Phone: (617) 308-7788
Birth Fee: $0 to $1200
Fee Details: Sliding scale, bartering accepted -- I will never allow money to get in the way of my attending a birth!
Birth Doula Experience: 6 years and 70 births attended
Clients per Month: 1 to 2Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Community Doula Birth Program (CDBP) Co-founder and President of Board. CDBP provides doula services to low income women.
Languages spoken: Working knowledge of Spanish
Melissa is amazing as a Doula! I knew right after meeting her for the first time, I found the right person to help with the birth of our first child. Nothing went as planned and she was there every step of the way. I had severe preeclampsia and my son was born via C-section after being induced a couple of days before that. Any time a decision was supposed to be made Melissa was there every time we needed her. She explained each step that the doctors were going over with us. My son was 8 weeks early and was immediately taken to the NICU after birth. My husband went with him and Melissa stayed with me, I could not have asked for better support. We spent 39 days in the NICU and she visited and was a great emotional support for me as I dealt with postpartum depression. Even after being discharged and readmitted a couple of times to Barbara Bush Hospital, she continued to be a valuable support system. I am so glad we chose her and would recommend her to anyone!
I was hemming and hawing over hiring a doula and finally 8 weeks before my due date I gave Melissa a call and after chatting with her and reading her other testimonials I decided to hire her, and let me say it was the best decision I made during my pregnancy!
Melissa was a true delight to work with leading up to my pregnancy and after, she was incredibly like-minded and understanding when it came to my desire to have a natural childbirth, she listened to myself and my birth partner and helped us come up with a birth plan. I thought I was paying her for labor support, but what I ended up getting from Melissa was far more, she provided us with incredible recommendations and guidance every step of the way during those last two months. I have yet to meet anyone in the birth community as well connected as Melissa!
I ended up having a breech baby and Melissa was quick to recommend some of the best acupunctures, chiropractors and websites to explore. She also provided numerous articles and materials in regards to a lot of the late pregnancy testing and newborn testing that is "required". In the end my baby did not turn and a Caesarian was necessary, I don't regret for a second still having a doula, I feel the resources she provided me with were above and beyond what I expected and having her present for the labor would have been incredible I'm sure, but I still feel it was well worth the investment for her guidance and expertise along the way.
After my baby was born we had some difficulties with nursing and again Melissa made incredible recommendations for a wonderful Lactation Consultant and other suggestions, without her assistance, support and referalls I very well may have given up on breastfeeding, but she made me feel supported and empowered that it would get better!
In short, hire her, no matter how your birth ends up, home, caesarian, natural...etc you won't regret it!
I was Melissa's first VBAC client, and she did a wonderful job helping me have a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). After I had had an extremely high-risk first birth with placenta previa and a scheduled c-section at 36 weeks, I had a completely natural birth with no medication after laboring only about 5 hours. It was exactly what I wanted, and I was so happy that Melissa was there to support me & help me make my birth plan a reality. She also helped me plan for things I had not known about ahead of time, like whether or not to put antibiotic drops in my newborn's eyes. At one point early in the labor, when they said I wasn't dilated enough to go into a labor room, and offered spending the night in the prenatal center (the same exact prenatal center where I had had a traumatic experience with my first baby), Melissa helped me make the difficult decision to avoid this and go home for a few hours instead. Going home allowed me to relax and go fully into labor when my body was ready, whereas I feel strongly that staying in the prenatal center would have caused me undue stress and perhaps inhibited the natural birth that I ultimately had. Melissa is practical, good at asking questions, straightforward about the way she presents information, and not afraid to advocate on your behalf for what you want. (She spent many years as a public defender! She is really good at advocating for people who aren't in the position to advocate for themselves.) She also pays great attention to detail, and doesn't seem to forget anything you tell her. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to have her as my doula.
Melissa was the perfect doula for us. Upon meeting her for the first time we were impressed by her extensive knowledge, ability to articulate, and humble willingness to learn. She was easy to be around and exhibited humor and grace in dealing with sensitive issues and emotionally charged subjects. Throughout my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum she was well organized and presented us with an abundance of evidence-based information. She was open, available, and eager to help address any questions or concerns. It was easy to text or call her at anytime.
One of the main reasons we hired Melissa was to avoid a highly medicalized birth experience or c-section. However, our hospital experience was not at all what we planned. Our daughter came into the world after a long induction, frustratingly painful labor, and eventual medically necessary c-section. Melissa was welcomed into the Operating Room during the birth and provided a quiet and reassuring presence during a scary and emotional time. Due to health issues our daughter was taken to the NICU for 10 days after her birth and Melissa tirelessly supported us even during this extremely hard time. Melissa helped us roll with the punches and was with us every step of the way making our challenging experience much more bearable by helping us make decision after decision while offering us unfailing support through it all. Melissa never got in the way and worked side by side with my partner to take amazing care of me. She truly cared about our wishes and preferences and repeatedly helped us advocate for what we wanted despite the myriad of decisions and interventions. She was understanding, non-judgmental, and super helpful for the entirety of our long hospital stay and beyond! Melissa was the perfect balance of hands on and off and used blunt, direct, and forward communication throughout. Melissa exceeded our expectations in a doula and went WAY above and beyond for our family!
Melissa was a fantastic doula for the birth of my first son. During my pregnancy, both myself and my husband appreciated Melissa's candidness and energy as we prepared for labor. She is an extremely approachable person that we instantly connected with and felt we could trust. She always provided us with a wealth of information related to any questions we had not only about my health during pregnancy, but also choices that would need to be made related to the labor and birth. She was always available for questions and we liked that our relationship with her did not feel formulaic or routine.
During labor, she was fantastic! She provided incredible support and played such a vital role in the delivery room. Her approach was gentle and caring. It made such a difference having someone in the room who has experienced labor and can provide a non-clinical perspective. My husband appreciated her presence and felt there was a great amount of balance and guidance. My labor was long and exhausting, and she stayed with us from early in the AM on into the evening. I couldn't imagine going through labor without her.
After my son was born I had problems nursing and Melissa continued to be a great support throughout the ordeal. The early days of parenting are a whirlwind, and having a clear minded support like Melissa to better the situation was beyond helpful. I highly reccommend Melissa as a doula!
= Available. Calendar last updated: 8/28/2019 8:23:07 AM