Our Team

Our Team

We love working with families who are expecting babies or have babies or kids AND we love working with each other!

jeanette mesite frem, IBCLC

Jeanette Mesite Frem, MHS, IBCLC, RLC, CCE, CD

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant & Registered Lactation Consultant

Certified Childbirth Educator

Owner & Director of Babies in Common

Jeanette has been fascinated by community-building and women's health since high school and college.  During her college years she studied international development and health, worked in the field of international health (part-time) and served as a college health educator (focusing mostly on safer sex!).  When she was 21, she moved to a village in West Africa to serve for two years as a Health Volunteer with the Peace Corps.  That meant that she lived in a village and worked daily with a midwife and nurse, primarily doing child weight monitoring programs, health education, vaccination programs, specific campaigns for emerging diseases and working with malnourished children. She was inspired by the moms she worked with there and was honored to witness several births (and all the babies breastfeeding!) while there.  

By the time she was married and pregnant, she had completed my masters degree in international public health and nutrition at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and worked for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health managing some of their perinatal community health programs.  She thought she was informed and educated and would easily find a class that would help her have the unmedicated birth she wanted (even though she was labeled "high risk" due to a life-long kidney condition).  It was amazingly difficult (this was is in the year 2000 in Boston, the "top" medical region in the US, right?!) to find a class that was specifically designed to help parents have a natural birth in a hospital. She was, fortunately, able to find the only one in the region, took it and then hired the instructor as her doula, too.  Her doula and her husband were exactly what she needed as support to achieve the birth she wanted.  

After that experience, she was angry and excited.  Angry because it was so difficult to get that information and wondering how, if she was so committed and educated about birth and maternity care and worked in the field and still found it challenging to get this info, what happens to all the parents-to-be who want this information but don't have access to it as easily?  She was excited, though, because she  was encouraged by her doula to become a childbirth educator and a doula.  And that was the next step in her life's path.  She went on to be the doula for about 120 births, taught childbirth classes in two area hospitals (one for 7 years and one for 3) and then opened a parenting center (with a store) called Mothers & Company, which was around for five years and closed in January 2012.  In the summer of 2012, she opened her private practice of Babies in Common in Grafton, where her office was for four years (now it's in Northborough).  She is passionate about proving empowering, evidence-based and fun childbirth and prenatal classes which help parents get excited about birth, breastfeeding and parenting--and help them get the info they need to make their dream birth at least possible (while staying flexible, of course!).

She teaches prenatal breastfeeding and childbirth preparation classes at Babies in Common as well as provides support to families with breastfeeding, lactation, pumping, chestfeeding and bottle-feeding concerns. She also works at Chang Dental Group in Natick, MA, supporting the team there during infant laser frenectomies (tongue and lip-tie releases) and supporting families and babies throughout that process, the first latch and aftercare guidance.

In addition to working with families and continuing to learn more via lactation and birth conferences, she also loves to hang out with her teenage kids and indoctrinate them with 80s music and enjoys occasional date nights and craft beers with her husband of almost 20 years. Guilty pleasures: shows on Bravo, MSNBC, HGTV...and she also follows a certain 80s band around--ask her about it if you're curious.

Contact her at jeanette@babiesincommon.com or phone/text/WhatsApp her at 617-686-0052.

For more about Jeanette's professional experience, education, training, certifications, awards, check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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Jenny Ketcham

Jenny Ketcham

Certified Breastfeeding Specialist at Babies in Common

Currently in mentorship program with IBCLC Jeanette Mesite Frem as she studies to sit the IBCLC exam in the future.

Jenny has been working with Babies in Common for approximately two years as a Certified Lactation Specialist helping families achieve their breastfeeding goals while working towards her IBCLC certification. After having her daughter and seeking assistance from Babies in Common regarding her own breastfeeding challenges. She was inspired to change careers after learning the benefits of breastfeeding in all aspects such as bonding, health, and long-term effects. It is her great passion to inspire, help and educate families in accomplishing one of the toughest yet most rewarding jobs as a parent, breastfeeding. Bringing awareness and normalcy to breastfeeding is another hope for her as it empowers women to feel comfortable feeding their babies.

In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her family and “glamping” in the summer. Animal rescue has always been one of her great passions as well and she dedicates time volunteering in various capacities with multiple organizations.

If you have a lactation consultation with Jeanette, Jenny may be with her.  Jenny also helps lead the lactation support groups of Babies in Common.

Contact her at jenny@babiesincommon.com

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Melissa Anne DuBois, RN, BSN, CCE, CLC

Childbirth Educator and Certified Lactation Counselor at Babies in Common

Labor/Deliver/Postpartum Nurse at a local hospital

Melissa was born and raised locally in Millbury, MA and is the oldest of 7 children and 15 grandchildren. Being around babies, bellies and boobies her entire life, it is only fitting that she would one day become a maternity nurse! Melissa graduated at the top of her nursing class at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2006 and then moved to Syracuse, NY where she worked in high risk obstetrics for 3 years. In Syracuse she realized that, while essential for high risk situations, the medical model of maternity care was doing a great disservice to low-risk, healthy women and babies, leading to parent disempowerment , low breastfeeding rates and a cascade of unnecessary medical interventions. This experience sparked her passion for “high touch, low tech” evidenced based maternity care and eventually lead her to a job in labor and delivery at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA where she worked for 3 years alongside of one of the largest autonomous midwifery practices in all of New England. While pregnant with her first child in 2012, Melissa accepted a job as an office nurse for Atrius Health and worked in the outpatient OBGYN setting for 4 ½ years. This position afforded her the opportunity to work with women throughout their entire pregnancy, from preconception care to postpartum support including postpartum depression/anxiety advocacy and lactation counseling and she became a certified lactation counselor in 2014. She returned to inpatient maternity care in March of 2017 to work as a Labor, Delivery and Postpartum nurse at a hospital in Central Massachusetts.

Melissa has been teaching local childbirth classes since she became a certified childbirth educator (CCE) in 2011 and has been teaching the New Baby & Postpartum Ready class at Babies in Common since 2016. However Melissa has been a part of the Babies in Common family since she started attending Breastmilk & Conversation nursing support groups in 2012 (which she enthusiastically credits her breastfeeding success to during her first year of motherhood!) Her “New Baby & Postpartum Ready” class is inspired by the shock of new parenthood that she experienced despite her professional baby experience, her own two very different babies and the good and bad advice she received as a new mother and is also heavily grounded in evidenced-based maternity and pediatric care. Melissa is passionate about parents having options and opinions and believes education, preparation and support are the key to an empowering first year of parenthood!  Contact her at labornursemelissa@gmail.com

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Rachel Blessington

 

Rachel Blessington, RN, LMT

Teaching Assistant at Babies in Common

Also a Midwife, Birth Doula and Massage Therapist (in her own private practice)

Rachel is absolutely fascinated with the amazing human body, especially it's incredible ability to grow, birth and sustain new life. She loves sharing my knowledge with growing families and will shamelessly geek out over all things birth. She believes that there is no one right way to birth or parent, but that everyone deserves loving support, great education, a full range of options and total respect.

She graduated from the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in 2004 and became a MotherMassage certified therapist focusing on prenatal and postpartum bodywork. She earned my Bachelor's in Biology from Assumption College in 2009, and her Bachelor's in Nursing from MCPHS University i

n 2014. She has been attending birth as a doula and apprentice midwife since 2012, and is now practicing as a "primary midwife under supervision" as she prepares to sit for her Certified Professional Midwife certification exam in the spring of 2018.

 When she is not with birthing families, she's hanging out with her husband Mark and daughter Lily. They love going on adventures near and far, eating wild and delicious foods and singing too loud in the car :)

Rachel is a teaching assistant for childbirth education classes at Babies in Common, as her knowledge and experience as a midwife, former labor and delivery nurse, massage therapist and birth doula are wonderful to have when she is available.  Find out more about her at blessingtonbirth.com

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Maria Luisa Suzzarini, MD

Maria Luisa "Maui" Suzzarini, MD, RPT, RMA, RET-EKG

Certified Breastfeeding Specialist at Babies in Common

Pediatrician in Venezuela (but not licensed to practice here in the US)

Currently in mentorship program with IBCLC Jeanette Mesite Frem as she studies to sit the IBCLC exam in the future.

Maui is a pediatrician from Venezuela, who recently moved to the the US.  She is not licensed to practice medicine in the US, but has always wanted to focus her work on breastfeeding and lactation and is excited to be working toward becoming an IBCLC-lactation consultant. She fell in love with breastfeeding support initiatives during her first year of residency, when, endorsed by UNICEF, she became a national lactation promoter.  She has always advocated for health promotion and prevention over treatment of diseases, when usually it is too late and complicated. Since lactation is one of the earliest forms of health promotion, it has always given her the opportunity to help beyond the duties of a regular pediatrician. She does have her US certification as a phlebotomist, EKG technician and as a medical assistant.

She loves to train at the gym and also outdoors, spend time with family and friends, dance and cook, but above all, she loves to travel.  Getting to know new places and especially people has always given her a better perspective for her everyday practice, since it has always taught her that every person is different and with very specific needs, elements that have always pushed her to become a better lactation specialist and person. Maui is, of course, a native Spanish speaker.

If you have a lactation consultation with Jeanette, Maui may be with her.  Maui also helps lead the lactation support groups at Babies in Common.  

Contact her at maui@babiesincommon.com

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Sheryl White

Infant Massage & Sign Language Instructor

Soon after graduating college with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Sheryl began her career as a corporate trainer for Jenny Craig.  It was there that she developed her passion for teaching. Five years later, she welcomed her first child to the world and made the decision that she would devote all of her attention to the raising her child. When Sheryl's baby Rachel was just three weeks old and very colicky, her father-in-law gave her a book on infant massage and suggested that it might help to soothe her. At the time, she had no idea what it was all about, but the idea of touch and bonding with her baby appealed to her, so she read it and started to practice what she learned.  Almost immediately, she noticed that on the days that Rachel was given a massage she was less fussy making her more relaxed, and best of all, Rachel slept soundly!

The experience was so rewarding that she decided to get certified by the International Association of Infant Massage and use her training background to teach what she had learned to help others.Having the urge to communicate with Rachel made teaching her American Sign Language make perfect sense.  She used a few simple signs and then within a week she was signing them in the right context  Rachel was even able to sign that she was teething.  Sheryl knew immediately that she had to add this to her class offerings to parents and make their early communication with their baby improve.
Sheryl White is a certified Infant Massage Instructor, Baby Signer, Reiki Master and mother of three. Her background includes a B.A. in Psychology and Corporate Classroom Trainer.  She has received specialized training in the field of Infant Massage conducted by The International Association of Infant Massage and is a member of the IAIM association founded by Vimala Schneider McClure.  Sheryl is a certified instructor of Joseph Garcia’s International Sign 2 Me Presenters Network, a babies and toddlers signing program.  She has also received training in her father-in-law’s program, Dr. Burton White’s ‘New Parents as Teachers’ based on his book the First Three Years of Life.  Sheryl has been teaching classes to parents, teachers, professionals and caregivers since 1999. Her role in the classes is to facilitate and help strengthen the relationship between an infant and their caregiver. She has been teaching with Babies in Common for several years.
 
Sheryl lives with her husband, three children and two Golden Retrievers.  When she is not working she is spending time with her family.  They love cooking together and hiking with the dogs. Sheryl loves to work out regularly and enjoys a mindfulness practice. Contact her at sheryl@babykneads.com