Meg McCarthy Photo

Meg McCarthy

Compass Birth Services

Phone: 978-496-7913

Birth Fee: $600

Birth Doula Experience: 4 years and 50 births attended

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, May 2013
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 1 to 3

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

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • La Leche League Leader
  • I am an experienced breastfeeding mother.

College Education

  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Special needs babies
  • Teens
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Cloth diapering education
  • Elimination communication education

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Virginia Beach, VA
Travel Range: 45 Miles

Certifications for Meg McCarthy

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Client Testimonials for Meg McCarthy

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Andrea Howard

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant with my first child I decided I wanted a doula for support. When I got into the Midwifery center it was also a requirement so I began my search. First, I met with someone a midwife suggested but it just didn't seem like the right fit. A friend recommended Meg and when my husband and I met with her we soon decided that we thought she was the right person for the job. I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy but Meg allowed me to borrow a book in the beginning which helped a lot and comforted me when I was a little upset because I was told I was anemic and could risk out of the midwifery center. After my due date she helped me remain calm through a week of prodromal labor. Most importantly she advocated for me at the hospital when my nurse wasnt giving me answers on why my birth plans had changed. Looking back over the experience, my birth was perfect even with unforeseen changes and I have Meg to thank for a lot of that. When my Madison entered the world she helped me get her latched on and answered my breastfeeding questions in the weeks that followed. If you are trying to make a decision as important as who will be attending your birth, I think Meg is a great choice!

 

Posted 5/22/2017

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Jordan Ferguson

Meg McCarthy was everything I never knew I needed. I contacted Meg at 25wk and met that week. I had heard of a "doula" but didn't really think I needed one. I didn't realize what it entailed. What led me to Meg was that I was being seen by midwives on a rotation schedule.  I wasn't developing a personal bond with them. I had set expectations and goals for my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period.  My SO was very supportive of my decisions but he is not experienced in birth so did we really know what to expect?  Meg and I kicked off immediately.  She has a very gentle, calm, welcoming vibe about her and it eased my nerves since I didn't know what I was getting into!  Meg supported me with 24/7 support.  She was the first person I would contact besides my SO after a prenatal appointment.  I used her knowledge to the fullest!  I asked so many questions and she was unbiased.  She gave me options and ways to bring up these options with my care provider.  She became like family!  That is a significant differentiation from other doulas in the area.  A doula is your support system and who do we look at for support? Close friends and family. What I also loved about Meg was that since I am a young mother (19yr when I delivered), I was worried about judgement and pressure being put on me in the community.  She never treated me any less than.  She was our village. Meg helped me own my birth. I ended up staying home as long as possible. We were in constant contact in early labor up until my contractions were 2 mins apart.  Meg was called into another birth before I ever asked for her to come.  When we left for the hospital, she had a backup doula on the way!  Meg sent someone that she knew I would connect with in her absense. Her services were phenomenal even though she missed my birth.  I am still connected with her today and I would highly recommend her!

Posted 3/29/2016

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Ashley Beckwith

Meg was an amazing doula. She was a calm presence and was always available during my pregnancy to answer any questions and give suggestions. She really helped to ease any fears we had about the birth of our first child. 

Posted 9/16/2015

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Matt and Lauren Sanders

From the beginning of my pregnancy, I desired a natural as possible labor and delivery; however, resources and support for natural birth were limited. After hearing a friend's experience with Meg, my interest was immediately piqued. I was intrigued as to what a doula was, her role in the birthing process, and how she would benefit me in attaining my birth goals. Although skeptical, my husband and I pushed through our preconceived notions deciding to give Meg a chance. One thing led to another with an interview followed by hiring Meg to be with us for the rest of the journey.As our doula, she nicely blended her roles as a professional and as an intimate player in our daughter’s birth. From the get go, Meg was always punctual to our meetings. She set clear expectations of her role as doula. We never doubted her degree and type of involvement in the process. Meg followed through on all components of her contract as far as providing resources, answering all questions, consulting with us and offering suggestions when developing our birth plan, as well as being our advocate and coach at the hospital. Immediately after our daughter’s birth, she stayed with us offering BF support making sure that I felt comfortable before she left. Weeks later, she followed up to see how our family was doing. With this said, what made Meg stand out as a doula was her tenacious demeanor and ability to establish intimacy with our family. At no point did I doubt Meg’s ability to execute her job at the hospital the night of my labor. She was gracefully and tactfully able to get me moved to an appropriate room with birthing accommodations. While guiding me through positions and techniques to help ease the pain, she simultaneously made room for my husband to be a part of the coaching process. She demonstrated knowing and executing a fine balance of being a coach, advocate, support for my husband, and an encourager for me during it ALL!

Posted 5/11/2015

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Courtney Anne Shoup Pharr

Let me start by saying how blessed we feel to have found Meg on our birthing journey!  I had heard through my pre-natal yoga group how having a doula by your side during the process could really help make a big difference in the experience.  This was definitely the case with Meg. Being that it was our first pregnancy...we had so many questions, and she helped provide the answers in a warm, easy to understand and down-to-earth manner.  We were SO! impressed with her knowledge in every area that came up along the way.  She helped guide us with books, DVD's, web links and a wealth of personal/professional experience.  She was available via e-mail, phone and in person when we needed her most.  I felt like I was in-training for the marathon adventure of my life and she was my go-to coach.  She understood my birthing goals, and helped me to achieve them in my own way and in my own time.  My husband and I went into the experience with an extra boost of comfort and confidence with her by our side, leaned on her for encouragement and support during and left feeling overjoyed by the miracle of what we had accomplished with her guidance.  She's just awesome in so many ways, many of which were unexpected.  We just couldn't have asked for a more warm, genuine and experienced liaison to have with us during the most important experience of our lives to-date.  We are happy and very thankful clients!  :-)

Posted 3/2/2015

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Ashley Laws

I decided to have a natural birth and wanted a doula to be along my side during this amazing journey. Meg was very helpful from the beginning of the process and was very informative. During the last couple weeks of pregnancy she checked in often and was there right away when the labor began. She was so incredbly helpful during the labor, reminding me to stay relaxed, offering information and encouraging us to change positions to progress the labor. She also was very helpful to my husband who needed someone to support him in the process. She was by my side throughout my long labor and after also. Then she stopped by my home to help me through the difficult process of breastfeeding. Meg is amazing and the doula you want by your side in the amazing journey of birth. 

Posted 2/16/2015

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Jessica Edmonds

     As soon as I came to the conclusion that I wanted a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) I knew that I would need a doula. After scouring the Internet for a doula and not finding one my husband and I could agree on, I randomly met Meg at a La Leche League meeting and knew it would be a good fit. From the very beginning Meg was extremely supportive and encouraging when it came to me achieving the birth that I wanted. She told me I was strong enough to forego the epidural...and this was BIG for me bc for a long time I was extremely hesitant to go unmedicated. She encouraged me through a less than desirable medical diagnosis (gestational diabetes) and was always there for any questions I had a long the way.
     Additionally, any pregnant woman knows the last few days of a pregnancy can seem like an eternity and It was nice to be able to talk to Meg during this time just to be able to share my thoughts. When I finally did go into labor everything went SUPER fast, my water broke and our daughter was born less than an hour later. Dear husband forgot to tell Meg we were heading to the hospital so she wasn't able to make it in time for the birth but she arrived shortly after and stuck around for quite some time and even chatted with my family.
     Looking back I wouldn't change a thing about my birth, hiring Meg gave me the confidence I needed to have a totally natural birth and ultimately the VBAC that I soooooo desired. I would recommend her to my very best friend and anyone else.

Posted 1/5/2015

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Lori Starling

When I first decided that I was aiming for a natural birth, I immediately was on the hunt for a doula that would not only be understanding, but also caring, patient, and supportive. I found all of that and more in Meg. She was there for me through all of the questions that I had and was supportive when my family wasn't. Unfortunately, I ended up having to have an emergency c-section and Meg was waiting for me when I got out. She stayed with me in the recovery room and was there with me at the hospital until I got settled in my room. She stayed positive the entire time, even when I was in pain and my son was in the nursery under intensive care. She was our rock. After my son and I got settled at home, she came for a visit, just to make sure breastfeeding was going well. She even gave me great tips when it came to cloth diapering my son! She is not only knowledgable, but a wonderful doula and I would recommend her to any mom.

Posted 11/5/2014

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Brian Boland

My wife suggested a Doula for our first child. I went into it with an open mind and was impressed from the first meeting. Meg is a very articulate and knowledgeable Doula and after talking for less than half an hour at our initial meeting, I was sold. Fast forward to a few month later at 4:00 in the morning and Meg met us at our house on very short notice. From that point forward, she was a tremendous asset to my wife's successful delivery. Meg is the type who will offer as much or as little help as requested. In my case, I could use all the help I could get. She came through with flying colors. Towards the end of my wife's labor, things were starting to slow down and Meg was right there to recommend and coach us through a few different stretches/positions to help alleviate some of the pain my wife was in. I'll refrain from going into too much detail, and summarize by saying that I offer my highest recommendation if you're in the market for a Doula. Meg is an advocate for your family and brings a wealth of knowledge to the birthing experience. Worth twice what she charges. 

Posted 11/5/2014

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Camille Whitlock

From the moment we met Meg I felt a connection to her and immediately felt more at ease about my upcoming birth. My husband and I had taken BirthWorks class to prepare for a natural childbirth but we both felt the need for a Doula as an added support. We wanted someone that would be a calming presence and support for me and also someone that could help my husband feel comfortable and informed on the big day. Meg was just that!
I can not praise her enough. Throughout my pregnancy, she kept in touch and checked in on me after doctor appointments. During labor she reminded me to relax, helped me with breathing, encouraged me to drink water, offered a hand to hold during strong contractions, provided counter pressure on my back ... along with my husband, she was the perfect labor support. Postpartum she was available for breast feeding questions
I would highly recommend Meg to be part of your birth team. Jeff and I feel privileged that she was part of ours.

Posted 8/27/2014

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Tanya Muniak

I had a wonderful experience with Meg.  My husband was deployed and I had nobody to be with me for the birth of my first baby.  I dcided to meet with Meg after reading testimonials and noting that most of people mentioned her "calm presence".  Calm was exactly what I needed!  I am somewhat hyper and excitement should probably be saved for after the birth if mom wants to go unmedicated.  I had one meeting with Meg and knew right away that she would help me tremendously through my labor.  Now, my birthing experience was not what I had hoped it would be... My little guy took forever to arrive!  Due to my circumstances, Meg agreed to be my ride to the hospital, so about 24 hrs after my contractions started I gave her a call that it was probably time to go.  Oh, one important detail, it was the mddle of the night.  Long story short, I had my son 30+ hrs later, and those 30 hrs were no joke.  I believe that Meg's help and guidance made vaginal birth possible for me.  She kept me calm, active, and in great spirits.  My baby was not ideally positioned and she had lots of ideas on helping him turn, which he eventually did!  She also helped me be more confident when dealing with too "hands-on" kind of OB.  I did end up with an epidural after 50 hrs of progressing at sloth's pace and not sleeping, and I saw no judgement on Meg's face.  It worked, I slept a little, and my son was born a few hours later.  It was a very long, exhausting adventure, and deep inside I know that without Meg's help I would've gotten epidural much earlier, and then who knows what kind of experience I'd end up with.  I can't find words to describe how grateful I am to her for her definitely calm presence, knowledge, back massage, and for being that special friend that I really needed at the moment.

Posted 8/10/2014

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Jamie Harris

I found Meg in the beginning of her doula journey. My husband and I were expecting our first and I knew I would need support. After meeting with her I just knew I needed her at my birth. There's something about Meg that put me at ease when my mind was so overwhelmed with the concept of birth. She knew I could do it and I needed to hear that. I had a long intense labor with my son and meg stayed by my side, coaching guiding and encouraging. My husband felt at ease knowing he could step back and I would still be supported. Meg became more than my doula that day. I call her a friend and she was there on the most important day of my life. There's more to birth than moms and babies. Meg gets it. She is it. 

Posted 7/26/2014

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Jade Singleton

When i met Meg I knew right off I was going to hire her she has one of those personalities that make you feel immediately comfortable and she's as sweet and likable as she looks my husband and I decided late to hire a doula about one month before our due date Meg was easy to get in touch with flexible and reliable, before labor she was always there to answer questions , during labor she reminded me to relax and gave me encouragement when I was secretly thinking epidural she helped my husband and I to move in different positions and helped me talk to the doctor and nurses because I was out of it , after I gave birth Meg stayed with us to help me breastfeed which I'm really thankful for because the lactation consultant wasn't there Meg also suggested I use a nipple shield which helped so much in my success with breastfeeding Meg is an excellent choice she has the experience and knowledge to go along with her kindness and I would highly recommend her to everyone!

Posted 7/16/2014

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Kelly Boyd

I met Meg McCarthy through a friend when I was around 35 weeks pregnant. I wish I could share that my birth was a beautiful experience, but the truth is it was the most terrifying magical day of my life. I would have never gotten through it if it were not for my amazing doula Meg McCarthy. Leading up to the birth Meg helped me make a birth plan and educated me about things I had no clue would happen after my baby was born. I went into labor 2 weeks after my due date. She met my husband and I at the hospital and stayed by our side over 24 hrs until my daughter was born. Everytime a doctor would come into my room and speak a different language (doctor language) Meg, would translate their professional jargin so my husband and I understood exactly what they were doing and what was going on with my body. Doctors have a sly way of saying things that bully you into doing things you don't want to do. If I didn't have my amazing Doula my birth would have ended in an emergency "C" section. Meg was there to support every decision I made. I originally wanted a drug free labor but changed my plans and had an epidural. I phyically could not take the pain anymore. Long story short, all of her encouragement and advise to not push my epidural button towards the end resulted in a vaginal birth. I did it! My daughter was rushed to the NICU because of merconium aspiration and I was rushed to the OR with hemmoraging. Meg, was with my family when I came out of the OR and helped me latch my daughter but she was taken back to the NICU. I felt like I failed. I couldn't get my daughter to latch or my milk to come in after she came out of the NICU. I was a mess. Five lactation consultants later and my daughter wanted nothing to do breastfeeding. Meg, met me after I was discharged and got my daughter to latch after 10 mins of working with us. She was available to me even after Ruby was born. BEST DOULA EVER! We still keep in touch.

Posted 7/3/2014

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Laura Richardson

I had an amazing experience with Meg during the birth of my daughter. Meg was actually a back up Doula for the Doula I had originally planned on using so I had not ever met or spoken with Meg until the evening I went into labor. I was nervous about having someone whom I had never met come and be a part of my labor but Meg came to my home and I immediately felt comfortable and confident in her. I was already in active labor and Meg  just did a wonderful job asking the questions that needed to be asked to best help me achieve the labor and birth experience I hoped for. Upon her arrival she could see how tense I was with each contraction and she was able to help me both by using her hands to pull the tension away and by reminding me to breath and relax. When we arrived at the hospital she continued to help me through each contraction. I was quite uncomfortable due to back labor and the midwife suggested an enema to help my labor come along so that I could use the tub since I was only 4cm and was not able to right away. She was so kind to me as I was a bit embarrassed at the idea of it. She stayed in the room with me even when I made my husband leave and continued to make me feel completely comfortable. She gave me the privacy I asked for in the restroom but a bit after being in there alone she could hear in my voice that I was distressed. She came in to check on me and could see that my body was trying to push. She used her intuition at this point and suggested that I check if I could feel a head. Sure enough I did. I was beyond shocked at how quickly it happened. I am so grateful to her because I truly believe I would have had the baby on the toilet rather than the tub like I wanted. When the baby was born Meg stayed with me a little while to make sure she was nursing well and made sure we had all we needed. I am pleasantly surprised with how happy I am that Meg was a part of my birth and I would recommend her to anyone.

Posted 6/10/2014

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Rachel McGlaughlin

When I was pregnant with my first daughter in 2011 I knew I wanted a natural childbirth. Having never been through it before, I thought I would be fine without help from a doula, but I ended up with an epidural, episiotomy, and the feeling that I had failed. When I got pregnant with my second daughter I knew that I wanted and needed a doula to get the birth I wanted. Luckily, one of my best friends had recently become certified as a doula and I knew I wouldn't find anyone better to help me reach my goal and be a part of one of the most important days of my life. Leading up to my due date, Meg would talk to me about different positions and techniques and what I really wanted from my birth. It was so wonderful to know that Meg would stand up for me and remind me of what I wanted for my baby and myself while I was in the heat of labor and had trouble thinking rationally! On the morning of March 26, 2014, I woke up around 5am and knew I was in labor. I calmly got up and showered and worked through early labor with all of the tips Meg had shared with me throughout my pregnancy. When things started to get hard, Meg was there to help relieve the pressure by pushing on my back and hips and reminding me to breathe slowly and relax my shoulders. Her calming and reassuring voice helped me to relax and deal with the pain. The drive to the hospital felt impossible and I don't think I could have handled it without her. When we got to the hospital she got me through to my room when the staff was being very difficult! By the time we got there my midwife checked me and it was already time to push! Meg continued to support me as I pushed and 10 minutes later my perfect little girl came into the world! At that point all I cared about was snuggling and breastfeeding for the first time, so it was such a blessing to have Meg there to remind me of all of the decisions I had previously made. Meg gave me the birth I desperately wanted and I can't imagine not having her by my side.

Posted 4/8/2014

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Adam-Leah Wright

Although Meg did not make it to my actual birth, due to my speedy delivery, she stayed with me afterwards and helped with getting the correct latch and answering any questions I had about breastfeeding. If we were to have a fourth child I would hire Meg in a heartbeat. She was there for me during my pregnancy answering any questions that I had and came to check on Gracelynn and I afterwards. Meg is a great person and a great Doula. You will not go wrong in choosing to have her help throughout your journey.

Posted 4/7/2014

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Carin P

Meg was vital to our birthing experience. My husband and I, having committed to a natural birth, were beyond anxious when my water broke without contractions (and a +GBS test). Without Meg's guidance and consistent, steady energy we would have been guessing at what to do next. She assured us that working to get labor started at home would be fine until after waiting turned to worring when contractions just weren't coming on. At that point, with the support from a network of area doulas, Meg was confident in urging but in no way forcing us to head to the hospital despite our reluctance and uncertainty. Thanks to Meg's presence at the hopsital, we felt in control of the situation even though we were surrounded by well-meaning staff who had their own agendas and ideas. We were comfortable and confident enough to take time to discuss possible courses of action among ourselves and with hospital nurses and midwives. It was Meg's unwavering trust in us coupled with her prior experience and knowledge of labor and hospital policies that helped my husband and I determine what was best for our situation.  Although I was upset that pitocin was eventually needed to get my labor started, Meg made sure that I still felt empowered and positive about what was to come. She also made responsible and wise suggestions about eating, drinking, and resting that served me well once it came time for the laboring part of labor. Eventually, my sheer exhaustion meant I was completely reliant on my husband and Meg for physical and emotional support. Meg's quiet, calm energy provided me with focus and her magic counter-pressure and massage techniques kept the pain as manageable as could be. I know that Meg played a huge role in helping me acheive my goal of natural birth. Her peaceful friendliness, humble yet assertive manners, and caring nature were all essential in creating the right atmosphere for my laboring experience. What a gift! Thank you, Meg!

Posted 4/6/2014

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Nadia Opalek

Let me just say my experience with Meg was exceptional. At the time of my second birth I was attempting a VBAC and my husband was deployed overseas. My doctors were not truly supportive of my choice and continually suggested that the risks outweighed the benefits. Meg gave me the support I needed to continue to fight for the birth I wanted. By the end of my labor I not only had an amazing VBAC but the negative feelings I had toward my C-Section were gone.

Posted 11/18/2013

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Shanell Becker

Meg McCarthy is a wonderful doula! Meg was the backup doula for my doula, who was on vacation, when I went into labor with my second child. I was hesitant at first to work with a backup doula since I had never met her, but I immediately felt at ease when Meg stepped into the hospital room. Meg was always attentive to my needs, whether it was having a hand to hold or having some space to myself. She was respectful of my husband’s participation in the birth, and brought a feminine, maternal presence to the room that I like to have during labor. She provided knowledgeable advice when I had questions about how to keep labor progressing, whether or not to allow the midwife to break my water, and about hospital procedures when my baby was born. Meg was also encouraging and reassuring when I was dealing with an unfriendly midwife while pushing. I would recommend her services to others and I hope she is available the next time I’m pregnant!

Posted 11/18/2013

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stephanie s

I decided last minute to use a Doula since I was unsure if my husband's schedule would allow him to be present for our second son's birth. With only a month before my due date Meg made time to meet with me to discuss my wishes and come up with a birth plan. Nervously I admitted that I wanted to try a natural birth but didn't think I was strong enough. With a cord complication my doctors didn't want me going past 39weeks and decided to induce me. Meg helped me come to terms with the idea of being induced and calmed my fears as my induction date neared. The day of my induction Meg was by my side even before my husband could be. Even though we had only met a few weeks earlier, Meg's support for me was so strong that the staff thought we'd known each other for years. She helped me stand my ground on my induction method of choice & reassured me as the nerves hit. When I started feeling contractions, Meg grabbed the birth ball, turned on music & we waited. It wasn't long before Meg was squeezing my hips & telling me that I COULD do this. She helped me remember to breath and reminded me to try and relax, she suggested different positions and other pain management techniques. When my husband arrived Meg made sure that he felt involved in the process, never coming between us but still remaining by my side and supportive of me. She helped me stick with my birth plan when the thought of an epidural was consuming. When the time came that I was begging for an epidural (even though I was past my 7cm cut off in my birth plan) I never felt judged for wanting to stray from my natural birth goal, which had been a secret concern of mine. Meg was a constant advocate for me both during labor and after. When my husband left just after the birth to pick up our other son, Meg remained by my side until he returned. I cannot say enough good things about Meg as a doula or as a person. I hope to be able to use her (and her hip squeezes) again for future children!

Posted 11/6/2013

Birth Availability for Meg McCarthy

= Available. Calendar last updated: 5/22/2017 11:53:13 AM