With more than 20 years of combined experience, Kate Herzel and Stacy Ash are experts in supporting people as they become parents. In 2015, they recognized that their ability to serve families was limited as solo doulas. Together they partnered and founded Heartland Doulas with the unified vision of providing consistent, professional doula support to families all across Central Illinois. Heartland Doulas is proud to not only serve their clients with the highest standards of excellence, but also to provide empowerment and opportunities for others to work in a field they are passionate about as birth and postpartum doulas.
After obtaining a masters’ degree in Behavioral Psychology in 2007, Kate knew that she wanted a career that would enable her to support women. After experiencing birth for the first time, she knew that had found her place. Kate has been teaching childbirth classes and attending both home and hospital births since 2011. She is certified as both a doula and a childbirth educator, and has submitted the final certification paperwork as a Postpartum Placenta Specialist.
In addition to running a successful doula agency, Kate serves as the Leader for the Peoria chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). In her spare time, she enjoys cooking with her children, brewing beer with her husband, and entertaining friends.
Stacy started her career working as a birth professional (doula) in 2001. In over 15 years she has served families during the births of their children and during their postpartum “fourth trimester” all over central Illinois, in hospitals and homes. As the mother of three children, each of her birth experiences were very different. Stacy understands that when a woman feels safe and comfortable, and when she is aware of her choices, she will feel empowered to own her birth and make the best choices for herself and her family. An important part of that process is surrounding yourself with a birth team that supports your birth vision – and that includes your doula.
Continuing education and training are important to Stacy. She loves to learn and also enjoys mentoring and training other women as doulas. She is certified as a labor doula through ProDoula and BirthArts International, and also holds specialized certification as a birth and bereavement doula through Stillbirthday. She is also pre-certified as a ProDoula postpartum doula, childbirth educator, and Postpartum Placenta Specialist.
Stacy is married and has three children, two dogs, two cats and lives in Bloomington, IL. Some of her favorite things in life beyond doula work include working with students as a youth director, camping in a tent or a great 4 star hotel, cooking really big meals, eating really big meals, watching movies, singing, and the perfect latte or a cup of tea and great scones paired with a great magazine. “And if I can do that in the mountains of Colorado or at Disney World I’m a happy woman!”