While Leena began studying midwifery in 2012 through the Association of Texas Midwives Training Program she is just beginning her clinical training after taking a break to stay home after the birth of her daughter, Lucia Violet. She had a beautiful and powerful home birth experience, loves every aspect of motherhood, including the challenging areas that are encouraging growth in her life, and is excited to draw from her own personal experiences as she continues her training. She has been married to her husband Cole for 8 years and although they are from Chicago they made Austin their home in 2011 and are very happy to be here. She loves to spend time cooking, doing yoga or exercising when she can, and enjoying her friends and family. Her background includes working as a special education teacher with students with emotional and behavioral disorders. She also earned a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology and worked briefly as a therapist. Her passion and reverence for birth, however, eventually developed into a calling toward midwifery and she began her current journey. While she is no longer working in the fields of education and psychology, she believes that her past work has prepared her in important ways for midwifery and is confident that the skills she has developed and the insights she has gained will serve her well as a midwife. She has loved every minute of this path so far and is excited to begin her clinical training and learn from Mandy!
Melek’s passion for supporting birthing mothers began with her own first pregnancy and birth in 2008. She planned to deliver at a birthing center, but wound up birthing in a hospital by cesarean–a completely unexpected outcome for her! Her second birth was a planned home birth that, again, ended in a cesarean. Finally, her third baby was born peacefully at home with the assistance of incredible midwives. The support she received from other women on her own personal childbirth journey inspired her and transformed her life, and she went from a planned legal career to pursuing the calling of midwifery.
Melek is a student midwife, a DONA trained birth doula and teaches Birth Boot Camp childbirth education classes at the Collective. She enjoys working with all different types of people and families, and respects your individual values, customs and beliefs. She has experience in both home and hospital births, personally and professionally, and has a special passion for supporting her fellow cesarean and VBAC mothers. Wherever you are on your journey of birth and motherhood, she would be honored to support you.