Warm, Caring, Funny Doula
As a single, first time mother, I wanted a doula for support during my pregnancy and especially during delivery. My first doula cancelled on me and left me feeling lost and upset. I eventually asked around at my Best Babies group and the name that kept coming up was Melissa Harris. So I looked her up, emailed her and met up with her right away. I knew within the first few minutes of our meeting that Melissa was the doula for me. She is outgoing, enthusiastic and so funny. But she is also warm, caring, experienced and informative. I felt like we were old friends by the end of our first meeting. It was such a relief for me to know that I had Melissa as my doula and that she would support me through the rest of my pregnancy, the birth of my son and the first weeks at home.
In another meeting, Melissa helped me go through all my options to create my birth plan. It was very overwhelming and a little scary, but Melissa kept me calm and focused. Then she took all of my choices from the information that we went through and created my birth plan. It was another relief to see everything I wanted and didn’t want for my birth all there in print ready for the doctors and nurses.
At the end of my pregnancy, I was overdue and eventually induced. When it was time, Melissa came up to the hospital. She talked me through contractions and kept me calm and informed. She was definitely an advocate for me with all of the doctors and nurses that came and went during my long labour. Melissa stayed with me all day and all night and into the next day. In the end, I had to have a C-section. Melissa stayed and supported me until I went into the operating room with my mom. Once it was over and I was wheeled out with my son in my arms, she was waiting with a big smile. She took some wonderful first pictures of my son and I that I will always cherish.
Melissa Harris is an extraordinary doula who helped me through the most incredible and most scary experience of my life. I am happy to sing her praises and would recommend her to any expecting mother.
Submitted by Alee – September 2017
Kept me calm at home
Melissa is amazing! We would confidently recommend her to anyone looking for a doula. She put a lot of energy into hearing what was important to us and how we were hoping to be supported. She was great at communicating with me via text check-ins in the weeks coming up to my labour. She was with us for a long labour and made sure everyone was getting rest/eating/etc. I eventually had to transfer to the hospital from home but know I wouldn’t have lasted at home for as long without Melissa’s knowledge, advice, and support. A strong example of her support that sticks out in my mind was when my husband and I arrived at the hospital. I was in the middle of contractions and didn’t want him to leave my side. Melissa found us in the parking lot and offered to sort out the parking ticket and bring our bags upstairs so that my partner could walk me to labour and delivery. It meant so much to me. Melissa has also been a great help with breastfeeding postpartum. Thank you Melissa. We’re so happy to have had you be a part of our birth!
Submitted by Emily – August 2017
She gave us guidance and reassurance
Melissa was amazing and I can’t imagine going through our birthing experience without her there to assist us. Melissa brings a tremendous amount of experience to the table, which was so necessary and valuable to my birth experience. As a first time mom, Melissa was able to really prepare both my partner and me for labor and delivery, and for the care of our little one once she was born. My partner was given incredible guidance by Melissa on how to better support me through labour and gave him much needed reassurance through the very difficult parts. My partner was able to support me with confidence thanks to Melissa.
Melissa’s warm and fun personality is an added treat. She’s so easy to get along with and makes the process more enjoyable.
We can’t imagine not having Melissa part of our special day. We are so grateful for her services and highly recommend her.
Submitted by Diana – July 2017
Dad says: She is a part of our family now
I’m glad that we chose a doula, and we were so glad it was Melissa. When I thought about my wife going through birth, I found myself feeling stressed and uneducated. After our meetings with Melissa, I was much more informed and comfortable with what was coming next. While Cory was in labour, Melissa effectively calmed both of us down and helped me to understand what was going on with Cory, as well as who was in the room and why. Melissa feels like part of our family after going through this experience with us.
Submitted by Drew – June 2017
Incredible Natural Birth
My pregnancy and natural birth were an incredible experience, thanks to Melissa! She gave my husband and I such an amazing education on the stages of labour and birth, and I felt empowered and excited to have my baby! While we were in the hospital for our delivery, she constantly made sure I was taken care of, but even more importantly, she took amazing care of my very nervous husband! She showed him what he could do to support me, and made the entire experience much better for both of us. She wrote up our birth story, and it was a special touch that I really appreciated. You’ll always be a very special part of our little family Melissa, thank you!
Submitted by Cory – June 2017
Great Support for Partner Too!
Melissa is an experienced, compassionate and hard working doula. She is a wealth of knowledge and, as a childbirth and breastfeeding educator, is able to clearly explain the various aspects of labour, birth and the post partum experience. She provided great support during labour, particularly for my partner so that he was able to better support me. Melissa was great at checking in regularly after our son was born to follow up on issues we were having and she was a big help in learning how to breastfeed successfully. She was also great at answering questions about baby products and advising on best practices for baby care.
I could not imagine going through labour and the post partum period without Melissa! I have no reservations in recommending her doula services and look forward to working with her again in the future.
Submitted by Carla – February 2017
Gave Great Advice and Support
My husband and I sought the support of a Doula since we have both sets of parents out of province and were nervous about the experience of labour. I found Melissa on the “Doulas of Victoria” website and saw that she was experienced and had wonderful testimonials. When we found out that we were pregnant, it was hard to believe as we had a difficult three-year journey. We were cautiously optimistic and wanted a healthy baby at the end of the experience. Melissa met with us to discuss our questions, concerns and birth plans. She was available via text and email and had a quick response time. When I went into early labour, Melissa gave advice to move the labour along and offered the loan of her Tens machine. She assisted with back rubs during labour and breastfeeding after baby was born. During postpartum care, she offered ideas for soothing baby and baby wearing support. She provided emotional support and encouraged my confidence as a new mom. I am deeply grateful for her support and would recommend her in a heartbeat.
Submitted by Lisa – January 2017
She Respected My Process
I am so happy we decided to hire a doula for the birth of our first baby. Melissa was such a wonderful choice and a great fit for us. She was a knowledgeable, kind, calm, patient and supportive presence during each stage of my long labour and during the birth. When I am in pain or discomfort I prefer to move around, have some of my own personal space and not be touched, which I am sure does not always make me the easiest client for a doula! But, Melissa respected my process and still found ways to gently guide and nudge me to try different positions for labour and strategies for rest. Her presence also allowed my husband to rest during the early stages of labour so that he could be more present during the main event! I looked forward to each of Melissa’s house visits after the birth and I felt comfortable asking her every single silly question that popped into my mind about the uncharted waters of having a new baby to care for! Her assistance with breastfeeding was a wonderful comfort when the first few weeks felt overwhelming and breastfeeding was proving difficult. She also makes the best dang chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. I still find myself dreaming of them and was reluctant to share them with my husband! We are so grateful for all that you did Melissa and we look forward to having your calm, and kind presence around when we decide to do this all over again with baby #2!
Submitted by Nicole – December 2016
Originally it was my husband that requested we get a doula for the birth of our daughter and I went along with it lol. Melissa taught our prenatal class and we both agreed she wold be a good fit. During labour she pushed me when I needed it and was always making me feel that I was doing a great job even when I felt I couldn’t go on any longer. The whole day is a big blur for me but I remember Melissa getting me to do the things I needed to do ( get out of the bath, go to the toilet, change positions) even when I was neither willing or able to do them myself. I highly recommend her services and know that if we have another baby she will be along for the ride.
Submitted by Darcelle – November 2016
Positive Experience Achieved!
Melissa was a great support of our birth plan which made the whole experience positive and amazing! She provided effective coping techniques during labour and was able to lend a hand where needed. She will always have a special bond with our baby as she was the one who cut the umbilical cord. Melissa also did house visits to help with breastfeeding. She is very patient and has a kind soul.
Submitted by Leeanne – September 2016
Like a Friend
We decided a month and half before my due date to get a doula. We are so happy to have picked Melissa. As it is our first child and our families are far, my husband was very reassured after meeting her that we had decided to have a doula to go threw this with us. It was an amazing experience having Melissa as part of our birth. My husband had a complicated schedule, so we weren’t able to make it to prenatal classes and Melissa worked around our schedule and came to the house for personalized classes. When my labor started Melissa came has soon has I needed her, and her support was just awesome. I had back pain throughout my labour, she helped me threw the pain and coached my husband on the ways to relive some pain.Her and our Mid-wife worked great together. My labor ended in a c-section, after 24hrs in labour, so my husband had a small panic attack when the obstetrician on duty came and told us what was going to happen, Melissa was great at reassuring him and calming him down. She was an amazing support for both of us psychologically and physically . Post birth she came to the house to visit and check how we where doing with our little man, making sure there was no breast feeding issues. She was available at all times for questions or concerns we had pre and post birth, exactly like a friend would. My husband and I could not of asked for a better experience.
submitted by Audrey – August 2016
Helped me conquer Breastfeeding
Melissa was a fantastic choice for a doula. She was very kind, supportive, and informative. She provided excellent care both pre and post natal.
Her experience during the delivery was invaluable. I had a very difficult delivery and her calm yet assertive manner provided me with the direction I required to make it through the process. She was also very helpful to my partner.
Her support over the phone, via email, and in person after the delivery was just what we needed. She directed us to useful online resources and provided us with in person assistance – particularly with breastfeeding. Her knowledge and instruction of current breastfeeding techniques, especially the laid back approach, really helped. I was almost ready to abandon breastfeeding.
I would highly recommend Melissa as a doula. She is amazing!
Submitted by Sarah – April 2016
The calm in the storm.
Best. Doula. Ever
We decided on a doula because our pregnancy was high-risk and we didn’t have a ton of family nearby. Melissa brought a sense of calm and normalcy to a very ‘medicalized’ pregnancy, which was exactly what we needed after five years of IVF and recurrent pregnancy loss. Meetings with Melissa prior to birth meant we could ask all kinds of questions and walk through scenarios that were on our minds.
Melissa supported both of us differently.
For me, (the mother) she was like a big sister – she knew all about positioning for my back labour, natural techniques to help me through contractions. Thanks to Melissa, I was able to labour at home with back labour for 18 hours (which was my preference, over going to the hospital too soon). I ended up having a c-section, and that was my ‘worst case scenario’ prior to actually giving birth, but, in large part thanks to Melissa, I now cherish my labour, c-section and all!
For my husband, Melissa was someone he could count on to check in with, to know what was normal and what wasn’t. She made sure he got a break, so he could take over once the baby was born.
After the birth of our son was when our love for Melissa went to a whole new level! My milk came in – and so did the postpartum hormone drop! I felt panicked that I was the only woman on earth, ever, who wouldn’t be able to breastfeed her child and I felt like everything I was doing was all wrong and my baby was starving because he missed a feeding. I was a hot, hormonal mess and Melissa came right over and calmed me down, helping me with positioning and latch; without ever being condescending or dismissive. She knew I needed a little confidence boost, and a little mothering myself, to get over the hormonal hump! That moment alone made having her as our doula invaluable.
Since the birth of our son, Melissa has stayed in touch with us and we’re so glad to have her in our lives.
Submitted by Brooke – March 2016
Calm and Supportive
When searching for a Doula, I knew I was essentially hoping to find someone who would stay cool under the potential craziness that would occur during the birth of my first baby. What I came to realize was that I also needed someone with the same calmness to guide me through the last few months of my pregnancy.
Melissa was that calm, collected and supportive person during my pregnancy and birth, which has made this period in my life such a wonderful experience
Submitted by Michelle – April 2015
2 doulas working together!
Melissa was my primary doula at the birth of my son Samuel, and both she and my second doula (Nicole) were my saving graces. As a single mom, having someone by my side during my labour and the birth was absoutely essential. Melissa went above and beyond for me — doing a check in every month at my place, and even offering to go to childbirth classes with me (we never got that far because my son came before they were to start!), and finding Nicole as a second doula so I could have even more support. They were my strength during labour (as short as it was) when I kept saying in the middle of contractions that I couldn’t do it. On the day my son was born, Melissa came to my house ready to go and found me in the tub in active labour with Nicole rubbing my back through the contractions. Melissa took charge in paging my midwives, help my friend get my stuff together and find clothes for me, and encouraged us to get going to the hospital fairly soon after she arrived. She remained calm throughout the whole thing, including the drive to the hospital, and was encouraging, calm, patient, and gentle. Not to mention she has a great sense of humour. humour through contractions is exactly what I needed! Throughout my short and intense back labour she encouraged me to use low tones and breathe, and she never left my side. She spoke gently and repeated to me what the midwives said since I couldnt hear them, and assured me that the back pain would be gone the moment my baby was born (and she was right). She made sure I was hydrated, took pictures for me, helped me breastfeed my son, all the while not losing that sense of humour. She & Nicole made sure all my belongings were gathered together in one place and stayed with me until we were settled into our room at the hospital at 230am. At a post natal visit she asked me if I had questions about the birth & answered them for me & made yummy chocolate chip cookies. Her services were worth every penny.
Submitted by Charlotte – November 2013
Presence helped calm mom and dad!
We cannot imagine not having Melissa present at the birth of our son. She was a source of comfort, a confident guide and a much needed source of reassurance. She is extremely good at her job and made both myself and my partner feel like we were supported. The meetings before the birth proved how well informed and prepared Melissa was for dealing with her client’s big day. Her presence at the birth showed how well she could read people, always anticipating what both myself and My partner needed. And her visits afterwards were always looked forward to. She greatly helped with nursing issues, emotional support and simply made it seem like a friend was visiting. I look forward to my next pregnancy so we have a chance to work with her again! Thanks, Melissa!!
Submitted by Chelsea
I had a wonderful birth experience!
Melissa was my doula for my second child’s birth. After having a cesarean birth with my first child I wanted to try for a VBAC the second time around. The first experience was very hurried and seemingly full of pressure to make a quick decision even though our son was never in any distress. It was just me and my husband and I felt like we never got the chance to make a fully informed decision. I always knew that if we had another child we would have a doula.
When I went into labour with my daughter Melissa arrived ready to rock! I felt very cared for and was so well taken of from the moment she arrived. In fact at one point right after a pretty intense contraction I was enjoying a soothing caress on the forhead from what I thought was my husband and opened my eyes to see Melissa. She has such warmth and tenderness.
When the time came to make the same decison with our daughter’s birth Melissa was there for me while my husband got all the information. We were then able to ask everyone to leave so we could make our choice. Even though I didn’t have a VBAC I did have a wonderful birth experience that was truly enhanced by Melissa’s presence. And she makes some pretty damn good choclate chip cookies!
Submitted by Maia
Another Successful VBAC!
Having Melissa as our doula was a huge factor in our very successful VBAC. Her calming personality helped us stay focused on pain management during labour. When my husband needed a break she was there helping me move into better positions, letting me “squeeze the life” out of her fingers during contractions and making sure I stayed hydrated. She helped my older daughter feel confident that I was going to be ok, even though I was in pain. I have nothing but good memories of my son’s birth and that is priceless to me.
Submitted by Elishia
Words simply cannot express how thankful I am that you were by my side for the duration of my labour and for the birth of our beautiful baby girl. Her birth allowed me to reach into myself to find a place of strength that I didn’t know I possessed. I thank you for allowing me to find that strength and I truly believe that it has given me a renewed sense of confidence as a mother that I didn’t feel after the c-section birth of my first child. One of the primary reasons for hiring a doula was to give me every advantage possible to assist me in the process of achieving a VBAC. I remain thrilled that I was able to achieve this goal. Your presence was such an integral part of her birth, from the moments of laughter in early labour to the intensity of the later stages. You seemed to know exactly what I needed and how to support me and for that I am eternally grateful. I am also eternally grateful that you took charge of the camera and captured amazing memories of a truly incredible day. Thank you so much for everything. Oh, and the cookies were fantastic and just what this post-partum momma needed 😉
Submitted by Kim
Even the 4th pregnancy can use a doula
When I first contacted Melissa to be my Doula I wasn’t sure she would even accept me as her client, being that this was my 4th baby I thought maybe I was to “experienced” to need a Doula. After I meet with Melissa at our consultation I was sure that she would be a key member of my labour team. I was dealing with several issues that lead me through a stressful pregnancy and the uncertainty that I would be able to deliver our baby naturally. After many appointments we insisted that if at all possible I was going to deliver this baby naturally, when I finally went into labour Melissa called my cell and dropped what she was doing to rush to my side, and boy was I glad she did. Melissa was able to keep me calm, be supportive and even hold my “dead” leg as I brought our newest daughter into the world naturally. I was thrilled that Melissa was there to share one of the most amazing moments of my life. Melissa stayed with me even after everyone else had left in the postpartum ward until I was comfortable. Melissa is a truly compassionate, caring woman who helped even a “veteran” mom learn some things and have a much more relax labour and delivery then with my previous 3. After I was home Melissa came over to check up on us and answered any questions we had about our baby and breastfeeding, and assured us if we needed anything she was here for us. I couldn’t be any happier with the care and knowledge that Melissa gave us, having her as our Doula was a special gift we will thank her for forever.
Submitted by J
“I knew my wife wouldn’t be left alone if I needed a break”
Thanks to Melissa for all your help with our new little girl’s birth. It was nice to have someone else in there aiding to my wife’s comfort. Being that I find it hard to deal with some of the things that happen during labour and delivery it was very helpful for me to have Melissa there when I need to leave the room for a minute to catch my breath or a quick bite to eat. Having Melissa there helped me stay more focused since I knew if I needed to sit down for a bit I had back up there and my wife would not be left alone. Melissa was very knowledgeable as well in all aspects of labour and delivery and I’m sure she will be very helpful to many expecting moms in the future.
Submitted by Jason
First Time Dad!
I thought I was ready to be a dad – this was going to be a simple addition to my everyday life. How could a few diapers, a little crying, and a bunch of baby clothes change my life? Boy, was I wrong. I was not prepared at all for the wave of questions that came with our daughter and how nervous I would be. With every breath she took or every move she made, I questioned myself and my wife wondering if we were doing things right. Thank God Melissa was there to calm my nerves and assure me that everything will be alright. Whether it was the many phone calls at 2am, or her frequent visits to just relieve some of the stress in person, Melissa was a life saver. You can tell that Melissa is a wonderful, experienced mother and a well-trained Doula! No question was too dumb and every answer she gave was full of detail and helped put my mind at ease. Melissa helped to make our experience of having our first child one to remember and one of very little stress. Thank you!
Submitted by Tim
Relaxed Home Birth
Melissa played an integral part to my labour and delivery. I had a very intense and quick natural home birth and she helped me to stay relaxed and focused. Melissa’s knowledge of the labour process allowed her to ask me how I was feeling and suggest various positions to cope with contractions.
Submitted by S