Tennessee Doulas Association is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate people about doulas and promote the use of doula care to improve pregnancy, birth, and postpartum outcomes.

About us

TNDA Mission:

1. Educate the public about the doula profession (including birth, postpartum, sibling, loss, lactation) who provide education, advocacy, community resources, physical and emotional support for women and their families before, during, and after childbirth.

2. Promote doula use to improve birth and postpartum outcomes. 

3. Advance the doula profession through community education, providing a supporting network, and upholding professional standards while protecting the autonomy of the doula profession.


A professional TNDA doula is trained in:

  • Natural Physiological Birth
  • Labor Comfort Measures
  • Peanut Ball and Rebozo Use
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Cultural Awareness Training
  • CPR Trained
  • Mom's Partner Training
  • Induction / Hospital Births
  • Home births
  • Postpartum Support
  • Lactation Support
  • Newborn Care
  • Loss Support
  • Trauma Informed

We want to make sure that any bill or legislation that is about us benefits doulas and the families we support.

2024 TN Proposed Legislation:
House Bill 2225 and Senate Bill 1739 which are about "doula services performed by a person with a verification of certification to the list of services that may be provided as medical assistance under the TennCare program; directs the department of health to establish by rule a process for the verification of certification to a person who demonstrates that the person has completed a doula training program that meets certain requirements."



In 2023 TN Legislation Passed 3 bills:

Senate Bill 128: creates a doula pilot program to run fiscal year 2024-2025 for specified pregnant women enrolled in TennCare whose healthcare provider determines that doula care services are medically appropriate AND the woman has an increased likelihood of experiencing a higher-risk pregnancy .

Senate Bill 187: creates a 5 person Doula Advisory Committee (from 10/23 til 7/1/26) attached to the Dept of Health to recommend core competencies and standards for doula services, establish multiple options for Medicaid reimbursement rates for TennCare, propose incentive-based programs such as fee waivers to encourage participation from rural communities, and examine exisiting Doula pilot programs. Their report will be submitted 18 months after the first meeting to the Department of Health and TN legislation.

It also defines a doula in TN legislation for the first time. "Doula" means a birth worker who provides child birth education, advocacy, and physical, emotional, and nonmedical support for pregnant and postpartum women before, during, and after childbirth and loss; 

The state will also develop a set of core competencies and standards for doulas providing doula services in this state

Senate Bill 394: requires TennCare to cover doula care for qualified Medicaid enrollees and doulas certified by the state or doulas certified by DONA, ALACE, CAPPA, CBI, Birthworks International, Commonsense Childbirth, International Center for Traditional Childbearing. The commissioner shall establish by rule a process by which the department issues a verification of certification.

Meet Our Board

Rebekah Porter

Rebekah Porter has been working in the birth field for 30 years. She ran the Nashville Birth Network for 4 years and desires all doulas to be able to easily gain the tools they need to serve. 

Vice President

Meghan Buetler has been serving women during birth in Washington and TN. She plans to train as a midwife soon and is passionate about partners being involved in birth to the level they want to be.


Carolyn Paine is a VBAC mom herself and desires all women to be heard and informed.


Ashley Klasen has served as a doula for over 102 births in Idaho and TN. She brings her energy and love for birth to this organization.

Meet Our Committees



We want many people to feel welcome to join us and be part of the change they want to see.

Doula Certification & Verification

We strive to help our doulas become trained, certified, and verified. 

Hospital Doula Program Coordinator


This program will help clients have access to more doulas in training and a subsidized rate. We believe that doula support during birth brings better outcomes.

Legislation Advocate


We want to be aware of all the changes suggested by legislation about our profession. 

Research Lead

Larriel is a student and finishing up her program in Maternal Health. She plans to help bring to light many topics regarding birth habits.

Event Coordinator


We host monthly doula meetups virtually  and in-person.

Find us promoting the doula profession at fairs and expos.

TNDA also holds a yearly doula conference



TN 37221


Learn More About Becoming A Doula...


1. Why was Tennessee Doulas Association started?
Many years ago Tennessee Midwives Association was started to set up their own standards and scope of practice before legislation could do it. Doulas in TN need the same thing. IN 2023 TN legislation passed several pieces of legislation regarding doulas and yet we had no organization to voice what we want or don't want. We work as doulas to help clients have their voice heard and yet there is nobody to speak up for us. TNDA was created to promote the doula profession and for doulas in TN to have a voice about our profession. It is time for Tennessee Doulas to have a professional organization to set standards, scope, and govern ourselves.
For the last several years we have noticed that people are talking about doulas, but no organization is promoting them. TNDA wants to help educate the community and help promote the doula profession across the state while protecting the autonomy of how each doula practices. 


2. Some say that you are against TennCare covering doula services. Is that true?
No, that is not true. We want people to have access to doulas no matter where they live or what their income is. In 2022 TriCare was the first insurance to cover doula services and it has been messy. We want TennCare access to be easy for the moms and easy for the doulas to file and get paid a good wage. We have been researching what is happening in other states and we want to make TN access better. We believe that with guidance from doulas in TN we can make TennCare access good for moms with a payment that is good for doulas. 


3. The legislation passed in July 2023 was only about TennCare doulas. Why should I worry?
Alot of the legislation was about TennCare, but there are a few things added to the bill that affects any doula who works in this state. If you look at the Fiscal Memorandum of Senate Bill 394 it talked about the Department of Health establishing a process to verify the certification of doula providers in this state. The assumed certification fee will be $500 and a biennial renewal fee of $710. This fee is higher than any other profession in the state, except midwives. This fee would be a hardship for many doulas who work in TN. Doulas need a say in what the state plans to do regarding our profession. Also, Senate Bill 187 suggests that the department of health establish core competencies and standards for the provision of doula services in this state. Doulas should establish and regulate the doula profession in TN, not our elected officials.


4. This won't affect me. I will just rebrand myself as a birth worker instead of a doula. Right?
Actually, TN legislation just defined the word doula for the first time. "Doula"is defined as a birth worker who provides child birth education, advocacy, and physical, emotional, and nonmedical support for pregnant and postpartum women before, during, and after childbirth and loss. This definition could be applied to anyone providing the services listed no matter what they call themselves. Also, in years past we worked in the gray area because we did not exist in legislation. Now, we are defined legally and other future actions can be taken for or against us. We now need to have an organization watching for what is coming up in legislation every year and alert all the doulas in the state so that they can respond and have their voice heard. TNDA wants to step up and take that role.
5. Why should I join?
We need you and your unique thoughts. We are stronger together and we need to support each other to make doula care in TN amazing. Maybe it is time to have doulas for a doula. We need each other to help educate one another and lift each other up. We have tried to make some great benefits to joining including printing discounts and access to more education. Tell us what you would love to see as a membership perk. One thing we think would be incredible is to have a yearly doula conference where we can get together to learn, be uplifted, and renewed together: a healing, growing, connecting time. Let's doula this!
6. What do you see as the future for TNDA?
We envision a thriving community of doulas who lift and support one another. TNDA doulas will be very educated and able to support the clients they want in the way they need. We also foresee a scholarship fund to help moms in financial need pay for their doula. This future has doulas who make a living wage as a doula and still have a good work/life balance. The birth locations will also be amazing and be a place where the doula is respected and care is good for mom and doula. TN will be a great place to have and raise children, and TNDA doulas will be the change for good as we promote what is best for mom and baby.