Back Labor: A Doula Can Help With That
Melissa was AMAZING. I believe I owe it to her that my labor progressed as quickly as it did. Without Melissa, I fear that I may have been in the hospital in labor for several days. Melissa was a super calming presence in a situation that made me very nervous. I had back labor and was in extreme pain. Melissa helped with laboring in different positions, massaging my back, different breathing methods, and just being awesome. She helped me labor naturally and in about 4 hours I went from only 3 centimeters dilated to 7. This was my first pregnancy and she really helped guide me through my journey in the hospital and was a great help to me and my husband. I would strongly recommend hiring Melissa Colatosti!
Long Labor: A Doula Is There For That
We found Melissa through Emerge Birth Center where we attended the Birthing From Within class with Pam Roe. I was initially drawn to her because she has several children who each came into this world very differently. I thought this would give a woman great perspective on how to cope with change which is so much of what you hear while preparing for your own birth. I’m so pleased to say that my initial instincts were correct. Melissa guided us through 4 1/2 days of labor and the hardest days of my life. 90% of our birth plan was thrown out the window and each new challenge was met with confidence and clarity from Melissa. She provided wonderful resources for us to read up on all of the things that we had questions about before we had our daughter and she kept in touch with us postpartum as a doula and as a friend. I explained to Melissa the kind of support I was looking for before we signed on and she really listened to my needs. I am only one woman but I can confidently say that Melissa knows how to adapt to each individual’s needs. She helped my husband help me as well which was wonderful. Men can feel lost in this process but she really helped him to be an important part of our daughters birth. Her empathy is deep and her commitment is strong. I can’t recommend her enough.
I had wonderful pregnancy and an amazing birth experience. I feel very lucky to be able to say that. Melissa made everything easier. She always had a kind word to say, a good piece of advice, a valuable insight…. not only while I was pregnant, but also after giving birth. Being new to the country, it was nice to be able to count on Melissa when looking for information. Her knowledge and advice were always right on the spot!
As a first-time mum, you encounter so many new feelings, it is very reassuring to be able to talk to someone about it without having to hold back, being judged or receiving a strange look.
I strongly believe that her support during the birthing process made a huge difference. She stayed calm, kept encouraging me when I felt like I was at the end of my strengths and took care of so many little details for me like calling the nurses, giving me water, making me feel comfortable. I don’t think I would have been able to cope with all of it by myself.
If I had to do it all over again, I would not do it any other way! That is why I simply want to say THANK YOU, Melissa, for making my journey so special.
Back Up Coverage
Melissa was assigned as our backup doula when it became clear I was having regular contractions and our original doula was serving another client. I was laboring at home with the support of my husband, and she got in touch with us right away to check in and see how we were doing. She and my husband stayed in touch via text and phone until we were ready to head to the hospital, where she was to meet us. She and my husband connected in the hallway of the labor & delivery floor before coming into the triage room. When they entered, I was in a tank top—and only a tank top(!)—but Melissa greeted me kindly and without batting an eye as I finished weathering a contraction. We moved quickly from triage to delivery, and Melissa got to work right away, providing a birth ball, suggesting a labor position that might be comfortable, and applying pressure to my lower back. We had had no time to discuss my wants or needs, but she sensed them without any direction from me. It was incredible, and her presence and wisdom were oh so valuable. My labor progressed very quickly, and it was Melissa who observed when I began bearing down during contractions, alerting the team it was time to prepare for our baby’s arrival. As I moved into the tub, Melissa continued to support me, providing cool washcloths when the water felt too warm and doing various other things I’m sure I wasn’t even aware of. She graciously worked in tandem with my husband, recognizing his critical role in the birth as well. Melissa stayed with us as long as we needed after our daughter made her way to us and helped us with our initial breastfeeding session. The next day she shared some incredible photos she had snapped the night before (we adore these and are so glad to have them) and continued to check in on us in the following days to ensure we had everything we needed. Although Melissa was only with us for an hour and a half before our baby was born, her presence was reassuring and instrumental in helping us achieve the birth we desired. She will always be a cherished part of our birth story.
Mom To 2 Boys
Melissa was my doula for the birth of my second child. She far exceeded my expectations! I used a doula for my the birth of my first child as well. From the very beginning of our relationship, Melissa was always checking in on my status and as my due date approached we communicated daily about how I was feeling or just what was going on that day. She was very supportive and positive as we went through days of false labor and as my due date came and went. She made many suggestions in ways to prepare for the birth, ease discomfort, and even ways to pass the time with my family before the newest member arrived. On the day of actual labor Melissa was ready to go, available by phone and text. We communicated hourly, as was my preference, until I felt it was time to meet at the hospital. Melissa arrived about the same time as me. She was a silent and comforting presence during my labor which was exactly what I needed. Through each contraction she touched my arm or shoulder to let me know she was there and helped me stay calm when the contractions picked up strength. She also guided my husband to do the same making me feel safe and loved. Melissa offered suggestions to help ease the pain and when she felt I was 10 cm encouraged me to stand and WOW there was the head, I was ready to push! Without her encouragement I would have laid there in agony for much longer. My son arrived healthy and I achieved an unmedicated birth as this was my desire. Melissa went above and beyond and continued to check on us days and weeks following delivery. My husband and I agree, should we decide on a third child, we will use Melissa again as our doula. She was extremely helpful, caring, knowledgeable and professional in all aspects of the birth of my son.
First Time Mom To A Son
I can’t say enough good things about Melissa as a birth partner!
Melissa was available and engaged leading up to the day our son was born, keeping up with how the last few weeks of my pregnancy were going and providing insight and answers as things progressed. She was always responsive and full of great information. When my water broke at 4:45 in the morning, I let her know a bit after that things seemed to be happening. She checked in with me hourly to keep up with my progress and then volunteered (I didn’t know I needed her, but I’m so glad she knew!) to come to us at our house while we were still weathering the “easy” part of active labor.
Melissa helped me through contractions as my husband prepared for us to leave for the hospital. She empowered us to know and act when it was the right time to go to the hospital. As labor intensified and progressed, Melissa encouraged me and my husband verbally and shepherded us through effective coping tactics. And she helped us work better with the hospital staff in helping them attend to our needs.
With Melissa’s expertise and calm, my husband was more confident as a birth partner and able to look to her for guidance as needed, and I focused on the business of labor and birthing our son. Melissa brought amazing calm, humor, and knowledge to our birth experience.
She continued her amazing support postpartum. She checked on me daily for the first couple of weeks and gave great information and encouragement just when I needed it. When I struggled with breastfeeding, she quickly provided an excellent lactation consultant referral and contacted her on my behalf, making the whole process easy and painless for this exhausted momma.
Now, 5 weeks after birth, Melissa still checks in once or twice a week. She has been a comfort and resource in ways I didn’t even dare hope for. If we have another baby, we will absolutely work with Melissa again.
Mom To A Baby Girl
I gave birth to my baby girl on May 16, 2016 at Dekalb Medical Center. I had an unmedicated water birth with See Baby. Melissa was my doula, and she was great! From the time we met, she was extremely helpful and would answer any questions I had even if I thought they were dumb questions. I was set on having a natural water birth, and she was super supportive of all of my birthing choices. In the weeks leading up to my due date, she would text me just to check in and make sure that I was okay both physically and emotionally. I went into labor around 10:00 the night before. Melissa stayed up that night answering my questions and helping to calm my nerves until we left for the hospital. This was especially appreciated because my husband happened to be working that night and did not get home from work until about 2 o’clock in the morning. When we arrived at the hospital, I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes. She was right there by my side through the whole process encouraging me and helping me stay focused. She advocated for me when I was hooked up to the monitor but wanted to get up and move during my contractions. She was so supportive in making sure that if I needed anything, I had it. She made sure that everything was communicated to the nurses and my midwife. Through the contractions, she would tell me that I was doing great and help me breathe through them while rubbing my back and applying pressure. She made sure that I stayed hydrated and even had some snacks for me right after I gave birth (I labored through the night and was unable to keep food down, so she knew I needed some nourishment right after my baby was born). I couldn’t imagine having gone through labor without having her there as my doula! Even after I gave birth, she regularly checked in on me and my baby girl. Melissa is a great doula who truly has a passion for this work. She genuinely cares and is willing to be there no matter the time of day. I highly recommend her!
Where to begin, so many wonderful thoughts and experiences I’ve had with Melissa. Being pregnant with our first child, my husband and I decided to research and find a doula to assist with making the pregnancy and delivery as comfortable possible. Melissa was the very first doula we scheduled with and after meeting and spending a little bit of time talking to her we knew immediately that she’d be the perfect person to walk with us on this journey. She never missed checking in on me after each of my third trimester appointments and always was a reliable source if I needed to know where to get information from. On the day of my delivery Melissa was front and center giving a helpful hand, words of encouragement and empowerment, and translating to my husband and I what exactly the medical nomenclature was that was being thrown around. Hands down I would not only recommended her to anyone else out there but will also gladly request her to participate in my next pregnancy. Melissa was perfect!
Doula Support Continues Postpartum
Melissa has been a wonderful doula! Not only did her great support during my labor help make it smooth thanks to her suggestions and her massages of my lower back but she’s also been incredible during the weeks before and after my delivery.
She’s been checking out on my every single day from week 38 to delivery, being very prompt in answering any questions that I had but she also surpassed what I expected of her when she continued to check on me and reassure me whenever i needed postpartum.
Thank you so much for everything! I appreciate you more than I can say!
A Dad’s Perspective
I’ve never been good with medical things so when my wife told me she wanted to hire a doula for the birth of our first child I was relieved. She did her research and hired Melissa. Based on Melissa’s background and her personal experience, she seem to be a good fit for us. Before, during, and after the birth of our child, Melissa was a great resource. She helped coach my wife and give her confidence. I highly recommend Melissa and would definitely use her services again.
Having A Safe Place For Questions Is Vital
As a first time mom, the thought of childbirth was a bit overwhelming. Though I have a very loving husband, I knew early on I wanted the help of a doula to assist me through the process. After some research, we felt Melissa would be a good fit for us. With Melissa’s personal experience with her own children, we felt she’d have the understanding and knowledge about any way our birth went. Melissa was absolutely amazing through the entire process. During my contractions and pushing, Melissa was there, easing my fears, coaching me, reminding me of my birth preferences, and giving me confidence. I couldn’t imagine having gone through the process without her. Not only was she extremely helpful during the birth process, but she was an excellent resource for us after birth. Again, being our first child, we had lots of questions about basic care, breastfeeding, sleeping, etc. She was very knowledgeable and quick to respond. She never made me feel like I was imposing even when I felt like I was asking a million questions. With my experience, I would highly recommend Melissa.
A Healing Birth
I gave birth to my daughter on 1/21/17 at Dekalb Medical Center with See Baby Midwifery. I had 2 previous traumatic surgical births, which I had not used a doula, prior to this pregnancy. When we were considering hiring a doula this time around, I knew that I wanted someone who would help me to understand what was going on and to feel empowered to make good decisions about the birth process but who would not push a particular type of birth or philosophy; Melissa’s style was an excellent fit for what I wanted in my birth experience. Melissa was extremely knowledgeable, professional, patient, and kind. She was a tremendous help to my husband and me before, during, and after the birth. We met with Melissa before my daughter’s birth and provided a lot of useful information (but not so much that we felt overwhelmed) and responded to our questions thoughtfully. She helped us formulate our birth plan and to feel as prepared as we could for the birth. Throughout the process, I appreciated that, rather than telling us what we should do, she explained the pros and cons of various decisions. I never felt like she would judge me. Having Melissa involved helped me to feel comfortable laboring at home for a while. Once at the hospital, Melissa worked extremely well with the nurses, midwives, and my OB. She helped me cope with the pain and encouraged me when I felt like giving up. She was always calm, collected, sweet, and so gentle. She made me feel safe, relaxed, and loved. It was like having my best friend there the whole time! She never left my side. I felt so empowered thanks to Melissa’s help! I could not have done it without her help. After we left the hospital, Melissa continued to check on us days and weeks following delivery She checked on me physically and mentally. She went above and beyond what was expected. Melissa is a Godsend!! I would not recommend anyone else as a Doula! She is the very BEST!
A Friendship Is Born Along With A Baby
Where do I even begin? Melissa has been my rock for the past YEAR. I know I can always ask anything at any time and receive her full, considered support. She did everything she could to make sure we had the birth we wanted and was always a calm figure throughout an uncertain pregnancy and a stressful delivery. I truly can’t say enough good things about her… When you hire Melissa you’re not just getting a doula- you’re getting a friend, birth expert, and (bless her) occasionally a counselor during those more stressful moments. Don’t know what I would’ve done without her.
A Successful VBAC Birth
I can’t say enough about Melissa’s patient and supportive approach! Birth is such a personal and vulnerable experience, and I wasn’t sure how it would feel to have a person other than my husband present; Melissa is so humble, open, and approachable–I immediately felt comfortable with her. Leading up to the Big Day, Melissa did a great job keeping in touch and I felt like she was in-tune with how I was feeling. I also really appreciated her approach to the birth experience overall: I felt empowered and informed, and felt that Melissa’s goal was to make sure I had the (safe) birth experience I wanted. Never did I feel that she questioned my instincts or pressured me to take any certain approach. With Melissa’s great support through 19 hours of labor, and through the way she coached and involved my husband, I was able to give birth without any pain medication, feeling clear-headed and in-control. She also provided great post-partum support, checking in on my physical recovery, emotional well-being, breastfeeding, and baby. Melissa was an incredible coach and helped me confidently achieve one of the scariest and most unfamiliar goals I’ve ever undertaken.
A Lovely Birth For This Sweet Mama
Melissa was an amazing doula and provided great support for me and my husband throughout the last trimester of pregnancy, the birth, and during post partum. Just as with other clients here, she checked in with me often and remembered all of my appointments leading up to the birth. She also talked me through times when I was nervous or confused by Braxton Hicks contractions. During labor she was a great calming presence, and coached me while also assisting my husband in the best ways to support me. I felt very supported going into labor knowing that she fully supported my choices and would encourage me to have the birth I wanted, while also being flexible and ready for anything that should happen. At first I was hesitant to hire a doula, but I am so happy we decided to do so. I know my birth experience would have been very different without Melissa. I had a few issues after the birth, and Melissa provided much-needed support while my husband was bonding with our son.
A Long Labor And A Sweet Baby Boy
Melissa was our labor doula for the birth of our son, who is our first child. Me and my husband absolutely loved working with Melissa and it made our birth experience much smoother. We both agreed that it was a right decision to hire Melissa and that it took away extra stress and anxiety from the entire process. Despite my birth was actually a very long one (more than 35 hours total), Melissa was with us throughout the entire process–first on the phone, and then personally, as soon as we felt it was the right moment for her to come. We actually went to the hospital twice,–the first time they sent us away because it was too early to be admitted, and second time when we actually were admitted to the Labor and Delivery it was some 18 hrs later. Melissa was with us both times, she was very supportive and patient, helped to communicate with the staff and gave tips specific to our hospital, Emory Midtown, which was also very useful. While I was laboring at home, Melissa coached me on the coping techniques and helped me get though each contraction, as well as took over from my husband, who could rest a little bit meanwhile (turned out extremely useful later). In the hospital, she helped me with coping as well, and also explained once more the options we had, and the pros and contras of each medication or procedure. It was great to have her in the hospital too, and to have someone in our “birth team”, who actually knew what was going on and what was standard and what wasn’t. Altogether, despite it was such a long and exhausting birth, I perceived it as very positive, and was overall satisfied with how it went. I also managed to have a relatively easy vaginal delivery, also largely due to Melissa’s support, and reassurance that everything is taking long but going well otherwise–without her support I would have totally panicked many times. Melissa was great as a labor doula and I absolutely recommend hiring her!
An Empowering Cesarean
I was so lucky to find Melissa to be our doula for my second birth, which was a VBAC attempt that ended in another C-section. This of course does not sound like the ideal birth situation, but it was actually the most perfect and positive birth I could have asked for given the situation, and through that experience I was given the room to heal from and let go of a very traumatic and negative birth experience with my first daughter. There is no way to sum up the breadth of Melissa’s impact on my birth experience itself or the months leading up to and after my birth. She was there for me every step of the way through a very difficult third trimester, during all of which I experienced practically daily false labor. She texted and talked with me almost every day and through many sleepless nights and all the while offering much needed words of encouragement and motivation, never once making me feel like a burden. When time for real labor and delivery finally came along, she provided exactly the support I needed in both pain management, emotional support, and creating the calm and safe space I needed to make the tough decisions necessary in those moments. Since giving birth, Melissa has continued to offer constant support by checking in regularly to offer breastfeeding support and continued advice and input on my many questions and concerns. All I can say is that I highly recommend considering Melissa Colatosti in anyone’s search for a great doula.
Baby Girl #2 For This Family
Melissa was an absolute Godsend before, during, and after my Birth. My husband was very uninvolved so it meant so much to me that she would check in when I was pregnant, and was ready with advice and support from the first contraction. While my husband slept, she stayed by my side when I got nauseous from the epidural and helped me hold my body up so I could vomit. She brought cool towels to wipe my face and hand sanitizer For my hands. She was supportive and encouraging during labor and kept me company through the night. I am so grateful that she was there to support me. She nurtured me and cared for me during one of the two most important nights of my life. She will always hold a place in my heart.
Baby Boy Was In A Hurry
I’ve known Melissa for a few years now and have watched her journey into doula work. When I found I was pregnant with my third child, I was undecided on having a doula. I had doulas for my previous two births, but finances were tight and my husband and I felt we could handle things on our own. This was also my second VBAC. I am sure glad we ultimately decided to have Melissa be our doula for Jonathan’s birth! We went in for a slow induction but landed up with a three hour labor. I never had my husband call the doula as quickly in my previous births! She was calm and patient with me as I struggled through strong contractions and begged for the epidural (which had been in the plans the entire time, but didn’t arrive in time.) I cussed and screamed a lot and she stayed cool and collected. She made lots of great suggestions for pain coping, applied counter pressure when needed, and advocated for me many times. The birth happened so quickly, the nurses weren’t fully prepared. Melissa ensured me on several occasions that the baby was fine and kept the communication open. She was kind and supportive of my husband during the whole process as well. After we left the hospital, Melissa continued to check on me regularly. She helped with nursing issues and kept check on my mental and physical health. We are grateful to have such an amazing friend and doula!
Back Up Doula For Mama Of Twins
She stepped in for another doula that had to go out of town and never made me feel that I was in any way impaired by the change up. She was immensely considerate of my needs and any freakout moments I had (and I had several-MIL and multiples and 42 weeks will do that) She continued to follow up even when I had to have a c-section since Baby A was breech and I wasn’t going into labor. She is a great listener and counselor and does whatever she can to help. I highly recommend her as a doula.
A Sweet Baby Boy For A Sweet Couple
Melissa was a wonderful addition to my birth team in April 2016. Even before the birth she was great support, remembering all of my OB appointments and checking in after, anticipating my anxiousness as my due date came and went, and going on a walk with me to help me process my feelings and offer her expertise and experiences. She was available and quick to respond to every question or concern I had up to the birth, during, and after.
During the birth she was prepared for everything and offered me, my husband, and my mom great support. She had peppermints for when I got nauseas, a fan for when I got overheated, snacks at the ready, and perfectly matched the mood in the room. Her energy is calm and quiet, ready with encouragement. She knew the process well and was able to guide me about when to go to the hospital, and knew every step along the way in the hospital to help me know what to expect from triage to recovery. After the birth she expertly helped me get my baby latched and breastfeeding within a few minutes, and took great pictures and notes throughout the process for me. Melissa was exactly what we were looking for in a Doula!