After acting as an informal birth companion to friends and family for years, in 2017 I took the next step and trained as an NCT licensed doula. I have experience of many different kinds of births, from home water birth to emergency caesarean and many in between, and feel strongly that even challenging labour and birth situations can be made beautiful and fulfilling, with the right support. I am very accepting and non-judgemental, and have experience working with LGBTQ+ couples. I am committed to helping you work with your medical practitioners to achieve the birth that is right for you. I am also open to supporting free births.
Through my own birth experiences (an emergency caesarean, a planned caesarean, and a home water birth) and the births I have attended, I am constantly amazed by the intricacy of the human body, and how well and how delicately nature contrives what’s best for us and our babies, when we give it a chance. My goal is to ensure this perfect choreography, this dance of the hormones, which enables birth to proceed optimally, is protected and preserved. To do that, I offer knowledgeable and steadfast support – emotional, physical, interpersonal, and practical. My job is to free you to do your job, the most important job there is, of birthing new life into the world.
American born, I have lived in Colchester since 1995. When I'm not attending births, I like to hang out with my five mostly grown kids/stepkids and hugely supportive husband, and our labradoodle Morgan – walking, reading, cooking, playing guitar, writing poetry and travelling to places with sunshine.
Click below to read more about my qualifications, training and philosophy
Here is a short video of me explaining what a birth doula is, what she does, and what the research says about the positive effect of a doula on the birth process
B I R T H D O U L A
A birth doula is a non-medical supporter of a woman and couple during pregnancy, labour and birth
H Y P N O B I R T H I N G
Hypnobirthing is a method of using self-hypnosis techniques to help you enhance your birth experience. I am a qualified KG Hypnobirthing™ instructor
P O S T N A T A L D O U L A
A postnatal doula provides support in your home following the birth of your baby.
"Melanie was the first doula we interviewed... and the only one. From the moment “go” we felt incredibly reassured by all her knowledge, her positive energy, her confidence and her passion for what she does. My labour was induced early and at short notice, and I had done no research on the subject thinking that only happened if you went overdue. Melanie was incredible throughout, giving us options where we would’ve otherwise felt like we had none, teaching my partner pain relief techniques and overall going out of her way to help me have the straightforward labour I wanted -in spite of the induction. I think practicing hypnobirthing (of which Melanie is also a qualified instructor) and her presence were the two most important resources I had during my baby’s beautiful and calm birth. Will no doubt reach out to her when it’s time for our second!"
Ana, mother of Leo