$600 to $1400
$15 to $40
3 years and 45 births attended
3 years and 20 families served
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 4 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
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
Durham, NC Service range 75 miles
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 11-04-2022
= Available. Calendar last updated: 11-04-2022