"I've always had a passion for women’s issues, especially as they pertain to healthcare in the childbearing years. I was first introduced to the profession when I had trouble feeding my oldest son. The lactation consultant who helped us also helped me realized the significance of the breastfeeding relationship and how intertwined it is with the health of the individual, as well as the community. When she approached me with a job and mentorship opportunity, of course I jumped at the chance!"

Melissa, an internationally board-certified, registered lactation consultant and lactation educator, began her lactation career in 1998 under the mentorship of Alicia Burgett (retired IBCLC). She attended the Evergreen Perinatal Lactation Educator (LE) program and began assisting and counseling families in the support group and consult setting, helping with basic breastfeeding and observing more complex consultations, obtaining the necessary contact hours for the IBLCE examination.  After marrying her husband, Carl, and having two more children, Melissa then went on to become a La Leche League Leader in 2007, starting and facilitating the mother-to-mother support group in Liberty Lake. When her mentor, Alicia, expressed a desire to retire, Melissa had acquired over 2,500 clinical contact hours and finally sat for the IBLCE examination in 2010, earning her IBCLC registration. She immediately opened her private practice, Nurture Normally, serving families in Spokane, Spokane Valley and Coeur d’Alene, and when her youngest child started kindergarten in 2012, began offering her lactation services full-time. She has developed a specialty in helping families with tongue-tied babies and also enjoys meeting the specialized needs of the adopting family.

Now, in addition to helping families breastfeed their babies, she mentors lactation students and provides professional lactation education to physicians, midwives, doulas and other healthcare practitioners. She is currently co-president of the Spokane Breastfeeding Coalition, helps families at WIC in North Idaho, sits on committees with the United States Lactation Consultants Association (USLCA) and maintains membership in several professional organizations. She also has written articles for local health and lifestyle magazines as well as local and national blogs.

She also is a founding managing member in a cloth diaper manufacturing company, an entrepreneurial partnership, that is operated in the cottage-industry style. Her diapers are distributed throughout the globe and are hand-sewn by local women, many of whom are moms desiring to provide an income for their families while staying home with their children.

In her spare time, Melissa enjoys berry-picking hikes with her husband and three children. In the winter, they strap snowshoes on their feet and climb the snowy hills surrounding their small sheep farm. There’s always something wool on her knitting needles, some improvement project underway at her self-built home and some molten glass being manipulated into usable objects in her glass studio in the garage.


At Valley OBGYN, we’ll take good care of you. For your questions or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 509.924.1990. For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to arrange your one-on-one personal time with our OB GYN specialists. Melissa welcomes patients from CDA, Veradale, Spokane, Liberty Lake and Post Falls.

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"Outstanding staff and medical professionals. Even though I was the last patient of the day, I did not feel rushed. The doctor and nurse seemed to work together to secure my records and explain the outcomes of some testing. I feel very confident that my health is in good hands."

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