We love working with families who are expecting babies or have babies or kids AND we love working with each other!
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 a 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.
In addition to working with families, she loves to stay up to date on the newest research and techniques by attending about 18 days of training per year on lactation, birth and business. She is a long-time member of the Boston Association for Childbirth Education, through which she attained her childbirth educator and breastfeeding counselor certifications in the early 2000s. She is also a member of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition. She has attended DONA doula training workshops twice (after she was already certified as a birth doula through ALACE/ToLabor), several 1 and 2-day Spinning Babies workshops and the Spinning Babies Parent Educator 4-day workshop, and has attended all but one Partners in Perinatal Health Conferences in Massachusetts since 2001. She has attended the TummyTime Method workshop, the Oral Function: Assessment and Comprehensive Care for the Pre-Crawling Infant workshop, the IBCLC Master Class (twice), the Tufts Dental School 3-4 day workshop on pediatric tongue and lip tie releases via laser (4 times).
In her personal life, she also loves to hang out with her teenage kids and indoctrinate them with 80s music and enjoys occasional date nights, red wine and craft beers with her husband of 20+ years. Guilty pleasures: shows on Bravo, Showtime, Netflix, MSNBC...and she also has a particular passion for a certain band--ask her about it if you're curious.
Contact her at email@example.com or phone/text/WhatsApp her at 617-686-0052.
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 and transitioned in 2018 to working in the same position at a hospital in Central Massachusetts. In May 2020, she chose to leave hospital practice and moved to Embrace Midwifery, a homebirth practice, where she provides postpartum nursing visits.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Blessington, RN, LMT, CPM
Teaching Assistant at Babies in Common
Also a Nurse, Midwife, Birth Doula and Massage Therapist (in her own private practice)
Rachel is absolutely fascinated with the amazing human body, especially its 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 her Bachelor's in Biology from Assumption College in 2009, and her Bachelor's in Nursing from MCPHS University in 2014. She has been attending birth as a doula and apprentice midwife since 2012, and in the Spring of 2018 achieved her Certified Professional Midwife certification. She current co-owns a homebirth midwifery practice named Embrace Midwifery, with Marianne Pelletier, CNM.
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 and even schedule a massage or doula/midwife interview at blessingtonbirth.com
Rebecca Susi, CLMT, C-ATMAT
Teaching Assistant at Babies in Common
Massage Therapist in Private Practice
Rebecca is board certified massage therapist specializing in women's care with a focus on prenatal, reproductive and digestive health. Rebecca works with women around issues such as menstrual pain and irregularity, fertility challenges, pregnancy comfort and wellness, optimal positioning of baby, and postpartum healing and homeostasis.
Rebecca is a graduate of Bancroft School of Massage Therapy and has been a Certified Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapist for thirteen years, a Certified/Advanced Pregnancy Practitioner of The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® for seven years, and is currently working toward becoming a Spinning Babies® Aware Practitioner. Learning new, holistic ways to support herself and others is one of Rebecca’s passions, and passing on these tools to her clients and loved ones is something that brings her great happiness.
Rebecca is mother to three children and two rescue dogs. Being a mom is one of the best, most challenging and most enjoyable things she has ever done in her life. In her life before massage therapy and kids, Rebecca earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from WPI and worked as an Orthotist at Children’s Hospital Boston. Rebecca knows that all these paths, and her life experience, have converged perfectly to lead her work she does today - supporting women, moms and babies in finding themselves better health, comfort and well-being.
Rebecca is an avid sci-fi fan and a lover of all things dark chocolate, jewelry, vintage or floral. She is crazy about herbs, essential oils and making potions, tinctures and knitted creations. You can find Rebecca most days at her office, Wellness in Bloom Massage & Bodywork, in Bolton, MA, teaching self-care to her clients and listening to the stories their bodies have to tell.
Find out more about her and even schedule a massage or Arvigo therapy at www.rebeccasusi.com.