Hi! I'm Melissa, certified birth educator and certified doula. I believe that women can enjoy their pregnancy and birth, and a key ingredient to making that happen is education and support. That's what I'm here for! People tell me that they feel safe to open up around me and that my sense of humor puts them at ease. IF the client feels comfortable with it, I love to pray for and with my clients during labor and encourage them with the comforting promises of the Bible.
My live classes are fun and interactive with plenty of opportunities to ask questions. It is my goal to see my students leave the class full of peace, confidence, and excitement. Each week we will work through the steps you can take to set the odds in your favor for an amazing natural birth. When I'm not supporting families like yours, I'm busy keeping Starbucks in business, homeschooling my kids, and planning my next escape to the beach. My husband and I pastor Iglesia 29. I serve clients across Orange County and Los Angeles as a Certified Doula and Certified Birth Educator.
Questions people ask at doula interviews:
□ What certifications do you hold? Are you a member of any doula associations?
I am trained and certified by Birth Boot Camp. It is the ONLY company that publishes its natural birth success rates yearly, and the statistics show that 85% of Birth Boot Camp students go on to have natural births. I can't say enough about BBC! I am also a part of the Plus Size Mommies forum.
□ How will we communicate before the birth? Are you available to answer questions?
You can always reach me by phone, text, or email with any pregnancy or birth related questions.
□ How do I get in touch when labor begins? Are you always on call? When and where will you join me?
I will be on call from 38 weeks to 42 weeks, 24 hours a day. I will stay in touch by phone during early labor, when you are still able to go on with normal activities. I will join you during active labor, wherever you have chosen to birth.
□ What if you are unavailable when I go into labor? Do you have backups? Can I meet them?
In the *extremely rare* event that I cannot make it (it hasn't happened yet), I will send my backup doula. I only use backups that share my business philosophy and who I would want at my own birth. You are welcome to contact the backup doula for your birth.
□ What are your philosophies on childbirth? How do you feel about epidurals?
When I'm in my childbirth classes, I give all the information and tools possible to empower women so that they can have a natural childbirth with no interventions. Epidurals come with a list of risks that, to me, outweigh the benefits in most cases. HOWEVER, when I am hired as a doula, it's not about my birth philosophy or my opinions. I am hired to help YOU and your family experience the birth you envision. If your birth plan looks different from mine (or if you change course during labor), that's fine. Your birth is not about me, and I won't make you feel judged.
□ How will you involve and interact with my husband during birth?
Some dads want to be hands on during birth and others are just trying not to faint. Every birth is different and every dad is different, so depending on the dad I might show him where and how to massage you, reassure him that things are progressing normally, give him bathroom/food breaks during a long labor, show him how to support you in the rebozo, etc. My goal is to help him enjoy labor and feel confident and useful.
□ How do you work with doctors and nurses during birth?
You have chosen your doctor/midwife and you have hired me to support your choices. I do not argue with doctors or nurses- that would be disrespectful of your voice and your power. I will help you understand what they are saying and I will work with them to make sure you are being heard and your birth plan is being respected.
□ What happens if I need a c-section?
In the event that you need an emergency c-section, I will be with you in the operating room if your hospital allows it. C-sections come with their own set of challenges for nursing the baby and your postpartum recovery and I am trained to help you overcome those challenges. Some women actually hire a doula for a planned cesarean for this reason, and I am available for that type of birth as well.
I'd be glad to talk to you on the phone or meet for a free consultation. Let's work together towards an amazing birth-day!