$800 to $1000
10 years and 88 births attended
Type of practice: Group practice with shared call schedule
Clients per month: 1 to 3
Attends hospital births? Some Hospitals
Normally at all hospitals, but some hospitals may be restricting doula entry during COVID-19
Attends birth center births? No Birth Centers
Unfortunately, we have no birth centers in my area of Alabama!
Attends home births? Some Home Births
I will attend home births if there is a trained provider present.
Co-founder and Executive Director of Business Operations for BirthWell Partners, a nonprofit community doula program serving the Greater Birmingham Area of Alabama. Lamaze certified childbirth educator with 10 years of experience. Former Regional Director and President of the Alabama Birth Coalition. Screenwriter and producer of "You Begin This Way," a film about birth options in Alabama.
My package includes 2 prenatal visits, 1 childbirth class, access to a digital breastfeeding program, continuous labor support, and 1 postpartum visit, as well as phone/text/email support throughout. There may be discounts depending on the situation (such as for repeat clients and for taking childbirth classes ) and the client's needs. Every year I take a few clients on a sliding scale. In addition, those who qualify for Medicaid can contact me for information about BirthWell Partners community doula project (www.birthwellpartners.org).
Birmingham, AL Service range 50 miles Additional fees for travel may apply for clients who live outside of Birmingham
Susan was truly a gift to have with us when our daughter was born. I delivered in July 2020, in the middle of the early COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Because of safety protocols, I was not able to have any guests with me except my husband, so I was especially grateful to have Susan there with us (a doula counted as part of the team at our hospital rather than a guest).
Even without COVID, I wouldn't have wanted to do labor without her. My labor was difficult and long, lasting 35 hours from the start of contractions until my little one was born. She met us at the hospital early that morning and stayed with us the entire time. She helped me manage pain, as I wanted to labor naturally with minimal interventions. She guided me through movements and provided counterpressure when my contractions came. She suggested baths/showers when she thought I could use them. She brought honey sticks and other things to snack on when our own stash inevitably ran out, and she helped me through the repeated boughts of vomitting that were unfortunately brought on by my contractions.
While my husband was willing to support me however he could, he was really limited in what he could do to help, even after going through the training we had with Susan (which was great and incredibly informative). He also suffers from anxiety and had moments during my labor where he was struggling with his own symptoms, so having another person to help was huge for us.
And later, after 21 hours when I felt too tired to continue, Susan unquestioningly supported my decision to switch to an epidural. She was behind me on every decision I made. She was a constant support, and though our nurses and hospital were wonderful, I don't want to imagine going through my labor without her. On top of all that, she helped us out at home even after the baby came. I wish all women could have a doula during their birth journey, and I think Susan is one of the absolute best.
We had our daughter in February 2021, in the height of the fear surrounding Covid. My husband and I were so appreciative of Susan's care for us and how flexible she was despite it being a really hard time to do face-to-face. We ended up having to do a semi-emergency c-section, and Susan rolled with it and changed her plans to meet us quickly. Even though I didn't need her help laboring (like we had talked about and practiced) she was still able to be there in the operating room with my husband and I, and took pictures for us and told me what was going on when they drew my husband away. Whenever I look back at those pictures I'm filled with awe at the grace of God in those moments, when all my plans were upended and our lives completely changed. I'm so incredibly thankful Susan was by our side that day.
I was so nervous going into my first pregnancy. When my husband and I got connected with Susan, I, all the sudden, got an overwhelming amount of peace, knowing that I had someone who had experience in helping nervous first-time momma's like me. Susan has the most calm voice with a peaceful spirit. She was absolutely wonderful. She never ever made me stupid or silly for asking any kind of question. She didn't make me for pressured to make any kind of decision. I came to her for anything and everything. I found so much comfort in knowing she had my back against the midwives and doctors who were handling like child's birth. Anything I didn't know, she did and she let me know what any and every option was. My birthing experience, I did not want a single person touching me, so we didn't have the traditional Doula rubbing on Birther's back situation, but she was there, and ready for anything. I was and always will be so grateful for the experience we had with Susan. I still to this day randomly text her photo's of my son and remind her how grateful I am to her for helping me prepare to birth him! How crazy! With Susan comes the classes she offers, and I really enjoyed the zoom calls I participated in with other moms and dads that Susan taught. I feel like that really prepared me mentally to birth my son. Learning about different position to labor in, how to relax and stretch certain muscle groups, how my husband could help me with all those things, the different positions the baby can come out and how to prepare for that. That knowledge she shared was super powerful for my husband and I. All in all, thank you Susan!! We love you!
I can’t say enough about Susan. We hired her in May to help with the birth of our fist baby due in August. From the beginning, she was kind, genuine, knowledgeable, available, and calming. Throughout my pregnancy she was available by text, phone, email, or in person when I had questions or concerns or needed support. I had my heart set on a natural unmedicated labor and birth. Susan did so much to support and facilitate that. She helped with position changes, breathing, coached my husband on how to help me, diversion technique. My labor was extremely lengthy and she stayed the entire time. She was an amazing support person and resource. We were so thankful for her. I highly recommend Susan as a doula!
My husband and I met with Susan at a doula open house late in my second trimester. From the moment I met her I wanted her to be my doula! She has such a calm and pleasant demeanor I knew she would bring that feeling to my birth. My labor was more difficult than I expected (18 hours of strong back labor) but Susan was by my side the whole time and I was able to have the unmedicated birth I wanted. She provided words of encouragement when I needed them, comforting touch when I wanted it, and even captured some beautiful pictures of my daughter’s birth. She is also a wonderful childbirth educator! Her classes are very informative and she provided me lots of information during our prenatal visits. I cannot say enough good things about Susan and I truly believe I had the birth experience I desired because of her.
Susan Petrus was our doula. I've been trying to think of the words to best describe everything she meant to us on that day, but I've really struggled. In hopes of not leaving anything out, here is my attempt. Susan was our rock. From the time I labored at home and she sent encouragement and knowledge via text (because I told her not to worry with coming to be with us yet), to the last minutes before our daughter arrived 60 hours later and then after when she captured the first moments of my wife and daughter together on camera. She spent countless hours comforting me, both physically and mentally, and held up my wife when she didn't think she could bear seeing my discomfort any more. She was able to show us our own strength that we could not see on our own and was a silent confidence at every corner of decision making. In all the hustle and chaos, she was the strong hand that forced all else to calm so that we remained in control at all times. She worked respectfully with the hospital staff and even encouraged them when she past the point of exhaustion herself. I could continue to go on and on, but I'll stop with this. We don't know what we would have done without Susan. Yes, Our daughter would have arrived and yes we would have still gone home a few days later, but we would not have left knowing that we did all we could to make it what we wanted. We would have left with questions that never got answered. With her, we did not feel alone.
I had an absolute wonderful and empowering experience with Susan as my doula. She helped educate and prepare me during my pregnancy and for my labor and delivery experience. I definitely plan to use her as my doula during my next pregnancy. :-)
I contacted Susan early in my third trimester so that I could have the chance to get to know her and feel comfortable with her as my doula. She was very professional and personable. Susan helped me feel confident in my myself and my decisions for my pregnancy and birth. She gave my husband and I information and helped me develop my birth plan. We developed a great relationship and I felt comfort with her during my delivery.
On the day of my delivery, Susan came to our home in the wee hours as I labored there for the majority of the time. We were not there very long due to the fast pace of my labor, but she help me with breathing through the pain and different positions. She helped my husband and I get to the hospital without a major incident because we were nervous. Susan kept me as calm as possible through it all.
Susan labored with me every minute. (If I was laboring on the floor, she was right down there with me.) She was really there for me through it all. Even more so, my husband is deaf and she learned a few signs to help her communicate with him through my labor and delivery.
If you are looking for a doula that is truly amazing, hands down, Susan is the doula to get! She is truly there for you.
Susan empowers you to take as much control as you can throughout your pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Susan was an absolute essential part of what made my birth journey a positive one. I was so glad she made herself available for the beautiful homebirth of our precious daughter. Her knowledge and experience were invaluable. She stayed flexible and patient as my needs changed through the progressing stages of labor. She was a wonderful doula.
Susan, Sam and I are so grateful. Blessings on you.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 07-11-2022