Words From the Mothers
I could not have been luckier to have Malissa as my doula. She exceeded all my expectations on what a doula could do for me in the most intense and physically demanding hours of my life. Prior to giving birth every encounter, I had with Malissa was reassuring on every level. Communication was extremely open and it felt as if I had known her for much longer than just a couple of visits. The night I went into labor she was in touch with me all through the night ready to come to me at my request but also reassuring that I could handle much of it on my own if I chose to do so. She met with me at 4 in the morning ready to go. She got to my house and immediately made it all about me and what I needed. She was the exact calming force I didn’t know I needed. Laboring from that point on had its intensities but the physical comfort Malissa was able to provide absolutely blew my mind. The counter pressure she applied made contractions feel almost nonexistent. She used awesome oils to rub on my back and not only was that great but the scents she used were so calming and helped me breathe like a champ. She anticipated my needs and somehow knew exactly what to do and when to do it. She allowed my boyfriend to mimic her techniques so that he could be a part of the experience as well. She knew when to talk when to stay silent and she could tell when I was about to have another contraction based on my body language and facial expressions. Malissa is incredible and the closest thing to magic. The amount of empathy she possesses is exactly what any birthing person needs. She is everything and beyond that, anyone could ever want in a doula. 12/10 stars.”
~ Kristi C
When I found out I was pregnant there were three things that were important me… I’m
- Delivering outside of the hospital
- Attending birth classes
- Having a supportive birth team who respected my birth plan
So my husband and I made that happen!
We chose to deliver our baby at the Birthing Center of Buffalo because we were able to check all 3 things off our list. When delivering at the Birth Center you are required to have a doula so I started doing my research and found Malissa. We set up a time to meet and I knew right away that Malissa needed to be part of our team. She was the 1st and only Doula we met with!
Having a supportive birth team throughout my pregnancy and having group prenatal care really helped me when it came to the day I went into labor. I had the education and support from an amazing team to help me get through one of the hardest things I ever faced.
I was in labor for 32 hours! I labored at home with my husbands help for many hours. I was in and out of the shower, sitting on my birthing ball, doing activities to keep my brain busy and trying to get some rest (when I could). During this time I was in contact with Malissa so I could keep her up to date on what was going on. When labor started to get more intense my husband was in touch with Malissa to come over. She came over right away and when she arrived I just felt all my anxiety melt away. She started playing calming music, started diffusing essential oils, offering different comfort measures and helping me remember to breathe and breathe correctly. She even made sure my husband was involved during my entire labor. They both worked together to help make me as comfortable as possible. I was feeling contractions in my hips so Malissa used counter pressure and rubbed essential oils on my hips and legs. That helped with the pain tremendously!
When it came time to drive to the birth center my anxiety came back because I was super nervous to make the trip there. My hips hurt so bad it was difficult to sit but Malissa talked me through my fears and made sure I was comfortable before getting into the car. We made our way to the birth center and the ride there went just fine. We were greeted by my doctor and birth assistant who were getting the birthing room ready for me. They made the room feel so cozy and calming and the atmosphere definitely helped me work through my contractions.
To help baby get into the right position Malissa had me doing laps around the birth center and squatting during my contractions. I could have killed her but I did it anyways because I trusted her and I wanted to meet my baby.
After many hours of contractions my body had this overwhelming feeling to push. It was to the point where my body was forcing me to push. I was very nervous for my doctor to check my cervix and Malissa talked me through that and helped my anxiety disappear. My doctor checked me and I was 9.5cm dilated. Hearing that I was not dilated to 10cm was very discouraging but my support team kept reassuring me and pouring positive affirmations over me and reminding me it was going to be okay. I was finally 10cm dilated and it was go time! I could finally push with everything that I had inside of me. This was the time where I needed my birth team the most. My husband was next to me cheering me on, Malissa was holding my leg and coaching me on what to do and either my doctor and birth assistant were holding my other leg also coaching me on what to do.
I would have never made it through 6 hours of pushing where my baby came in and out multiple times with a 15 inch head without their suggestions, encouragement and help! My husband was able to help deliver our baby and it was the most beautiful moment. So in my experience finding a birth team who respects your choices and body in regards to your birth and trusting your body and yourself helps so much to have a successful low intervention natural birth.
~ Kelsey R
We were so grateful to have chosen Malissa as our doula and to have her support throughout our pregnancy and labor. Her wealth of knowledge was helpful right from the start, educating us about labor and delivery which honestly if not for her we wouldn’t have been nearly as prepared because our OBGYN did little to no teaching at all. We hoped for a low intervention birth however I developed gestational diabetes and later high blood pressure and needed to be induced. I was nervous and disappointed in this but felt so supported by Malissa and she advocated for us to have as little intervention as possible given the circumstances. I honestly don’t know how we would have gotten through labor without her, her tips and tricks helped me feel comfortable and hugely helped with the labor process and getting our baby in the right position for delivery. She provided comfort to myself and my husband. We could not recommend her more as a doula, we loved the meetings with her beforehand, she responded to my nervous texts promptly and with compassion, and was our rock during labor who we could lean on and trust when we were so vulnerable. We will 100% use Malissa for our next pregnancy!
~ Kim C. RN
Malissa, we are so happy we chose you to be our doula. I feel we connected really well and I loved taking your prenatal yoga classes, which gave me a great workout and also allowed us to get to know each other better before the birth. You were there every step of the way for my pregnancy, labor, and birth – encouraging me, supporting me, and having confidence in me. My labor went nothing like I had hoped or planned for, but your presence helped Vinny and I stay more grounded and calmer, as well as feel better after the birth. I really hope we can work together again in the future! I would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone 🙂
~ Ele R., PT
I will be eternally grateful that I found Malissa and had the privilege of having her on my team for the birth of my second son. Her energy throughout my pregnancy regularly helped me re-center and stay focused on my goals. Striving for an unmedicated VBAC, I had so many ups and downs; but each encounter with Malissa brought confidence and excitement about my birth goals. I’m thrilled to say that I was successful and had the most amazing VBAC! And I cannot think about my experience without feeling Malissa’s presence, energy, and support; she was such a positive part of my birth. She’s invaluable and I cannot recommend her enough.
~ Brea F. @Surgedoula
I would NEVER have had my low intervention birth if it was not for Malissa advocating for me…..
Her responsiveness via text/call was great!
Her knowledge and wide array of positioning, tips & tricks, (mint to pee!) made my birthing experience possible.
She was my bulldog when needed and my calming force when needed.
Her being able to tell/teach my partner how to participate in my labor with touch, pressure, encouragement made him a better labor partner!
~Jess C. RN