Nellie Pilisi

Doula Name is a Cleveland-based doula.

Meet Nellie

Nellie is passionate about all things birth, baby, and breastfeeding!  She became a breastfeeding counselor when she saw the need for one in her community after giving birth to her daughter in 2014. 

Over the years she added to her services to better help expecting and new moms, working as a childbirth educator, breastfeeding educator, birth doula, postpartum doula, and breastfeeding counselor. 

Nellie is originally from Seattle, Washington. She left Seattle at 18 and moved to NYC for University, then left the US to live in Turkey. She spent 9 years in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, building their birth community. Nellie lives in Cleveland Hts, Ohio, and is excited to connect with and help families in her community.

Get to Know Nellie

What do you enjoy most about birth and postpartum doula work? 

I love to connect with expecting parents and help guide them as they start their journey to parenthood.  Hearing mothers’ birth stories and helping them adjust to the early days of motherhood is so fulfilling.  I love to see new moms relax and gain confidence in their mothering after a visit.  

What’s something unique about you?

I love to travel!  While living abroad for the last 11 years, I have had so many adventures.  Some of my travel highlights include: a month-long camping trip to Hokkido, Japan; a six-week trek through the jungles of Sumatra, Indonesia; and a stay on an organic farm on Negros, an island in the Philippines. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in CLE?

I enjoy going to the parks, getting outside when the weather is good, and exploring the local museums.  My favorites are the Art Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Botanical Gardens.  My daughter loves riding the old Euclid Carousel at the Cleveland History Center, so we make it a regular stop as well!

What’s the hardest life challenge you’ve faced, and how did you respond?

Just before my daughter turned 3, we discovered that she was deaf.  It was such a shock when she was first diagnosed.  I felt very lost.  Just a few days after, I connected with another parent of a deaf child who told me that if I didn’t do anything, then no one would, and that only I had my daughters best interest at heart.  From that moment on I realized that I could feel sad and dwell on her loss, or take action and embrace her differences - I chose the latter!  The past few years have been hard work, but seeing the improvements and milestones hit have been worth every minute of it!

Give an example of a time when you instilled confidence in a new mother.

Early in my career as a breastfeeding counselor I visited a first time mom of premie twins.  She was nervous, unsure of herself and needed validation that she was doing a good job.  During my home visit I was able to access the babies’ latches and assure mom that her boys were doing what they were supposed to be doing.  I was able to adjust and help with positioning issues to give mom the confidence and the know how to nurse both babies at the same time on her own.  Together, mom and I created a plan to wean one of her boys from regular bottle supplements to exclusive breastfeeding like his brother and increasing her supply.  Leaving that home visit, I saw a beaming mom, who felt empowered, knowing how to feed her babies the best she could!

Your first concert?

Sheryl Crow, Bumbershoot Music Festival, Seattle, 1997.  I was just 12 and went with my big brother.  I had never been to something like it -  a massive stadium filled with thousands of others all singing along to her songs. I sang myself hoarse and had a blast!

If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be?

On the beach!  With a coconut in hand!  My happy place is laying out beach-side, swimming, long beach walks, snorkeling, building sand castles, and collecting shells.  Not picky about where - as long as the water is salty, the sun is shining, and the air is fresh!


Nellie's Credentials

Certifications, Trainings, & Workshops

  • Childbirth International, Breastfeeding Counselor Certification (2014)

  • DONA, Birth Doula Workshop (2016)

  • DONA, Childbirth Education Workshop (2016)