Melissa had a diverse career before becoming a mother, including Music Director for many of South Bank Parkland's family festivals and Music Licensing Supervisor at EMI Music/Virgin Records in Sydney, Australia. After her first birth, a traumatic experience that ended in a caesarean, Melissa slowly realized that she was not 'ok'...and found that few people understood what she was going through. She embarked upon a roller-coaster ride of reading, researching, and soul-searching and was supported on this journey by Debby, who shared ideas and information that gave the healing she was experiencing new meaning and depth. Melissa has gone on to have two more babies, both empowering and positive experiences. Melissa is responsible for the creation and management of Birthtalk's website and social media plus their blog, Birth Trauma Truths, aiming to spread awareness, understanding and hope to women who have been impacted by their births. Apart from being a trained midwife, childbirth educator and doula, Debby is also the mother of two children. Debby is the primary facilitator of Birthtalk's Healing From Birth meetings, as well as Birthtalk's popular empowering birth education courses. She also works as a Private Birth Consultant, Childbirth Educator, and doula offering individualised support for women and men after a traumatic birth, or for those working towards an empowering birth. As a Director of Birthtalk, Debby has presented at the Australian College of Midwives Queensland State Conference, and spoken as a guest lecturer to Bachelor of Midwifery students at Griffith University and the University of Queensland. She has given presentations for The Australian Doula College and Australian Breastfeeding Association counsellor conferences, plus provides Professional Development workshops for hospital midwives and doulas on the topic of Birth Trauma and how to support women to heal and have better births. Debby has appeared in the media including radio, newspaper, birth and parenting magazines and podcasts, offering an experienced heath professional's voice to the issue of traumatic birth.
"Thank you Melissa and Debby for pouring your vast knowledge and skills into such a simple and readable book. Your love, support, and guidance are an enormous contribution to mothers babies, fathers and families everywhere who have experienced a bad birth. This book brings profound hope and healing." Dr Sarah Buckley, author, Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering "When the Birthtalk founders, Melissa and Deb, approached me to help them edit their book, I had no idea what an incredible piece of work I was about to receive. As I edited and studied the work that these two amazing women had produced, I found myself torn between being a professional writer and editor, and being a mother who had also struggled with some difficult personal birth scenarios. With every word I read, I felt understood, I felt cared for and I felt the weight of my own negative memories of giving birth lift from my shoulders. Every woman who's had a baby should have access to this book, as should every father. The support within from personal experiences of the authors and the many mothers and health professionals who have contributed are invaluable, but more particularly, the wealth of practical knowledge and true empathy is unsurpassed. I wish I'd read it many years earlier, and I would highly recommend it to health professionals in the maternity field and parents who want to heal after a difficult birth. It was truly a gift and blessing for me to work on this book." Caylie Jeffery, Author, Bedtime Stories for Busy Mothers "Have just finished reading your book. Wow! It's great. Love the conversational and supportive tone, and the question-answer layout of a number of sections. The Birthtalk Breakdown system is fantastic! So simple, yet so effective. That in itself is a tool that will provide clarity and empowerment. Overall, loved reading the book. It's wonderful and genuine and very easy to read." Jennie Elston, Counsellor