Meet The Owners of Emerald Doulas


Melanie Patrick is a CAPPA Certified Labor Doula, a trained Bereavement Doula, and CAPPA trained Postpartum Doula.

While she supports families who choose to birth using a variety of methods, or no particular method, Melanie is a Hypno-Doula; trained and experienced in both Hypnobabies® and HypnoBirthing®. Her advanced trainings include: Holding Space for Pregnancy and Loss, Spinning Babies techniques, Rebozo for relaxation and comfort, Massage for Birth, and TENS usage in labor. She has additional training in helping families get Evidence Based Birth care, and providing support for LGBTQI families. Melanie brings a calming spirit to her clients while helping them navigate through pregnancy, birth, and their early days as new parents. She has experience with couples, single parents, LGBTQ families, advanced maternal age, IVF, multiples, supporting surrogate families, VBAC & VBA2C, high risk births, families who have experienced loss or who are expecting a loss, and is available to provide faith-based support to those who request it. Melanie attends births in Durham and Chapel Hill. She loves knitting, baking, jigsaw puzzles, and spending time with her family. Read more about Melanie's training and experience here. 

Birth and Postpartum Doula_Durham NC

Ashley Rankin Collins is a DONA International certified birth and postpartum doula, a Certified Spinning Babies Parent Educator, an IPPA trained placenta specialist, a trained childbirth educator, and a Rebozo Instructor. She is also a trained Babywearing Consultant with the Center for Babywearing Studies and a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, offering free carseat checks (by appointment, only).

Her passion is centered in helping families build connections with and to each other, and helping them establish a sense of community during this important time in their lives. Her calling to doula work came after the premature birth of her daughter, when she left a career in biochemistry to pursue birth work. In her birth work, she values a grounded, evidence-based approach to support, rooted in research and current guideline and recommendations. She has extensive experience supporting LGBTQ+ families, VBAC families, those recovering from previous traumatic births or life experiences, families expecting multiples, complicated or high-risk pregnancies and very premature infants. Ashley lives in Downtown Durham with her husband, daughter, puppy, and two cats. She loves to hike at the Eno River, and go backpacking with her family (who collectively have a family goal of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail someday). Ashley currently only accepts repeat birth doula clients. Read more about Ashley's training and experience here.