top of page
2021-03-22 08.18.00-2.jpg

Susan Petrus

It is a privilege to be a doula and a childbirth educator; to provide information, to offer emotional and physical support along the journey, and to witness the powerful transformation to parenthood! 

Susan is an experienced, DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Lamaze-Certified Childbirth Educator, and certified Body Ready Method® (BRM®) Pro.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

My Story

Like many women, I grew up disconnected from birth. I didn’t see any siblings born, didn’t attend the births of neighbors or friends, and didn’t question American birth practices. When I was pregnant for the first time, I attended the hospital’s childbirth classes, but otherwise didn’t give too much thought to the process of giving birth. I had a standard, medically managed labor where the decisions were mostly made by my doctor and nurses. I’m not sure I even understood I had a right to disagree or make decisions, when I look back. Too late, I realized I was not mentally prepared for the experience, and I did not like being a passive participant during this huge life experience.

The second time around, I researched risks and benefits, feeling confident that I had the information I needed to make decisions during pregnancy and labor. I faced my fears about childbirth and learned to distinguish between “normal labor pain” and “suffering.” I listened to positive birth stories from other women who had walked this path. I chose a birth location with policies that were evidence-based, and I selected care providers who understood how to assist me emotionally and physically through the process. I was an active participant in my son’s birth—and it felt great! There was an enormous difference in how I felt during the birth, how I recovered afterward, and how I bonded with my child during his first weeks.

My experiences inspired me to be an advocate for better birth options. For two years I served on the board of the Alabama Birth Coalition and, along with Dalia Abrams, facilitated Birmingham Birth Stories & More, a free support group we started for parents seeking information about low-intervention birth. In 2011, Dalia and I co-founded BirthWell Partners, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to training birth doulas and providing free and reduced cost doula services to low-resource women in central Alabama. I currently serve as executive director of this organization. I became a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) and DONA Certified Birth Doula in 2014, and joined BirthWise in Birmingham in 2015.


Birth Doula

Base Fee: $1200 - $1400

Childbirth Education:
Private Classes
Birth Prep 
Body Alignment Sessions

Fee: Varies

Contact Susan

View Susan's profile and availability:

Certifications and Training

Workshops and Continuing Education Attended

Body Ready Method

Instructor: Lindsay McCoy

October 2023 - March 2024

Holding Space Consultant Training

Instructor: Amy Wright Glenn

October 2023 - December 2023

ReThinking Prenatals
Instructor: Adriana Lozada
July 9, 2022

GOLD Midwifery Online Conference 2020
April 2020

Group B Strep (GBS) Online Course
Instructor: Microbiome Courses
March 11, 2019

Gentle Birth Conference/Waterbirth Education
Instructor: Barbara Harper, RN, CLD CCCE, CKC
November 18-19, 2016

Spinning Babies Workshop
Instructor: Tammy Ryan, Adv CD/BDT(DONA), SpBT
November 11, 2016

Advanced Doula TrainingInstructor: Elizabeth SteeleMarch 18 2016


Stillbirthday Bereavement Support Workshop for Birth Workers
Instructor: Lauren Bishop
June 14, 2015

What They Didn't Teach You About Breastfeeding
Instructor: Dr. Jack Newman
March 23, 2015

Lamaze and DONA 2014 Confluence
September 18-21, 2014

Neonatal Resuscitation
Instructor: Karen Strange
March 23, 2014

Rebozo Training: "Make the Partner Do It"
Instructor: Gena Kirby
January 25, 2014

Breastfeeding Workshop
UAB Hospital
July 25-26, 2013

bottom of page