Hello! I’m Melinda. I help women be healthier, feel more confident, and find their inner strength so we can not only be great for our families, but also have the life of our dreams being our best selves as well. I take a non-judgmental approach – I believe the only person who knows the right options for you is YOU. I strive for no shaming here.
I’m a healthy pregnancy expert/writer/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.
There is so much I wish I had known when my kids were younger! This website is a forum for sharing some of what I have learned and continue to learn on all sorts of self-improvement topics including (but not limited to- I love to find the connections in diverse topics) nutrition, fitness, mental health, meditation, improving relationships, parenting, environment (we are healthier when our environment is healthier), and making important decisions in modern times.
I often have people who know me a bit begin to ask my advice about seemingly random topics (usually concerning some aspect of health). I recently had a student I had taught in childbirth classes over 10 years ago call me to talk through some of her health issues because she trusted my opinion. I can’t quite express how honored I felt when she reached out!
If you are looking for ways to be healthier, be a better parent and partner, improve your confidence, and just love yourself more, I’d love to work with you, too!
My experience in a nutshell:
- Began teaching childbirth classes in 2000, and have helped hundreds of pregnant women reduce their risk and prepare for birth.
- Speaker at numerous expos and events.
- Published online and in print.
- Author of the Pocket Pregnancy Guide series.
What am I most proud of, professionally? This:
My students and doula clients have a 1% incidence of preterm birth.
How cool is that? I was thrilled to see the preterm birth rate drop from 7% with the first 100 moms I worked with, to 1% after that. Talk about a reason to get up in the morning! 🙂
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 for 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 by reading fantasy books (Wheel of Time, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Throne of Glass, to name a few) and entertaining 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) before I accepted that I really am more of a science nerd.
- I collect orchids. Well, maybe 5 isn’t a collection (yet), but I do think they are awesome.
- I enjoy singing, but have yet to do karaoke. Anyone up for a girls’ night out? 😉
- I use waaaay too many emoticons. (Ok, so that’s no secret. You would have figured it out pretty quickly on your own.)
Uh, So What’s With the Dragon Thing?
I am so glad you asked!
I LOVE dragons. They are a powerful symbol to me of strength, wisdom, dignity, and confidence. You don’t find many people messing with dragons! A number of years ago, I started facing some of my mental health issues, including perfectionism and codependency. As I delved into my own baggage, I uncovered shame and fear as the root of much of my behavior. Even though I looked strong and independent to many people on the outside, most of my actions at the time were driven by my scared little girl mode. I started using the dragon as a symbolic representation of the inner strength I was aiming for because it encompassed everything I wanted to be. Now I call my powerful, inner self “the Dragon.” While I am not always good at accessing the Dragon and sometimes still get triggered back into scared little girl mode, I can definitely feel the difference when I do.
For the record, I am not condoning violence. Think of Toothless (How to Train Your Dragon), Saphira (Eragon), Draco (Dragonheart), or Pern (book series by Anne McCaffrey) if you want to understand the kind of dragon I use for my inner Dragon.
I invite you to journey with me to unleash your own Inner Dragon. Your strength is already there, it is just waiting for you to welcome it into your daily life.