Training offered
Capital City Doula Services offers DONA International approved Birth Doula Workshops. Our training includes the Intro to Childbirth for doulas and the Breastfeeding for Doulas (optional) sections. With the workshop and optional breastfeeding course, all three class components that are required for DONA International certification are met.
Summary of qualifications
Melissa began serving birthing families in 2002 and became certified as a birth doula the following year and as a childbirth educator in 2005. She has worked with over 1000+ families as a labor doula and/or childbirth educator. As a DONA-approved trainer, Melissa offers training & mentorship for new doulas and has trained over 900 new doulas. Melissa has served in many DONA International leadership roles including: Certification, Education, Ethics, Advocacy Committees (2009-2022) DONA Florida Representative (2011-2015) DONA SE U.S. Rep (2015) DONA Director of Marketing/PR (2016-2019) DONA President-Elect (2019) DONA President (2020) DONA Past President (2021) DONA Conference Coordinator (2022) During her seven years as a leader on the DONA Board of Directors, Melissa helped co-lead the DONA rebranding efforts including the new website. Melissa was highly involved in internal DONA International projects (creation of DONA Connect and Elevate), as well as many external projects. Melissa has represented doulas on Capitol Hill advocating to U.S. Congress members on maternal health policies. She has attended multiple March for Moms events in Washington D.C. Melissa was featured on the Injoy podcast discussing DONA International's history and future endeavors ( She has also written for several publications such as the International Doula Magazine and the book series, Bearing Witness. Melissa earned her Advanced Certified Doula designation (2016), Certified Lactation Counselor credential (2017), and was honored as a Fellow in the Academy of Childbirth Educators (FACCE-2017). She LOVES attending birth conferences and soaking up educational opportunities every chance she gets. Melissa recently returned to college to pursue a degree with a concentration in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Style of teaching
My philosophy of teaching revolves around an interactive teaching style. I look to balance activities to meet the needs of various learners by bringing realistic and fun examples into explanations. The course provides an opportunity for learners to work through the information together. Although I've taken courses at the collegiate level regarding adult education, my most influential course on teaching methods was the childbirth educator training (2005). This course shaped the facilitator that I am by introducing me to the understanding that learning can be fun, innovative, creative, and comfortable. I believe that people of all ages can learn together and in our workshops, you'll often find diverse backgrounds including ages, races, and cultures. Here are some recent comments from recent workshop evaluations to better understand the students' perspectives. "Melissa Harley was such an excellent instructor. She balanced being thorough, personable, concise, professional, and everything else I would want out of a teacher." (2022) "Melissa was genuinely incredible in every way. There wasn't a moment that I didn't find the material engaging or interesting, and that was due largely to Melissa's teaching methods and enthusiasm for Doula work. Melissa has inspired me to continue to my education and get out into the field as soon as possible." (2022) "I learned so much- a wide variety of content was covered, without being overwhelming. A great space to allow ideas to flow and a non-judgmental class! A great mix of videos, group chat, and individual thinking. There were several different learning techniques used, and I liked how she mixed up the lessons." (2022) "Melissa did a fantastic job with this course. I was absolutely blown away by her competence in this area and constant consideration for all people. Her cultural competence shows and she truly does care to address some of the harder topics. I would not change a single thing she did.." (2021)
Years offering training

Languages Spoken

  • English

Profile last updated: 6/6/2022 9:24:08 AM

Testimonials for Melissa Harley, AdvCD/BDT(DONA), CLC, LCCE, DONA Trainer

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I cannot recommend Melissa enough and I am so grateful that our paths crossed! From the very first moment that I contacted Melissa regarding her training courses, I knew that I was in good hands. She provided relavent, useful, and important information is such a way that everyone in my training class could understand clearly. The techniques she uses, such as, using card games and role playing, allows everyone to truly grasp the material and to practice "real life" scenarios.

I feel that the education I received from Melissa's classes was above and beyond what I could have asked for. I have been prepared for the majority of every [doula] situation I have been in due to her thoughtful lesson planning. I couldn't be more thankful. 

-Racquel Pogge CD(DONA)

Testimonial submitted 7/23/2022

Melissa's training is an informative, engaging experience that streches you beyond your comfort zone and teaches you so much. Melissa has a wealth of knowledge from her experience as a doula that she draws on in her training. She also does a great job engaging each participant in the training and making them feel that their voice and perspective is valued. She is not afraid to touch on touch subjects and keeps the training relevant to issues we are facing today. Melissa held her training for my group in her home in Tallahassee and was generous and hospitable with her home and her time. Our training really was a transformative experience that left our group feeling well prepared to begin working as a doula. I value my training with Melissa and highly recommned her training to anyone interested in becoming a doula! Thank you, Melissa! 

Testimonial submitted 7/27/2022