Birth Doula Profile - Melissa Tomback CD(DONA)
Melissa Tomback currently lives in Portland, Maine. In January 2013, she completed a doula training program through Doulas of North America International (DONA) and was certified through DONA the following year.
Having witnessed and experienced the power of natural birth, she feels it is not only her duty but also her privilege to support women as they create the birth experience that is right for them. Women should strive to have the birth they envision and Melissa tries to help each woman advocate for what she wants. Pregnancy and birth are normal, healthy reproductive phases of a woman’s life. She believes that childbirth works best with the least amount of interference and when a woman feels supported and safe. Then, a woman can let go of her “thinking mind,” relax and trust the wisdom of her body. An important part of feeling safe depends on whether a woman is educated about childbirth so that she can make informed decisions. If a birthing woman is feeling supported, safe and well informed, she will ultimately feel more positive about her birth experience. Melissa uses these principles to guide her work as a doula while providing physical and emotional support to her clients within the framework of her clients’ vision for the birth of their child.
She supports a mother’s choice to birth her child in a way that is most comfortable to her. All mothers, whether they choose natural, medicated, or cesarean birth, need support and quality care. She will do her best to provide you with any information you seek so that you can make your own informed decisions.
Melissa has a daughter, Talia (1997), son, Jacob (2000) and husband Ross. Talia was born in the hospital with Pitocin and an epidural. Jacob was born at home without any medical intervention. Melissa did not have a doula present at her first birth; a student midwife acted as her doula at her second birth. She was amazed at how the presence of a doula really made a difference in the way she was able to relax and cope. Also, before Jacob’s birth, she started practicing yoga and found that the breathing and focusing techniques she learned helped her through labor. Before she had her children she worked as a public defender in Massachusetts. Many of the skills that she used as a public defense attorney — advocating, negotiating, researching, collaborating, preparing the client, thinking quickly on her feet and using her intuition to react to an ever-changing situation — are helpful to her doula clients as well.