Turtle Moon Doulas
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Melanie has been a doula since 1998 and actively nurturing parents as a Birthing From Within™ mentor since 2002. She is also a certified massage therapist & healing facilitator who works with womb traumas including pregnancy loss, birth trauma and sexual trespass through intuitive hands-on work, structured storytelling and creative, embodied processes to move the stuck energy often residing in the body in the aftermath of these events. These are a few of the many ways she mentors & supports women in the sexual continuum, which includes the childbearing year.
As Turtle Moon Doulas’ founder and 20+ years of nurturing women, babies & partners and advocating in all types of birth settings, she’s learned quite a lot about the needs, concerns and desires commonly experienced by women during the childbearing year. Melanie is compelled (some would say driven) to take grassroots action to help shift the current state of modern pregnancy and birth to a more empowering mother/baby & family centered paradigm.
Her graduate education, with an adjunct program of World Indigenous Science Network & Naropa University, began a passionate quest within her. Not only did this program precipitate profoundly healing experiences in her own life, but she also began to see more clearly the deeper work she was called to do. With contemporary life and modern obstetric care & birthing practices, Melanie was repeatedly a witness to an almost inevitable disruption in a woman’s connection to her own knowing. In addition, the cultural imperative of fierce independence in direct opposition to human social needs was undeniably reflected in the expectant mothers she mentored. Women were longing not only for more connection and community with other mothers, but also something else they couldn’t quite define; a deeper experience of this significant life journey that begins with conceiving a child.
An idea began to take shape within Melanie . . . a solution to meet this need she witnessed in women. The creation of Awakening Mothers Circles is her direct response not only to the current state of modern pregnancy and birth, but also to the often voiced needs of women who have sought her support. Formally initiated by mentors and tribal elders in her graduate work, Melanie brings forth her ancestral lineage and her personal medicine as a woman, mother and mentor in alliance with the earth, animal wisdom, dreamwork and other traditional practices to help women fully embody as mothers in well-contained circles of women.
Melanie also devotes her time to the compassionate work of Birth Story Healing for those impacted by unexpected birth outcomes. Whether by direct experience as a birthing woman or as an individual who witnessed a less than optimum birth experience, she offers space to constructively and authentically integrate the story and come home to one’s self and the present moment.
In essence, Melanie facilitates the transformation from woman to mother. Her commitment as a mentor to pregnant and birthing women is to help create resilient mothers, strong families, well-nurtured & loved babies and a better future for our next generations.
In Melanie's limited time off from birthwork and healing facilitation, she loves to disappear into the woods, garden, spend quiet time with animals, write prose/poetry, travel with intention, create art, dance with abandon, share time and space with her women friends and commune with the sea.
Relevant Education & Trainings
1998 DONA Training and Certification
2000 Reiki Practitioner Training (Master level)
2002 Birthing From Within™ Mentor and Doula Training
2006 Bach Flower Essence Practitioner Training
Birth Story Medicine Training
Rebozo Training with Gena Kirby
2013 – 2016
Birthing From Within™ Advanced Mentor Training
Whapio Diane Bartlett with The Matrona
Elizabeth Davis with Heart & Hands
National Midwifery Institute
Midwifery Apprenticeship with Lara Sodergren, Homebirth Midwife
2017 - 2018
Advanced Birth Story Medicine Training
Massage Therapy Training with National Holistic Institute