Meet Melinda- Author, Speaker, & Healthy Pregnancy Coach
Hello! I’m Melinda Delisle, also known as Melinda Delisle-Clark. I help pregnant women and moms be healthier, feel confident, and find their inner strength so we can not only be great for our families, but also have the life we want being our best selves. I take a non-judgmental approach – I believe the only person who knows the right options for you is YOU. I strive for no Mommy-shaming here. 🙂
I’m a healthy pregnancy coach, author, speaker, doula, Lamaze certified childbirth educator (though not currently teaching birth classes), advocate for physical and mental health, and a definite research hound. I love to go out and sift through all the stacks of research and medical terminology, distill that information down to what is actually useful to us in our lives, and present you with clear, concise options and action steps so you can make the best choices for YOU, YOUR family and YOUR situation. I am currently creating an online Confident Pregnancy course that will do all of that for pregnant women. I can’t WAIT until it comes out. With my doula clients, I specialize in women who are trying to manage complications or are dedicated to reducing their risk.
I often have clients tell me things like what Lisa D shared with me when I was her doula for her 3rd pregnancy, “I’m really convinced that your nutrition suggestions let me go full term with this pregnancy.” I also love hearing comments like this one, “I cannot thank you enough for how confident I felt.” Helping people to be healthier, reduce complications, and feel more confident, like those women, makes me so proud and fuels everything I do.
If you are looking for ways to be healthier and reduce pregnancy risk, improve your confidence, and just love yourself more, I’d love to work with you, too!
My Childbirth Professional Background
My experience in a nutshell:
- Began teaching childbirth classes in 2000 (That’s 19 years now!). I started as Bradley Method certified, then switched to Lamaze certification in 2006.
- Helped hundreds of pregnant women reduce their risk and prepare for birth.
- Attended over 30 births as a doula. I trained with CAPPA in 2004.
- Presented a 90 minute-talk at 2 separate Lamaze Conferences.
- Speaker at numerous other expos and events.
- Published online and in print.
- Author of the Pocket Pregnancy Guide: What to Eat When Pregnant
- Currently enrolled in the Masters in Human Nutrition program at the University of Bridgeport.
What am I most proud of in my doula and childbirth professional career? This:
How cool is that? I was thrilled to see the preterm birth rate drop from 8.3% with the first 84 moms I worked with, to 1% after that. If you are wondering, the average preterm birth rate in the United States (as of 2016*) is 9.6%. Talk about a reason to get up in the morning!
For those who want a bit more of a data summary, here it is. when I first started teaching, I taught the Bradley Method (TM) straight “out of the box,” so to speak. Over time, I added more bits of the research I was finding to my classes and wrote the first version of the Pocket Pregnancy booklets and ROADS of Healthy Pregnancy. Around the time I was working with my 86th couple, I fully implemented adding Pocket Pregnancy to my classes and putting a strong emphasis on healthy lifestyle in addition to childbirth preparation. The change in preterm birth rates was amazing! To make it even more interesting, the 110 couples I worked with after implementing Pocket Pregnancy and the ROADS skewed somewhat towards women with complications. By that point, I started to attract women with gestational diabetes, pre-existing diabetes, previous preterm births, lupus, and other complications. Needless to say, I am quite proud of how my students made lifestyle changes and focused on their health!
On a More Personal Note
I have been with my husband, Shawn Clark, since 1996. We have 2 wonderful children (now teenagers!) who were both born normally (aka, naturally, no medication), using many of the suggestions I have taught. When I am not writing or researching, I enjoy hiking, kayaking, horseback riding (when I can), lasertag, meditation, playing board games, dressing up as a pirate and doing volunteer events, and just getting to know new people. I like trying new physical activities – it is actually what helps keep me motivated to exercise (or re-motivate me when I fall off the wagon. Again.). Some of our family adventures have included paragliding, river sledging, canyoning/canyoneering, wakeboarding, skiing, and river surfing (ok, it was in a machine-driven pool). I also like to spend time living other people’s adventures and gaining insight into other people’s lives by reading fantasy books (Wheel of Time, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Throne of Glass, to name a few) and inspiring biographies.
If you just have to know more, here are a few things most people don’t know about me.
- My college degree was a BMus in French horn performance, and I completed a year of a master’s degree in Musicology (the study of music history and theory).
- I collect orchids. Well, maybe 5 isn’t a collection (yet), but I do think they are awesome.
- I LOVE dragons and call my powerful, inner self “the Dragon.”
Want to learn more about making your own pregnancy & parenting choices (and maybe work with me)?
Choose the thing to do next that suits you (told you I like to give you options!):
Read Pregnancy Blog
If you want to keep browsing, you can explore more pregnancy (and some parenting) topics in the blog.
Thanks for reading my story! I hope to have a chance to help you create YOUR personal and family story!