breastfeeding and came to visit us a few times before we left the hospital as well as a few home visits too. She gave me her cell number and I was able to text her with any questions I had once I was home. I would recommend Melissa to anyone ! I hope she is there to help with my next babies and I know my boyfriend does too. Thank you Melissa !

Posted 5/9/2018

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Megan and Reece

My husband and I are so happy that we had Melissa by our side to support us with the birth of our first child. We first met Melissa through prenatal classes and really enjoyed her positivity, openness, and confidence in her knowledge of the birthing process. Fortunately it worked out that she was also able to be our doula! As our doula, she met with us before my due date and helped us to consider things about the birthing process that we hadn't considered before and made us feel more comfortable with all the many unknowns of delivery.

On the delivery day, it was great to have Melissa by our side. Our doctor was part of a rotating maternity group, so having Melissa there meant we were guaranteed a familiar face that we trusted in the room and someone who knew the important parts of our birthing plan. Throughout the course of labour, Melissa provided an invaluable set of extra hands that helped me and my husband in various ways, whether it was massaging my back, getting extra cloths, holding a bucket, and/or suggesting different positions. Beyond my needs, she also made sure that my husband was well taken care of, and helped him remember to eat/use the washroom, and rest when he needed it. Melissa was also there to take pictures of the birth of our son. I cherish these memories so very much and know that I would not have been able to document this special time for our family in the same way without Melissa's help. After our son was born and we settled into the maternity unit, Melissa went straight to another delivery. After being in the hospital and awake for over 24hrs, Melissa then came and checked in on us before leaving. Everything she did really reflected her love of and dedication to her work as a doula

We are so pleased with our experience with Melissa and would not hesitate to use her again. We highly recommend her services as a Doula! 

Posted 4/27/2018

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Vanessa Day

Do yourself a favour and hire Melissa! As first timers we were extremely thankful to have Melissa's support, especially throughout early labour. She never made us feel like we were an inconvenience, even though it was a long, tiring few days. She was with us through it all, keeping up morale and suggesting next steps. We were hugely grateful to have her on our birth team.

Posted 4/22/2018

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Erica Forssman

Melissa was an amazing support for the birth of our son. We met with her a couple of times before the birth, and I was impressed by the detail of questions she asked to get a sense of how she would be able to provide comfort during the labour and birth. She was easy to open up to and has a friendly personality and a good sense of humour that made me feel instantly connected and at ease. I was excited to welcome Melissa as a part of the birth team and felt more confident and prepared knowing she would be there.


When I went into labour, I was so grateful to have her by our side; she suggested lots of different positions and techniques to make labour easier and I really think it would have been much more challenging had she not been there. I felt so empowered by my birth experience and I really think that Melissa’s cheering me on and subsequent conversations about how it went really left me with sense of confidence and joy about how my son was born. She also visited us a few times postpartum and was key in teaching me several breastfeeding tricks and positions that made the transition into feeding my little one much smoother.


Thank you, Melissa! You are awesome! 

Posted 4/10/2018

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Shauna Elliott

We are so grateful that we chose Melissa to be our doula. We were not sure what to expect at our first meeting but she came prepared with a whole list of questions about our upcoming birth and my preferences. These questions led to a lot of discussion between my partner and I and helped us to feel more prepared. When the big day came it felt like we were putting the plan that Melissa helped us to develop into action. She made sure that both of us got rest when we could and even helped keep things fun as we listened to music and browsed baby name sites. When the going got tough it was Melissa’s warmth, experience, and humour that helped my partner through the very difficult waiting as they prepped me for my c-section. We would definitely recommend adding Melissa to your birth team. Thanks, Melissa!

Posted 4/10/2018

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Meghan Courtenay Keeping

From the moment we met Melissa we felt instantly comfortable and were impressed with all her knowledge. She happily answered all our questions and was available whenever we needed her. I’m a fairly anxious person and she calmed my nerves on numerous occasions.

I am so happy we chose Melissa as our Doula. During labour she made sure I was as  comfortable as I could be. Her positive and playful demeanor lightened the mood, she was an incredible support to our midwife as well as my partner. She gave us confidence, guidance and laughter throughout our journey.

I would highly recommend Melissa services. Her presence was invaluable!

Posted 1/29/2018

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Megan Madsen

My husband and I both agree we can't imagine going through our birth experience without Melissa. We are so glad we hired her as our doula. Melissa supported us during pregnancy, labour and postpartum. She answered all our questions in a compassionate and knowledgeable way. She was our biggest cheerleader and made us feel confident in our choices and guided us in creating a birth plan. When we needed her for our birth, Melissa arrived within minutes!!  She helped me through the onset of my contractions and physically and emotionally managed to keep me in check throughout my whole labour and delivery. I don't know what I would have done without her support. We also appreciated how Melissa knew how to individually support both myself and my husband through the entire process. In addition, we are so glad she offered to take photos immediately after our son was born, capturing such a special time in our lives.

Posted 12/4/2017

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Diana Bernier

Melissa was amazing and I can't imagine going through our birthing experience without her there to assist us. Melissa brings a tremendous amount of experience to the table, which was so necessary and valuable to my birth experience. As a first time mom, Melissa was able to really prepare both my partner and me for labor and delivery, and for the care of our little one once she was born. My partner was given incredible guidance by Melissa on how to better support me through labour and gave him much needed reassurance through the very difficult parts. My partner was able to support me with confidence thanks to Melissa. 

Melissa's warm and fun personality is an added treat. She's so easy to get along with and makes the process more enjoyable. 

We can't imagine not having Melissa part of our special day. We are so grateful for her services and highly recommend her.

Posted 7/26/2017

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Cory Nowicki

My pregnancy and natural birth were an incredible experience, thanks to Melissa! She gave my husband and I such an amazing education on the stages of labour and birth, and I felt empowered and excited to have my baby! While we were in the hospital for our delivery, she constantly made sure I was taken care of, but even more importantly, she took amazing care of my very nervous husband! She showed him what he could do to support me, and made the entire experience much better for both of us. She wrote up our birth story, and it was a special touch that I really appreciated. You'll always be a very special part of our little family Melissa, thank you!

From Drew-
I'm glad that we chose a doula, and we were so glad it was Melissa. When I thought about my wife going through birth, I found myself feeling stressed and uneducated. After our meetings with Melissa, I was much more informed and comfortable with what was coming next. While Cory was in labour, Melissa effectively calmed both of us down and helped me to understand what was going on with Cory, as well as who was in the room and why. Melissa feels like part of our family after going through this experience with us.

Posted 6/12/2017

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Carla Barnes

Melissa is an experienced, compassionate and hard working doula. She is a wealth of knowledge and, as a childbirth and breastfeeding educator, is able to clearly explain the various aspects of labour, birth and the post partum experience. She provided great support during labour, particularly for my partner so that he was able to better support me. Melissa was great at checking in regularly after our son was born to follow up on issues we were having and she was a big help in learning how to breastfeed successfully. She was also great at answering questions about baby products and advising on best practices for baby care.

I could not imagine going through labour and the post partum period without Melissa! I have no reservations in recommending her doula services and look forward to working with her again in the future. 

Posted 3/7/2017

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Lisa Kittmer

My husband and I sought the support of a Doula since we have both sets of parents out of province and were nervous about the experience of labour. I found Melissa on the “Doulas of Victoria” website and saw that she was experienced and had wonderful testimonials. When we found out that we were pregnant, it was hard to believe as we had a difficult three-year journey. We were cautiously optimistic and wanted a healthy baby at the end of the experience. Melissa met with us to discuss our questions, concerns and birth plans. She was available via text and email and had a quick response time. When I went into early labour, Melissa gave advice to move the labour along and offered the loan of her Tens machine. She assisted with back rubs during labour and breastfeeding after baby was born. During postpartum care, she offered ideas for soothing baby and baby wearing support. She provided emotional support and encouraged my confidence as a new mom. I am deeply grateful for her support and would recommend her in a heartbeat.

Posted 1/31/2017

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Nicole Puckett

I am so happy we decided to hire a doula for the birth of our first baby. Melissa was such a wonderful choice and a great fit for us. She was a knowledgable, kind, calm, patient and supportive presence during each stage of my long labour and during the birth. When I am in pain or discomfort I prefer to move around, have some of my own personal space and not be touched, which I am sure does not always make me the easiest client for a doula! But, Melissa respected my process and still found ways to gently guide and nudge me to try different positions for labour and strategies for rest. Her presence also allowed my husband to rest during the early stages of labour so that he could be more present during the main event! I looked forward to each of Melissa's house visits after the birth and I felt comfortable asking her every single silly question that popped into my mind about the unchartered waters of having a new baby to care for! Her assitance with breast feeding was a wonderful comfort when the first few weeks felt overwhelming and breast feeding was proving difficult. She also makes the best dang chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. I still find myself dreaming of them and was reluctant to share them with my husband! We are so grateful for all that you did Melissa and we look forward to having your calm, and kind presence around when we decide to do this all over again with baby #2!

Posted 1/30/2017

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Darcelle Corlazzoli

Originally it was my husband that requested we get a doula for the birth of our daughter and I went along with it lol.  Melissa taught our prenatal class and we both agreed she wold be a good fit.  During labour she pushed me when I needed it and was always making me feel that I was doing a great job even when I felt I couldnt go on any longer.  The whole day is a big blur for me but I remember Melissa getting me to do the things I needed to do ( get out of the bath, go to the toilet, change positions) even when I was neither willing or able to do them myself.  I highly recommend her services and know that if we have another baby she will be along for the ride.

Posted 1/2/2017

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Leeanne Fraser

Melissa was a great support of our birth plan which made the whole experience positive and amazing! She provided effective coping techniques during labour and was able to lend a hand where needed.  She will always have a special bond with our baby as she was the one who cut the umbilical cord.  Melissa also did house visits to help with breastfeeding.  She is very patient and has a kind soul. 

Posted 10/9/2016

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Audrey Roussel

We decided a month and half before my due date to get a doula. We are so happy to have picked Melissa. As it is our first child and our families are far, my husband was very reassurred after meeting her that we had decided to have a doula to go threw this with us. It was an amazing experience having Melissa as part of our birth. My husband had a complicated schedule, so we weren't able to make it to prenatal classes and Melissa worked around our schedule and came to the house for personalized classes. When my labor started Melissa came has soon has I needed her, and her support was just awesome. I had back pain threw out my labour, she helped me threw the pain and coached my husband on the ways to relive some pain.Her and our Mid-wife worked great together. My labor ended in a c-section, after 24hrs in labour, so my husband had a small panic attack when the obstetrician on duty came and told us what was going to happen, Melissa was great at reassuring him and calming him down.  She was an amazing support for both of us psycologicly and physically . Post birth she came to the house to visit and check how we where doing with our little man, making sure there was no breast feeding issues. She was available at all times for questions or concerns we had pre and post birth, exactly like a friend would. My husband and I could not of asked for a better experience.

Posted 9/25/2016

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Sarah Jensen

Melissa was a fantastic choice for a doula. She was very kind, supportive, and informative. She provided excellent care both pre and post natal. Her experience during the delivery was invaluable. I had a very difficult delivery and her calm yet assertive manner provided me with the direction I required to make it through the process. She was also very helpful to my partner. Her support over the phone, via email, and in person after the delivery was just what we needed. She directed us to useful online resources and provided us with in person assistance - particularly with breastfeeding. Her knowledge and instruction of current breastfeeding techniques, especially the laid back approach, really helped. I was almost ready to abandon breastfeeding. I would highly recommend Melissa as a doula. She is amazing!

Posted 7/30/2016

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Brooke Finnigan

Best. Doula. Ever.
We decided on a doula because our pregnancy was high-risk and we didn't have a ton of family nearby. Melissa brought a sense of calm and normalcy to a very 'medicalized' pregnancy, which was exactly what we needed after five years of IVF and recurrent pregnancy loss. Meetings with Melissa prior to birth meant we could ask all kinds of questions and walk through scenarios that were on our minds. 

Melissa supported both of us differently.

For me, (the mother) she was like a big sister - she knew all about positioning for my backlabour, natural techniques to help me through contractions. Thanks to Melissa, I was able to labour at home with back labour for 18 hours (which was my preference, over going to the hospital too soon). I ended up having a c-section, and that was my 'worst case scenario' prior to actually giving birth, but, in large part thanks to Melissa, I now cherish my labour, c-section and all! 

For my husband, Melissa was someone he could count on to check in with, to know what was normal and what wasn't. She made sure he got a break, so he could take over once the baby was born.

After the birth of our son was when our love for Melissa went to a whole new level! My milk came in - and so did the post-partum hormone drop! I felt panicked that I was the only woman on earth, ever, who wouldn't be able to breastfeed her child and I felt like everything I was doing was all wrong and my baby was starving because he missed a feeding. I was a hot, hormonal mess and Melissa came right over and calmed me down, helping me with positioning and latch; without ever being condescending or dismissive. She knew I needed a little confidence boost, and a little mothering myself, to get over the hormonal hump! That moment alone made having her as our doula invaluable.

Since the birth of our son, Melissa has stayed in touch with us and we're so glad to have her in our lives. 

Posted 6/3/2016

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Michelle Hohertz

How does one really explain what it means to have someone you trust in one of the most vulnerable times of your life? How do you let others know just how valuable it is to know that this person, next to your husband, and midwife is going to meet your little one and you are so happy to share this moment with her? Well, I'm going to try my best to let you know how much it meant to me to have Melissa next to me during this time in my life, the time that I never thought would happen. 

My husband and I had been struggling with our fertility since we actually started "trying" four years ago. After assistance, and many failures, it suddenly became a reality that we would probably never become parents the so called "natural" way and we learned to let go of our ideal, and pursue another pathway to becoming parents. In steps a charming, smart and funny 11 year old girl who stole our hearts the moment we met her and we knew she belonged to us. Her transition to our family took only about a month and suddenly the other room in the house we thought was going to be for a baby, was filled with fun art and lots of craft supplies. We packed up and gave away our baby books. We didn't need to hold on to those anymore. 

Two days after her placement with us, I realized I was late, and suddenly, we were on the path to becoming parents a second time in a matter of 9 months.

That 9 months was filled with time to bond as quickly as we could with our daughter as well as preparing as best we could for our little baby boy. In steps Melissa, answering any and every question I had, no matter how strange. Involving our daugther whenever she could and easing every fear I had whenever I had them. I wish I could type more, but the one thing I must say is, Thank you Melissa, from the bottom of my heart, for helping me go from new mom to a tween to a new mom of a baby with ease. And P.S. I'm sorry you needed to buy new shoes...oh and THANK YOU for the cookies.

Posted 4/29/2015

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Charlotte Hannah Wilkinson

Melissa was my primary doula at the birth of my son Samuel, and both she and my second doula (Nicole) were my saving graces. As a single mom, having someone by my side during my labour and the birth was absoutely essential. Melissa went above and beyond for me -- doing a check in every month at my place, and even offering to go to childbirth classes with me (we never got that far because my son came before they were to start!), and finding Nicole as a second doula so I could have even more support. They were my strength during labour (as short as it was) when I kept saying in the middle of contractions that I couldn't do it. On the day my son was born, Melissa came to my house ready to go and found me in the tub in active labour with Nicole rubbing my back through the contractions. Melissa took charge in paging my midwives, help my friend get my stuff together and find clothes for me, and encouraged us to get going to the hospital fairly soon after she arrived. She remained calm throughout the whole thing, including the drive to the hospital, and was encouraging, calm, patient, and gentle. Not to mention she has a great sense of humour. humour through contractions is exactly what I needed! Throughout my short and intense back labour she encouraged me to use low tones and breathe, and she never left my side. She spoke gently and repeated to me what the midwives said since I couldnt hear them, and assured me that the back pain would be gone the moment my baby was born (and she was right). She made sure I was hydrated, took pictures for me, helped me breastfeed my son, all the while not losing that sense of humour. She & Nicole made sure all my belongings were gathered together in one place and stayed with me until we were settled into our room at the hospital at 230am.  At a post natal visit she asked me if I had questions about the birth & answered them for me & made yummy chocolate chip cookies. Her services were worth every penny.

Posted 11/23/2013

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Kim

Words simply cannot express how thankful I am that Melissa was by my side for the duration of my labour and for the birth of our beautiful baby girl. My daughter's birth allowed me to reach into myself to find a place of strength that I didn’t know I possessed. I truly believe that this experience has given me a renewed sense of confidence as a mother that I didn’t feel after the c-section birth of my first child. One of the primary reasons for hiring a doula was to give me every advantage possible to assist me in the process of achieving a VBAC. I remain thrilled that I was able to achieve this goal. Melissa's presence was such an integral part of this birth, from the moments of laughter in early labour to the intensity of the later stages and she seemed to know exactly how to support me at each stage. I am also eternally grateful that Melissa took charge of the camera and captured amazing memories of a truly incredible day. Oh, and to put the icing on the cake, so to speak, Melissa arrived for the post-partum visit with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Just what this momma needed.

Posted 3/27/2013

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Maia Olff

 Melissa was my doula for my second child's birth. After having a cesarean birth with my first child I wanted to try for a VBAC the second time around. The first experience was very hurried and seemingly full of pressure to make a quick decision even though our son was never in any distress. It was just me and my husband and I felt like we never got the chance to make a fully informed decision. I always knew that if we had another child we would have a doula.

When I went into labour with my daughter Melissa arrived ready to rock! I felt very cared for and was so well taken of from the moment she arrived. In fact at one point right after a pretty intense contraction I was enjoying a soothing caress on the forhead from what I thought was my husband and opened my eyes to see Melissa. She has such warmth and tenderness.

When the time came to make the same decison with our daughter's birth  Melissa was there for me while my husband got all the information. We were then able to ask everyone to leave so we could make our choice. Even though I didn't have a VBAC I did have a wonderful birth experience that was truly enhanced by Melissa's presence. And she makes some pretty damn good choclate chip cookies!

Posted 3/12/2013

Birth Availability for Melissa Harris

= Available. Calendar last updated: 9/25/2019 11:15:55 AM