Meet Our Team
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.
Kallyn (Birth, Sibling & Postpartum Doula and Photography) is a DONA International certified birth and postpartum doula, trained Hypnobabies® Hypno-Doula, a sibling doula and a professional photographer.
She has worked with a range of clients from the age of 15 into their 40s. She believes as a doula and a documentary photographer that it is a privilege to protect the space around a birthing person for them to feel safe, secure, seen, heard and loved, so they can concentrate on birthing in their own powerful way. In addition to the work she does with families, Kallyn runs a photography business with her spouse, Alex, is a chicken mama to six adorable hens in addition to taking care of their two expressive Bahamian Potcake pups and very demanding black cat. Kallyn sees the beauty of art in most everything, loves digging in the dirt (because growing things is fun), listening to a good story, playing music at all times while dancing to it, being with good friends and eating out (a lot!) in Durham. Read more about Kallyn's training and experience here.
Mattea (Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula), MPH is a DONA Certified Birth Doula and a DONA trained postpartum Doula
As the oldest of 6 kids, taking care of families has always been second nature for her. Signing up for her first doula training in 2006 it was not until 10 years later, and after a career in tech, would she finally make the plunge to start her own doula business in San Francisco. Birth Doula work quickly led to postpartum work, which led her to North Carolina to obtain her MPH in Maternal Child Health and complete the Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative (MRT-TI) to become a Lactation Consultant. She recently sat for her IBCLC boards in October of 2019. She lives in Carrboro with her girlfriend Hilary, 2 kids, and cat. She loves yoga, music, cooking from scratch, traveling to Latin America, planning parties and fighting health disparities. Mattea is also fluent in Spanish.
Vanessa (Birth Doula, Sibling Doula and Full Spectrum Doula) is a DONA International trained birth doula.
She believes in empowering birth experiences for all parties involved, supporting families of all shapes, sizes, colors, and identities. Vanessa believes in supporting her clients through nurturing comfort and working through honest and direct communication so as to advocate for families before, during, and after labor. Endlessly curious and passionate about birth, parenthood, and children, she is constantly looking for new ways to support families, as both needs and identities shift and evolve. Originally from Miami, FL, Vanessa lives in Durham with her husband, Tom, her son, Jackson, and her dog, Moe where you can find her in the kitchen, with her nose in a book, or outside. The only thing better than the coffee she makes, is her brownies. Vanessa is also fluent in Spanish and French languages, as well as conversational in Haitian creole. Read more about Vanessa’s training and experience here.
Vanessa “Ness” (Birth and Postpartum Doula, Yoga Instructor) is a certified birth doula and trained postpartum doula, a childbirth educator (trained at the Simkin Center at Bastyr University) and a Certified Active Birth Teacher, under the guidance of renowned teacher Janet Balaskas. She is also an experienced Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga teacher.
Her fascination and knowledge about pregnancy and the birth of a baby and the entire family, lead her into teaching prenatal yoga, childbirth education and onto the doula path, where everything came together. She believes a birth giver needs to be informed and fully supported in order to have the most fulfilling birth experience, which will lead to a more enjoyable transition into parenthood, and life. The birth experience has a profound impact on both the parent and the baby. Her goal is to support, educate, empower and nurture families throughout the prenatal and postnatal period. Ness is fluent in Spanish.
Erin (Birth Doula) is a birth doula, trained with DONA International.
She received her BA in Psychology from Truman State University in 2008 and began a human resources career in the US Army after graduation. Erin's HR background combined with her love of the birthing process (which started after seeing her first birth at age 12) allow her to provide support to women and families; truly getting to know them while gaining an understanding of their birthing goals. She believes it is a privilege to offer encouragement and empowerment while providing physical, emotional and informational support throughout the process. Erin lives in Fuquay-Varina and loves spending her free time with her family, at the gym, or playing competitive volleyball.
Michelle (Birth and Sibling Doula and Placenta Specialist) is a DONA certified birth doula, and PBi certified placenta specialist.
She has a degree in Anthropology from Missouri State University and decided to pursue a career as a birth doula after the birth of her third child. Michelle is also a certified Hypno-Doula, trained in Hypnobabies®. She is passionate about helping families navigate through the myriad of choices presented during pregnancy and childbirth. She lives in Durham with her husband and four children. Michelle and her family pursue a natural and healthy lifestyle, that includes raising their own chickens; and Michelle has just recently completed her first half-marathon. In her spare time, Michelle is a cake artist and enjoys sewing (ask her about baking your baby's first birthday cake!). Michelle is currently on maternity leave and not accepting additional clients at this time.
Logan (Postpartum Doula) is a DONA International certified postpartum doula.
She has a degree in Broadcast Communication from Lynchburg College in Virginia, but realized she had a knack for helping with babies and families at an early age. She grew up on the coast of Virginia near the Chesapeake Bay, and now lives in a cute little house in Chapel Hill. Logan has extensive experience supporting families with medically complex newborns and families who are moving or who are settling into a new home following a move. In her spare time she enjoys pilates, hanging out with friends and family and sailing whenever she gets the chance.
Lauren, MTS, CD, CBE, HCHD (Birth, Sibling, and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator) is certified as a birth and postpartum doula and childbirth educator through Doula Trainings International, is rebozo certified in the Gena Kirby Method, and is a trained Hypnobabies® Hypno-Doula.
She is honored and delighted to be with parents throughout pregnancy, birth, and their transition to a larger family. Lauren's nurturing, mindful approach to caring for her clients (as the whole people they are!) is shaped by her parenting experience, as well as her graduate and doula education. Lauren has been trained in facilitating a true team around the birthing person. She loves helping her clients connect with each other, their baby, birth team, community, and especially themselves. Her intention is to provide unbiased care with cultural humility to all families. When not doula-ing, Lauren is usually reading or listening to something — books, articles, audiobooks, podcasts, and of course music. She is also a Farmers Market regular; loves cooking and eating with family and friends; and enjoys outdoor adventures with her spouse, son, and lovable dog. Read more about Lauren's training and experience here.
Ashley (Birth Doula) is a birth doula trained through DONA International.
Ashley graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T) in 2013 and started as a Behavioral Specialist in the school system shortly after. She enjoys getting to know a birth giver and seeing how excited they are for their baby to come. Being a doula makes her feel so accomplished, knowing she was able to build a lasting relationship with a family, while also assisting them to welcome their baby in to the world. When she’s not working, Ashley enjoys working out, reading, hiking, and studying different variations of holistic health.
Abigail (Birth Doula) is a DONA International trained birth doula, trained MindBody Centering Yoga Therapy instructor, and experienced in a variety of healing arts such as nutrition, meditation, and bodywork.
Like sunlight, Abigail’s genuine warmth and compassion flow effortlessly into holding space for another. Always a healing force in her life, Abigail takes lessons from nature on how we feed, how we move, and how we care for our bodies. Through studying yoga therapy and later obtaining her BA in Psychology, she learned of the transformative and empowering qualities of being seen, heard, and supported. For Abigail, being a doula is an integration of passion and purpose. She offers exceptional care and support to families of every dynamic. Other interests in her life include a love to run and hike through forests, reading, studying plants, herbs, dancing, crafting, eating dark chocolate, making music with friends and snuggling her beloved cats. Read more about Abigail's training and experience here.
Isabel (Birth, Sibling, and Full Spectrum Doula) is a birth doula, trained with Carriage House Birth.
She received her BFA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of Visual Arts in 2015 and began working for a gallery in New York shortly after. Gallery work did not suit Isabel, as it requires a whole lot of sitting down and not enough interaction with people. In 2018, she completed her birth doula training and has been supporting families in the Triangle ever since. Isabel lives in Durham with her wife, Tiff and their three animals. She enjoys spending time in nature, preferably close to a body of water, running around her backyard with her dog, keeping her 90-something plants alive and eating good food. Isabel is fluent in Norwegian, and understands Swedish and Danish.
Genevieve (Birth Doula) is a DONA International trained birth doula.
She has a degree in Sociology and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality studies from Wesleyan University and developed her passion for the field while working as a Peace Corps volunteer at a maternity clinic in Benin, West Africa. As a doula, her philosophy is to be a source of compassionate emotional, physical and informational support for her clients. Her goal is to help her clients experience births in which they feel confident and well cared for. Genevieve enjoys hiking, movies, and good Mexican food. She lives in Fayetteville with her husband and cat. Read more about Genevieve's training and experience here.
Sybil (Postpartum Doula), BS, BSN, RN is a DONA International trained postpartum doula.
She also holds degrees in Elementary Education (Vanderbilt 1997) and Nursing (Duke 2008). Sybil was encouraged to pursue a career as a doula by friends and family members whom she helped through labor and delivery, adoption, and the early postpartum period. She is passionate about assisting, encouraging, and empowering families through the 4th trimester. Sybil’s calm, gentle, friendly manner serves her well in this role. Outside of work Sybil enjoys fitness activities, traveling, reading, bubble baths, and spending time with family and friends. Sybil lives in Durham with her husband, two teenage sons, and two dogs.
Fatoumata (Postpartum Doula) is a Certified Postpartum Doula with The Matrona.
Originally from Guinea-Conakry, Fatoumata is a daughter of a doula. Watching from a young age, her mother’s care for mothers and babies influenced Fatoumata to follow in her mother's footsteps. Over the years, she’s been honored and blessed to work with people in countries like Guinea, Ukraine, France, and the United States. Fatoumata has helped many families navigate through the first few days after bringing home a new baby. She's known for her patience, kindness, and gentleness towards everyone, and especialy children. She also enjoys helping parents feel more confident in their roles, while tending to the unique needs of a birth giver. Fatoumata is currently going to nursing school at Wake Technical Community College and aspires to become a certified midwife. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, doing community work, and taking walks in nature. She is also a foodie and enjoys trying new food. Fatoumata is fluent in French and Spanish.
Briana (Postpartum Doula and Placenta Specialist) is a IBFA-Certified postpartum doula and IPPA-trained placenta encapsulation specialist.
She is a Massachusetts native, but went to UNC Greensboro where she obtained a degree in Public Health. Briana will sit for the Lamaze exam in November 2019 to become a Lamaze-Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE). Briana found her way to this work by supporting her stepmother through the fourth trimester after the birth of her three younger siblings. Briana realized that every family deserves the education and the tools needed to have an empowering transition into their fourth trimester, whether they are a first time parent or veteran parent. Briana's role is to provide education and help facilitate positive parenting experiences personalized to the desires of you and your family by holding space, offering information, and providing support - however that may look for you! In the small amount of spare time she has, Briana enjoys CycleBar, the beach, sauna therapy, Zumba, white wine, and loving on her Rottweiler.
Kyra (Birth Doula) is a DONA International trained birth doula.
Kyra believes in supporting her clients through the transition to parenthood and provide reliable care to families of all backgrounds and identities. Kyra is compassionate, attentive, and articulate and often finds herself being a supportive coach to all. Kyra has an incredible ability to connect with, understand and meet the needs of all she serves. She is very passionate about childbirth and is always learning tools and techniques to support families. She recognizes each family as unique and important and believes that all people deserve knowledge and reliable support, without judgment. She is a dedicated doula willing to support her clients in any way. When not with clients, she enjoys traveling, knitting, “diy”ing (because who does love a good DIY) and spending time with friend and family. Read more about Kyra’s training and experience here.
Rachel (Postpartum Doula) is a ProDoula Certified Postpartum & Infant Care Doula.
She holds a B.A. in Psychology from UNCG (2000). As a postpartum mood disorder survivor, Rachel has a passion for unconditionally supporting women and their families in their parenthood journeys. She completed Postpartum Support International’s Perinatal Mood Disorders: Components of Care training to further her expertise in helping those with PMAD. Rachel loves providing empowering and compassionate care to families, and her personal experience and empathetic nature allows her to attune to her clients individual needs. Outside of doula work, Rachel enjoys reading a good book, creating artwork, listening to music, gardening, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Mebane with her husband and two children.
Sarah (Postpartum and Sibling Doula) Trained through The Matrona.
Sarah is a former child and family psychotherapist, turned doula and Divine Feminine Catalyst! Her greatest passion is showing up in service to birthing people and supporting them in accessing the wisdom of their bodies. She is a Certified Holistic Birth and Postpartum Doula through The Matrona. She is also a trained theatre artist, dancer and yogi. Sarah holds deeply-embodied space for self-expression and self-acceptance. Also trained in shamanic energy healing, Sarah values a holistic approach to birth work that’s inclusive of each client’s physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual expressions. Whether holding space for birth, movement classes, or 1:1 personal healing sessions, Sarah’s prayer is for every expectant person, and every BODY, to feel safe, joyful and empowered! Sarah is conversationally fluent in Spanish.
Krista Ung, BA, IBCLC (Lactation and Infant Feeding) is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Krista graduated from UNC with a degree in Exercise Science and completed the Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative for lactation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her experiences include providing inpatient and outpatient lactation services and childcare services as a professional nanny. Krista passionately believes everyone deserves personalized care throughout their breastfeeding journey and offers judgement-free support for all family units. In her spare time, Krista looks forward to spending time with her family and friends. She and her husband enjoy cooking and baking, exploring new places, DIY’ing around their house, and (often reluctantly) working out.
Jody Mitchell, BA, IBCLC (Lactation and Infant Feeding and Postpartum Doula) is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Postpartum Doula
She has a Bachelor of Arts in English. After challenges learning to nurse her first child, Jody felt compelled to help other parents struggling with nursing, and made a goal to become an IBCLC. One of her greatest passions is assisting parents with nursing and helping them to discover their own inner knowledge regarding the feeding and care of their infants. A DONA trained postpartum doula, Jody finds great joy in providing understanding and compassionate care to families during the 4th trimester. She celebrates diversity and enjoys learning about other cultures. She is married, has two boys, a dog and a cat. Besides her treasured family, other loves include; music, nature, reading and potato chips!
Natalia Smith, BA, MS, IBCLC (Lactation and Infant Feeding) is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
She earned her B.A. in Spanish at Peace College and her M.S. in Nutrition at NCSU. Her challenging breastfeeding experience with her firstborn child sparked her interest in helping other parents reach their goals. She has a passion for supporting parents and babies in the postpartum period. Natalia believes that each family deserves quality care from a caregiver that is professional, patient, calm, open (free from judgement), and knowledgeable. She and her family live in Raleigh. She has 5 beautiful children, 4 girls and one boy. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, spending time with family, doing Zumba, and traveling to just about any beach. Natalia is also fluent in Spanish.
Lorraine Rocco, IBCLC (Lactation and Infant Feeding) is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Registered Nurse
Lorraine has extensive experience assisting families during the childbearing year in various settings. She is thrilled to be working with Emerald Doulas and supporting families in this community. Lorraine aims to be of service to new parents and understands that the true expert on how to approach any challenge during this phase is you! She is here to simply advocate, guide, help you uncover your own answers and provide information as needed. When she is not being of service, Lorraine enjoys spending time with her own family and friends at home or in the outdoors. She likes to sing and garden and is a very lazy, s l o w knitter.