Hi, I'm Marissa Potter: doula, childbirth educator, mom.

Marissa Potter, Bellyfull Birth Western MA Doula

I've been a doula, and a certified childbirth educator, since 2011. I've attended 70 births in that time. I've been here in Western Mass. and Southern Vermont since 1999, and make my home in Shelburne Falls with my husband and our two children, who are 5 and 7. I'm also a student, working toward getting my RN and will eventually become a Certified Nurse Midwife.

I've been learning about birth & women’s health for over 15 years.

I was called to birthwork as a teen, but growing and birthing my own children was, for me, an essential ingredient in feeling ready to assist other women through their pregnancies. My own three pregnancies and the births of my two children, less than two years apart, reaffirmed that supporting birthing women and families is my life’s work. Twelve years after first discovering Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery, and after years of studying and learning about birth and supporting pregnant and postpartum friends and family, I completed birth doula training with Certified Professional Midwife Michelle L’Esperance and began attending births. A full list of my continuing education is available.

My doula practice is low volume.

I take 3 birth doula clients per month. This means I have lots of time and energy for each individual family I serve. I’ve had the privilege of attending a wide variety of births – waterbirths, vaginally birthed twins (including a footling breech!), vaginal births after cesarean (VBAC), family centered gentle cesareans, true medical emergencies requiring skilled and swift intervention, triumphant and unmedicated pitocin inductions, tiny preterm babies, mothers of all ages from around the globe, many babies conceived with the help of ART, high and low risk, medicated and natural.

I am proud to support both straight and LGBTQ families throughout the reproductive cycle.

From fertility and conception to birth and early parenting, and all the steps in between, I consider it an honor to be invited in to support your family through all the seasons of pregnancy and parenting. You can read more about my approach to birth here, and see more photos of some of the families I’ve served here. My pregnancy and birth classes honor and include all types of families.

It would be my pleasure to support you in the birth of your child, whether you choose to deliver in a hospital or have a homebirth, and do all that I can to honor your unique vision for your birth. I attend births all over the region, including at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, MA; Cooley-Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, MA; Holyoke Medical Center in Holyoke, MA; Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA; the Monadnock Birth Center in Swanzey, NH; and others by request.

A bit more?

I had two lovely hospital births at Baystate Franklin Medical in Greenfield with the Certified Nurse Midwives of Pioneer Women’s Health. My first was a waterbirth, and my second was a precipitous birth (very fast). My husband and I were grateful to have had doula care during our first birth, and still wish that we had made a similar choice during our second labor. I breastfed both our children and am very familiar with common nursing challenges, as well as with pumping during a return to work, nursing through pregnancy, tandem nursing, and “extended” nursing of toddlers.

Outside of my interest in birth and parenting, I can be found growing, harvesting, and cooking the plants in my yard; throwing pottery; enjoying our Western Massachusetts community; and supporting my husband’s carpentry business.