What goes on behind the scenes at Buddha Belly? Stories & lessons learned from our own families, client reviews, birth stories, and a glimpse into our world supporting your family.

A doula offering a cup of tea to a new mom, why choose a doula agency?

The Benefits of Choosing a Doula Agency

By Christie Collbran | September 18, 2023

If you’re on this page, you’re likely considering bringing a doula into your birth or postpartum experience. Kudos to you for prioritizing support and care during this remarkable journey. As someone deeply involved in the Tampa Bay community – a doula here since 2009, and the founder of Buddha Belly Doulas since 2014 – I’ve…


Parents Need Help Not Judgment

By Christie Collbran | February 5, 2021

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to deal with a Judgy McJudgerpants in your life? I recently wrote about coping with a colicky baby as a new parent – what made it better and what didn’t. Three aspects of the situation made it harder: lack of support judgment and unsolicited advice. I was exclusively…


The Childbirth Course with Buddha Belly Doulas was fantastic – Mayrel, Oldsmar

By Christie Collbran | December 23, 2020

My husband and I took the childbirth course with Buddha Belly Doulas and it was fantastic. Both Christie and Amy are awesome; they are very professional, knowledgeable and always offer prompt customer service. The course’s curriculum was very informative, sourced from science based content, and taught at a good, relaxed pace, allowing us to absorb…


“Mommy, I Pooped My Pants”

By Christie Collbran | December 3, 2020

The story of a Christmas tree excursion that didn’t go exactly as planned.  It was a dark evening in the Christmas tree tent, as 3 year old Jack and 8 year old Shane ran around giggling with glee during their annual hide-n-seek game. The other tree-shoppers didn’t seem to mind. They had also been touched…


Extremely Enlightening – Samantha H., New Port Richey

By Christie Collbran | November 5, 2020

HypnoBirthing was the best decision for preparing for labor! Candice was an excellent instructor and far exceeded my expectations. Reading the Hypnobirthing book is one thing, but nothing compares to experiencing it with someone who is as knowledgable, passionate and experienced as Candice is. Would recommend to any and everyone looking to have any kind…


Best Decision During Pregnancy – Sarah., Tampa

By Christie Collbran | August 5, 2020

Dear Christie and Amy, I just wanted to let you know how much my husband and I enjoyed and benefited from Candice’s Hypnobirthing Class. She provided such valuable information that both of us never would have known otherwise, and I am feeling much better and more prepared about giving birth! I feel that it’s the…


Everything Was Handled With Care – Aleya, St. Pete

By Christie Collbran | July 9, 2020

I contacted Buddha Belly about a month before I gave birth. I planned on doing the placenta encapsulation and Tincture. They sent me my kit immediately. I was then put in contact with Korene who gave me some simple instructions. After giving birth and settling in at home, Korene came over to start the process.…


I couldn’t recommend them more! – Lina, St. Pete

By Christie Collbran | June 27, 2020

We used Buddha Belly Doulas for our home birth and I couldn’t recommend them more! We had Hayley and Julia as our lovely doulas. They supported us through the pregnancy and were so helpful when we had to navigate changes to our birth plan due to COVID. Julia was on call on the day of…


She was the Perfect Companion – Katie, Land O’ Lakes

By Christie Collbran | June 1, 2020

I can’t recommend Buddha Belly Birth Services highly enough! Our doula team was Julia Dixon and Hayley Livermore. We met them in January when I was 5 months pregnant and had just moved to Florida. I trusted them both right away. They were kind, compassionate and knowledgeable. Over the course of my pregnancy the world…


We 100% Recommend Buddha Belly – Anggie, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | April 5, 2020

My husband and I are having our first baby in May 2020. We signed up for a childbirth class that eventually turned into a virtual class. Michaela was our instructor and she was wonderful. When we were done with our sessions, we legitimately missed her! During this time of uncertainty, we were at ease knowing…

COVID-19 Doula Support

COVID-19 and Doula Support and Safety

By Christie Collbran | March 13, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis continues around the world, babies are still being born every day and more and more families may need the support of their birth doula, postpartum doula or lactation counselor. Your family’s health and well-being, as well as ours, is our top priority. We are closely monitoring the situation and will update…


Extremely Helpful – Elizabeth H., Riverview

By Christie Collbran | October 10, 2019

My husband and I used Buddha Belly for our childbirth education class, placenta encapsulation and doula services. They were responsive when we inquired about services and able to help guide us in what we might need for childbirth. Amy was great in the class and did our placenta encapsulation. She also helped with breastfeeding questions…


Happy Campers – Johnelle, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | October 8, 2019

Happy campers over here! Can’t recommend Buddha Belly / hiring a birth doula enough! Jen, thank you so very much for everything during my labor and delivery. What an amazing experience and it was all the better with you there with us. To Jen and Bailey, as well as all of Buddha Belly, you have…

Labor Support Skills Workshop

Teaching Labor Support Workshops Across Florida

By Christie Collbran | September 23, 2019

Christie and Amy, Buddha Belly owners, have been participating in an exciting project and we wanted to share what it is all about.  In 2017, Christie was invited as a doula consultant and trainer, to join a special project with the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative, housed within the University of South Florida.  The purpose of…


An Asset – Dr. Alexis Lipton, Clearwater

By Christie Collbran | September 4, 2019

As an Ob/Gyn in Clearwater, I absolutely see the VALUE and LOVE that Buddha Belly doulas provide our patients! The doulas exemplify everything you would want in a support person during, what will be, one of the most important days of your life. They are comforting, EMPOWERING, loving, and supportive. My experience with them has…


Postpartum Doula was an Absolute Angel – Brittany, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | August 25, 2019

As I prepare to return from maternity leave I have taken a few moments to reflect on the past 13 weeks and how grateful I am for every moment with my little man….moments that were made easier by Buddha Belly Birth Services. We used Buddha Belly for both birth doula and postpartum doula services and…

Recommend the doulas at Buddha Belly

The Doulas at Buddha Belly Were an Absolute Joy – Shelby, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | June 5, 2019

The doulas at Buddha Belly were an absolute joy to work with. We wished that we had found them sooner before my third trimester. But once we found them, we ended up using every one of their services. From prenatal and postpartum doula support (day, evening and overnight shifts), to belly casting, to a newborn…

client review

I cannot thank the team that I worked with at Buddha Belly enough! – Brittany, St. Pete

By Christie Collbran | January 24, 2019

I am extremely grateful to Buddha Belly Birth Services for the support I received during my pregnancy and postpartum. Each member of the team I worked with was very kind, caring and knowledgeable! Bailey and Jillian were wonderful to work with in preparation for the birth. They would check-in regularly with me and always provided…

Postpartum Support Was the Best Gift of All Baby Gifts – Steph, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | January 22, 2019

I got 20hrs with Amy as a postpartum doula as a gift at my baby shower and it was the best gift of all baby gifts. Amy was extremely helpful! She is very calm, positive and open minded and was great with our little girl. She helped me figure out breast feeding, reading baby’s cues,…


It’s like the family you didn’t know you had – Alysha, Gibsonton

By Christie Collbran | January 3, 2019

I just want to say that Amy and Bailey are so amazing! When I called and interviewed Amy I knew I was certain I was going to choose Buddha Belly Birth Services for a doula, and then when I met her and Bailey in person it only solidified my decision. I had my baby girl…


My secret is having Buddha Belly’s help! – Lynsey, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | November 7, 2018

Oh where to begin! I really can’t even begin to express how wonderful it has been working with Amy and Marisa of Buddha Belly. When I first found out I was pregnant with twins, I was as terrified as I was excited. Already having a toddler at home, I knew I would need help transitioning…


I was suddenly in the driver’s seat of my birth experience – Kati

By Christie Collbran | October 16, 2018

If I could give 5++ stars, I would! I adore Buddha Belly! Hiring them was unequivocally the best decision I made during pregnancy! From the in-home lessons, to Hypnobirthing and Doula services…I felt very well prepared for the birth of my first child. Not only did I feel so equipped with knowledge…but they also helped…


Thank you from the bottom of my heart – Kelli, Land O Lakes

By Christie Collbran | September 25, 2018

Words cannot describe how grateful I am for Buddha Belly Birth. I am a first-time mom with no family support in the area (other than my husband). I initially hired a doula because there was a possibility my husband would be away for work when I delivered, so I did not want to be alone.…


Worth Their Weight in Gold – Christina, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | July 20, 2018

If you are planning to have a natural birth, you need to hire these doulas. Bailey and Amy were my pair of doulas and Bailey was the one on call for my birth. This probably won’t be a short review so the TL:DR (too long/didn’t read) version is:  If you are planning to have a…


We are so grateful for Buddha Belly – Renee, Lutz

By Christie Collbran | June 8, 2018

We loved our experience with Buddha Belly! We hired them for their doula services and were paired up with Bailey & Amy. From the beginning they were both so comfortable to be around, answered any of our questions or concerns (and as a first time mom I had a lot 😉 ), and helped guide…


Exceeded My Expectations – Denise, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | May 28, 2018

We hired them for labor doula services, and they exceeded my expectations at every turn. The customer service- from first contact, welcome packet, follow up emails, to contract – was completely professional and responsive. I loved that we were assigned a pair of doulas from day 1. Throughout my pregnancy, they kept in touch and…


The support you get from a doula is unlike any other relationship you’ll have in your life – Nora, Clearwater

By Christie Collbran | October 13, 2017

I went with Buddha belly for birth education classes, my birth doula, and postpartum doula. I was beyond satisfied with every service we used — and would highly recommend. Our instructor for birth education and was super patient with us both. What I loved about this service was that it was both intimate ( in…


Buddha Belly has it figured out – Shalin

By Christie Collbran | September 18, 2017

If there was a best of the bay for this category – this team would come out on top!  I worked with them for my birth and postpartum care, and Buddha Belly has it figured out. I love the idea of a pair of birth doulas – they made sure to keep in touch, answer…

placenta review

Couldn’t be happier – Amanda, Wesley Chapel

By Christie Collbran | June 25, 2017

I used Buddha Belly Birth Services for a labor doula and placenta encapsulation specialist and I couldn’t be happier with the services provided. Heather, our doula was absolutely amazing and I could not have gotten through my 19 hour natural labor without her. She not only helped me get through it but also was able…


I had the natural birth I was hoping for – Leah, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | June 23, 2017

I would highly recommend Buddha Belly Birth Services and specifically Amy Lewis as a birth doula. I’m a second time mom with an almost 8 year gap between babies. I liked the fact that Buddha Belly set you up with a doula team. The conversation with Amy and Christie went great. They got to know…

Review by USF Midwife

The Doulas of Buddha Belly Help Women Feel Less Scared – Jessica Brumley, CNM, USF Health

By Christie Collbran | June 18, 2017

Evidence has demonstrated that women who have a doula are less likely to use pain medication in labor, less risk of cesarean section and a higher satisfaction with their birth experience. We love working with a supportive doula but not all doulas are the same. The doulas of Buddha Belly Birth Services are not only…


She was absolutely irreplaceable – Brittany, Apollo Beach

By Christie Collbran | June 16, 2017

My husband and I knew right when we met Christie and Amy that they were an asset that we wanted on our birth team. With this being our first child and me really wanting a natural delivery we knew they would be worth every penny. Christie ended up being my doula and she was absolutely…



By Christie Collbran | June 16, 2017

We share these thoughts, in honor of June, LGBT Pride month. We stand together with our friends while events and parades are held across the country. Why is this important? Why do we believe the LGBTQIA community should be celebrated and supported? The short answer is – because it doesn’t matter whom you love. People…

belly cast review

Patient, professional, fun and totally prepared – Carlita, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | May 11, 2017

I had an amazing time with Korene when she came to do my belly cast. She was patient and professional, fun and totally prepared with all her belly casting gear! I had absolutely nothing to do but sit and relax! We had a blast during the entire process and my cast was beautiful. She was…


One of the best decisions I made during my pregnancy – Elise, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | May 8, 2017

Hiring Buddha Belly was one of the best decisions I made during my pregnancy and I would absolutely recommend them! Being my first pregnancy I had no idea what to expect from labor but I felt more at ease already just from meeting with Amy and Christie. They were so sweet and supportive and offered…

review for placenta services

My body and mind healed quicker – Lisa, St. Petersburg

By Christie Collbran | April 2, 2017

My first pregnancy entailed many adventures, but one of the paths led me to Buddha Belly. I utilized Buddha Belly for my placenta encapsulation. Amy came to our home the day after I delivered and began the process of carefully preparing and drying my placenta for encapsulation so that I would have it immediately available…

Two Doulas Are Better Than One

Another Reason Why Two Doulas are Better than One

By Christie Collbran | January 14, 2017

Recently, one of our clients gave birth to her twin babies at 32 weeks. Her doula was by her side supporting her during labor, delivery and postpartum. She had a very positive experience. While many babies are born closer to their due dates, you most likely won’t know exactly when your baby will be born. As doulas,…

Sara Blue Star Client Review

Made me feel heard and loved – Sara, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | December 2, 2016

I had a great experience with Buddha Belly! I had an extremely difficult twin pregnancy and anytime it was getting too hard, or overwhelming I would reach out to them through text messaging. They always had kind and well-educated responses to my questions and made me feel heard and loved for months before my delivery.…

Client Review

Hypnobirthing taught me to relax and believe in the process – Tanya, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | November 6, 2016

I received superior service from the moment I contacted Buddha Belly.  Christie promptly contacted me and advised me of her services.  I hired Candice for one on one Hypnobirthing classes at my home. I truly feel she didn’t just prepare me for the birth I envisioned, she brought out a side of me I never…

Lauren Richards

Truly the most talented and loving doula – Lauren, St. Pete

By Christie Collbran | November 6, 2016

From the second I found out I was pregnant I knew a home birth was exactly what I wanted. There was no way I was going to be in a hospital to give birth, those places freaked me out! As I researched long and hard to find the perfect midwife for my new and growing…


Everyone NEEDS a doula! – Samantha, Palm Harbor

By Christie Collbran | November 3, 2016

I can’t say enough about how Christie impacted my birth as my doula. She was a calming presence for my husband. He knew that as long as Christie was calm everything was going to be okay. My favorite memory was when Christie reminded my to follow my instincts and to own my birth. This made…


I cannot begin to state how thrilled we were with our placenta services – Paige, Belleair Bluffs

By Christie Collbran | October 4, 2016

I cannot begin to state how thrilled we were with our Placenta Services delivered by the lovely Amy Lewis.  My daughter needed a scheduled C – Section due to unresolved full Placenta Previa.  Our short notice call was returned quickly- and our emotions calmed as well -as only a well trained Doula like Amy could…

belly cast review

Absolutely stunning – Barbara, Clearwater

By Christie Collbran | September 2, 2016

My husband bought the experience of casting my belly for my birthday. I was incredibly thrilled and excited to be able to cherish the beauty of my pregnancy through this work of art. We contacted Buddha Belly and set up a consult. Korene Shelton came out and she was wonderful! Her knowledge and experience put…


We cannot say enough about Amy and Christie – Adam, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | August 23, 2016

Christie and Amy at Buddha Belly have our strongest recommendation for their doula services! We were looking for a doula to assist us with our planned VBA2C and we knew we needed someone who was supportive and experienced with this situation. Amy was so encouraging right from our initial phone conversation and after meeting with…

Client Review, Lauren Bledsoe

I could write a book counting the ways she helped us – Lauren, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | August 17, 2016

​I cannot say enough amazing things about Christie and Amy! They are kind, loving women and run an extremely professional business that truly cares about taking care of their clients (mom, dad, and baby)! We were paired with Christie and Amy as our doulas, and ended up having Christie as our doula at the birth…


She comes to your home to process the placenta pills – Natalia, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | August 1, 2016

I had a great experience with Buddha Belly Birth Services. Amy, one of the Buddha Belly placenta specialists came to my sisters house and serviced us with making the placenta pills. Amy does her work very organized, and very very clean. She sanitized everything before and after use. Ask Amy any questions and she is…

client review

I was so calm and excited thanks to their presence and guidance – Amanda, Clearwater

By Christie Collbran | July 24, 2016

Christie and Amy were so wonderful to meet with both before and after my second child’s birth. They are both such positive magnetic people that I couldn’t wait to spend more time with, learn from, and have with me during my birth. I was hoping to have a fast natural birth this time and they…


I was able to sleep, because of her support – Erin, St. Pete

By Christie Collbran | July 24, 2016

I used Buddha Belly Birth Services this past year after coming across their website. Christie was my birth doula and we had a profound experience with her as our guide and supportive expert. Christie met with us before to make a birthing plan. She reduced all of our fears by giving us a gentle yet…


All Alone With My Newborn Baby

By Christie Collbran | July 4, 2016

I had planned to have a natural birth at a birth center but things didn’t turn out that way. My son was born via emergency cesarean and my world was turned upside down. My mother had a flight booked for the first week in January to be at the birth, but my son came two…

Client Review

She made our birth experience very positive – Chelsea, Tarpon Springs

By Christie Collbran | May 2, 2016

Amy was an amazing part of my birth experience. When I was 30 weeks pregnant I finally met all the doctors in my practice. At this time I realized I did not have a good connection with all of them, and tried to find a different practice with little success. Due to my schedule I…

Review from Jessica Tampa

Made me feel very comfortable and respected – Jessica, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | January 16, 2016

Amazing! Amy was a last minute decision, and she was able to come to our birth mid-labor on a Sunday afternoon. As soon as she arrived, she jumped right in and tried to help me through my contractions. I had already been in labor for about 10-12 hours. Amy was super respectful to my wishes…


Helped me stay calm – Autumn, Clearwater

By Christie Collbran | January 16, 2016

I loved Christie’s calm and down-to-earth demeanor, and her attentiveness to both my and my husband’s expectations, concerns and questions. She immediately became a source of information, providing books and DVDs to help prepare us for our birth experience. As my pregnancy progressed, Christie’s knowledge and reassuring attitude helped me stay calm and unravel the…

Client Review

She will always hold a special place in our hearts – Brandi, New Port Richey

By Christie Collbran | January 13, 2016

We interviewed several doulas before (and had several scheduled after) when we met with Christie, she was so knowledgable and compassionate and after the first meeting I knew she was meant to be with us through the birthing process. She has endless resources and knowledge and was always available to help or answer questions. I…

With Christie, it was doula-love at first meet – Loriel, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | January 1, 2016

Christie at Buddha Belly was AMAZING. It was “doula-love” at first meet. No seriously, the moment I met Christie I knew that I wanted her as my doula. I felt like I could get through anything with her by my side, and it proved true with my intense labor. She is calm, collected, peaceful, informative,…

join our team

Interested In Joining Our Team?

By Christie Collbran | November 18, 2015

We are searching for new team members to join us at Buddha Belly in serving families of Tampa Bay. Doula began as a Greek word that means “a woman who serves.” The meaning has evolved to become a professional, trained and experienced in childbirth and the postpartum period, who provides physical, emotional and informational support.  (And…

Postpartum Doula

Meet Marisa Seegraves, Postpartum Doula

By Christie Collbran | November 18, 2015

I’m so excited to introduce you to my dear friend Marisa Seegraves. We met a few years ago on the Pinellas trail while picking up our kids from Ozona Elementary school and a sweet friendship (and carpool pick up schedule) was born. Marisa admired my Baltic amber necklace which led to her buying four amber necklaces from me (one for herself and one…

Postpartum Doula Rebecca and her kids

Exactly what I needed to have the birth of my dreams – Rebecca, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | September 13, 2015

I’m not sure how to put into words how valuable it was to have Christie as my doula. She was amazing every step of the way while I was planning my VBAC. Christie provided me with wonderful resources to help me prepare for the birth. She was always a positive voice even when things didn’t…

client review

A blessing for me and my family – Crystal, St. Petersburg

By Christie Collbran | June 11, 2015

The second half of my pregnancy began with my search for support in attempting a vaginal birth after 2 c sections, one being a classical incision. If anyone has experienced this, you know that you constantly hear “you can die” from medical professionals or “your uterus will rupture.” Even after hearing this, I was determined…


Made me feel so calm and at peace – Jenn, Land O Lakes

By Christie Collbran | May 26, 2015

Christie and I were connected very late in my pregnancy due to some issues that came up with my prior doula. At 38 weeks I was super stressed to be having to meet with and find a new doula to attend my home birth, but Christie made me feel so calm and at peace with…

Dad support in labor

I could not have asked for a better birth experience – Christina, Tampa

By Christie Collbran | April 20, 2015

I was honored to provide doula services for this lovely family. This was the birth of their second child, Selah Grace. Christina and John hired me to be their doula very early in her pregnancy and we had a lot of time to get prepared. In addition to the doula care that I provided and when I was not involved…

Baby Shane

Shane’s Birth Story

By Christie Collbran | December 20, 2014

Eight years ago today I gave birth to my first son, Shane. I have never published his birth story and it seemed appropriate today to share it. (*This story may be triggering for some.) “Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the most wonderful things that…

buddha belly birth happy

Welcome To Buddha Belly

By Christie Collbran | December 8, 2014

Welcome to Buddha Belly Birth! We are very excited to have finally given birth to this new brand for the business and are looking forward to what the future holds. Having been a doula and a birth advocate in the Tampa area for years (without a blog! just a website) I have many blog posts…

buddha belly babies

Why Buddha Belly?

By Christie Collbran | November 30, 2014

You may be wondering how I came to give this name to my birth business. It might not be as generic as some names I could have chosen, but when something feels right sometimes you just gotta go with it! A brand is just an emblem that reflects who you are on the inside, and…


By just believing in me, she gave me strength – Mareka

By Christie Collbran | October 31, 2014

I had a horrible first birth and suffered postpartum depression for about six months due to the traumatic experiences. Therefore I was determined to have a better second birth and with the help of Christie, thankfully, I did. I felt amazing after my second birth and six months later I’m still riding high. Christie was…


I got more than a doula when I hired Christie – Abby, Belleair

By Christie Collbran | October 30, 2014

Christie was such an important part of my seconds child birth that my husband joked about flying her out for my third (I’m pretty sure he was serious though!). Our main reason for hiring a doula was to help with pain management during labor and support since my husband could not be there through the…

Nikki VBAC review

The best decision I made for the birth of my child – Nikki, Largo

By Christie Collbran | September 11, 2014

Having my first VBAC was one of the scariest decisions I ever made. When I first met with Christie she encouraged me to ask my doctor questions, to research the pros and cons of vbac, and most importantly, she encouraged me to believe in my body and what I was designed to do. Christie was…


She was a lifesaver – Valeska, Tarpon Springs

By Christie Collbran | August 28, 2014

Christie was an excellent Doula! She was my Doula for my first pregnancy and spent hours with me, teaching me everything that goes on during labor. This really helped as being my first, I had no idea what to expect and she really eased my mind on what I would go through. She also told…