It all started from...
...a deeply-held belief that all pregnant people deserve to be supported no matter where or how they choose to give birth. And that remains the foundational belief that supports our work with families.
East Nashville Doulas owner Andrea Hewitt began her journey as a pregnant mother searching for birth options over 25 years ago. Back then, she had never heard of the word "doula," but she knew that birth was a transformative experience, and she wanted to birth her way. Fast forward to right after the birth of her second child when she first ran across the concept of a doula and decided to become one herself. She wanted to support families welcoming babies into their lives in a way that she herself was not supported. She was trained by a DONA-approved trainer in 2000, and attended a few births of her friends. It was clearly what she was meant to do as birth work combined all of her passions and skills together.
She continued working as a teacher and university administrator, eventually landing at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. After working there for 12 years and raising her two children, she came back to the idea of returning to birth work when she was ready to make a change in her life. In 2015, she attended her second DONA-approved training, quit her job at Vanderbilt, and began her full-time solo doula practice.
She became a certified Lamaze childbirth educator in 2017, and has taught more than 100 couples in her classes over the last few years. With her strong background in education, she knew how important solid, evidence-based information was for families as they navigated their birth choices. She also mentored many new doulas by sharing her expertise with them.
In 2018, she found herself one of the busiest and most sought-after doulas in Nashville. In order to serve even more families, she decided to open a doula agency. But she knew that she had to adopt a different agency model--one that provided the security families wanted by knowing who would be showing up for their birth. She had many families come to her because they wanted to know who their doula would be--they wanted a familiar face in their birth space.
And this is the East Nashville Doula difference! With our agency, our 3 foundational principles are:
Andrea also holds 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. Making our families and doulas happy is our number one priority!
Andrea also believes 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. Andrea and her wife moved to East Nashville 6 years ago to find that accepting community, and it was the best decision! 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. Our story continues and we hope you will be a part of it!