Beloved Birth Doula Apprenticeships



Like many, when I trained as a doula, in 2008, I was full of information to share and eager to go to births.  However, through my traditional doula training, I was not able to see a prenatal meeting or a postpartum meeting in person or attend a birth until I had a client of my own. Although I had learned a lot, I didn’t feel prepared to properly support an expectant family.

Seeking out a mentor was one of the most important things I did to start my career. Having the opportunity to see how an experienced doula conducted her meetings and supported her clients through labor, was priceless.  The experience I gained from working with her prepared me for working with my own clients.  She was also a source for advice and help in the early days of my doula career.

Most doula certifying organizations cannot offer an apprenticeship program. However, like me, many new doulas benefit greatly from working with a mentor.  Which is why I am so excited about my new services.  Through Beloved Birth, I am now offering a Doula Exploration Consultation, a Distance Doula Mentor program and a Three Month Doula Apprenticeship program.  Something for everyone

Wondering which is right for you?

Have you thought about becoming a doula, but don’t know what to expect or where to start?  The Doula Exploration Consultation is perfect for you.  We will sit down, in person or via Skype, to explore your goals, why you want to be a doula, what life a doula is like and the different training options.

If you have already completed a training workshop and have decided to pursue a career as a birth professional, I have two great options.  First is the Three Month Doula Apprenticeship Program.  Perfect for the local, Central Kentucky, doula who wants first-hand experience, learning from an experienced and respected doula.  You will be able to attend prenatal appointments, postpartum appointments and at least one birth.  Plus, you will receive guidance in starting your own business, your website, social media, client forms and much more.  The apprenticeship is a wonderful way to gain real world skills, while working with a professional doula.  Through this program you will gain confidence, learn important skills, and have a head start in building your doula business.

The third offering is the Distance Doula Mentor Program. If you would love to have the opportunity to apprentice, but do not live the Central Kentucky area this is a great option for you.  This program gives you the opportunity to have a one-on-one meeting with me to discuss you goals and business plan, guidance with two of your clients(from hire to postpartum), review and guidance on your website and social media strategy and more.

I am grateful for the guidance and experience I gained from working with a mentor and I am excited to offer the same opportunity to you. Whether you are thinking about becoming a doula or have completed a training workshop, I can help guide you to the next step in your career.

Click here for more information and to apply.


Improving Birth Doula Special

The Lexington Improving Birth Rally was this past weekend.  Thanks to everyone who came out to show their support for this great cause.  To celebrate, and because I feel every mom needs some pampering, I am offering a limited time Improving Birth special. Purchase any doula package, by September 30th, and receive a complimentary prenatal massage by Charley Caudill of White Willow Massage Therapy.  She is amazing!

September Special


Contact me for more information.  I would love to talk with you about your needs and wishes for your birth.  And remember, this offer is only valid through September 30th. 






HypnoBirthing ® is coming to Central Kentucky

Big things are happening at Beloved Birth!!!  I am excited to announce that In June, I will be traveling to Dallas, Texas to certify to teach HypnoBirthing®.  I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring this class to Central Kentucky.  I have previously taken HypnoBirthing twice, once as a doula and once as a mother and I can’t wait to teach and share this wonderful method of childbirth preparation with others.


I have experienced the effectiveness of the HypnoBirthing method as a doula and as a birthing mother.  I have assisted several doula clients who have had incredible success using it, but I became a true believer when I used it for my second birth.  The birth of my daughter was remarkably different than my first birth.  During her birth, I was able to let go and have a wonderful and joyful experience. I contribute my ability to focus, breathe and relax to my HypnoBirthing practice.

So what is it that makes HypnoBirthing so special?

Marie Mongan, founder of the HypnoBirthing Institutes, describes HypnoBirthing as “a tried and proven method that guides and prepares a woman in giving birth in a peaceful and extraordinarily beautiful manner. It is a program that considers the psychological, as  well as the physical, well-being of the mother, her birth partner, and the newborn, independent of context, whether that be in the quiet of a home, a hospital, or a birth center.”

As a doula and childbirth educator, I believe, HypnoBirthing encompasses everything a childbirth class should have. Not only is HypnoBirthing® a comprehensive childbirth series, but it also focuses on breathing, meditative practices, visualization, and relaxation which gives parents the tools they need to have a positive and enjoyable birth experience. I tell my doula clients and childbirth students, that to be able to birth they need to know how to breathe and relax.  If they can do that, their body will do the rest. I love this class because it gives birthing moms the ability to do just that.

The HypnoBirthing® series consists of five 2.5 hour classes

Where- The Light Clinic in Frankfort, Ky.

When-   Sundays from 4 pm- 6:30 pm

Series 1- July 19th- August 23rd

Series 2- September 27th-October 25th                          

Investment- $325 including the cost of materials

Please contact me for more information and registration.




I think every mom deserves a massage, don’t you?  That’s why I am very excited to announce that I have teamed up with Baby Bump Magazine to offer an awesome giveaway to moms and moms to be. Starting this morning,  November 6th at 8 am, you can go to the Baby Bump Facebook page to enter to win a massage for you or to give as a gift to a deserving mama you know.  One lucky winner will receive a massage from the incredible Lauren Higden at Centered.   All you have to do to enter is to post one question you would like to ask a doula in the comments of the Baby Bump Facebook giveaway post. The giveaway will also be featured on The Baby Bump’s segment of the noon news today on WTVQ ABC 36.



What can a peanut ball do for your birth?

Recently, at the Midwifery Today Conference, I purchased a 50cm peanut ball, an easily portable size, and an adorable blue chevron cover from Alice Turner at Your Doula Bag. I can’t wait to put this new ball to use, but you may be wondering, what on earth do you do with this funny shaped ball?  And does it really work?

The round birth ball has become a common site in a birthing room, but the peanut ball is a relative new comer.  In the last few years the use of a peanut ball for labor has increased, especially for moms who chose an epidural or who need to rest. The peanut ball doesn’t slip, slide or flatten like pillows, keeping a mom’s legs properly supported and the pelvis open.

A peanut ball helps to keep mom's pelvis open while she rests or has an epidural.

A peanut ball helps to keep mom’s pelvis open while she rests or has an epidural.


Melissa B., a registered nurse, says “I love peanut balls! They work very well to keep mama’s pelvis open and have become my personal standard of care with patients choosing an epidural. I also offer them for patients with back labor to use in a forward leaning position as well as in the tub.”

The use of a peanut ball has been seen to help shorten labor. Although, there has not been a large study on the effectiveness, many nurses and hospitals are seeing excellent results.

In July of 2011, the Arizona Republic ran an article showing the use of a peanut ball, featuring Christina Tussey, a clinical-nurse specialist at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Arizona, “(she) recruited two groups of patients… those who would be given peanut balls during appropriate stages of labor and those without. The results were compelling. Those who used the ball decreased the first stage of labor by nearly 90 minutes and the second stage by 23 minutes compared with a control group that did not use the ball.”  Not only did the hospital see a reduction in the length of labors, they also saw a 13% decrease in the C-section rate for women who used the peanut ball.  In response to the positive results, Banner Health chain has supplied all of its labor and delivery halls with peanut balls.

Peanut balls can also be used to assist babies who are asynclitic or in a bad position move into a better position.  Asynclitic is when a baby’s head is tipped to either side, forwards or backwards.  A peanut ball is thought to help by keeping the pelvis open; allowing the baby the room it needs to maneuver.  For example, if a baby’s head is tilted to the right, opening the pelvis wider on the right side allows the extra space in the pelvis for the baby’s head to slip into an optimal position.

While sitting, use the peanut ball to help open the pelvis, to the left or right, by propping up one leg.  This can create room in the pelvis for a poorly positioned baby to move into a better position.

While sitting, use the peanut ball to help open the pelvis, to the left or right, by propping up one leg. This can create room in the pelvis for a poorly positioned baby to move into a better position.

I’m excited to be adding a peanut ball to my birth kit, its simplicity and effectiveness will make it a go to for my birthing mamas.  I can’t wait to try it out!


Let’s talk pregnancy! The Positive Birth Movement-Lexington

Guest Article by Chanté Perryman of the Positive Birth Movement

Positive Birth Mvmt Logo

Google was my best friend during my pregnancy.  I read my share of books on being pregnant, birth and breastfeeding but it seemed like I could find more relevant information on that one search engine. The world was literally at my fingertips!  I searched Pregnancy Support Groups Lexington, KYPregnant Moms Lexington, KYX amount of weeks pregnant? But sometimes even all the books and Google couldn’t help me!

Looking back, I now realize I just wanted to talk with another woman who was going through the same thing as I was: BEING PREGNANT FOR THE FIRST TIME! I needed more than to read about it.  It had been over 20 years since my mom had her last baby and information, evidenced based care, and standard practices had drastically changed since then. I had plenty of people giving me useful tips and wisdom from when they had their babies, but I wanted to share my experience with another expecting mommy!

After I had delivered my baby, I started researching becoming a Baby Planner. My research led me to learn so many things about birth, hospital procedures, doulas, becoming an advocate, etc. I also realized there are other women who are in the same boat I was just in a few years ago: they too want someone to talk too!

While reading one of many birth books, I came across an organization called the Positive Birth Movement which is based out of the United Kingdom. The Positive Birth Movement’s key principle is that every mom deserves a positive birth experience and to be respected.  According to the group’s website “a positive birth does not have to be ‘natural’ or ‘drug free’ – it simply has to be informed from a place of positivity as opposed to fear. The Positive Birth Movement is woman-centered and as such respects a woman’s human right to choose where and how she has her baby.”

There were many Positive Birth Movement groups in different parts of the world and even some in the US, but none here! I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to offer something to the expectant moms here in my area! A chance for women, whether they are trying to conceive, expecting, or already a mom to other children, to come out, relax and just talk about anything from pregnancy, providers to postpartum care!

Our first meeting was March of 2014 and it has been amazing to meet and talk about pregnancy related items with women who really want a positive birth experience. Each woman has a different vision for her birth and we believe each should be entitled to a birth where they are informed and respected.

Meeting topics have ranged from What About a Waterbirth with Rebecca Dekker, from Evidence Based Birth, to Relieving Stress during Pregnancy, to Am I allowed-Know Your Rights.  Future topics of discussion include The Difference between a Homebirth and a Hospital Birth, Breastfeeding Basics, and the Use of Essential Oils with Dr. Sarah Klopfenstein-Wear.

The Lexington chapter of the Positive Birth Movement hopes to help women find the information and support they need to achieve their positive birth experience.

The Positive Birth Movement – Lexington meets on the second Thursday of every month from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Central Library in downtown Lexington.  For more information visit or join our Facebook group here.


Introducing the Birthing Naturally Childbirth Class

I am very excited to announce that I am expanding the services offered through Beloved Birth.  In addition to my private childbirth classes, I will be offering group childbirth classes.  I have dreamed of offering the Birthing Naturally Childbirth series for some time and the perfect opportunity has presented itself.  The class, starting in July, is a six week series, meeting once weekly in a beautiful studio at Centered.


Centered is located at 309 North Ashland Avenue in Lexington, Kentucky.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect location for the new Birthing Naturally Childbirth Class.  Centered is committed to supporting, educating and inspiring our world through the moving, visual and healing arts as well as workshops and classes.  In line with the Birthing Naturally Childbirth Class, they currently offer a comprehensive array of classes and services supporting soon-to-be and new families such as: Dancing for Birth classes, postpartum and pregnancy massage, infant and pediatric massage, and a variety of children’s yoga and music classes. Centered will also be offering prenatal yoga soon.

I believe the birth of a child is one of life’s most precious and important events.  This comprehensive class will allow parents to gain practical knowledge on how to prepare both mom and her partner for their upcoming birth.  The class will provide information and practice on a complete range of topics to fully prepare you for a healthy pregnancy, labor and birth. Topics include: comfort measures, relaxation techniques, stages of labor, anatomy, creating a birth plan, birthing options, and nutrition.  The class has been created using evidence based information and seeks to educate and empower parents in their own decision making about their birth and postpartum care.

My Birthing Naturally childbirth series will be much more than your average birth class.   I envision a supportive, nurturing atmosphere that allows parents to feel at ease and comfortable.  I want to create an environment where families become more than students in a class, a place where they become a community supporting one another and where they become confident in the birthing process and themselves.

I am happy to have this chance to share my knowledge and love of childbirth.  As a childbirth educator, I love preparing and educating parents so they can make informed and educated decisions about their care and have a positive and fulfilling birth experience.

Series 1 begins Monday, July 14th and run through Monday,  August 18th.


Please contact me for more information and register here

*Each series is limited to 8 couples.


Capturing The Moment – Birth Photography

My son turned 8 recently and, like every birthday, I took a stroll down memory lane and looked at the photographs from his birth.  Every year I am amazed at how little he was, how big he is now and how quickly time passes.  When I was pregnant I asked our doula, Jamie, if she would take a few pictures for us during labor.  She was much too busy during active labor to take very many, but captured the birth beautifully.  Before giving birth, I had no idea how much I would treasure these photos.


Cuddling my sweet baby moments after birth.

Cuddling my sweet baby moments after birth.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I decided to have a birth photographer.  Since Jamie, who now practiced photography, did such a great job at our first birth, I asked her if she would be the photographer for our second.   Having someone whose sole job was to capture the day on film was a great decision.  She was free to photograph every part of my labor, from my husband and I slow dancing during a contraction to the moment my daughter took her first breath.  She was also free to photograph the other special moments and details which help to tell the story of the day.  We have photographs of my son baking cookies and filling up the birth tub, as well as the little details such as the baby clothes we had laid out and the special items I had from my blessing way.

As a doula, knowing how special my birth pictures are, I do my best to catch some special moments on film for my clients.  Often I have a camera in one hand while supporting the mom as she pushes with the other, so that I am ready to photograph the first moments after birth.  However, I am not a professional photographer and it can be hard to truly document the day while physically supporting a mom during labor.

This is why a lot of people choose to have a photographer present at their birth.  Mom to two, Alexis Pullen did not have a photographer for her first birth.  Like me, when she was pregnant with her second child she knew she wanted her birth photographed.  She says “My ability to remember that day in such detail is thanks to Dawn’s photographs.  Now I can look back anytime I want, and remember what was the most important, therapeutic and empowering experience of my life.”  Alexis was kind enough to share a few of her photographs.

A Beautiful picture of Alexis smiling while she labored in the shower.   Her doula called this her birth ecstasy photo.  Alexis had practiced hypnobirthing and this picture was snapped mere moments before her water broke and she was ready to push.

A Beautiful picture of Alexis smiling while she labored in the shower.Her doula
called this her birth ecstasy photo.Alexis had practiced Hypnobirthing® and this picture
was snapped mere moments before her water broke and she was ready to push.

Alexis’ husband, Ben, holding her hand as she began to push.

Alexis’ husband, Ben, holding her hand as she began to push.

Alexis says “the third photo is my favorite…  It's the moment Raina was put on my chest.   My expression sums up the depth of my relief, my exhaustion, the love I felt, everything.”

Alexis says “the third photo is my favorite… It’s the moment Raina was put on my chest.
My expression sums up the depth of my relief, my exhaustion, the love I felt, everything.”

“Birth photography captures the whole expanse of emotion surrounding birth” says birth photographer and doula Megan Wilson  “ It’s priceless to be able to see the moments leading up to your child’s birth, as memories and time can blur the emotion and special moments that are inherent with the birth process.”

If you are interested in having a photographer at your birth, I recommend you first talk to your care provider to find out if they allow photographs to be taken and if the extra person will be welcome in the labor and delivery room.  In my experience, I have found most care providers are fine with a photographer as long as they respect the space.  Megan Wilson comments “Birth photography is becoming much more popular and accepted and physicians are beginning to appreciate it. As a photographer, however, it’s important to remain out of the way as much as possible.”  She says that if you care provider is hesitant you should “ Know what their specific concerns are, and address them accordingly (ie: Not taking pictures of the doctors face).”

The birth of your child is one of the most important and life changing events of your life.   Having your birth photographed is a decision you will not regret.  On hiring a birth photographer, mom and labor and delivery nurse Melissa Bren says “I hired a photographer for my last birth and it was one of the best investments I have ever made.”

If you are interested in birth photography, and live in the central Kentucky area, please visit the Beloved Birth Resources page for a list of local photographers.


Welcome to The Beloved Birth Blog

Hello and welcome to the Beloved Birth Blog.  I am Amy Rickard a birth doula, as well as a Hypnobabies® certified Hypnodoula and Certified Lactation Specialist.  I serve families in Lexington Kentucky and the surrounding Central Kentucky area.  I offer doula services, private childbirth education classes, henna and belly casts.

Through my own pregnancy and the birth of my first child, I found my passion for birth. After a positive birth experience, I discovered a new sense of strength and empowerment that I was able to carry into my parenting.  After my son’s birth my interest in childbirth and breastfeeding grew and I realized I wanted to support other families at their births. In 2008, I attended a birth doula training and began attending births. I have attended births both at home, and in the hospital. It has been an honor and a joy to help families find their own strength, power and voice during one of life’s most precious and important events. As I spent more time with families, my interests expanded beyond birth and I completed lactation specialist training. As clients have requested, I have taught myself Henna art, belly casting and placenta encapsulation in order to offer a wide range of services to the moms I serve.  Now, I have decided that it is, again, time to branch out.

The Beloved Birth Blog has been a long time in the making.  I have made list of topics, talked to other bloggers and designed a blog page.  To be honest, I am rather nervous about writing this blog.  It has been many years since I have regularly sat down to write something other than a Facebook post.

Although the idea of starting this blog is still a little scary for me, I believe now, as my business is growing, is the perfect time.   I am passionate about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting and I want to share this passion with you.  I hope for The Beloved Birth Blog to be a source of information, support and inspiration.

I am delighted to have to opportunity to connect and share with my clients and the internet birth community.  Thank you to my wonderful husband, friends, and clients who have supported me and helped to make Beloved Birth possible.  And thank you for coming with me on this journey.



©Copyright 2013 Beloved Birth Doula Services