Dara DeSoto,CD(DONA)(HCHD) Photo

Dara DeSoto,CD(DONA)(HCHD)

Dara The Doula

Website: http://www.darathedoula.com/

Phone: 858-699-2710

Birth Fee: $950 to $1200

Fee Details: Pay half of birth fee at signing of contract and full payment due at or before 37 weeks. Payment plans available at request. Postpartum Packages available on request. Postpartum Doula Service Fee $35 per hour

Birth Doula Experience: 4 years and 97 births attended

Birth Doula Certifications

  • Hypnobabies - Certified Hypno-Doula

Doula Training

Not Specified

Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 0 to 4

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I have supported mom's at South Coast Midwifery, Beach Cities Midwifery, Orange Coast Memorial Fountain Valley, Kaiser Irvine, Kaiser San Diego, Kaiser Anaheim, Kaiser Downey, Saddleback Memorial Laguna Hills, Mission Hospital, Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, Orange County Global Medical Center Santa Ana, Scripps Encinitas, St. Josephs Anaheim, St. Jude Fullerton, Long Beach Memorial, Palomar Medical Center Poway, UCSD Jacobs Medical Birth Center,UCSD Jacobs Medical Labor and Delivery, Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Children and Pomerado Hospital Birth Center.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
I am familiar with the service, support and well woman care at a variety of Birth Centers.
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
I have supported many mothers in the choice of a home birth with CNM's and/or CPM's as their attending care providers.

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • CAPPA trained postpartum doula, Fee $35 per hour

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Breastfeeding support and personal experience

Other Relevant Certifications

  • American Heart Association BLS (Basic Life Support) Certification
  • CPR Certified - Red Cross
  • Neoantal-Adult CPR and BLS Certified

College Education

  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Spanish Speaking
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth

Special Services Offered

  • Aromatherapy
  • Military famiies
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Parenting consulting
  • Satellite Doula (For remote and rural clients)
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Volunteer Birth doula for special circumstances DASC Member

Languages spoken: English, some spanish

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Carlsbad, CA
Travel Range: 55 Miles

Certifications for Dara DeSoto,CD(DONA)(HCHD)

Click a certification thumbnail to view the full size image.


Learn more about evaluating doula certifications, an important part of the interview process.

Report any issues or concerns with certification images.

Client Testimonials for Dara DeSoto,CD(DONA)(HCHD)

get a Gravatar

Carly Tenery

Dara was my chosen Doula for my at home water birth. I’m having a hard time expressing not only my gratitude but what and how much she did for me leading up to my birth and the day of. I could not have made it through our special day without her. She came over to the house as soon as I felt that I needed her and was by my side for nearly 24 hours. Not only did she suggest ways to help progress my labor along but she also made me feel comfortable and safe. She is truly an amazing woman and I feel so fortunate to have met her. I can’t wait for my second baby so I can experience this with Dara again. I love her and would highly recommend her to anyone searching for a Doula.

Posted 11/17/2017

get a Gravatar

Trisha Andreini Orozco

Dara is not only an amazing doula but a beautiful soul as well. I was having a hard time finding a doula I connected with after moving here. Luckily a friend of mine recommended Dara and I knew within minutes of meeting her that I wanted her to be my doula. She is so supportive and positive, and the type of person you feel comfortable with immediately. Dara helped me through my pregnancy, always providing great articles and tips for anything I had questions about. She was my support system through labor and helped me achieve the natural birth I wanted. I adore her and highly recommend her to anyone in need of a doula.

Posted 11/8/2017

get a Gravatar

Diane Place

It feels like words will never be enough to communicate how lucky we were to have Dara for the birth of our daughter. From the minute we met Dara I felt at ease with her as if I’d known her forever. Even our toddler leaving after the meeting commented on her being a “nice lady.” The resources Dara provided were excellent as was her ability to work with my personal style and preferences. She was incredibly accomadating and come baby time, she arrived as discussed to help with some of early labor. Dara did a wonderful job of helping both me get through the contractions and allowing my husband to relax and focus on just supporting me instead of worrying about timing or if he might miss something going wrong. I honestly credit being able to birth without an epidural this time to her fantastic skills as a doula. If she is available for your birth I would suggest booking her as quickly as you can. 

Posted 11/4/2017

get a Gravatar

Elizabeth Brink

My wife and I (husband writing) interviewed a few doulas, but when we met Dara we knew we found the right one to help bring our beautiful Kaylin into the world. Our spiritual views aligned, but it was her soft, kind-loving heart that really won us over. Her experience was reassuring as well. Up to labor, Dara was always a phone call or text away to help us with any questions/concerns we had. Every conversation, whether it be a phone call or face to face, she was so encouraging. Labor can be unpredictable, and although I felt prepared and somewhat confident from taking the Bradley Method course, Dara was the helping hand and support that both my wife and I needed during labor. Our labor nurse at the hospital said in her 7 yrs of deliveries, Dara was the greatest Doula she has ever worked with. She also stated that our birth was the most inspirational one she has been part of. Looking back, my wife and I feel so blessed to have had Dara as part of our birth team. We weren’t sure what labor/birth was gonna look like, but the experience was so much better with Daras love and support. Thank you Dara!

Posted 10/26/2017

get a Gravatar

Elizabeth Brink

My wife and I (husband writing) interviewed a few doulas, but when we met Dara we knew we found the right one to help bring our beautiful Kaylin into the world. Our spiritual views aligned, but it was her soft, kind-loving heart that really won us over. Her experience was reassuring as well. Up to labor, Dara was always a phone call or text away to help us with any questions/concerns we had. Every conversation, whether it be a phone call or face to face, she was so encouraging. Labor can be unpredictable, and although I felt prepared and somewhat confident from taking the Bradley Method course, Dara was the helping hand and support that both my wife and I needed during labor. Our labor nurse at the hospital said in her 7 yrs of deliveries, Dara was the greatest Doula she has ever worked with. She also stated that our birth was the most inspirational one she has been part of. Looking back, my wife and I feel so blessed to have had Dara as part of our birth team. We weren’t sure what labor/birth was gonna look like, but the experience was so much better with Daras love and support. Thank you Dara!

Posted 10/26/2017

get a Gravatar

Katie Green

My husband and I are forever grateful that we found Dara to support us during the birth of our daughter!  Dara's calm, encouraging and supportive nature were immediately evident upon meeting her.  She is incredibly knowledgabele about pregnancy, birth and postpartum issues.  She was a great resource throughout my pregnancy, offering many great suggestions for staying healthy and active and getting my body ready for a natural, drug free delivery.  She provided continuous support in the week before my daughter's birth, as I went through several days of "false labor".  Once at the hospital, Dara helped create and maintain a calm, peaceful and relaxing environment.  She helped me stay focused and positive and gave my husband lots of ideas for how to best support me.  She was reassuring and informative as labor progressed.  She was friendly and helpful with the nursing staff and several nurses commented on what an incredible doula she was!  They couldn't stop complimenting her! Dara's support did not stop at the hospital- she continued to check in on us in the weeks following birth, making sure we were handling the transition well and offering valuable guidance and resources.  She is amazing!  We are so glad we chose to have Dara be a part of our daughter's birth!  We consider her a dear friend and can't wait to include her in the births of our future children.  

Posted 10/11/2017

get a Gravatar

Kristin Sandy

Dara was amazing throughout the entire experience!! From the moment my husband and I met her we knew she was the right fit for us. Dara has a strong motherly presence, and instant calming effect. She is very knowledgeable and we felt like we could completely trust her to guide us through the birthing process. When I started labor we were in phone contact until I felt like things were progresssing and I asked her to come to our house. She started by helping me relax and giving me massages in different positions. Then we went for a little walk, and later she helped my husband and I labor together. When I felt ready to go to the hospital she followed us. Although our birth preferences were originally very natural with no interventions, during labor things changed a lot. Dara helped guide us through each option and decision until we felt ready to make choices. The hospital introduced a lot of obstacles and unfortunately after 48 hours of labor I had to have a Csection, which I really had never imagined could happen. Dara supported me physically, mentally, & emotionally, and my husband and I truly believe we could not have survived the experience without her! She was so great about knowing exactly what I needed, and also helping get my husband involved. She is still supportive postpartum and I feel very lucky to have made this bond with her! We will definitely be calling her again for baby #2!!! 

Posted 9/28/2017

get a Gravatar

Ginny Quick

Working with Dara was a true gift. When we first met her, she made us feel safe and confident in the birth we wanted to have. As we went through our pregnancy, she was there checking in every step of the way, providing resources, information and support. Her encouragement kept me going when I had doubts and she really helped me to overcome my fears about labor. We ended up going into labor at 9pm on a Saturday, and Dara insisted that we call her every hour through the night to keep her updated. My contractions were very close together and I was feeling afraid and not sure what to do or when to go the hospital. Dara’s expertise during active labor, helped us to stay at home as long as possible and we really appreciated her for giving us that gift. When it was time to go to the hospital, she didn’t skip a beat, making our room feel comfortable and homey. When the midwife informed us that our son was posterior, Dara knew exactly what exercises to do to get him to turn. These exercises were extremely painful and difficult, but because of the trust we had built throughout my pregnancy, I knew I could follow her voice. One of our biggest accomplishments during labor was successfully flipping our son around to deliver him. When it was time to push, it ended up taking 3 hours, which was more then I thought I would ever be able to do. Dara was right there in my ear telling me “You can do this!” She really provided us the extra love and support we needed. We thank God Dara was there for our first birth and pregnancy journey. We plan on using her for all of our births to come as we grow our family. Thank you Dara.

Posted 9/14/2017

get a Gravatar

Whitney Card

Dara is absolutely amazing. My husband and I could not have asked for a better support and help through the labor of our first child. She is positive, encouraging, and kind, and she KNOWS HER STUFF. The resources and help she provided to me during my pregnancy were every bit as valuable as her support during labor, and I can confidently say that having her as a member of our birth team was a big part of why it ended up being such an amazing experience. 

Aside from just being my doula, Dara has become a friend to me and I would absolutely hire her again in a heartbeat. 

Posted 9/12/2017

get a Gravatar

Danielle Leblang

We used Dara for the birth of our second child.  I was able to have a natural childbirth with our first child, and I wanted to repeat the experience with our second if possible.  When we met Dara, we immediately clicked with her friendly, calm and genuine personality.  After we hired her, she was always responsive to questions we had and provided tons of valuable resources and articles based on topics we asked her about.  When it came time for the birth, Dara met us at the hospital because labor progressed relatively quickly from when true contractions started.  She immediately jumped into gear at the hospital and seemed to know exactly what I needed in terms of relaxation/pain management techniques throughout the entire labor.  She worked seamlessly with the nurses and doctors (and my husband!) and helped me achieve my goal of a natural childbirth!  We loved Dara and could not be happier with our experience.  She made the entire labor more manageable and was extremely intuitive in knowing what I needed along the way.  We highly recommend Dara for anyone looking for an extremely caring and experienced doula!

Posted 8/23/2017

get a Gravatar

Amanda Zintsmaster

Dara was amazing! I attempted a vbac last month and long story short was unsuccessful and required a repeat c section, but I honestly still can't picture doing it without Dara. She made the space more comfortable while laboring and was an absolute wizard with pain relieving techniquiws. My husband was amazed as well, and very thankful she was there. Dara was the most wonderful support I could have asked for. I was concerned that she might feel negatively about a few of my decisions (ended up asking for episural and giving in to c section after pushing for 3 plus hours) but she was supportive all along the way. It's like she knows when you need encouragement and knows when you need someone to just support you. She is truly gifted and I can't imagine a better doula. We are so thankful for her part in our birth process. I urge anyone looking for a doula to just meet with Dara, you will absolutely be impressed. I believe people who do this kind of work have a true gift for it, and Dara is most certainly one of those people. 

Posted 8/6/2017

get a Gravatar

Stephanie C. Kaiser

I had my daughter in May 2017. When I first met with Dara she was warm, caring and knowledgeable. She was very helpful in helping my husband and I prepare of labor and birth. When it was time to have my daughter Dara was with me every step of the way. Dara was so supportive and calm throughout my labor and my husband and I felt completely at ease knowing that she was with us. When I have my next baby I will definitely be calling her again!

Posted 8/1/2017

get a Gravatar

Nina Porten

Let me start by saying that I am sure that my review will not do justice to the support Dara provided as our doula. During my pregnancy, Dara took the time to meet with us and review our birth goals and values. She was very thorough in making sure she conveyed her understanding of what we wanted out of our birth experience. I felt that she really listened and knew intuitively how to respond in a way that made me feel comfortable and able to relax knowing that she was already putting into motion the things we needed to be successful. 

When my water began leaking prior to my due date, Dara was able to provide us with helpful information so that we were able to make infomed choices on what actions to take. When I eventually checked into the hospital and was faced with the possibility of an induction, I called Dara. She came immediately and provided calming conversation, massage, aromatherapy, and further guidance on how to move labor forward. Dara was a miracle worker with the nursing staff.  I couldn't believe how well she was able to work with the nurses and how her interactions positively impacted our experience with them.  By morning I was in active labor with her support. From there, she skillfully guided my husband and I through the entire birthing process.  Dara was able to lead us through a completely unmedicated birth as first time parents and help us reach all of our birthing goals.

Postpartum, Dara continuously checked in on us to ensure that things were going well, and we had the resources we needed.  I really appreciated knowing I could reach out to her during such a transitional time. 

I can't recommend Dara enough, particularly if you are looking to acheive an unmedicated birth.  Dara's peaceful personality and extensive experience leading the birthing process are a true Gift.  Not only is she a expert doula, Dara is a light to those around her.  

Posted 6/5/2017

get a Gravatar

Dione M.

This woman is amazing and I will forever be grateful for the unmedicated birth that she helped me achieve. From the moment I met Dara she was supportive of everything that I wanted for my birth. After having an emergency cesarean for my first, I felt I needed to have an unmedicated VBAC. We had just moved from Colorado to California and I would be giving birth at a military hospital. I knew I needed support from someone who would be involved the whole time.
Throughout the short time that she was with us the care and emotional support that she gave helped me through some difficult moments. The midwife that I had was pressuring me to be induced at 41 weeks. This is what happened with my first. Dara reminded me that I had a choice and to go for what I felt comfortable with. Additionally, my little one was in the OP position. Dara provided several exercises to turn baby. She also provided wonderful referrals to chiropractors and acupuncturists to aid in achieving the relaxation and adjustments to help further the progress. They worked. By my 41 week checkup baby had turned and was in position.
Once labor kicked in her support was unwavering. She came to my house and helped me labor at home till I was ready to go to the hospital. Upon check in I was 5-6 cm. Dara continued her support by keeping me hydrated, reminding me to breath and helped with positions during contractions. Her soft kind words and the relaxed environment she fostered made me comfortable during the labor process. When I felt that I could not handle labor anymore, her techniques had brought baby down far enough to start pushing.

I gave birth to a beautiful little girl at 3:52 in the morning. The birth was a successful unmedicated VBAC and Dara helped me through the whole process step by step. This woman is worth everything when it comes to having the care and support that is needed for birth. I recommend her 100% and with every bit of my heart. She is remarkable.

Posted 4/5/2017

get a Gravatar

Carol S. Dawidowicz

I feel so fortunate to have had Dara's support and caring guidance during my labor with my second child. 

From the moment I called her to report labor signs to the moments after birth when she helped calm my shaking legs and celebrate the birth of our son, she was attentive, kind, and extremley helpful.

Dara came to the hospital prepared with things to enhance the environment (lights, aromatherapy) and create a successful labor experience. She knew what tools to suggest to help me manage an unmedicated labor and birth.

I can't say enough positive things about Dara-- she is calm, reassuring, kind and skillful. She helped me attain my goal of a natural and peaceful birth.

I am grateful for her and I know she has helped and will help many other women and their partners.





Posted 3/31/2017

get a Gravatar

Tara Lynn

 There probably is not much I can add in my review about Dara, since she is so beloved by everyone who has ever worked with her! She is an incredibly kind hearted, sincere individual with a tremendous love in her heart for people and the work she does.   Dara was my Doula for the birth of my second child at Pomerado Hospital in Poway.  This woman has a tremendous arsenal of techniques and ideas to help throughout the birthing process!  In my case, an induction was required and Dara had a number of tools she used to coach me through every contraction, which I do believe allowed me  progress much quicker than I would have otherwise.   In addition to being very knowledgeable on all facets of childbirth, she has a wonderful way with people and knows how to be very non-intrusive  yet at the same time is a reassuring presence during childbirth and will offer suggestions and gentle direction to keep you focused.   It is rare to find someone who really listens to what you are saying and applies it, but Dara is one such a rare individual. She took to heart everything I talked about in terms of the things that I wanted during my childbirth and How she could support me.  Dara is a delightful, warm personality and was such an incredible support to me and my husband during the birth of our son.  I cannot say enough about her abilities and personality!  Thank you so much Dara, and God bless you for all the wonderful help you give to so many!

Posted 3/6/2017

get a Gravatar

Donna Priddie

Dara was more than i could have ever asked for! She is kind, passionate, and extremely knowledgeable. We met a twice prior to my birth to discuss our wishes for the day and what was important to us. Dara came armed with endless knowledge to help us. We learned about pain med options, what birth was "really" like, and many tips for early labor. This opened my eyes to so many things I didn't know prior to having my first baby. Dara always had my (and the baby)'s best interest at heart and she provided information, but most importantly 110% supported whatever decision my husband and I made. 

After my due date, Dara prepared information on induction for me to help me communicate with the doctors. On day 41+4 I went into labor. I called Dara at 3:30am and she was right there with me the rest of the journey. She offered positions and exercises for me to do in this early stage of labor to help me progress & deal with the pain. Once I was ready to go to the hospital 8 hours later I was already 5.5cm dilated! Dara met us there (she will meet u whenever you are ready). Dara massaged me thru the contraction pain, recommended positions to help my labor progress, made sure I stayed hydrated and as comfortable as possible. Thru all the pain and work, she was right there by my side. Baby was positioning perfectly and things were moving! When it came time to push, it only lasted for 45 minutes which I think is a direct coorolation to Dara's work to get that baby ready! We delivered a heathly baby boy at 12:49am! 

Dara 100% supported us the entire process. The nurses at Mary birch were in awe of how great Dara was and there was a buzz around the labor and delivery floor of this "amazing doula". We never felt alone. I can't imagine my birth story any other way! Thank you Dara!

Afterwards she comes for a post partum visit to help with breastfeeding and steal some baby snuggles! I would 100% recommend Dara! 

Posted 1/28/2017

get a Gravatar

Alexandra Weber

We are so blessed to have found Dara to be our birth doula. With my high blood pressure, an OP baby with lots of subsequent back labor, and other complications, Dara’s role in our delivery was absolutely vital and led to an experience that we wouldn’t have changed for the world. She coached us to try different exercises during contractions to turn the baby that were really difficult, but Dara didn’t let us give up – she pushed us to commit to ten contractions and then take a break. In the end, our efforts paid off - our baby amazingly rotated to the ideal position just before being born. She was a constant source of positive energy and emotional support. I never doubted that she truly cared or meant every encouraging word she said. My husband said that without her he couldn't have done what he did - stay present and active throughout a difficult labor, never losing confidence in his role. Her unfailing ideas and suggestions for him enabled him to fulfill that role to the utmost. I couldn’t agree more with him - we could not have done it without her. Towards the end I was ready to give up – but Dara helped me make it through without any intervention or drugs until we achieved our goal of a completely natural delivery - complications and all! There were so many little things that made her stand out - she came early and set up our room with Christmas lights and a lavender essential oil diffuser, she made sure I was hydrated and well fed - up until spoon-feeding me minutes after the delivery - she even visited us in the hospital after delivery to make sure I was recuperating after some post-delivery complications. Her care and support was felt throughout the entire process. Her expertise as a lactation consultant was also vital during some initial challenges with breastfeeding. That and so many other things make Dara the perfect partner for anyone in their journey towards parenthood. I can’t recommend her enough!

Posted 11/4/2016

get a Gravatar

Chariane Forrey

Dara is an amazing doula and friend.  She met with me twice before my birth, was present for the birth, and then had one postpartum visit. She was almost always instantly available by phone, facebook, and email.  She provided resources for chiropractic care and lactation  consultants and recommended natural remedies to increase my iron levels, herbs to ease other pregnancy discomforts, and stretches to get my baby in the best position for birth.  These are the "checklist" items that Dara does that everyone should look for when searching for a doula.

But Dara provides much more than a "checklist."  She was a constant encourager and a true support person of peace.  Whenever I felt concerned about something my body was doing in late pregnancy, she reminded me gently that "my body was progressing beautifully" and was doing everything it was supposed to do to prepare for birth.  She eased worries by reminding me that my body knew how to give birth and my baby knew when he was ready to come out.  She texted to check in on me about every week in the last month.  When we discussed whether or not I should get an epidural, she honored whatever choice I decided to make.  Dara is one who believes that a mother knows her body best, should feel safe during pregnancy and at peace, and a mother should be empowered to make well-informed choices, whatever that choice may be.  During labor and delivery, she was calm, encouraging, and positive to both me, the hospital staff, and my husband and family.  After delivery, she was soothing and stayed until I was in the recovery room.  She spoke with the hospital staff in a respectful and calm manner but in a way that relayed any of my concerns.  I could not have asked for a better birth experience and doula.




Posted 7/29/2016

get a Gravatar

Meredith Chase

Dara is an incredible doula. We used her for the births of both of our sons (2014; 2016). She is incredibly professional, knowledgeable, and experienced, all while being calm, warm and peaceful.  My first labor experience was a very challenging one--I labored for over two days and ended up having to be on petocin. Dara brought so much support to that birth! My goal was to remain unmedicated through that labor and avoid a C-Section.  With my husband's support and Dara's guidance, I was able to remain unmedicated and deliver my son vaginally! It was a marathon that most likely would have ended in a C-Section if not for Dara.  My second birth was significantly shorter, and with Dara by our sides once again, I delivered my son at home, vaginally and without medication. Dara encouraged us through the whole labor process and provided positions/movement to open my pelvis and also encourage the baby into optimal positions for delivery. My son was a surprise sunny-side-up delivery and the midwife noted that it was likely that the specific movements Dara had us to during labor got my son into the best possible position for delivery and cut pushing time to much shorter than is typical for posterior facing babies. (Thank you, Dara!!!) If you want someone who will work closely with you and your partner to achieve your goals for labor, someone with experience and knowledge to handle even the toughest of labor situations, and someone who will be there to support and encourage not run the show, then Dara is your lady! She will do her best to help you birth the way that you want to birth, and will be respectful, kind, caring and genuine through the whole process. I highly recommend Dara DeSoto!

Posted 6/30/2016

get a Gravatar

Jynafer Castillo

 We found Dara via a referral from our midwife Lisa Marie Sanchez of sacredjourneymidwifery   We had reached out to and interviewed a few others before finding her at about 32 weeks.  Luckily we were able to make a connection with her and feel comfortable together right away  because he went into labor early at 37 weeks   We previously weren't 100% convinced  we would need a Doula after all of the education we had;  we ended up being so glad to have Dara with us at 42 hours of labor including 36 at home.  I'm very cerebral  and my husband is very action oriented - Dara  was able to support and guide each of us Along the way.  I absolutely trust her along the way and she helped me to make some key decisions at the hospital. We are very thankful to have had Dara as part of our birth team and intend to have her with us at our next birth. 

Posted 5/15/2016

get a Gravatar

Emily Outhier

I fear I can never do enough justice in writing to communicate the influence of Dara through my labor and delivery experience! Weeks after giving birth for the very first time, it's still the influence I can't stop talking about with friends and family. Undoubtedly my experience would have been extremely different without Dara's presence. After intense research, I was hoping for a natural birth in the hospital. Two weeks overdue, and my regular doula unavailable, Dara slipped in to the process with warmth and assurance that astounded me. I can say with confidence that I would have succombed to an epidural without her influence. I was faced with an unsupportive nurse after the shift change who made me feel like natural labor was not attainable. Through Dara's presence, a combination of support, experience, guidance and comfort, I discovered the capabilities I didn't know I had. There was only the moment I was in, and her unbroken eye contact when extra strength was needed. She made the space mine, she kept hospital staff at the distance I needed whenever possible, and her expertise even impressed the same staff. Many of the nurses present inquired about Dara during my recovery period- they had never seen her equal! And even my unsupportive nurse completely changed her tone by the time I delivered, echoing Dara's peaceful support and impressed at the fast progression, unassisted by the standard medical interventions. I always wondered how my tone would be as I focused on the task of labor. Dara means what she says when she speaks of peace. I've never seen labor depicted as peaceful- yet that was precisely my experience. There was so much positive energy in that room! My husband supported me through the entire process, guided by Dara in how to offer the most help. Due to her influence, his apprehensions surrounding watching me endure pain melted away. He was able to be comfortable, assured by Dara that everything was in control, progressing, and positive.

Posted 5/4/2016

get a Gravatar

Rana Shbib

Meeting Dara was a huge blessing in my life. My sister had hired Dara for the birth of her son last year and I just knew when the day would come when I would be pregnant with my second baby, that Dara was going to be a part of it. Fast forward almost a year later I found out the exciting news that we were expecting and I called Dara right away when I was 7 weeks pregnant. We met a few weeks later and she was so positive and encouraging that I can try for a vbac, she believed in me so much and that made all the difference. My whole pregnancy I felt Dara's support, she would check in on me and send me such valuable information through articles. I felt so calm and confident about my upcoming delivery and I really owe most of it to her guidance and support. When I went almost 2 weeks past my due date Dara never failed to keep me going and encourage me that I can do this. When I went into labor on my own finally, I was able to withstand all the pressure waves without any pain meds all because of Dara's support. It was very empowering for me and something I will never forget. Even though, due to circumstances out of anyone's control I had to have a repeat c section, it felt so good to know that I absolutely gave it my all and tried my best because of all the preparation and advice she helped along the way. Right until the very end, when my baby was finally in my arms, Dara was there all along and it made my birth experience such a beautiful one. Dara is gentle, calm, loving and just an incredible person whom I now consider part of our family. 

Posted 3/26/2016

get a Gravatar

Rana Shbib

Meeting Dara was a huge blessing in my life. My sister had hired Dara for the birth of her son last year and I just knew when the day would come when I would be pregnant with my second baby, that Dara was going to be a part of it. Fast forward almost a year later I found out the exciting news that we were expecting and I called Dara right away when I was 7 weeks pregnant. We met a few weeks later and she was so positive and encouraging that I can try for a vbac, she believed in me so much and that made all the difference. My whole pregnancy I felt Dara's support, she would check in on me and send me such valuable information through articles. I felt so calm and confident about my upcoming delivery and I really owe most of it to her guidance and support. When I went almost 2 weeks past my due date Dara never failed to keep me going and encourage me that I can do this. When I went into labor on my own finally, I was able to withstand all the pressure waves without any pain meds all because of Dara's support. It was very empowering for me and something I will never forget. Even though, due to circumstances out of anyone's control I had to have a repeat c section, it felt so good to know that I absolutely gave it my all and tried my best because of all the preparation and advice she helped along the way. Right until the very end, when my baby was finally in my arms, Dara was there all along and it made my birth experience such a beautiful one. Dara is gentle, calm, loving and just an incredible person whom I now consider part of our family. 

Posted 3/26/2016

get a Gravatar

Kayla Younglove

Our birth experience would have looked and felt much different without Dara. From the time my water broke to delivery was about 20hrs. This was our first baby and we went in wanting a natural birth. Coincidentally, the day our baby girl arrived was supposed to be our first scheduled prenatal visit with Dara. We hadn't even formally exchanged ir contract/payment yet! Reluctantly, I text Dara once labor started to let her know I was 3 weeks early and wondered if she would still be available. Fortunately, she was! We called her to come as I was beginning what I suspect was active labor. She arrived just in time! Her calming touch, reassuring voice and practical advice for helping me manage pain made a huge difference in the outcome of our birth. Of course, I came to that point of not knowing if I could endure the pain and finish what we started naturally, but she knew just what to say and ultimately, we did it! For having not spent much time together prior to our birth, it felt so comfortable having her there. I was nervous to  be so vulnerable, and naked! in front of someone else, but my fears went out the door with her. We chose Dara because  we sensed a motherly wisdom and affection about her. She gave me peace and prayed with us. She is a total professional and her love for what she does is evident.  Im forever grateful for the role she played in our little Isla's birth. I can look back and be proud of our birth because of Dara's help. I would not hesitate to recommend her, as long as its not during  next birth because we will need her! :) 

Posted 1/20/2016

get a Gravatar

Luisa Testai

I have the best experience ever with Dara. When I was looking for a doula I felt a conexion and really good feelings with her and I was completly right about it. 

I wanted a VBAC and she helped my dream come true. Actually she was essencial to make it happen. I could not have done without her. She took care not just of my but of my entire family. Besides me, my husband, my mom and my mother in law (they came from Brazil to be with us during my son's birth) were in the room and she was very attentious with them. She was "active" but at same time respecting their roles during labor and birth. 

Dara didn't let me forget what I was capable of. She helped me with every contraction in my 19 hours labor and also in the breaks between contractions too. She fed me, she kept me hidrated, she kept my energy high, she encourage me to walk and exercise even when i thought i could not do it. I had to take the epidural after 9 hours labor and with her support I found strenght to keep my legs moving enough to exercise with the ball, on all fours in my bed for almost 4 hours. That helped open my cervix and helped with dilation too.

My family said she was my guardian angel and I have to agree! I got my so dreamed VBAC with a 9.9lb and 22 inches baby. Dara is now part of my lifetime history and I thank her forever for this.

Even the nurses from Hoag told me they had never seen any doula like Dara. They wanted to thank her for everything she'd done for me and for them.   

I already recomended Dara for two other friends. I don't know how many more kids I'm still gonna have but I'm sure I want her always by my side!!!

Eternal gratitude for her! 

Posted 10/20/2015

get a Gravatar

Louise Chang

Dara was our doula for the birth of our second daughter, and we couldn't have been more happy with our decision. She was kind, loving and supportive throughout the whole process, beginning with several home visits before the big day. Mommy had some larger health issues and we had to switch from a planned birth at a birthing center to a high risk birth at a hospital, and Dara was there every step of the way -- emotionally and physically. She even brought by a delicious and healthy dinner for us one evening, which was completely unexpected but entirely welcomed.

On the day of the birth, I texted her throughout what I now know was active labor (oops) until it was too much for me to communicate any longer, although I did let her know that we were on our way to the hospital. Dara drove all the way from San Diego to be at my side when I gave birth to our daughter. I could feel my body relax when I heard her whispering in my ear all the love and kindness she had to offer. She was there and held my hand as the doctor physically removed my retained placenta from my body (painful), and she was there to give my husband orange juice as he almost passed out from the strain and stress of the day (sorry honey!). She rubbed my back for what seemed like forever and helped us transfer into our shared recovery room, and I think also to our private room, and she was back to visit me in the hospital before I was discharged.

If anyone is considering a doula for birth (which I highly recommend), I would definitely recommend Dara for a doula. This will be our last child, but if I had to do it again, I would ask Dara to be our doula. She is more than wonderful, incredible, amazing, loving and supportive. She is an incredible person to have in your life -- we are still in touch, and I am sure we will be for years to come. 


Posted 9/24/2015

get a Gravatar

Mrunalini Joshi

My husband and I welcomed our baby boy in June 2015. It was an experience we will never forget as first time parents. It's every couple's hope to have the most natural, safe, and promising childbirth experience and having a doula by your side enriches this experience altogether! We feel so blessed to have had Dara as our doula. She is a powerhouse of knowledge and catered to all my concerns through my pregnancy and delivery. She is respectful of your birth plan and will go the extra mile to make sure you have the most amazing birth experience.  Her positivity is contagious and her encouragement helped me stay confident and focused throughout my labor. Dara has a calming presence which is exactly what I needed as I transitioned through labor. She stayed with us through my entire labor and delivery (even took a selfie with our baby boy right after he was born!) making me feel at home at the hospital setting. She suggested different positions to speed labor and aid dilation. My baby was head down but was in a slightly tilted position. Dara suggested different positions using a bean ball and several hip extension techniques to help the baby get into the right position. She coached my husband to assist me through these simple yet effective exercises, which was great. She tirelessly worked with us through the night providing physical and emotional comfort. She gave us valuable information during labor that helped us make the right choices and kept our spirits uplifted. The hospital staff applauded her efforts and recognized her as the best doula that they had ever worked with. She is truly the best! They say childbirth is one of the most important event in one’s life but at the same time the most uncertain, filled with unforeseeable changes. Dara was our only constant during this beautiful, unforgettable event of our lives. We are extremely thankful for her support and look forward to teaming up with her for baby #2!


Posted 9/11/2015

get a Gravatar

Jacqueline Blankenship

Dara was such a gift from God to us for our labor and birth experience of our second daughter! During the weeks leading up to birth, Dara was a consistent source of encouragement, reassurance, and wisdom. On the day of labor, Dara met us at our birth center as soon as we got there and was so helpful, attentive, and encouraging throughout the night. She intuitively knew what was needed to help me feel relaxed and stayed right by my side the entire time. She empowered my husband by showing him how to be most helpful and taught us different positions to encourage labor to progress. Dara gave me constant physical support amd comfort through counter pressure, massage, essential oils, and keeping me well hydrated and fed. Her gentle, knowing, and maternal touch was so comforting! I couldn't imagine our birth experience without Dara... She really helped guide us through the process and brought such a sense of joy and peace to the experience. We are so thankful for her!!! -Jackie and Craig Blankenship 

Posted 8/21/2015

get a Gravatar

Jessica Denbo

Dara was the best doula we could possibly have had. She has a calming and supportive presence and when we met her we were comfortable with her immediately. She went above and beyond; not only was she an incredibly skilled and attentive doula during our labor, she was also one of the greatest sources of strength and support to our family throughout our time in the NICU following the birth of our daughter. We gave birth at home but unexpectedly had to transfer to the hospital immediately after birth, and our baby was in the NICU for 16 days. Dara came with us to the hospital the night our baby was born, as well as several other times while we were there. She also came to visit us once we were home from the hospital. She was so supportive throughout our time in the NICU, praying with us and helping us to process the experience.

Dara was incredibly intuitive, attentive, and nurturing throughout my entire labor. She came to our house in the middle of the night, as soon as I went into labor. She helped me with laboring positions, used rebozo techniques, provided aromatherapy in order to make me as comfortable as possible, and she constantly made sure I was hydrated and nourished. She took care of everything so that my husband could be by my side the entire time, and she worked wonderfully with my husband, mother, and midwife. Dara provided a sense of calmness throughout the process and her encouragement helped me to feel confident in my ability to labor.

Dara is one of the kindest and most caring people I have ever known. Not only was she an amazing doula, she has also become a wonderful friend. We are so thankful to her and are so blessed to have her in our lives.

Posted 7/3/2015

get a Gravatar

Melissa Weaver

My husband and I can't say enough good about Dara. She is warm, gentle, and intuitive and tirelessly served me in my 56 hour labor. She gave us valuable information through both my pregnancy and labor. She had a way to comfort and help me every step of the way, suggesting an acupuncturist to speed my labor and help my nausea, and various positions that helped me break my water and dialate further. Her suggestions regarding medical interventions most likely kept me from getting a c-section, which was a huge goal of mine. The love and service she showed me is something my husband and I will never forget. My labor was difficult, with nearly constant nausea and vomiting, and even when the nurse seemed unsure, Dara did not hesitate to care for me and put me at ease when I was completely vulnerable and overwhelmed. By the time our son arrived I can honestly say Dara felt like family. Her sweet spirit and example of service is unforgettable and I know she will bless any family she is a doula for. 

Posted 6/28/2015

get a Gravatar

tania shbib

Dara was an excellent doula. She was kind, compassionate and knowledgable. She is open and accepting of all birth plans and really works with you to achieve your plan without placing too much pressure on you if you decide to deviate from it. She was the best addition to my birthing experience and it would not have been the same without her. Excellent doula!

Posted 5/6/2015

get a Gravatar

sarah lubna neyaz

Dara radiates positivity, warmth and kindness. She is someone who you instantly feel comfortable with and is a source of strength and comfort...She made me feel not only comfortable and calm during my first pregnancy and birth experience, but helped with pain management, created a peaceful environment in a hospital setting, even fed me, supported me mentally, physically and emotionally and my husband as well. I can’t imagine what my pregnancy, labor and delivery would have been like without her! Not only did she support us during labor she often sent helpful notes and articles my way during pregnancy and also postpartum, she is always a phone call/text/email away. During the time of labor she used aromatherapy, massages, several different positions, rebozo techniques, positivity & encouragement, hot pads, cool rags - you name it, her bag of tricks, soothing words and calming presence were plentiful and tremendously helpful! We were able to have such a positive and beautiful experience during it all and we owe it to Dara. She supported all my decisions and encouraged me 100% of the way, not only that but made me feel empowered as well. My husband and I are so grateful and lucky to have found her as our doula and highly recommend her - we cannot thank her enough! She’s amazing!!!

Posted 5/2/2015

get a Gravatar

Noah Asher Golden

Dara gives 100% of herself. She has an amazing warmth and a strong presence. She is giving and generous with her time and energy. We had a very long labor and Dara was available to support us every step of the way. She is kind and completely dedicated to helping support the labor and birth process. She has an array of varied tools and skills including aromatherapy, hands-on techniques, position and activity recommendations, verbal encouragement, and nutritional support. She also developed an amazing rapport with not only me but my husband as well, who felt extremely grateful for her skill and expertise. She really goes above and beyond, helping to create the most healthy and supportive environment possible. We strongly recommend Dara. She is a wonderful, giving, enthusiastic, positive and mature person and an overall wonderful doula.

Posted 4/23/2015

get a Gravatar

Carolina Guajardo

Dara was our Doula for the birth of our son in Dec 2014. Dara was very kind when we first met her and was very warm when meeting with us before the birth. She was always available to answer questions (we didn't have very many before the birth).

On the day of our son's birth, Dara responded to all our messages and calls promptly and arrived to our house when we needed her.

Once she arrived at the house around 4 pm, she created an atmosphere that was calming and supportive of active labor (e.g. aromatherapy, light changes, water/coconut water, straw for the water-which made a huge difference on my drinking!). She let my husband rest for a bit which was what we needed at that moment, and she was actively trying to get myself comfortable. She changed the mood from anxiety/excitement to calm excitement that was  what I needed to make the labor progress. She helped me feel comfortable physically by using massages and suggesting different positions. She was suggesting things in a calm non-invasive way that was very nice. She also kept my mind busy by talking to me but also let me focus on my labor.

Once we got to the hospital, she created the same calm atmosphere in the labor room and was available for us the entire time we were there. She put the same aromatherapy that she used in the house (even the doctor was impressed). She did massages and suggested new possitions when our baby decided to get stuck and not to drop. She also answered our questions when the doctor suggested more invasive approach. Our son had to be born via C-section, but Dara was with us and supproted us morally until he was born the next day, and she continued to stay until my husband came out from the OR about 1.5 hours after birth. Not a minute before. 

She supported us after and responded questions we had, and gave us a beautiful birth story written for my son.

We recommend Dara for her kindness and warm approach to labor


Posted 3/11/2015

get a Gravatar

Sarah Robblee

As my husband Benjamin posted about our experience with Dara, she was amazing. My labor ended up being a long 62 hours and throughout all of it, Dara supported, advised, and encouraged us in the most helpful ways possible. She was up all night with us at the birthing center through the most painful part of labor and then came with us when I was transferred to the hospital. At the hospital, the nurses put me on Pitocin, and after hours on Pitocin, with the possibility of a necessary C-section looming, the nurses encouraged me to get an epidural. This was not part of our birth plan, but nothing else had been either, and Dara offered advice and encouragement when we asked for it and was very supportive in all the decisions we had to make.

In addition to the emotional support, Dara provided physical and spiritual support as well. Her essential oils helped relieve some of my nausea, her massages definitely decreased the amount of pain I was having, and her suggested positions for sitting and lying down were relieving as well. Dara also took the time to pray with us. Not knowing that we are Christians, she asked if we'd like her to pray for us, and we were very thankful for her support in this way. Her faith was incredibly encouraging and uplifting. 

In the middle of it all and looking back on it now, I'm not sure how I would have done it without her. She and my husband worked very well together, especially for her having never met our family before. The day after our sweet daughter was born, Dara came and visited us in the hospital, despite her busy schedule. For our future births, whether at home or in a hospital, we'll definitely want to be working with Dara again. She was an incredible blessing and she's a true gem. 

Posted 2/17/2015

get a Gravatar

kallie dovel

My husband and I were so grateful for Dara DeSoto to be apart of our birthing process. Our daughter's birth did not go according to plan from the very beginning; but Dara was there with us to help us make knowledgeable decisions that would align with our birth plan even through the obsticles. Dara created a peaceful and calm environment by providing essential oils and music. She continually massaged and encouraged me to use different positions to help the birth progress. Dara and my husband were a complete team, she would encourage him on what to do and take over when he got tired. This allowed for my husband and I to connect on a level we could not have without her. For that reason it was the most beautiful event of my life. The love that Dara showed to our family was beyond anything I could have asked for. She was present physically and emotionally in every moment and was constantly supporting us in prayer, something that was really important to us. I will be calling her for every birth we have; there is no way I would do it without her support and guidance. 

Posted 1/29/2015

get a Gravatar

Benjamin Robblee

Our baby came unexpectedly 4 weeks early while we were still trying to find a doula. Our midwife called Dara several hours after my wife went into labor. Dara dropped everything she had going and was to the birthing center in less than an hour of receiving the call. We had never met Dara before she came to help us with the delivery but during the time she spent with us she won our hearts completely. Dara tirelessly encouraged my wife, tactfully coached and encouraged me, and helped us figure out how to handle a stressful transition to a hospital when a transfer from the birthing center became necessary. Throughout the entire labor Dara's knowledge, care, encouragement, and tireless coaching was a blessing we could not have dreamed of. I highly recommend Dara to anyone looking for a doula. My wife and I will go to no one else for our future deliveries!

Posted 1/21/2015

get a Gravatar

Charles Lee

My wife Sandra was diagnosed with ALS(Lou Gehrig's Disease) in October of 2010, she passed away in June 2013. She had progressively gotten worse throughout her struggle with the disease, and eventually became homebound the latter two years. We have three young boys aged 7,5, and 3 and I work fulltime at Seacoast Grace Church in Cypress, CA. During those two years, Dara DeSoto was part of our incredible volunteer caregiving team made up of our church congregation members. She was a vital part of that caregiving team, and came to our house 1-2 times a week. Her punctuality, caring, and service were second to none. She is extremely capable of childcare for all ages, boy or girl; as well as house upkeeping(cleaning, laundry, cooking). Whenever she was there, our house was always kept in order and the boys and Sandra were well taken care of. Dara also watched and cared over Sandra during her battle with the disease. She is one of the most reliable and trustowrthy people I know of. I would recommend her to anyone or any family in a heartbeat.


Sincerely yours,

Charles Lee

Posted 1/9/2015

get a Gravatar

Lishawn Lalonde

Dara has an amazing way of making you feel comfortable in the most difficult or painful times . She has great wisdom on natural remedies and easily walks you thru how to use and do these techniques that seem to come so natural as she guides you thru :) I am amazed on how she just walks in and knows your needs without you asking her !! There were times when I was in so much pain or discomfort I did not have the strength or know what I needed but she did it was such a comfort !! I'm so thankful and appreciate when people know there gifts and can use them in such an amazing way to help others !! I hope anyone who needs comfort and guidance before or after birth has the amazing oppurtunity to have Dara the Doula on there side !!  A greatful patient , Lishawn Lalonde

Posted 1/6/2015

get a Gravatar

Jenny McGee

Dara Desoto was a tremendous support and comfort during and after my pregnancies. She offered very practical and easy solutions which taught me how to breast-feed, ways to hold my colicy baby and strategies to care for myself. I was clueless with what to do with certain things like when my breasts painfully engorged with milk. Also, my son was very colicky and she was able to offer advice and her expertise on how to handle the crazy stags in our lives. Dara is a person of integrity, strength, faith and wisdom. I would recommend her expertise, experience and accompaniment to anyone.

Posted 1/6/2015

get a Gravatar

Lisa Smith

When it comes to her clients, Dara is in it for the long haul.  She is comitted to their well being, both, physically and emotionally.  Her concern is not just for the mother but the entire family unit.  Dara is capable in every way and can be trusted to keep her client's and client's family's best interest front and center even when it comes at a cost to herself.  

Posted 1/6/2015

Birth Availability for Dara DeSoto,CD(DONA)(HCHD)

= Available. Calendar last updated: 11/24/2017 8:10:25 PM