Laura Hanstad HCHI, HCHD, CLEC, CST, PES Photo

Laura Hanstad HCHI, HCHD, CLEC, CST, PES

All Things Birth


Phone: 612-710-1294

Birth Fee: $1100 to $1400

Fee Details: Standard package includes two prenatal meetings and a postpartum meeting, birth support and access to me via text, phone and email. I also have additional packages

Birth Doula Experience: 7 years and 120 births attended

Birth Doula Certifications

  • Hypnobabies - Certified Hypno-Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, July 2011
  • Hypnobabies, July 2011
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 1 to 3

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • HCHI Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Certified Lactation Educator Counselor (University of California San Diego)

Other Relevant Certifications

  • Certified Placenta Encapsulator (International Placenta & Postpartum Association - IPPA)
  • CPR Certified - Red Cross
  • Reiki Practitioner
  • SERVSAFE® Food Safety Management Training
  • Craniosacral Therapist (Dynamic Body Balancing), Certified Placenta Preparer, Homeopathy training, Spinning Babies training

College Education

  • BA/BS
  • MA/MS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Remote and rural clients birthing away from home
  • Single parents
  • Special needs babies
  • Surrogacy
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Twins
  • Vaginal breech birth
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • American Red Cross First Aid and CPR
  • Antepartum doula
  • Aromatherapy
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Breastfeeding Consultant Services
  • Cancer patients and survivors
  • Childbirth Education Services
  • Placenta encapsulation
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Prenatal or postnatal massage
  • Satellite Doula (For remote and rural clients)
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Surrogates and intended parents
  • TENS units rental

Languages spoken: English

Certifications for Laura Hanstad HCHI, HCHD, CLEC, CST, PES

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Client Testimonials for Laura Hanstad HCHI, HCHD, CLEC, CST, PES

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We were so lucky to have Laura as our doula for our second baby. After a long and traumatic first birth, we wanted a more experienced doula this time. I was specifically seeking out someone with experience in bodywork, and Laura was able to use this knowledge to help my body relax and continue to progress during labor. She is a calming presence and so intuitive. She somehow knew exactly what I needed whether it be words, touch, food/water, or rest, without me having to talk. She was a huge support for my husband as well. She also encapsulated my placenta and was able to get it back to me very quickly, and has provided me with so much support even after the birth. I very highly recommend her!

Posted 1/2/2020

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Gemuel Brewer

Laura is awesome. She was the perfect doula for our family and the birth of our baby boy. Seriously, my husband and I couldn’t have asked for a better doula to help us welcome our little guy! This was our third birth and first time having a doula. I so wish we would have had Laura for our first two! We did the Hypnobabies home study course as it was difficult to take the class with two other little kiddos at home. Her support throughout the course was incredible. She answered all our questions and made us feel confident for birthing day. She’s very knowledgeable.  We completely believe in the Hypnobabies course and are blown away by how effective it is! We highly recommend! I went into this birth with no fear thanks to Laura and Hypnobabies! She’s caring, sweet, gentle, calm, a joy to be around, and incredibly supportive. We highly recommend getting the invaluable support of a doula like Laura.

Posted 6/19/2019

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Jen Bromley

Laura was the perfect doula for me and my family! I wanted to have a hypno-babies birth, but I could not attend a class, so I did the homestudy system and Laura supported me throughout my study. She was always available to answer my questions. She was encouraging and supportive, but she is also not a pushover and was very clear about what I needed to do to stay on track.

The thing that I appreciate most about Laura is how she worked with my husband, who was very resistant to having a doula at our birth. She had to deal with him with kid gloves, but she did it quite gracefully despite his resistance and sometimes antagonism. Even though we were challenging to work with in that way, she aced it! 

I remember when Laura arrived at my birth, she came straight over an started putting counter pressure on my back. When it came time to push, I was on my side facing my husband and she was at my back. While he was cheering me on, she was giving me specific strategies and feedback, like "Relax your butt into the bed," and "low moans." Her knowledge and guidance were so valuable to me in that moment! 

It was so reassuring to have her in the room because she knew and supported my birth plan and because I trusted her and skills and expertise. I recommend her 100%!

Posted 1/10/2019

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Brandon Allen

I could not imagine our birth without Laura. She is truly incredible and respected and advocated for us the whole time. She was our Hypnobabies instructor and our doula which was an amazing combination. I will spare the details but my wife had an exceptionally difficult birth with our first and it was Laura that kept everything together the whole time. She has a special place in our hearts and you should absolutely consider her for your birth no matter what your birthing plan is to see how very special this incredible woman is! 

Posted 8/24/2018

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Carina Dillon

We had a wonderful experience working with Laura. My husband and I took her hypnobabies class, had her as our doula and also did placenta encapsulation. i really felt that Laura knew what relaxation techniques would work best for me and seeing her during my birthing time really made me feel assured that everything would go as it should- and it did. I had such an enjoyable birth and almost exactly as I had envisioned it. Thank you again Laura!

Posted 2/25/2018

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Cassie Hunt

Laura is a wonderful person and would be an amazing doula to anyone who’s looking for one! I met her when she taught the hypnobabies course my husband and I signed up for. It was amazing getting to know her over the 6 weeks we had our class. She really helped steer our birth experience in a positive way. She helped us make a huge change to our birth plan very late into our pregnancy (35 weeks) by deciding to switch from our OB and hospital birth to switching to a birth center with midwives instead. It made the transition much easier on us by having her support! She is full of knowledge and experience in birthing babies! She is very supportive and would make herself available to you for whatever you would need. I would highly recommend her as a doula or as a hypnobabies instructor! 

Posted 2/22/2018

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Amy Leh Jensen

I had a wonderful experience with Laura before, during, and after the birth of my first son. She was attentive to our specific needs, and adapted with us as we made decisions that best suited our situation. She was an amazing support to me and my husband during my birthing time. Laura is knowledgable and was able to give us more information on things that came up during the birth so we were able to make the most informed decisions. Her spirit was kind and gentle and she handled me, my husband, our families, and the hospital staff well and with grace. I would recommend her to anyone who is looking for a doula! She also provided services we were interested in like hypnobabies, lactation help, encapsulation, and post partum care!

Posted 2/22/2018

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Nicole Swentek

Laura was a wonderful doula during my birthing time. She was a calm and thoughtful presence, encouraging and warm. She helped keep me on track with my hypnobabies hypnosis, helped with EO's when nauseated and, yet, wasn't over-bearing. She met us at our home for a few hours before following us to our birthing place, a birth center in St. Paul. She remained with us until my daughter was born - 24 hours later! I can't recommend Laura enough. 

Posted 1/15/2018

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Sarah Haglund

Laura is such a genuine woman that is passionate about seeing birth as empowering and beautiful. She makes you feel 100% confident and capable of your ability to birth and to birth peacefully without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. She was such a gift to have at our son's birth and she was so peaceful and calm. There were multiple times she would do specific moves on me while I would be having waves (aka contractions) and she really really helped to ease the discomfort. She believed in me and supported me and my husband and baby SO well. She was a constant resource and always available. I never felt like a burden to her and we will always highly esteem, value and love Laura! We also did hypnobabies through her and she is so knowledgeable. I feel privileged to have gotten to work with Laura. SHE IS AWESOME IN EVERY WAY!!! : - )

Posted 11/19/2017

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Megan Orr Szarzynski

I had looked at a number of doulaswebsites and Facebook pages but none compared to the robust, thorough site of Laura's which covered a ton of info and gave me a true sense of who she is, what she knows, how she practices, and her experience. We met for a coffee so I could learn more about her and I was taken with her combination of warmth and approachability with professionalism and  seriousness about her work. Throughout my pregnancy she checked in via text, asking how I was and if I had any questions. I loved our meetings prior to going into labor, as she was super organized and intentional about what we needed to cover. She would bring her laptop and have prepared questions she would ask that gave her the full picture of what I wanted my experience to look like. This paid off during my labor, as she right away told my midwife something about that I didn't want to know how dilated i was, and I had completely forgotten I had told her that. But she had noted it months before and reviewed her notes before meeting me at the birth center (or maybe she just has an excellent memory). Once at the birth center, she was reassuring, supportive, and 110% focused and present. I tell you, this woman is the labor whisperer. Seriously. She knew what to say, what to do, and what not to say or do. She knew when to force feed me oatmeal for god's sake. She helped my husband help me by making suggestions or subtly gesturing to him what to do. Laura was a quiet presence, knew when to talk, when to suggest a different position. She had a bag full of magical aids like homeopathy, essential oils, music, etc. When my midwife got a bit too firm for my liking, Laura was a gentle presence and gave me a knowing glance helping me shake it off. She is just plain and simple gifted for this work, and then brings a level of professionalism and preparation that makes for an amazing combination. Not to mention the most reassuring smile (with dimple!) this side of the Mississippi. 

Posted 8/6/2017

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Margaret Dunne

I did not plan on having a doula, but signed up for Laura's Hypnobabies course. She was so awesome--very knowledgable, easy to talk to and positive. We decided to hire her as our doula, and are so happy we did. Laura met us at the MN Birth Center and really helped me through tough back/hip labor and 4 hours of pushing. She was great at suggesting different positions, reminding me me to use my Hypnobabies cues, saying positive, encouraging things, and pushing on my back and hips to help ease my discomfort. I felt I never had to ask her for anything--she intuitively knew what I needed and was one step ahead of me! Laura was also great in advocating for my Birth Plan preferences. My midwife wanted to give me pitocin to help birth the placenta, which I had wanted to birth naturally, and Laura suggested squatting instead, which worked! Laura really helped ease my mind and worries beforehand, and helped so much during my birthing time. She is always available for questions or concerns and really eager to help. Plus, she is just a fun person to be around! I highly reccommend Laura!

Posted 7/18/2017

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Leah Gangl

Repeat Doula Experience Every birth is different; our reasons for getting a doula for each birth was different too. The first time we hired Laura it was because we had never had a baby before and we needed that extra support and confidence to guide us through our birth process. Birth can be unpredictable and even though we had an amazing birth with our first child, we knew that was due in part to Laura’s skills. Knowing she was by our side allowed my husband and me to stay calm, knowing whatever happened Laura would be able to direct us through. I also had different goals in mind for my second birth. I wanted to be at a birth center and I wanted not to tear. Laura helped coach me prior to my birthing time and during the birth to help me do both successfully. Because we had been on this journey before, she knew what I needed even if I didn’t ask for it. We were in sync, which made the birth that much more free-flowing and enjoyable. In fact, things were going so well during my birthing time that Laura actually had to tell the midwife that the baby was about to arrive only after 3 1/2 hours. Having Laura be our doula the second time around solidified for us that we will want Laura to be our doula every time we have a baby.

Posted 4/19/2017

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Jackie Parks

My husband and I decided to start looking for a doula after we found out our baby was breech.  After meeting with Laura, we decided to use her because of her experience with spinning babies, her personality, and her knowledge with birthing.  Full disclosure, we did plan on using drugs in a hospital for our birth, so hypnobabies was not a major priority for us. This was the best decision that we could have made for our birthing process.  She was an amazing resource to go to with questions, she has lots of connections that she was very willing to share with us, and was available anytime that we needed her.  She even came to the appointment to have the doctor try and spin the baby!  In the end, our little boy was too far wedged in that we were not able to spin him and had to go the c-section route.  This was a hard decision for me personally, but Laura was there every step of the way.  She sugested a hynobabies track to help prepare me mentally for what would happen, talked us through what our options were with having a c-section (delayed cord clamp, gentle birth for how they can take him out, clear drape so I can see what was going on, essential oils to keep me calm, music playlist, etc), and helped us with our birth plan.  She even kept my husband calm in a situation that can be very stressful! Words cannot express everything that Laura did for us during this time.  I woud highly suggest that anyone use her for their doula no matter their situation.  We will be using her again when we are ready for baby number 2.

Posted 4/12/2017

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Alex Barnard

I took Laura's HypnoBabies class and my husband and I had an amazing experience! She is very calm and knowledgable and genuinely cares about her clients and the people in her class! She works very hard and you can really tell how important she finds you. I have nothing but good things to say about Laura. We had an amazing experience because of her and she has become a good friend through it all!

Posted 8/1/2016

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Shelley Moen Gardner

Laura was so good to us. Working with her helped ease my anxiety about giving birth. I texted and emailed her several times with questions as they arose. She's as sweet as a person can be, and never made me feel silly about my fears and anxieties. As it turned out, I had a scheduled c-section due to placenta previa. That did not mean she wasn't involved. She took us to the hospital and stayed with us until we were comfy in our hospital room. In fact, she was there for the surgery alongside my husband! That was really cool. She brought us essential oils to calm the nerves and helped deal with the hospital staff. We were COMPLETELY taken care of! A million thanks to Laura!

Posted 4/23/2015

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jennifer strahan

Laura was reccommended to me by my Hypnobabies instructor, whom I had originally planned on hiring as my birth doula.  Hiring my instructor made sense since we had already met and my partner and I liked her, and the whole interview/search process just gives me anxiety. She ended up not being available, and no offense to her as I'm sure she would have been great, but after our interview with Laura I was so glad things turned out the way they did. I pretty much fell in love. She was so easy to talk to, warm and cheerful, and hiring her was seriously one of the most exciting things I experienced during my pregnancy since I couldn't believe my luck, hitting it off so well on only my second try out of hundreds of choices in the area. Laura did some great things during my pregnancy, helping me with some Spinning Babies exercises and hooking me up with a deal for an excellent massage therapist, plus she prepared my placenta, but where she was absolutely essential was during my home birth. I was taken aback pretty early in my labor, being a first-timer, and was entertaining fantasies about going to the hospital for painkillers. When Laura arrived and got to work, that all melted away. I don't think I could have worked my Hypnobabies without her. And boy did we put her to work. My labor was on the long end time-wise, and Laura was there the whole time supporting me verbally and physically, AND helping my mom out emotionally, plus taking pictures! I had an episiotomy and Laura stuck around to help me get through being sutured. She helped keep my dog calm! At my last post-partum checkup my midwife told me she thinks Laura might be her "new favorite doula" (ssshh don't tell the other doulas!) I honestly can't say enough about how much we appreciated having Laura attend our birth, and when we start trying for another she is going to be the first person we call.

Posted 3/1/2015

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Leah Gangl

I didn’t think I needed a doula. My husband and I choose to go with a midwife that would support our choice to have a natural and hopefully intervention-free delivery. We took special baby classes and also a hypnobabies class. I thought we had it covered. However, the closer we got to the birth of our child the more anxiety seemed to build. Would we remember what to do when we get to the hospital? Will I follow through with my Hypnobabies techniques? What if one of us totally loses it?!

With all of these thoughts swirling it became apparent that a doula might be a good idea. That’s when Laura entered the picture. Within 10 minutes of meeting her, our worries, and especially my husband’s anxiety were put at bay. Looking back now, the extra time she took with us to plan and prepare before the birth of our daughter was so instrumental in her successful arrival. Even though we had spent so much time preparing with classes, it was still impersonal. Laura focused on figuring out what experience we desired and customized her approach to fit our needs.

When it came time to have our baby, Laura was there every step of the way. She added so much calm and helped me implement hypnobabies during my birthing experience. She stayed with us the entire time and that consistency helped me stay focused, which I believe helped me have a quicker and more comfortable birth.

After our birth, Laura took the extra time to check in on us on a regular basis. She also did our placenta encapsulation and provided post-partum support. Her support is continuous and didn’t end with the birth of our daughter. I feel like she has become extended family and I can’t imagine not having Laura as our Doula again in the future. We consider ourselves very lucky to have had the experience we had bringing our daughter into the world with the help of Laura.

Posted 1/5/2015

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Laura Nelson

I am so thankful to have had Laura Hanstad as the second doula at my successful VBAC birth! She was such a warm and calming presence and had such a positive attitude. She helped create the supportive, safe atmosphere that I needed and wanted for my birth. 

I had studied hypnobabies to prepare for the birth, and she helped me stay relaxed and focused. She also gave the best massages during my labor!

I had a very calm and totally natural birth, and I think having doula support was a big part of that. Thank you Laura!!

Posted 12/31/2014

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Shannon Eisentrager

Initially we didn’t plan on having a doula. But once we started Hypnobabies classes, we realized it would be a good idea to work with a Hypno-doula to help us get the most out of our Hypnobabies training. We interviewed several doulas, and just felt instantly comfortable with Laura. She was easy to talk to and I loved her positive energy!

Our birth ended up getting a bit more complicated than I imagined, and having Laura there to support us during some very difficult decisions was so useful. Her presence gave us additional confidence and while things didn’t go as planned, I feel like I still maintained some control over the situation. Laura was also great at getting me to move around and do things I really didn’t want to do! We went for a walk at 2 a.m. and did bleacher lunges the next day at a neighborhood park.

I would highly recommend Laura to anyone, especially mamas who are planning to have a Hypnobabies birth!

Posted 12/15/2014

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Jessica Shryack

Laura Hanstad could possibly be the world's best doula. Case in point: my birth experience.

I was terrified of childbirth. I said for YEARS that I would definitely have an epidural. I couldn't understand why women would want it any other way. Someone once said to me, "Just find out more about natural birth before you have a baby." So, I left the door a little, teeny, tiny bit open. Even after hiring Laura as my doula, I still left the door open for an epidural if I "couldn't handle it."

I called Laura around 2am the night I went into labor. I was full of anxiety. I was freaked out! Within 25 minutes she was at my place, doula bag ready. Within five minutes of her arriving, she was successfully helping me do deep breathing and massaging my back. Within a few hours, I was sleeping. When we went to the hospital, I didn't worry about anything. She helped us plan in advance everything we'd need - and she brought comforting extras like warm socks, a blanket, even a ponytail holder! I spent the next six hours sleeping, squeezing her hand, listening to her remind me about the positive statements we practiced...and I just breathed through the whole thing with her support. I was comfortable and felt totally capable. By 12:15pm, I had my baby. Within two hours, I was out of bed, walking around, joking with my family.

I always describe my birth as a calm, meditative experience. No drugs, no feeling out of control. I am 99 percent sure that this would not have been possible without Laura's thoughtful, collaborative planning beforehand and calming, supportive presence during the birth. With Laura, I had one of the most empowering, amazing experiences of my life!

She literally is the: Best. Doula. Ever! 


Posted 11/24/2014

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Tara Jackson

My family had a wonderful experience with Laura as our Hypno-Doula- it ended up being one of the best decisions we could have made! Our daughter was born via natural water birth on 9/10/14 at Woodwinds Hospital.  We discovered at 37 weeks that she was breech and Laura offered great advice on exercises and positioning and lots of encouragement to help flip her.  She recommended listening to the Hypnobabies Flip your Breech Baby track and the next day when we went to the hospital to have her turned, we discovered that the baby had turned on her own!

Laura was readily available for us by text and email to answer questions and was so incredibly nice and sweet to work with.  She helped me visualize the birth I wanted and it was eerily close to what we had pictured!  She is incredibly nurturing and positive and she kept me focused on my Hypnobabies tools so that I acheived the peaceful, joyful birth I wanted.

Initially we thought we wouldn't need doula services since we felt we would be well prepared with the Hypnobabies classes.  But ultimimately my boyfriend felt he needed someone there more familiar and comfortable with the scripts and physical prompts during my birth (relax and peace cues). Laura provided him with great direction so he was able to care for me by providing water and cold wash cloths (which kept him busy and me energized and hydrated), while Laura was able to work with me on staying calm, relaxed and in hypnosis.  This birth was amazing and was a completely different experience from my first birth, which had been so chaotic and had resulted in some unwanted interventions.  

Laura has also provided excellent  post partum care as well as placenta encapsulation.  My body feels amazing after giving birth naturally- I had no tearing, very little bleeding and have over all felt very positive and energetic.  I would higly recommend Laura to anyone looking for an excellent doula!

Posted 11/12/2014

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jennifer sippel

June 12, 2014 - Our Birthing Day

Hiring Laura to be our doula during the late winter of 2014 was one of the best (and easiest) decisions Jon and I have made as parents. She is knowledgeable, experienced, confident and supportive. Simply put, Laura is an amazing doula. She introduced us to Hypnobabies, which is what we ended up using as our birthing technique, so that I could have a drug free birthing experience, which I did. She helped us not only find a birthing technique/philosophy that matched our interests and needs, she also consulted with us throughout the pregnancy to help us prepare mentally, physically and emotionally for our new arrival, as this baby was our first! She helped us through some of our fears, and provided ongoing love and support. (How can one possibly even compensate someone for those kinds of things?)

Some favorite memories include our in-home consultations, where we worked through all sorts of emotions together and made plans for the future, and her meetings with me at work to read me my hypnobabies scripts. She also checked-in frequently via text & email to see how we were doing, and she shared resources with us as appropriate. She waited patiently with us for baby to come, and when it was time, she arrived at the hospital at the exact perfect moment of our easy birthing (aka- active labor) and was a total rock star birthing coach for us. She took charge in exactly the way we needed her to, and encouraged each of us every step of the way until baby Dylan was in our arms.

Posted 11/10/2014

Birth Availability for Laura Hanstad HCHI, HCHD, CLEC, CST, PES

= Available. Calendar last updated: 11/19/2019 8:00:32 PM