The Mindful Birth, LLC
Richmond, VA Service range 30 miles
$900 to $1100
$900 to $1100
3 years and 57 births attended
Type of practice: On-call doula service
Clients per month: 3 to 5
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
With a licensed Midwife present.
Member of A Brighter Birth Collective and Childbirth Educator, Member of Richmond Doulas, Nurture RVA breastfeeding advocate and volunteer.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! As a birth doula I work with expecting people, partners and their families through pregnancy to ensure that you are educated and informed about birth as well as physically and emotionally prepared to start this beautiful new chapter. I provide physical and emotional support during labor and delivery to help you achieve the birth you desire. I can also help facilitate communication with the staff to ensure you have all the information you need to make informed and confident decisions. I will provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for your comfort. Women around the globe have been supporting each other through birth forever and this is the support, education, encouragement, and empowerment you deserve today!
Richmond, VA Service range 30 miles
Working with Hunter as our doula was one of the best things we did to prepare for the birth of our son. From our very first meeting we felt confident that her warm, personable support would help us meet our goals for a low intervention birth.
At 16 weeks I was extremely disappointed to find out I would likely be induced due to chronic hypertension. However, Hunter remained super positive and optimistic. She sent me encouraging words and resources to help me mentally prepare. As I entered my 3rd trimester and my health was still fine, she encouraged me to discuss all of my options with my midwives and to advocate for myself within safe boundaries. I’m so grateful for Hunter’s encouragement because it empowered me to have informed conversations and come up with a plan that felt safe while respecting my wishes and options.
At 39+2 my water broke and within an hour my labor came in fast and furious. Hunter communicated with us over the phone for about an hour, giving lots of great strategies to help me comfortably labor at home before joining us. She was encouraging to both my husband and I as I continued to labor and quickly progress at home. When I decided I needed to go to the hospital soon after, she trusted me. When I realized there was no way I could get in the car, she trusted me. Hunter was calm and poised and knew just what to do to support us in that unexpected moment. She continued to coach both my husband and me, and I truly felt safe in her hands during the scariest moments of my life. Thanks to Hunter, our baby boy was born healthy and safe at home. Once we finally made it to the hospital, Hunter continued to advocate our birth wishes despite all of the chaos. We are eternally grateful to Hunter for her confidence, knowledge and support. We will continue to recommend her to any birthing family we meet!
Hiring Hunter was one of the most important and best decisions we made during the birth of my second child. She is warm, friendly, and an excellent communicator. Hunter made herself available to answer my questions and provide support before, during, and after the birth, I'm not sure what we would have done without her! Hunter took a lot of stress off of my husband since she was there to provide physical and emotional support. She helped us feel confident in creating our our birth plan, deciding when to go to the hospital, and knowing what to do when labor started. Hunter helped me cope with labor and I was ultimately able to deliver my daughter without intervention with her help. My husband and I were initially worried that another person in the delivery room would make the experience feel less intimate, but Hunter knew when to step up and when to fade into the background, plus she made our delivery room feel cozy and special. I do not think I would have been able to have my daughter naturally without her support. She gave me confidence, helped me get into a variety of birthing positions, and worked well with my midwife. Hunter was also an extremely helpful resource in answering questions about breastfeeding and postpartum issues. If I have a third child I'll certainly be hiring Hunter again!
Having Hunter on my birth team was the best decision we made! She is the whole package: empathetic, knowledgeable, funny, informative, skilled, supportive, and loving. She described herself as a "coach," and I think that's an apt description because while I knew her goal was to ensure my success, she also pushed me when that was necessary. For instance, while laboring at home, I was relying on my partner to help with pain relief by doing hip compresses. She pushed me to change my breathing and deal with the contractions more on my own, which completely transformed my experience. Her coaching gave me the power to be my own pain relief and take control of the contractions. Beyond her skill and experience as a doula, she's also an exceedingly likeable person. Hire her!
We absolutely loved working with Hunter! I think the most helpful thing about working with her was that she broke down the labor into small manageable chunks and guided my partner in the best ways to support me during each activity - whether it was sidestepping up the stairs or squatting through contractions in our kitchen. It was also great to know when we should go to the hospital, where we spent minimal time before our daughter was born. Hunter made me feel strong and in control and we couldn't have done it so smoothly without her!
Kelly, Jay, and Maggie
This testimonial is long overdue. Hunter helped us welcome our second child in October, and we couldn't say enough great things about her. She is an amazing listener, communicator, and has such a warm, calming presence.
Even though I ended up with a C section because he was stuck, Hunter got me through active labor, helped me feel at peace and work through my emotions with the final decision of surgery, and she even came into the operation room and got beautiful pictures of us meeting our son. If we ever had a third child we would use her again in a heartbeat.
Hunter was referred to us through a co-worker who informed us of doulas and their services as we were unfamiliar as first time parents. He and his wife had a fantastic experience, and knowing we wanted the birth process to be smooth as possible, we decided to have consultation. Immediately upon meeting Hunter, we recognized her warm and affable personality which put our minds at ease. Over the months leading up to Max's birth, we had several interactions including taking labor boot camp course and defining our birth plan. Throughout the process, Hunter was thorough in her explanations of what to expect and empowered mom and dad to make their own decisions - stressing there is no right or wrong.
When the time finally came, Hunter responded immediately and was by our family's side when we needed her most. She really shined during active labor and delivery, coaching and providing motivation to reach the end without feeling overwhelmed by her presence. The extra set of experienced hands was a major plus for dad as she knew where items were in the room and what to ask for from the staff. Another unanticipated benefit included Hunter capturing beautiful photos. When it was all said and done, Max arrived healthy without any surprises which we like to attribute to being informed parents. It goes without saying, but we cannot recommend Hunter enough! Having her as a support system made what can be a challenging situation much smoother.
Kaitlyn, Matt and Max
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Hunter! Deciding to have a doula and finding Hunter were some of the best decisions that we made during our pregnancy. Since this was our first birth experience, my husband and I felt so much more at ease knowing that someone who knew what was going on would be there to guide us through the process. I seriously feel like we would not have had such a smooth, positive experience without her! Hunter’s calm, confident presence was exactly what we needed to help us have to birth that we wanted!
After a few years in Richmond, my husband and I found out we were expecting our third little. Having natural ‘doula births’ with our first 2, I knew I wanted to continue on that path in bringing #3 into the world. After doing some research... I found A Brighter Birth and got in touch with Hunter. Exactly 4 minutes after meeting her, I knew this was a perfect match... I was 100% comfortable and felt as if I’d know her for years! She was amazing during our CRAZY quick delivery and I don’t think I would’ve made it without her!
We don't even know where to begin. We met Hunter in the Childbirth Education class. We loved right away how caring she was. She took her time to talk to everyone and she always made sure that everyone felt heard and safe, that all questions got answered and most importantly that we felt ready for childbirth. Talking to her took my fear away and we felt so prepared.
We called her after my water broke in the morning and just her calm self made us relax and just take one step at a time. Since my labor progressed pretty fast, she didn't spend much time at our house but just having her there, helping me get dressed for the hospital and making sure we had all we needed was everything.
When we arrived at the hospital, she made sure we felt comfortable and safe. I personally really enjoyed her calm vibes as I progressed really fast and was a little freaked out. She helped me relax and take one breath at a time.
We are first time parents and having a Doula was the best thing we could've invested in. We didn't know what to expect. The classes can only prepare you so much and having Hunter be there for us, every step of the way, made us stay so much calmer during labor.
We HIGHLY recommend Hunter. We absolutely loved her. We truly believe the birth of our son would've been different without her. AND I will cherish the photos she took for us forever.
Can’t say enough wonderful things about Hunter and our birth experience thanks to her! Her support before, during, and after was invaluable!
Echoing probably everyone that uses a doula, DO IT. You will not regret it. Working with Hunter was the best part of my pregnancy. As a working (pregnant) mom, I didn't have a lot of time to research childbirth and part of me did not want to go blindly down the internet blackhole on a subject that already scared. Thanks to Hunter, I was able to get educated and loving guidance. She would meet with my husband and I talk to us about everything and answer questions. As the due date approached, she also went over what will happen at the hospital and we were able to make decisions together with her and not on the spot at the hospital. Once I was in labor, Hunter became invaluable --- I cannot stress that enough. I really would not have been able to it without her. Now having gone through it, I cant imagine giving birth without a doula. It's necessary and you deserve it. Plus, Hunter is just an amazing person and fun to hang with :)
Hunter was the best decision we made after deciding to start a family. She was more to us than a birth doula, from telling me what foods would be best early on, to curating my registry, to normalizing everything about pregnancy that feels completely abnormal, to helping us mentally prepare in the weeks leading up, to working around our limited schedule when my husband moved to Raleigh, to finding someone who would do personal classes in my home because of my crazy schedule, to cutting off the valet line at VCU hospital so she wouldn’t leave our side, to advocating for us to get a room with a tub when they were out of rooms when we got to the hospital, to decorating that room with twinkle lights before I even got in there, to talking my husband off a ledge countless times the day Sonny was born, to taking beautiful photos of our family the minute Sonny was brought into the world, to calling me when I inevitably had that new mom breakdown about breastfeeding within the first week... and coming to my home and holding my hand for the one I had the next week... and all the little moments in between when she provided peace of mind. I had the most textbook awesome birth story, and I know some of that must be luck, but I believe much of it has to do with Hunter’s support, preparation and presence. Before she got to my house I was ready to leave for the hospital, but when she got there she helped me labor for 2 additional hours there and that helped significantly by the time I got to the hospital. She made me feel comfortable when I was put in a triage room with no doctors and getting sick all over the place. Her magic peppermint cotton balls helped tremendously. And she wasn’t disappointed when I yelled for an epidural at 8 cm after I tried the tub, and held me when the epidural didnt go as planned and I gave birth naturally anyway. It was perfect and I have Hunter to thank 100%. Hire Hunter. You won’t regret it.
Hunter is the most incredible doula (and person!). My husband and I look back on the birth of our daughter with such gratefulness that Hunter was with us. She spoke gentle and encouraging words, gave clear advice, helped me to do things to keep labor progressing, and always took into account how I was feeling emotionally. Because of Hunter, we didn't have to be as concerned with googling what things meant, hours of timing contractions, when to leave for the hospital, or a million other questions... because, Hunter knew! We also so appreciated her help once we got to the hospital; there were several other births going on as well that night, so a nurse wasn't always in the room. Hunter took care of me and anything we needed, and was there to help me know what I could/should be doing at any point. She created a peaceful environment for us, knew what was happening with me every step of the way, and could help explain things as they progressed. She completely supported us and our decisions, and patiently walked with us through something she understands well and has been through. Just having her there and having her support brought so much peace into our experience; I can't imagine how much harder it would have been without her! Even after labor, Hunter continued to check in and care for us on everything from my emotions, to baby care, to breastfeeding. She was amazing, and I can't recommend her highly enough!
Hunter is an amazing doula! Both my husband and I think so highly of Hunter’s skills and knowledge. She helped us with the birth of our second child in April 2018. We did not have a doula for our first child, so this was a new experience for us. Hunter was very kind and always available to answer my many questions. Particularly important to me, was that I never felt judged for any of the decisions (or non-decisions) I wanted to make. Hunter was there to make sure I had facts and offered her seasoned-opinion in a kind and caring manner.
Hunter was particularly amazing at getting me through the process of laboring at home and I was able to minimize my time laboring at the hospital. My daughter was born within 45 minutes of arriving at the hospital! To be fair, some of that may have been good luck, but I still want to give 100% of the credit to Hunter. At home during my contractions, she encouraged me to use a number of different positions to focus getting through the pain. Changing positions often definitely helped that time go quicker. Also, having a second set of hands (and a spare brain!) allowed my husband to be there for me more fully than he was during our first birth experience.
We will always look back fondly at this entire experience and we are so thankful to have had Hunter as our doula.
My husband and I knew we wanted as natural as birth as possible. The midwives we were working with suggested we work with a doula to enhance our experience and follow our birth plan. Enter Hunter - the most amazing and caring person one would want to have by their side during the birthing process. She has a quiet strength about her that instantly put us at ease. Hunter offered us gentle guidance and advice before, during, and after we delivered our son. She met with us to solidify our birth plan, recommend birthing classes and explain the process to us. During delivery Hunter was with us offering support to my husband as he helped me through labor, and guiding me as well. We ended up having a c-section and Hunter even accompanied us into the operating room. Her presence was so welcome during an exhausting and exhilarating time. A few days later Hunter came to visit to check on us and helped me with some breastfeeding questions. Even now I know I can text or call her at anytime for support. We are so happy we made the decision to have Hunter with us during this journey.
When my husband and I found out we were pregnant, we started to research options for support during birth. We were both hesitant about using a doula and wondered if it was really necessary until we met Hunter. She guided us through every detail of what the birth process would look like and helped me to develop a manageable and comfortable plan for labor and delivery. To say my husband and I were clueless when we started this process is putting it mildly. Hunter educated us on everything we needed to know and when the big day came to have our baby, Hunter was by our side for almost 30 hours. She offered endless support throughout the process and calmed our anxieties as we journeyed through labor. Hunter is warm, kind, and welcoming. I felt immediately comfortable with her and I’m not sure I would have had such a positive birth experience without her. For anyone on the fence about using a doula - especially for your first birth - take it from us and use Hunter. You won’t regret it.
When my husband and I first started talking about our birth plan, I realized a third party might be a good idea. I needed to talk about all things pregnancy all the time (the internet research, all the registry options, sift through the hospital classes, and discuss my cervix, etc) and Hunter was always available to chat. Having a doula kept me informed and grounded while we prepared for the baby and Hunter was a friend to me throughout the whole process. As much as I appreciated her reliability and kindness during pregnancy, I was most grateful to her during my labor and the delivery of our son. As soon as my water broke we were on the phone talking about my options and how I felt about each outcome. She was a perfect addition to our team and I believe the medical team was also grateful for her calm and supportive demeanor in the delivery room. She tended to me when I was in pain and even held my leg when I brought my baby into the world! I would recommend every woman to have a doula and Hunter is at the top of the list!
Where do I even begin?! Hunter was truly incredible in more ways than my husband and I could have ever imagined! After our first meeting, Hunter blew us away with her knowledge, strength, compassion and commitment to being a doula and she made me believe I could do whatever I wanted and that I had options. From the moment I met Hunter, she was friendly, warm and supportive. She made me feel 100% comfortable as if she and I had been known her for years, which truly helped me throughout the entire process.
When my labor started, Hunter was in touch with me often (without being overwhelming) and she was ready to come over whenever I needed her. We called her in the middle of the night and she came right over to relieve my husband so he could rest and she stayed by my side comforting me physically & emotionally, putting heat on my hips and back, keeping me hydrated & timing my contractions until it was time to go to the hospital.
She helped keep me calm & positive and was supportive and encouraging for my already amazing husband. Somehow we had forgotten everything we learned in our birthing class and she was able to bridge the gap in communication between us and the doctors/nurses and she explained exactly what was happening at each step of the way. She helped us make some really crucial decisions in the moment which ultimately helped me have a smooth labor.
in the early days postpartum, Hunter checked in with us and came to visit. She answered our laundry-list of questions and gave us tips and tricks to make our lives a little easier. She eassured us that we were doing a great job as new parents! Hunter was patient, calm, informative, empowering, thoughtful, encouraging, funny and so much more. She played an essential role in our positive birthing experience and we truly could not have done it without her. We are forever thankful for Hunter and are so proud to call her our doula, and new friend.
My interactions with Hunter were always warm, supportive, & informative during my pregnancy. I didn't fully realize how truly PRICELESS she was until I was in the middle of (a long and exhausting) labor. She is the #1 reason I was able to reflect on such on arduous process and say that it was overall a positive experience. Because of her, I was able to have the birth outcomes I wanted, and that has really helped things go smoothly postpartum for me and baby.
Hunter stayed with me for two long days of active labor. She was attentive, yet mellow and comforting. When I was struggling through long, intense contractions and hours of pushing, Hunter had the exact vocabulary to help me make them as manageable and productive as possible. I didn't realize there would be so many times when there was no nurse or doctor in the room and Hunter was the one there to do basic bedside support things like keep me hydrated, adjust my bed/pillows, monitor our vitals, talk me through what was happening and what was about to happen, and even keep me cleaned up through 4 rounds of getting sick. There were times when we were on the cusp of major medical decisions when my OB wasn't there and my husband and I were so exhausted that we couldn't even remember what we'd read about or what we thought we wanted. Hunter was there to help remind us of the pros/cons that the hospitalist wouldn't have.
When I was in a negative space and my poor husband was exhausted, she had the positive words to keep us going without being annoying about it! My husband appreciated her as well because she helped him know exactly what to do and when in order to be most helpful to me when neither of us was really sure where we were in the process. Her postpartum visit also helped me process the sequence of events in the hospital and ask the lingering questions after I'd had some time to reflect on my experience.
Where do I even begin with Hunter?! First of all Hunter is amazing! She is one of those people you meet that you instantly feel like is your friend. She is extremely warm and easy to talk to. You can also immediately tell she makes no judgments, which for me was crucial through the birth experience. With my first daughter I had very little support from my husband, I don’t think he knew the first way in which he could help me. With the 2nd birth I knew that I wanted someone that could understand me and be there for me in the delivery room and leading up with questions. I also love that Hunter is a mother herself and has her own birth story which is what really influenced her to be a doula.
Hunter came to our home where we went through a long discussion of our history with my prior labor and what I was really looking for in a doula. She immediately made me feel comfortable which is super important. What I really loved about Hunter is that she follows your lead. When we first met she said a doula is there for you through the process, they are there for whatever you need. Hunter completely took my lead as far as my needs and wants in the delivery room.
In the end I feel like Hunter is part of our family, I cannot wait to introduce her to our daughter when she gets older and tell her that she helped mommy through the birth process. Birth and labor is an incredible experience and it was amazing to have Hunter by my side. She has a natural gift for what’s she’s doing and I know she will make a lot of women incredibly thankful for her support and empathy through the process.
As a wedding planner, I knew the importance of having a partner to guide me through a new/emotionally-charged situation. It's the same advice I give my clients while they plan expensive weddings, so I thought I'd take my own advice and hire someone to guide me through the birthing process.
Hunter sat down at my home with my husband + I when we were 3 months along. We were both equal parts excited and nervous and having someone who had just had a baby was helpful. She asked us questions we had never really discussed like what kind of birth experience we wanted, what we were afraid of, what we were excited about, and what kind of birthing partner I wanted/he wanted to be. It ignited a great conversation and we all left feeling like we were a real team.
At 6 months, the three of us attended a birthing class together. There we learned about the stages of labor, how to progress calmly through each, what to expect in each stage and how both of them would support me through each of them. We walked away feeling confident, educated and supported. We had a list of snacks to buy, supplies to acquire and a real game plan.
By the time my water broke, all 3 of us knew the game plan and what role each of us played. There was no fear, doubt or frustration. My husband is not very assertive, so it was nice to know that we had already discussed his role would be to support and soothe me, while Hunter would handle encouragement and logistics.
It took alot of the doubt and stress off of my husband and I. He had his job and she had hers. He was able to just be my husband and be present for the birth of our son. She held me accountable when I wanted to give in during the tough parts of labor, held my legs as I pushed and partnered beautifully with my midwife at VCU Medical Center to bring my baby boy into the world.
Having a calm, patient, wise, funny doula by your side is well worth your money. Hunter was perfect.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 03-31-2020