Susan Petrus Photo

Susan Petrus

BirthWise in Birmingham


Phone: 205-222-0343

Birth Fee: $950

Fee Details: Every year I take a few clients on a sliding scale based on financial need. In addition, those who qualify for Medicaid can contact me about BirthWell Partners community doula project (

Birth Doula Experience: 7 years and 64 births attended

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, April 2013
Type of Practice: Group practice with shared call schedule

Clients per Month: 1 to 3

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? No Birth Centers
Unfortunately, we have no birth centers in Alabama!
Attends home births? Some Home Births
I will attend home births if there is a trained provider present.

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Lamaze International

College Education

  • MA/MS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Addiction Recovery
  • Cesarean birth
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Over 40
  • Single parents
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Birth Pool rental
  • Childbirth Education Services

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

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. 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.

Languages spoken: English

Certifications for Susan Petrus

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Client Testimonials for Susan Petrus

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Gabbi Calderone

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! 

Posted 11/28/2018

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Colleen Kirchharr

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. 

Posted 5/12/2018

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Noel Palmer

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.

Posted 6/7/2017

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Melissa Lee

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.

Posted 12/23/2014

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Mel Dabbs

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.

Posted 6/12/2014

Birth Availability for Susan Petrus

= Available. Calendar last updated: 12/22/2019 10:57:27 AM