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2017 International Doula Month Member Spotlight

Melissa Harley, CD(DONA), PCD(DONA), BDT(DONA), CIMI, LCCE

Where do you live?Melissa Harley.jpg

Nova Scotia, Canada

How long have you been in the childbirth field?

18 years

Why did you become a doula and childbirth educator?

My own first birth left me feeling like birth was "done to me." I was scared, uncertain, under supported and decisions were made for me...doulas came to my Province in Canada the next year and when I heard what they did, I knew that I wanted to support women in this way. Becoming a Lamaze educator was driven by my desire to help women find evidence based care. It, and remains, a natural fit in my evolution as a birth worker.

What's your favorite moment from your career so far?

That moment, over and over... the one where women and their partners or support people look at one another with all the emotions (a combination of joy, relief, accomplishment and love) after having navigated through whatever their birth brought them, having been listened to, supported and made part of the decision making process. I also adore getting to know families at this point of transition and providing individualized support. Every family is so different, which is why "cookie- cutter" approaches fall short and more involved preparation improves outcomes.