Raya Sagdejeva Photo

Raya Sagdejeva

The Durham Doula

Durham, NC Service range 75 miles


Birth Fee

$700 to $1250

Postpartum Rate

$25 to $40

Availability Remarks: COVID-19 UPDATE: I have received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine and the booster.

Birth Fee

$700 to $1250

Postpartum Rate

$25 to $40

Birth Doula Experience

3 years and 65 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience

3 years and 20 families served

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International-Approved Workshop, September 2019

Type of practice: Solo practice

Clients per month: 1 to 3 births and 1 to 2 postpartum families

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals

Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers

Attends home births? Any Home Birth

College Education


Special Services Offered

  • Abortion support
  • Antepartum doula support
  • Aromatherapy
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Cloth diapering education
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Parenting consulting
  • Satellite doula (for remote and rural clients)
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Surrogates and intended parents
  • Virtual and remote doula support

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work


Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Fee Details

I believe that a family's finances should never be a barrier to having the physical, emotional, informational support and advocacy that everyone deserves at a time like pregnancy, birth or the postpartum period. I have committed myself to giving the same high quality doula services to all families on a sliding fee scale. I'd love to hear from you, so please reach out at 919-423-8987 or TheDurhamDoula@gmail.com

Service Area

Durham, NC Service range 75 miles

Certifications for Raya Sagdejeva

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Client Testimonials for Raya Sagdejeva

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Melanie Spransy


Raya made a significant positive impact on my pregnancy and birthing experience. I was hesitant about getting a doula because I knew I wanted an epidural. I wasn't sure if doulas were just for people who wanted natural births. I ended up having a c-section, but I am so glad that I had Raya on my team! Before the birth, her home visits were thorough and very valuable. She really took time to get to know me and my partner. When I wanted to use the hypnobabies technique, she offered to sign up for the hypnodoula course, and happily took extra time to learn my preferred program. Our birth rehearsal was a beautiful experience, which Raya clearly spent hours preparing for. On the day of my induction, Raya came as soon as we asked her to. Her presence shaped my hospital experience. She changed the atmosphere of the delivery room completely. She led me through different positions, provided massage, and helped my partner get involved. After sticking with me through 7 hours of labor, Raya supported me as the decision was made that I needed a c-section. Although she could not attend the surgery, she stayed and waited to see me in recovery, even though it was 4:00 in the morning! Finally, her postpartum visit helped me become more comfortable as a first-time Mom caring for my newborn while my partner works out of the home. From start to finish, I am SO thankful that I decided to connect with Raya. I will recommend her to any pregnant friends I have in the future!

Emma Johnson


I reached out to Raya when I was about 20 weeks pregnant because of all the positive reviews and stories I read about her, and now I'm so happy to share my own positive review so others will know what an amazing birth experience she can help to facilitate. She helped my husband and me, who are first time parents, figure out a birth plan that felt right for us and helped us with the language to communicate it with our healthcare team. We felt supported and empowered every step of the way and it gave us great peace of mind to know she'd be with us for the birth of our daughter. She knew my preferences, mantras, and hopes for labor and delivery as well as I did, and when the big day finally came she couldn't have been more helpful in keeping me calm and focused and in helping my husband support me physically through position changes, movement, and soothing touch. She helped me trust my own body and gave me confidence when fear tried to creep in. Now, looking back on the birth of my sweet baby girl, I'm filled with such joy and satisfaction about how it all occurred and Raya's calming demeanor, knowledge, and experience helped make it all possible. I'll recommend her to every pregnant person I know!

Ashley Meehan


We had a great experience with Raya as our doula. We did not know much about doula’s prior to pregnancy. Originally did not think about having one, until we took a birth class and learned more about the benefits of having a doula. I decided about halfway through my pregnancy that I wanted to try an unmedicated birth, and after talking it over with my husband, we decided the best way of making that happen was having a doula present. Raya was recommended to us by a friend who is also a birth/postpartum doula. In our initial meeting, Raya was great and asked us about what we wanted for our birth and made sure we were comfortable with the labor process. Our son was due (and born) on Christmas Eve and it was huge to find someone who was willing to be with us  during the busy holiday season. Raya was extremely attentive during labor - she answered my phone call at 4:30am and met us at the hospital when we were ready for her. Raya was professional when it come to communicating with my labor nurse - afterwards our nurse made the comment that she enjoyed having Raya around & even learned a few things from her. She also mentioned that not all doulas interact with hospital staff very well, so it made us even more appreciative for Raya. Raya was extremely helpful for me during labor, but even more so, she helped my husband feel confident in being the main support I needed at that time. She made suggestions to him, but was not overbearing with directions. After our experience, we highly recommend hiring a doula to our friends and I highly recommend Raya.



I will forever be thankful for Raya's support and comfort during my pregnancy and birth. From the moment we connected, she understood my desires for this birth. She knew it was important for me that it was restorative and calm, and her kind words throughout our exchanges in pregnancy made it possible for me to reflect and advocate for myself. 

As a doula, I was really excited to have birth support, and Raya was everything we could've asked for and more. When I was having issues centering myself during the birth, her instinct to lock eyes with me was exactly what I needed to ground myself and refocus. She just knew. She was very collaborative with my nurse and midwife, and together they made an amazing team that respected the calm/peaceful birth environment I wanted. She was a vital part of making my dream birth come true.

There's nobody else I would have rather had by my side (along with my spouse lol) than Raya to bring our rainbow baby boy earthside. 



Raya was absolutely amazing, I don't think a review will do her or her service justice, but I'll try my best.

She kept me as calm as possible and continued to gently encourage and talk me through during my labor, especially when I needed support most while pushing. I'll add that I was particularly stubborn when it came time to push. My OB did not have the greatest bedside manner, but Raya knew my preference and advocated for me when I couldn't. She allowed me the time I needed to process and labor at my own pace when my doctor insisted on rushing things (there were no medical emergencies or reason to rush). She also helped keep my husband calm and encouraged his inclusion in the process with tips to get me through contractions (although I preferred her gentle massage techniques over his??).

In addition to the outstanding support she provided during labor, Raya is well educated and was able to answer pretty much any questions my husband and I had in the several meetings that we had with her during the months leading up to labor. She took time to get to know us, our labor preferences, and even scheduled an "exercise day" with me to help with my hip pain.

At first I was unsure whether or not hiring a doula would be right for us, but we would hire Raya again in a heartbeat. I can't imagine having to go through pregnancy and labor without her.



As a first time mother the unknown can seem daunting. Throughout my pregnancy Raya was an invaluable resource. She provided me with advice and tools throughout my journey. Raya was always just a text, call, or email away. During my delivery her calming presence and amazing massage helped keep me grounded!

Corie Hlavaty


Raya was great to work with for the birth of our first child. She was super flexible and helped us answer questions we wouldn’t have initially thought about, as well as think through what our plan was for the birthing process. She was always available via text with questions that came up. We used many of the comfort measures she taught us during the labor. We had a pretty straightforward birthing experience, but we felt more comfortable and confident knowing we had her support if any complications had arisen. She took great pictures during the labor that we cherish! The postpartum visit was tailored to what we needed. Overall we would recommend Raya when searching for a doula!



Looking back on my birth experience, it would not have been nearly as smooth if it were not for Raya! She was easily accessible when I needed her or had questions, is knowledgeable and not only provided me with helpful information, stretches, positions for pain management, etc., she also provided helpful information to my husband so that he would be able to be an integral part of the labor and birth! We are so thankful for Raya!

Corin Muller-Yoder


Raya is the best choice we made during pregnancy. As someone who feels uncomfortable in medical spaces but wanted a hospital birth, I knew I wanted someone with experience alongside us during labor & delivery. During pregnancy Raya met with us twice, helped us think through preferences and shared resources (readings, videos, podcasts and online prenatal yoga) tailored just to what we wanted! When there was concern about my blood pressure/white coat syndrome, she helped me brainstorm questions and suggested ways to navigate the conversations with doctors I never would have thought of! When I was in labor, I knew the time she spent with us was well spent because she knew exactly what I needed to hear, provided the most calming touch and coached my partner about how to help. She was deeply present and also, it felt like no one else was in the room but my husband and I as our daughter was born. She stepped aside (and snapped some incredible photos) when she knew we were good! As I basked in golden hour, it took me a while to realize she was massaging my feet post delivery. Our only regret is because my labor went so quick, we wish we had called her to join us sooner!



Raya was a godsend! My husband and I both can't imagine going through labor without her. We decided to get a doula near the end of my pregnancy, and Raya was very quick to reply and schedule consults with us. She definitely prepared us on what to expect, gave us many tools to help through labor, and was there every step of the way! Not only was she incredibly helpful for me, but she was also helpful in showing my husband how he can be the most supportive through the labor. We both think she did a phenomenal job and highly recommend her!



My husband and I hired Raya to help with the birth of our first child and she truly exceeded our expectations. We were looking for someone who could help us figure out a birth plan, fill in the gaps in our knowledge, and most importantly, be an advocate for us during labor and delivery. Raya met all those needs and more. Raya met with us multiple times before and after my due date and also checked in with me periodically to make sure everything was okay. She provided us with a wealth of information that helped us make our own decisions about the birthing process. We were also so grateful to have her support during labor and delivery - her experience and advice really improved the experience. Raya's is passionate about supporting families through all parts of the prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum journey and she is an excellent communicator. Most of all, she is kind and caring. We couldn't recommend her more!

Brittney A


I don't even know where to begin. Raya has been such a huge blessing in our lives! My 1st child's birth did not go the way we desired/planned (however we are thankful for a healthy child and safe outcome). We decided to go with a doula for our 2nd child. I am so so so happy that we got in contact with the Durham Doula. She is such a wonderful person with a beautiful spirit. She has such a positive outlook and you just instantly feel comfortable with her. She easily engaged my husband and my son in the planning process. During the labor, she not only made sure that I felt comfortable but she also made sure my husband and my mom were comfortable as well. She even included my mom in the activities/interventions we were doing during the labor. She made me 100% love my labor experience this time around. She even incorporated our Christian values into the experience by giving us time to say prayers. You can tell that she has a genuine passion for what she does. Thank you Durham Doula! You are awesome!



When preparing for my first labor and delivery, I made it a priority to feel supported, understood, safe, empowered, positive and calm. I'm happy to say that with the help and guidance of Raya, The Durham Doula - I felt all of those wonderful things during my birthing experience. Not only was she a positive and confident light in the birthing room, but in the weeks leading up to the birth she was so present and informative! My husband learned just as much as I did with our planning sessions. She never made me feel insecure or uninformed in our planning sessions and even encouraged and embraced some techniques I was learning from a separate hypnobirthing course. Our little one surprised us by coming early and Raya was right there every step of the way. She's a real ally! We couldn't have asked for a better experience. I highly recommend Raya!

James P.


Raya was a key individual in our second child’s birth, almost like part of our family! We opted for pre-birth, birthing and postpartum care. She was so helpful that we had her come back as we possibly could. She helped us navigate complications when our birth plan did not go as expected and also to give our baby the best care we could to make sure we were a happy family. She is very knowledgeable in the area of breastfeeding and was a huge help in that regard. She is incredibly intelligent and good with people; she has a calming presence. Lastly, she is fun to be around, works hard and focuses on the positive when things are tough.

Carolina Cruz


Raya was exceptional. She provided comfort, she gave me emotional support, and answered all my pregnancy questions & on top of that, she gave me a great massage. 10/10 recommend her. 

Brendan Lukasik


After a few attempts at finding a good fit for us, my wife and I found Raya via glowing recommendation from close friends. We enjoyed speaking with Raya during the introductory interview, and after she came to our home for the first prenatal visit, we knew that we were in great hands. Throughout all of our interactions, Raya was always very kind, patient, understanding, and extraordinarily thoughtful. She provided us with the tools we needed to prepare for and navigate through the pregnancy and birth.

My wife went into labor right on schedule for our early May due date. When her contractions became more intense and painful in the middle of the night, Raya quickly sprang into action at met us at the hospital within the hour. For well over 24 hours by the time our baby finally made her entrance, Raya was by our side every step of the way, helping us navigate conversations with nurses and doctors, helping my wife cope with pain, and guiding us through making multiple difficult decisions in the process. Both in those moments and in hindsight, it’s hard to imagine how we would have made it through without Raya’s knowledgeable, nurturing, and unwavering support.

When my daughter was just a few weeks old, I had a work obligation that forced me to be out of town and away from mom and baby for almost 2 full weeks. We were fortunate enough to be able to utilize Raya for her postpartum doula services. A few nights each week Raya came over for overnight shifts to allow my wife a full night’s rest while Raya handled bottle feedings and watching over baby during the night. Being away from my family for so long with such a tiny newborn was extremely challenging for me and especially my wife who took on so much, and I’m beyond appreciative of Raya’s help during this period.

Raya was an absolute pleasure to work with and a highlight of our birth experience – I cannot recommend Raya, the Durham Doula, enough.

Sara & Jackson


My wife and I used Raya as our doula for the birth of our first baby in April 2022, and honestly we can't imagine having gone through pregnancy and especially delivery without her. She was communicative and quick to respond and was always considerate of our wishes and concerns, giving us thoughtful and comprehensive advice. In the delivery room she was exactly the kind of calm and supportive voice we needed, and was an excellent advocate for us throughout. We cannot recommend her enough!

Hannah & Dan


Raya is simply the greatest. Compassionate, helpful, outgoing, and warm. Can't say enough positive things. More details below, but you can't do better than Raya! My wife had a traumatic c-section, resulting in severe pain and immobility. Bc of covid rules, I was unable to be there as we had a toddler at home and no other childcare (under 18 aren't allowed at UNC hospitals). We frantically called around for a post-partum doula so she could have some support at the hospital with our newborn. Raya picked up the phone at 6pm on Saturday and arrived by 9pm with a schedule of rotating doulas to make sure my wife had 24 hr care during her stay there. Our saga was not over after my wife was discharged though. Less than a week later, she ended up in ER needing emergency surgery and again we got on the horn w/ Raya who came through at the drop of a hat. Raya was immensely supportive before, during, and after my wife's 2nd surgery. Small things like just telling silly stories or jokes to distract her from the worry of surgery or post-op pain just exemplify what a wonderful human and doula Raya is.

Sarah M


Having Raya to support us before, during and after our baby's birth was one of the best decision we made during our pregnancy and birth of our son!

Her support included a virtual meet and greet, two 3-hour pre-natal sessions in the months leading up (probably longer than she normally does), attention, care and guidance during labor from the time contractions really got going to an hour or so after birth (more about this below), and a post natal visit with lactation support (ended up being more like a much needed therapy session for me!).

Not only was her time incredibly valuable to us, but the gentle and direct guidance she offered helped my partner and I feel more confident going into giving birth. No matter how many books you read or classes you take - it can all go out the window while in labor. My partner and I have reflected on how much it helped him have someone who knew our birth plan and kept us and the hospital staff on course, giving gently suggestions based on our preferences. During labor she was there to get water, provide aroma therapy, give massages, remind me to breath, cheer me on, suggest different positions and soothing techniques. She remained calm, steadfast and focused throughout the whole experience.

Post-partum, she came about two weeks after and talked through how we were feeling, gave lactation support, advised on breathing exercises I could do to start connecting with my core and pelvic floor, and even stayed to change a diaper which ended up being a 20 minute ordeal!!

I can't even truly express how meaningful it was to have her and how supported we felt. We also had a great team of nurses, midwives and OB's at Duke Regional which made for a nice experience as a whole.

If you are able to afford having a doula, I would highly recommend having one. We found that Raya was most accommodating to a scale for pricing, though we didn't take her up on it. She was worth every penny and then some!



I'm a first time mom and I knew I wanted a doula from the moment I found out I was expecting. I wanted an at home water birth but I ended up giving birth at the hospital and it was even more amazing than I imagined it would be! Thank you to Raya for being such an amazing support person and advocate <3 I will definitely be hiring her again for my next birth. I'd give her a 10 star review if I could. You will love her!! 

Shweta Dambal


I am so glad that my husband and I worked with Raya for the birth of our first child! Honestly, given that it was my first pregnancy, I had no idea what to really expect during the actual birth even with all the reading, googling, etc. In fact, my husband was the one who suggested I look into a birth doula since he knew we both would need the extra help :). After going back and forth for a while, I finally decided to look into finding a doula and met Raya when I was 33 weeks pregnant. We ended up meeting outdoors (she was very cautious about covid) and having a great introductory conversation. I didn't have to deliberate much to decide that she would be perfect to help me and my husband in the delivery room. We had two pre-birth meetings, during which Raya helped us understand what to expect right before the birth, signs that I was getting close, what to look for, how she could help, etc. She also showed us various exercises and techniques to ease labor pain that we were able to practice before going to the delivery room. Furthermore, she always promptly answered any questions I had and tried to back all of her responses with scientific evidence, which I appreciated! At the hospital, Raya was a great help and assisted my husband and me based on the items we had discussed in our prior meetings. She knew exactly where to go at Duke Regional (where I was admitted) and also had such a good understanding of the resources available to help me through my labor. She stayed the entire time until our son was born, ensured we were doing okay after the birth, and made sure the three of us had some precious alone time together. She was also accessible and available after the birth and provided us with several resources to help us ease into our new "routine." Overall, I'm just so glad that we were able to meet Raya and have her be part of our very special day! We highly recommend her! 

Andrea W.


I hired Raya as my Doula for the birth of my second child. She is incredibly kind, and a wonderful listener. She was able to quickly help me decide when to go to the hospital while I was in labor, which was very helpful given that my first childbirth experience was a scheduled c-section. I had a quick birth with complications afterwards, and she stayed with my husband and newborn while I was rushed to another hospital. I am forever grateful for her support during that exciting and scary time.

Erin Nguyen


My partner and I knew we wanted to work with a doula for our first pregnancy and we are just so happy that we found Raya! We cannot recommend her highly enough. Her style of support and encouragement really clicked for us and, more than just an advocate and educator, she became a joyful and welcome companion in our pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey. She was so good at helping us articulate our birth preferences without judgement and providing resources that fit our unique needs. Beyond our 2 regularly scheduled prenatal visits with her, she made a point to stay connected via text and call throughout our time working with her and was always a kind voice on the other end of the line if we had a question or concern. She really was exactly the right combination of laid-back but still actively involved. I also love the way she helped bring my partner into the pregnancy and birth experience so that he could take on the role of support person with greater confidence and some great and practical tools! I was so glad to have them both by my side, especially during labor and delivery. For someone who witnesses the miracle of birth regularly, she still made us feel that our birth was unique, beautiful and miraculous, too.

Monica venkat


Raya was our doula for the birth of our second baby girl in the middle of a pandemic. I had to get an emergency csection at 37 weeks and she made sure she was there and available. She was everything we could ask for and is a major part of the reason for my positive experience with breast feeding. I wish I had known her when I had my first daughter as well. Raya was very well prepared and was such a positive energy hub. She would try to lighten up my mood every time I felt a bit down or disappointed. She was easy to talk to and completely understood all my needs. I needed constant coaching when it came to breast feeding and she did exactly that for me. She was very supportive through everything at the hospital. She came prepared to stay 1 night but due to some complications she had to stay another night and she was very accommodating. Having her there at the hospital with me was the only reason my husband could have some peace of mind since he had to stay home to take care of our toddler. She was very good about keeping in touch even after I went home and would answer all my questions over text or call and every time I felt like I was about to give up, she would say all the right positive things and get me through it. We are very grateful for raya and think all parents out there having babies without much help in these critical times should make use of people like her. Raya is an amazing doula and a wonderful kind human being. 



Raya is a fantastic doula and this process would have been SO much more challenging and frustrating without her. She is the best support person ever. It was reassuring to have her talk to us multiple times leading up to delivery. Raya took a lot of time to show us different techniques for relief, things we could do physically even before delivery, and things to practice so we could feel comfortable during delivery. She also shared a detailed explanation of what exactly happened during the process. She went through each part of the process step-by-step and explained what alternatives and options might be to ensure we could make our own informed decisions and not feel pressured into something arbitrarily decided by the provider. Importantly, she reminded us that we had agency over the process - she made sure to center me and my physical and emotional needs the moment we made contact with her. Raya stayed with us on her birthday (!?!?!) and was kind and generous and supportive until 6 a.m. when they finally moved us to the postpartum room (hospital doesn't allow second support person in postpartum room, but we'd keep her with us forever if we could). Raya is very thoughtful, easy to talk to, and she's a great researcher. We ended up having a lot of questions, and she sent us a bunch of (verified) helpful resources so we could make an informed decision. She never pressured us and (very importantly) she never made us feel judged no matter what decision we made. She also made sure to help my partner understand what he could do to help and how he could participate in a productive way, which was fantastic. We absolutely recommend Raya - if we ever decide to have a second tiny, we'll absolutely have Raya at our side again! 

Sarah G.


Raya was our doula for the birth of our daughter in October 2020 and she was AMAZING! She is so thoughtful and intentional about her work. From the initial “let’s see if this is a good fit” meeting to actually being in the hospital when our daughter was born, Raya was immensely helpful. 

She did three prenatal visits with my husband and me in the month or two leading up to our baby being born (on the porch, socially-distanced). This was my second baby and we were preparing for a VBAC. Given that we were in COVID times and couldn’t do any in-person classes or do a tour of the hospital, Raya’s guidance and expertise was invaluable in preparing for birth. She tailored her sessions and information to us and was really responsive to what we needed and wanted. She gave us handouts and checklists and also taught my husband some really practical massage techniques and strategies for helping me through labor (which he implemented beautifully when the time came!).

Throughout labor, Raya was wonderful. She was so good at knowing exactly when to step up and when to let my husband take the lead in supporting me, offering helpful guidance along the way in an unobtrusive way. I ended up having a long labor and there were several instances when we had to decide if we wanted an intervention to move things along. She helped us work through what to do without making decisions for us. All in all, she was with us for more than 24 hours! I’m sure she was exhausted and missed her family, but I never once felt like we were a burden or that she was getting anxious about how long it was taking. 

I would 100% work with Raya again and would recommend her to anyone who is considering a doula, whether it’s your first or subsequent pregnancy. I feel certain that working with Raya helped us have a successful VBAC!

Laura T


As I was expecting our first child during COVID and in-person prenatal classes were not available, my husband and I decided to hire Raya as a birth prep doula. We first met with her over zoom, and we immediately noticed her positive and kind energy. From the beginning she made sure to ask about our goals for birth preparation and what we were unsure or anxious about. She planned sessions around our individual preferences and questions rather than just sticking to a pre-set curriculum. She made sure to highlight resources and techniques that she felt were really helpful, and always sent organized written resources to summarize and supplement our conversations. We had a few socially distanced sessions on our porch, and she was able to show me some labor positions to try, and show my husband some counter pressure techniques to use for different scenarios. After our sessions, we both felt much more prepared for the physical, emotional, and logistical aspects of birth! We felt that preparing in this way was so much more personalized and empowering than attending a traditional birth prep course would have been.

I want to highlight one particular way that Raya went above and beyond for us. My doctors found a rare complication that had some associated risks for the baby, and I found googling it too scary and overwhelming. Raya offered to research it for me, noting that it's easier to look stuff up when it's not quite so close to home. Then, she sent me a clear, non-alarmist summary of the data she found. This was really helpful and saved me a lot of stress.

Overall, we highly recommend Raya for pregnancy support!



Raya was my birth doula for my delivery just a few months into the pandemic. Unfortunately at that point Duke hospitals were only allowing one birth partner, forcing me to choose my husband over my doula. It was an incredibly difficult decision and it scared me and stressed me out a lot, but Raya was very reassuring throughout everything that she was doing what she could to advocate for laboring women to have doulas and offered me regular support via phone and text as well. We met a few times when we still thought she would be present with me for birth and she was so helpful and skilled at talking through labor, hospital procedures, pain management techniques, etc. We, and my husband especially, really appreciated her warmth and expertise.

When I finally went into labor but was too scared/uncertain to call the hospital (first baby!), Raya was the first person I called and was available in the middle of the night to talk me through the scary things that were happening to my body and reassure me. She was available the entire night that I was in labor by phone and text to field my husband's questions and help him support me even though she couldn't be there in person. My husband did a great job supporting me with Raya's virtual help, but I am still convinced my labor would have been several hours shorter and a better experience for me if the hospital had allowed her to be there in person with us!

In the first couple months postpartum Raya offered regular support and check-ins and even did a grocery run for us. I am still sad about Duke's earlier measures to restrict birth partners, but Raya helped me handle those realities and get through them. I am so thankful I had her help and support throughout my first pregnancy/birth/postpartum experience.



Raya Sagdejeva was my postpartum doula in the first few weeks after the birth of my daughter. I do not live near family, and family did not visit to help in those first few weeks. In addition, my husband could only take a week off after the birth before returning to work. My postpartum experience with my 2nd child was shaping up to be a repeat of the first time, which left me feeling depressed and alone. Raya, who was already going to be my doula at the birth, offered to be my postpartum doula as well. I agreed and it was one of the best decisions I made as a new mom. 

Raya visited 2-3 times per week during the first month and a half after giving birth. In addition to typical postpartum duties (light housework, meal prep, watching the kids while I rested), she provided company and support. Those early days can be so hard, and it is so easy to feel alone; Raya provided encouragement, laughter, and warmth. Having a postpartum doula was invaluable. Raya provided the comfort and compassion that I needed to be the best mom I could be to two young children. 



Raya worked as my doula for my first baby, born April 9, 2020. She is attentive, and caring. She always put my values first as she helped me prepare for my birth and postpartum. She worked with both me and my partner to reduce anxiety. 


We started with an interview to get to know each other and then had a couple of prenatal meetings to prepare for labor. Raya provided resources for all sorts of things--pain management, positioning, anxiety relief, the role of a partner, how to advocate for yourself during labor, and much more.


I had a special case, giving birth at Duke University Hospital during the COVID 19 pandemic at the height of stay-at-home orders and visitor restrictions at the hospital. Raya did everything she could to advocate for us to have her with us at the hospital. She wrote letters, reached out to experts, and showed up at the hospital with us. Unfortunately, the hospital would but budge on visitor restrictions and only allowed one visitor, so I chose my partner. However, Raya was available by phone, text, and video call whenever we needed her throughout the delivery. She was vital in helping us think through our choices and coaching us through the most difficult parts of labor. When labor gets stressful, you want someone who's calm and focused to keep you grounded, and Raya did a great job of that for us.  


After I delivered, Raya continued to support my family. She checked in with us while I was in recovery at the hospital, encouraging us to speak with lactation consultants, get as much rest as we could, and keep ourselves fed and hydrated. When we got home she checked in regularly and provided resources for postpartum care, pain relief, and stress management. (Sleep deprivation is not something you want to tackle alone!) 


Raya is more supportive and present than I could have expected, and was an essential member of my support team.

Katerena DePasquale


With my first pregnancy and delivery I chose not to have a doula. I was under impression that doulas will command their ideas to me.  Unfortunately, as I suspect for many fist time moms, my experience was traumatic. My husband was overwhelmed and hospital professionals were more concerned with protocols than how I felt. I took a chance with Raya for my second time pregnancy and delivery. And I am still in awe of how wonderful, supporting and professional she was! After my negative experience with first labor, I became certain that second time it'll be the same. But thankfully to Raya it was just perfect!   She kindly cared for me through the pregnancy: came for home visits, emailed and advised bunch of useful information, often checked in on how I felt (your busy spouce may not always do that). During labor she was there pretty much from the beginning. Thankfully to her, I could tolerate lots of my contractions and she kept me a company and distructed me until it was time to push. If I have to chose one main reason why I would recommend Raya it would be that she listened to me. She didn't push any of different agendas and helped my plan go as smooth as possible. 

Don't wait for your second pregnancy! Hire Raya with your first to avoid negative experience! Trust me you will need a badass advocate like her! And don't forget to trust her too. She knows what she is doing. 



Raya is fantastic!  After a relatively uncomplicated birth, I developed an infection that landed me back in the hospital for three days - with a four day old baby at home.  Raya swung into action, working with my husband, providing a calming presence in a high stress situation and taking top notch care of my newborn.  No mom wants to be away from her newborn baby, but knowing that my baby was receiving excellent care while I recovered was priceless.  I'd recommend Raya to anyone!

Rachel and Matthew Spencer


Raya was our doula for the birth of our second child, and we enthusiastically recommend her to any parents-to-be who are looking for support through the birth process and beyond. Our first impressions of Raya, which were confirmed throughout our experience with her, were of a person of warm and positive spirit, non-judgmental encouragement, joyful generosity, and knowledgeable, reassuring calm. She helped us think through our birth plan, and understand what she could do for us. She helped clarify the choices we had and stood ready to be an advocate for our wishes. During labor, Raya was a sure, calming, and skilled support to both mother and father. She met us at the hospital entrance in the middle of the night, helped to get us through the registration and check-in process, and gave emotional and physical support to mom. Raya's fantastic and unhesitating instincts provided physical support, relief, and comfort to mom. (She always made sure to check with mom before she did anything.) She advocated for us to ensure our birth plan was followed. Her energy was positive, calming, and encouraging. She managed, somehow, to create the impression of a welcome and supportive friend, never of an alien intrusion. She was available by phone or text before labor, quick to answer questions or offer emotional support when we felt anxious or frustrated. Raya sent encouraging notes, assuring mom that her body was doing what it needed to do (even after the due date came and went!). After birth, she was ready to help in many small but lovely ways: she took pictures for us, offered to get us a meal, and even produced a lovely bouquet of flowers. She visited a week later to check in, see the baby, and answer any questions we had. Mom enjoyed discussing the labor and delivery with a person who had been with her through the whole process. Raya is a natural and excellent doula. We recommend her without hesitation or reservation.

Birth Availability for Raya Sagdejeva

= Available. Calendar last updated: 04-05-2024

Postpartum Availability for Raya Sagdejeva

= Available. Calendar last updated: 04-05-2024