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doulas in nashville

Why Inclusion Matters

Why Inclusion Matters

Here’s one thing I know about life...inclusion matters. Representation matters. Love is love.

I think it’s important to share the values that led me to start this agency. As one of the L’s in LGBTQ+, it’s crucial to me that my agency serve all people and all families. And to say it proudly & loudly.

When I first jumped into birth work, I worried for a bit that I wouldn’t be hired as a doula because I am a lesbian. I live in Tennessee, and while Nashville is a pretty progressive place, Tennessee is most definitely not. In my first few years working as a doula, I saw the discrimination first hand. Doulas who told me point blank that they refused to work with gay couples. Midwives who would take a meeting for a consult, but when they realized the family was not straight, they’d leave the consult.

But I also saw something else. I saw my business flourish. I was out & open about my relationship with my partner—now my wife—on my website because I wanted potential client families to know up front where I stood. And I just got busier & busier. This is how I know living your authentic truth is the only way to go. This is why inclusive care for all is the only way for  me to run a business. This is why you will never be turned away at East Nashville Doulas simply because of who you love & how you make a family.

Thank you for supporting this LGBTQ+-owned business. I’m in awe every day of the trust our client families put in us to walk with them at their most vulnerable time. We see you, we honor you, and we support you.  All of you.

The East Nashville Doulas Birth Story


The East Nashville Doulas Birth Story

Welcome to the newest doula agency in Nashville—East Nashville Doulas! We are so excited to offer professional labor support and education to families in the greater Nashville metro area. We are a group of dedicated and compassionate doulas who believe that all pregnant people and their families deserve to be supported no matter where or how they choose to give birth. 

I’m Andrea, and I’m the owner and founder of East Nashville Doulas. I chose the name because this is where I live—in this vibrant, progressive, expanding part of town. East Nashville draws people from all over the world to its fabulous restaurants, funky shops, famous music venues, and busy coffee shops. While we serve families all over the metro Nashville area, we carry the East Nashville spirit with us, and the heart of our work reflects these values—diversity, inclusivity, and support for all families.

Today, I thought I would share our East Nashville Doulas birth story with you! Like any parent, I’m very proud of the work that went into “birthing” this agency, but the story of its conception starts long ago.

I began my journey to birth work as a first-time mom searching for birth options over 25 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. Back then, I had never heard of the word "doula," but I knew that I wanted my birth to be the transformative experience I knew it could be. I also knew I wanted to birth my way on my terms. I chose a great OB who reflected my values, and I had an uncomplicated (and very fast!) hospital birth. Still, I was left wanting more for any subsequent births.

Fast forward to right after the birth of my second child at home, I had a much more empowering experience this time around as I felt more involved in the choices around this birth. It was in my research for my second birth that I heard the term “doula” for the first time. Aha! This was what was missing with my birth experiences—continuous and professional labor support. I decided that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to support families welcoming babies into their lives in a way that I had not been supported. 

I took a DONA-approved training around 1999, and ended up supporting the births of a few friends. I loved doing this work, but couldn’t figure out how to make it a sustainable career at that time.

I continued to work as a teacher and university administrator, eventually landing at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. After working there for 12 years and raising my two children, I came back to the idea of returning to birth work when I was ready to make a change in my life. In 2015, I attended another DONA-approved training (with the fabulous Jessica English of Birth Kalamazoo), quit my job at Vanderbilt, and began my full-time solo doula practice. Within a few years, I built up my practice to become one of the busiest and most sought-after doulas in Nashville. I also mentored many new doulas by sharing my expertise with them.

In 2017, I became a certified Lamaze childbirth educator, and I’ve taught more than 100 couples in my classes over these last few years. With my lifelong background in education, I know how important solid, evidence-based information is for families as they navigate their birth choices. Knowledge is empowering, and it also reduces fears. 

In 2018, I decided that in order to serve even more families, I would open a doula agency. But I knew that I wanted to adopt a different agency model--one that provided the security families wanted by knowing who would be showing up for their birth. I had many families come to me because they wanted to know who their doula would be--they wanted a familiar face in their birth space. With us, you will know your doula, and that’s who will be at your birth.

I assembled a team of fabulous doulas who I met through networking and our mutual love of all things birth. They each bring amazing skills and talents to this work, and I'm so lucky to call them colleagues and friends! They are compassionate professionals who are eager to talk with you about how they can support your family during this transformational time.

And this is the East Nashville Doula difference! With our agency, our 3 foundational principles are: 

- It’s your birth (we provide nonjudgmental support)

- You create your birth vision (we are happy to provide great resources if you need them!)

- Your doula will be there supporting your birth and your vision every step of the way

I also hold a very strong belief that since no one can determine how long their labor will last, no East Nashville Doula family will ever be charged extra for a longer labor. Our agency has a structure in place to make sure that our families are well-supported, and our doulas are compensated for longer births. That’s just a no-brainer for us! Making our families and doulas happy is our number one priority.

I also believe in the power of education to transform people's lives. That's why we recommend childbirth education classes to all of our clients, and we offer both group and private classes to meet every family's schedule. Having the knowledge and tools you need for your birth can only lead to better outcomes.

Finally, what makes East Nashville great is community--diverse, inclusive, & accepting. I moved to East Nashville with my partner 5 years ago to find that accepting community, and it was the best decision ever! At East Nashville Doulas, we honor that spirit by proudly supporting all families who seek our services.

Support, education, community...these are the values that gave birth to East Nashville Doulas. Give us a call today if you’d like to find out more about how we can help you with your own birth story!