Every pregnant woman deserves a doula like Melinda. She is one of the kindest people I have ever met and she is very passionate about childbirth. My husband and I were expecting our first child - a baby girl - and we connected with Melinda after reading many of her glowing reviews on this site. She responded promptly to our inquiry and was very accommodating in arranging a place and time to meet for the first time. We had decided that we wanted to hire a doula because we were seeking a completely natural childbirth at a birthing center and we thought that strengthening our birthing team would facilitate that process. Despite researching and learning a variety of methods for easing the sensations of natural labor, we wanted someone in the room with this knowledge and experience. Melinda provided a thorough explanation of her services at our first meeting and she asked many thoughtful questions to get to know us as a couple and our wishes for the labor. We met with her a total of three times prior to the birth of our daughter. Prior to each meeting she always offered to bring us anything we might need. We really appreciated her willingness to schedule a birth around the holidays, as our daughter was due January 3rd but could have arrived at Christmas, New Year's, etc. Melinda promised that she would be available unless in the case of illness for which she would send us another doula. Most importantly, Melinda provided steadfast support and comfort through the birthing experience. She listened to my needs, coached my husband, and offered ideas for how to enhance comfort and limit discomfort during labor. She was also a very effective communicator with other birthing center personnel. For instance, it was at her suggestion that the doctor come to measure my dilation. Good thing she had because by that time I was ready to push! She stayed afterwards to ensure our comfort. As a bonus, she took beautiful photos! - Megan Carney We used Melinda as an overnight postpartum doula and she was wonderful! She came to our house overnight about three times each week and was very flexible with scheduling. She took great care of our son and adjusted how she spent time with him as we did - at first I was breastfeeding during the night so she would bring him to me when he was ready to eat, then we transitioned to pumped bottles so that I could get more sleep. When we started putting him down in his crib to sleep during the night, she adjusted again to line up with our nighttime routine. She was great about helping us around the house - folding laundry, doing dishes. She even addressed birth annoucements for us! When I pumped during the night, she would pick up the milk and put it in the fridge for me so I didn't have to go downstairs during the night. I wish that we had known about her services right when our baby was born - we started using her at 3 weeks and I think it would have helped a lot to have her from the start. Highly recommend! - Janne Maschal Melinda was an amazing support person during the natural birth of our daughter! During our initial interview with her, I really liked her warmth, calm vibe, and enthusiasm for our hope that we could deliver at the hopsital without medical intervention. Our two pre-labor meetings were really helpful -- she helped us refine our birth plan and explore what we would do in various scenarios. She also loaned me a few books and showed me how to set up my breast pump! During labor, her reassuring, steadfast presence helped me make it through 24 hours of contractions and pushing without drugs. I most appreciated that she was able to suggest different positions to try out when my contractions slowed down or when I got tired. Even though we had taken a childbirth class and learned about different positions, it would have been extremely hard to put them into practice in the heat of the moment without her ideas and help. She helped give my partner a break by getting him coffee and breakfast and letting him catch a quick nap. She also took some amazing photos of the entire process that I truly cherish. I chalk up our wonderful birth experience to luck, preparation, and amazing support people -- Melinda, in particular. It would not have happened the same way without her. - Katherine Killebrew Melinda was an incredible support to me and my partner, before, during and after the birth. She met with us and helped us think though our approach to the birth and identify what support I might need. At the birth, she provided a calm and reassuring presence for me and my partner and stayed with us for almost 24 hours during the long birth. She asked great questions, provided ideas for positions and relaxation, and helped us remember our intentions and goals. She worked well with hospital staff and helped me have the experience I wanted. Post-birth, she helped us reflect on the birthing experience and helped me feel empowered to follow-up with the hospital about questions I had regarding their procedures. Also, after hearing that photos were important to me, she offered to take maternity photos which turned out gorgeous! She also took great photos at the birth and came for a post-natal visit to take some newborn photos. We were able to use these photos in our birth announcement and hang them around the nursery. The photos are a lasting gift that I will treasure along with this birth experience. I highly recommend Melinda as a doula! - Kyla Lackie Melinda's doula services were outstanding. She was very professional, while being nurturing at the same time. Melinda listened to our needs from the very beginning. Her prenatal home visits were catered to our educational needs and calming for first time parents. Melinda was great about communicating by phone, email, and text the last few weeks of the pregnancy anytime we recieved updates from our doctors. During labor she offered calming support to our entire family and birth team. Melinda made sure we had everything we needed before she left the hospital, even when another family of her's had gone into labor! Her postnatal services were fabulous too. Melinda made placenta pills, provided us with beautiful photos of the birth, brought us food, offered to run errands, and even watched our baby girl when dad was out of town and we needed extra support. We highly recommend Melinda, especially for high risk pregnancies and first time parents! - Sarah and Joe Corrigan Melinda was nothing short of amazing. One of the first things we absolutely loved about her was her willingness to work in a way that was convenient for us. We are both busy working professionals and she was so accommodating in every meeting and interaction finding times and locations that could fit our busy lives. Before giving birth I was set on having a natural delivery. However my water broke and I wasn't even 1 cm dilated, after laboring for 10 hours and not reaching 1cm we had to have medical intervention. Melinda helped us make educated decisions, worked closely with the hospital staff and helped me get through a really long, hard labor. And even though the labor didn't go according to our birth plan, the experience was absolutely wonderful. Melinda helped me with breathing and pain management techniques, massaged my legas and feet for hours as a distraction - she truly went over and above. When we have our next baby I know we will hire Melinda again to be our doula. - Kate Matsudaira Pre labor, Melinda loaned me a book that was very informtaive. It believed thoroughly in a woman's ability to birth naturally and confidentally, as does she. It was my bible during that last trimester. Her confidence in me bolstered my own. As I neared my ninth month, I developed preeclampsia and was induced two and a half weeks early. What could have been a very fearful revelation on top of labor, I instead felt a sense of calm heading into my induction. We had intended to have another meeting with Melinda to practice pain coping techniques, but the surprise early labor didn't allow it! I was even more dependant on her to instruct us on the fly as we were in the thick of it! It wasn't until the next day that my water broke and things got exciting. They took the drip off and I was in active labor. Mike and I needed Melinda. He wasn't sure how to support me and I wasn't sure what I needed. Together, the three of us quickly found our rhythm and learned what was helpful for me to cope. Melinda guided us into different positions and rooms as needed, encouraging me to maintain the low vocalization. I felt totally free to be instinctual in front of her and Mike. Towards the final hour, my body went to a whole new level of pain and I didn't know if I could continue on drug free. I felt able to be honest with Melinda and she was very supportive, while still encouraging me to keep going. They had the midwives come in and check where I was at only to learn that I was in transition and fully effaced. Within minutes, the push urge took over and my baby was looking me in the eye, laying on my chest within twenty minutes. The whole labor lasted three and a half hours and was everything I had prayed for. Non medicated, vaginal and relatively fast for a first birth. I account much of that to Melinda's encouragement and belief in me. Throughout the labor she documented the milestones, took pictures and has even brought us food. She has become a forever friend. - Anna-Lisa Notter When my wife and I first discussed having a doula be part of the delivery of our first child, I wasn't sure what to make of the idea. I, naively, wasn't sure what a doula's services would entail in the first place. But as the time drew near, we decided to invite Melinda to be there with us and we're so happy we did!Throughout my wife's labor, Melinda was such a calming and supportive presence. To begin with, she was readily available to rush to the hospital with only a few hours notice three weeks before the due date! Upon arriving, she politely introduced herself to our nurses, quickly assessed Anna-Lisa's stage of labor and emotional state and began to offer support.She had with her a "bag of tricks" (massage tools, stress releivers, snacks) which were really helpful early on. As labor progressed, she offered advice on breathing techniques, body positioning, focus, etc but always deferred to whatever felt best to us. She was sensative to our space and dynamic but was also quick to join in whenever my wife needed her support or to ask questions to someone who was not only educated on childbirth but who had also been through it herself.Melinda was always watching out for what we needed - a towel, a fresh sheet, water, etc - and made things so much easier on me as I was a little out of my mind just trying to stay present with Anna-Lisa as she labored. We felt so comfortable with her as the day progressed. At one point during heavy contractions, Anna-Lisa got into the shower and we all three ended up in the tiny one-man bathroom with Melinda and myself trying to help out. Quite a scene! When the baby came Melinda took pictures, laughed and cried with us and even helped to tidy the room before leaving us to get to know our new daughter.All in all, Melinda was a very welcome and helpful addition to our experience! - Mike Notter From the moment I met Melinda, I knew I wanted her to be my doula for the birth of my second child. She has a very warm personality; the kind that really puts you at ease which I find to be an important quality when sharing such an intimate moment with someone. As I explained during our prenatal meetings, my last experience and what I wanted for this birth, Melinda listened intently and took notes on key things to remember for the big day and offered suggestions as the conversation flowed very nantually between us. She even attended one of my prenatal appointments with my midwife so that she had the opportunity to introduce herself to the others that would be attending and offer her support to them in advance which I thought was great! Before meeting Melinda, I noticed in her profile that she was a CNA. In my opinion, this certification gave her an edge over others because I figured it couldn't hurt to have some medical training/experience in case it was needed. I also liked that she was a mother herself and could relate to things I may be feeling while giving birth; again, making her the obvious choice to fill this supportive role. Melinda checked in with me several times as my due date neared and on the day of my daughter's birth, she made herself available quickly and without question when I told her it was time. Being my second birth, things progressed a little more quickly than I had anticipated so we were already underway when she got there, but Melinda jumped right in and did everything I had hoped she would. When the opportunity presented itself, she also took some birth photos which turned out beautifully! As if all this weren't enough, she even went out and picked us up some stromboli's from our favorite pizza place! I can't say enough good things about Melinda! She was wonderful and I totally recommend her to anyone looking for a birth doula! - Jennifer McCall I highly recommend Melinda Burgess, CNA. Initially, I wasn't sure about having anyone else in the room with me while giving birth. It is a very personal experience. My husband and I felt comfortable with Melinda after our first meeting. Being our first pregnancy, we wanted someone we could trust and with experience to help us through the labor process. We were pretty clueless and Melinda was such a great source! We met twice before I went into labor, and I felt ready, calm, and well prepared to take on the challenge. Our goal was a natural birth, although I have nothing against pain prevention and was pretty sure I'd end up getting an epidural. We asked Melinda to help keep me focused and to remind me that I was so close to avoid using drugs. Her calm nature and encouragement really helped me get through it without medication. Having an experienced Doula and my husband as birthing coaches was so helpful! They worked really well together, I was so thankful to have that support. - Debbie Galassi Thank you for the memorable birth experience. We couldn't have done it without you, Melinda! - Marcia W.