Musical Doula, Artivist, Music Educator
Greetings! Call me Mel
My Mel spirit is obviously restless. I’m fun, tough, a warrior, a caregiver, a discoverer, a server of the underserved, and some have called me a creative genius. My passions include helping others through difficult times, joyous occasions, and everything in between.
You can visit my fully immersive Recording Womb pop-up art installation, document your story, and record a message to your Future Ancestors at upcoming events.
I'm also actively advocating for Murdered Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW), LGBTQ+/QTPOC human rights, and preserving the birth traditions, ceremonies, and wisdom of Mexican midwives and indigenous birthworkers. I serve as the Arts Education Director for Her Many Voices non-profit foundation.
You’ll find me doing Singing Mel-a-Grams up and down the Colorado front range and beyond! In fact, in our new virtual reality Mel-a-Grams can be done anywhere in the world to anyone you desire.
Otherwise, if you are expecting a new arrival, you can also work with me as your Musical Birth Doula. I have 8 years experience and have assisted in 30 births. I am LGBTQA+ safe, and work holistically with a variety of family dynamics.
That’s me and I’m here for you. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Recording Womb Project
sharing, serving, learning, healing
What story do you have to share with the world?
The Recording Womb project unites my service as a doula with my artistry as a musician, storyteller, educator, and future ancestor. The 9 foot womb-like dome is an aesthetically soothing mobile structure that offers access to private and communal audio recording.
Record your story here
Musical Doula & Birth Justice
Hi! I'm Mel, 'The Musical Doula' for all expecting parents including:
Queer/Trans Parents, LGBTQOA, Two Spirits, BlPOC, and Refugees
My doula-journey started in 2006 when a co-worker simply requested I play guitar in the delivery room while she was in active labor. After several hours I found myself holding her leg beside her actual doula and experienced my first birth. Years later I applied for training and a scholarship through Denver Health and spent 8 months volunteering next to midwives, nurses and doctors. Also taking workshops specializing in bereavement, prenatal massage, essential oils, and legalities of being in a birth support role.
Since 2010 I have assisted with 30 births to date in hospitals, home births and in birthing centers.
I continue my education through a native and indigenous lens focusing on herbs, sacred teachings from Mexican midwives, techniques of the rebozo and use guided meditation and breath work to prepare the laboring parent and the co-parent/ support team.
What is my role as a doula?
As a birth doula, I accompany pregnant people in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. I draw on my professional training, knowledge and experiences to provide physical, emotional, and information support to growing families. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your labor support team, make suggestions to promote labor comfort, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning, and other birth techniques. I am independent and self-employed. As your doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver or the facility where you birth.
I do work closely with several Midwives and we can offer you an in home birth with 2 midwives, a doula and a back up doula. (Payment fees to me do not include payment for midwife services)
As your doula, I do not perform the following:
Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, etc. I am there to provide only physical comfort and emotional support.
Make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your Birth Plan.
Speak to the staff on your behalf regarding matters where health care decisions are being made. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak directly to the clinical staff.
How I can support your birth journey
Home birth or hospital/birthing center support as well as:
Offering sliding scale pricing
It is very important that both you and your labor support team are comfortable with me and with my role in your birth experience. Thus, I expect to meet with clients at least once before labor to become acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, and to plan how we might best work together. At that time, we can discuss all services I offer as well as fees.
This initial consultation is free and does not obligate you to use my services. If you choose to select me as your doula, I will want to become more familiar with your plans for labor, birth, and postpartum.
I am not a medical doctor nor do I have the authority to give medical advice or administer medication. I am not a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, but I do have mental health and wellness training and resources from across the country.
I cannot take payments through insurance but you may be able to get reimbursed through your insurance company for my invoiced services. Over twenty insurance companies currently cover doula services and, now that there is a CPT code covering doula services, this is more of a possibility than ever before. (CPT stands for Current Procedural Terminology, and is a copyright of the American Medical Association.) The CPT code commonly used to claim doula services is 99499 for Evaluation and Management Services/Labor Support.
If you have insurance, check to see if your company reimburses doula services.
Activism & Philanthropy
Want to get involved? Help me fight for advocacy, visibility, and demand justice for the MMIW who have been taken, sexually assaulted, and/or murdered.
The hand on my face represents the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and Two Spirits epidemic.
My journey through this world gives me a hunger to advocate for those who have no voice.
Through my activism and philanthropic endeavors I work to bring awareness to the tragedy that is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
According to Native Womens Wilderness, since 2016, the National Crime Information Center reports 5,712 cases of missing Indigenous women. In contrast, the U.S DOJ missing persons database has only 116 documented cases. The majority of these murders are committed by non-Native people on Native-owned land.
We will find justice for their souls and spirits.
We will sing for peace and awareness to bring a stop to our missing women.
We stand in solidarity for the pain of the families.
Photo from Denver Women's March 2020 in Denver, CO courtesy of Tommy Nahulu
Sign me up!