Melissa is a DONA International trained labor and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, bodyworker, and a bilingual reproductive justice educator and advocate. Melissa is also the founder and director of The Abortion Diary Podcast, a story-sharer and dedicated story-listener, multimedia historian, recovering academic, and Gynecological Teaching Associate. As a full spectrum doula, she supports individuals during labor and birth as well as people who have chosen to terminate their pregnancy or have miscarried. Additionally, Melissa co-created The Mother Wit Conference, which offers people of all ages a safe environment to speak about the full spectrum of womb experiences, including infertility, miscarriage, abortion and post-partum depression. Her calming presence, compassionate heart and desire to empower her clients to trust their own bodies guide her practice. Melissa is a proud Latina from Washington Heights, New York. After earning her BA in history (2001) at Baruch College, Melissa taught high school in the New York City. While teaching high school she also earned a MST from Pace University. After two years of teaching, she decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean history. Her research on gender and public health in the Dominican Republic led her to become involved in the contemporary global movements for reproductive justice. Graduate school ultimately led her, not to a tenure track job in academia, but, instead, to becoming a reproductive justice activist and women’s health advocate. Melissa’s belief in holistic heath and wellness, and the power in the knowledge of our own bodies led her to create Empowering The Body. Empowering The Body promotes growth, understanding, and love of our bodies and ourselves. Melissa’s mission is to ensure that individuals have the tools, awareness, confidence and knowledge to make choices that will lead them to live healthy, happy and joyous lives. She strives to empower people to heal themselves, emotionally and physically, and trust their own bodies in all aspects of their lives. When Melissa is not working you may find her traveling, practicing yoga,swimming, cooking, knitting, reading science fiction novels or exploring the great outdoors. View my profile on DoulaMatch. Melissa is currently based in Florida and traveling with The Abortion Diary Podcast.