Melissa Harrell, Ph.D. - Birth and Postpartum Doula

Doula Services


During the Covid-19 outbreak, doula care is more critical than ever. Learn about my current services and ways doulas can help you have a comfortable, safe, and empowered birth, even in the midst of Covid-19.

A mother holding a newborn baby

Birth Doula
Before, during and after the birth

I support women in their journeys to motherhood using an integrated approach that combines the doula tradition with scientific research, evidence-based practice, yoga, and mindfulness.

Before Birth

As your birth doula, I will work with you to prepare for your birth holistically. My doula package includes 2-3 prenatal visits with a focus on body, heart, and mind.

At our first visit, I will get to know you and your birth partner and understand your values and birth vision. I'll learn about any concerns or fears you have and we'll talk about evidence-based ways to support the birth you want. We'll end the session by practicing movement, breathing, and mindfulness techniques that you can use during your birth.

At our second visit, we'll go deeper into any specific areas of interest that are relevant for your birth. We'll review relevant scientific research on the topic and discuss pros and cons of any decision points you're facing. We'll also continue practicing movement, breathing, and mindfulness techniques for labor comfort.

I offer a third and optional prenatal visit focused on relaxation during labor. Getting through contractions is a critical skill in labor and is often the focus of childbirth classes. But most of your time during labor will be spent between contractions when it will be critical to access a deep state of rest and renewal. During this session, we'll practice skills from yoga and mindfulness to activate your parasympathetic nervous system allowing you to rest more fully and completely between each contraction. This will support your endurance during labor and help you prepare for parenthood.

During Labor and Birth

I will be on call two weeks before and two weeks after your due date by phone, text, and email. During early labor, I will be available to answer any questions you have, remind you of our plan, and provide emotional support. As soon as you're ready for in person support, I will join you at your home, birth center, or hospital and stay with you until your baby is born.

During labor I will provide holistic support to you and your birth partner. My support is highly customized to what you need in the moment and evolves breath by breath. For example, I provide physical support by recommending and helping you move into labor postures, offering comforting touch, and providing hands-on support. I provide informational support by helping you understand pros and cons of any interventions recommended by medical staff and how the intervention fits in with your birth vision. I hold space for a heart-centered birth by reminding you to focus on your breath, guiding you through birth meditations and affirmations, and creating a comfortable birthing environment.

I am also happy to take photos during labor and birth if you wish and if the situation allows (birth is unpredictable!). I will gift you with full ownership of unedited, high resolutions photos.

After the Birth

After your baby is born, I typically stay 1-2 hours until breastfeeding is established. As with all of my services, my support during this time is tailored to the needs of the situation. Even after baby is in arms, I offer continued support with their birth plan (e.g., umbilical cord, placenta, and newborn procedures). I am also available to take photos of the new family, play any special music selected, take note of time times and metrics (e.g., time of birth, weight of baby), and help get breastfeeding established.

I offer a home visit several days after your baby is born. During this visit, we will discuss the birth, I'll share any notes or pictures, and we'll discuss how things are going for your new family. This visit can be important for processing and integrating your birth experience.

Postpartum Doula

I visit all of my families several days after birth to check in (and... let's be honest, see adorable babies). Some families find that they need more support postpartum. In this case, I offer postpartum doula services. I'm happy to take care of your new baby or an older sibling, run you a bath (with healing herbs and candle light, of course), prepare healthy and organic meals, run errands, and do laundry and other light housekeeping.

Most new parents have questions about feeding their babies and I am happy to support you with this. I breastfed my oldest daughter for 9 days and my youngest for two and a half years. I draw on both experiences to offer kind, judgement-free feeding support. Depending on how you've chosen to feed your baby, this could mean checking baby's latch and feeding positioning, sharing guidelines for how to know baby is getting enough to eat, and teaching attachment-based bottle feeding practices.

Pricing : Please contact me for more information on my services and fees.