About Hero Birth Services

Every family deserves caring, open-minded support on the life-changing journey of welcoming a new baby.

Saddleback Memorial Hospital doula teal fern

Serving families with diverse backgrounds and values since 2014, Marlee and Megan Malone-Franklin offer individualized care for each client. From classes during pregnancy, to continuous labor support during birth, to in-home care and support after your baby arrives, we tailor our offerings to each family to help meet their unique needs.

Mission Hospital doula Marlee and Megan Malone-Franklin

While we love serving families on all walks toward parenthood, we have a particular passion for working with:

  • parents birthing in a hospital environment who want to have a supported, whole-person experience (including those planning to birth with or without pain medication). Often, having someone on your birthing team who is just there for you, rather than present to do a medical job, means that it's much more likely you'll be able to ask questions, get information (that's understandable to you, and not just your care providers), and take your time making decisions during labor. And that's in addition to the physical and emotional support that, unfortunately, even the most warm and well-meaning hospital staff can't guarantee because they have other patients to care for.
     

  • parents who've had a difficult fertility journey (including pregnancy loss, IVF, surrogacy, and more). This includes families who had difficulty getting pregnant, parents who are pregnant after loss, and parents expecting medically complicated babies. We understand the complex emotions and anxieties that can arise in these situations, and we feel strongly that parents who've gone through fertility trouble or who have previously lost a baby need strong, compassionate support. (We are also bereavement doulas and work with parents during loss. For more information, visit ocpregnancyloss.com.)
     

  • parents whose pregnancies are high-risk. We've worked with many families going through difficult pregnancies, and we understand the anxiety and confusion that can arise in these challenging situations. Throughout pregnancy, birth, and the early weeks of parenting, we are passionate about helping high-risk families feel heard and supported as they navigate their medical journeys.

As Birthing From Within mentors, much of our work is informed by the organization's vision. To learn more about our approach to birth work (and how our business got its name), read our blog post about birth as a rite of passage.


Orange County pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding support baby feet

Get to Know Marlee & Megan

Photo by Robyn Tiffany

Photo by Robyn Tiffany

Marlee Malone-Franklin

Growing up, I adored helping my mom care for my three younger siblings and loved to do housework, cook, and organize activities for not only our family, but all the other families on our block (hello, recreating Disneyland in the front yard). I had a magical childhood that still inspires me today.

Caring for others and seeing them thrive is one of my greatest joys, and when I learned about the work of birth and postpartum doulas, I was hooked then and there!

I love walking with families, especially through those raw, early, new baby days. I specialize in normalizing the vulnerable and challenging experiences of birth and new parenthood, and helping families strategize to find gentle rhythms that work for them.

Favorite podcasts: The Moth |  Stuff You Should Know  |  Stuff You Missed in History Class  |  Savor

Work with Marlee:


Photo by Robyn Tiffany

Photo by Robyn Tiffany

Megan Malone-Franklin

I am a serious planner. I like to know what's coming next and how I can prepare for it in pretty much every area of my life. Long-term planning for Marlee and I to have little ones of our own someday is actually how I got hooked on the idea of working with families during the transformational time of pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood.  

Through this work, I have discovered that many parents-to-be are thirsty for realistic preparation for the life-changing experiences of the childbearing year. It is a privilege to share what I have learned (and am learning) about birth as a rite of passage, and to support parents through compassionate mentoring as they make the transition into parenthood.

When I'm not with a client or reading up on the latest pregnancy, birth, and parenting research, you can find me at my day job working for a local non-profit arts organization or spending time with Marlee and our wonderful dogs.

Favorite podcasts: Terrible, Thanks for Asking | RadioLab  |  More Perfect  |  The Longest Shortest Time

Work with Megan:


You didn't think we'd leave out a picture of our dog, did you? This is Wren nursing her puppies in September 2017. We kept the upside-down one.

You didn't think we'd leave out a picture of our dog, did you? This is Wren nursing her puppies in September 2017. We kept the upside-down one.


Personal Tidbits...

  • We are both Orange County natives (Marlee was born at UCI Medical Center and Megan was born at St. Joseph Hospital)

  • We accidentally rescued a pregnant cocker spaniel who had a home birth on our couch! (And yes, we kept one of the puppies… see photo above)

  • We love Trader Joe’s

  • Our favorite TV shows (the ones we watch over and over again) are Friends, The Office, Parks & Rec, and New Girl

  • We love going to museums

  • We both raised chickens growing up

  • In addition to birth work, Marlee is an artist and Megan is a professional choral singer. (Megan wrote a blog post on lessons about birth she learned in choir if you want to check it out.)

  • We both identify as multipotentialites (people who have multiple passions in life) and love meeting others who share that identity!



Community Involvement


Continuing Education


Credentials


Check out our VoyageLA article to learn more about us!


What's up with the quote in your footer?

Good eye. In case you missed it, we've included the following quote on the bottom of this website:

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world more habitable and humane.”

— David W. Orr

This quote resonates with us, and many others (you may even have seen floating around the internet misattributed to the Dalai Lama). We agree that the generally accepted definition of success often overshadows living itself, and often doesn't take into account the idea of community. When people reach out in compassion and strength to walk alongside one another, wonderful things happen.

We approach our work with families as a small step toward "making the world more habitable and humane."