Chelsea Mello Photography
I grew up on Lookout Mtn., and now live in Flintstone, GA with my family. When my oldest son was born, I had an unmedicated, hospital birth using Hypnobabies Hypnosis. My mother was my informal doula and provided physical and emotional support along with my husband. During my labor I relied on her gentle, reassuring touch and the comfort of knowing that she'd been on this journey before me. Even though it was a wonderful experience, there were a number of unnecessary interventions done to both me and my son that made me want a better experience next time. I learned about doulas from a friend and made mental plans to have one the next time around.  

The birth of my second son ended up being a very different experience from my first. He was born prematurely at 30 weeks via a medically necessary cesarean. Having experienced both an unmedicated vaginal birth and having my baby delivered by cesarean section helped push me along on my journey to becoming a doula and supporting women in order to minimize unnecessary interventions, including cesareans, while having the birth that's best for them and their baby.  

After the birth of my first son I was also able to provide support to my sister during the unmedicated births of her two children. Each of these birth experiences were formative in my desire to help other women during this miraculous time of transformation from woman to mother. Giving birth and becoming a mother started my own journey into supporting women during pregnancy, birth and postpartum, which is a life-changing time no matter how the events transpire. I believe that birth is a natural and sacred experience; intimate, precious, and transforming for both mother and father. It is my privilege and honor to provide support to expectant families during this unique and special time, and to fully support your choices and preferences. 

I have been working as a birth doula in the Chattanooga area since 2008 and have attended over 175 births, both in the hospital and at home. I spent a year apprenticing with a local Certified Professional Midwife (homebirth) and am chapter leader of the Chattanooga chapter of International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). ICAN provides support for mothers recovering emotionally and physically from cesarean surgeries, education about the prevention of unnecessary cesareans, research-based support for VBAC, and advocacy for healthy mother-baby birth practices. You can find out more about ICAN and our local chapter via the links above.  I have also helped coordinate the local annual Labor Day Rally to Improve Birth for ImprovingBirth.org which focuses on bringing awareness to for evidence-based maternity care and respect for women and their decisions in childbirth.  Prior to having children I received my M.A. in Christian counseling. I serve women in the hospital and at home in Chattanooga, Cleveland, Northwest Georgia and the surrounding areas, providing support for vaginal, VBAC, and planned cesarean births, as well as after-baby doula care, placenta encpasulation and childbirth education classes.   

I'm also a member of Scenic City Birth Collective

 

Click the pictures below to learn more about some of my specialized training to better support parents.