Samantha Hillstrom, CD(DONA) Photo

Samantha Hillstrom, CD(DONA)

Lavender Labor and Birth Services


Birth Fee: $1000 to $1250

Fee Details: Fee covers 2 prenatal visits, 1 postpartum visit, and unlimited phone and email support throughout your pregnancy. I will also take photos of your labor and birth with your camera, if preferred.

Birth Doula Experience: 2 years and 23 births attended

Doula Training

Not Specified

Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 0 to 2

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York

College Education

  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Addiction Recovery
  • Cesarean birth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth

Special Services Offered

  • Abortion Support
  • Antepartum doula
  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Doulas Association of Southern California (DASC). Started the first and only LGBTQ-only childbirth education class series in New York City and Los Angeles. Served on the Board of Directors of Choices in Childbirth and the Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York (CEA/MNY). Choices in Childbirth is a non-profit organization working to improve maternity care and access to a full-range of birth options. CEA/MNY is a non-profit organization of childbirth professionals and consumer advocates who believe in evidence-based, family-centered education.

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Los Angeles, CA
Travel Range: 35 Miles

Client Testimonials for Samantha Hillstrom, CD(DONA)

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Jess Harris-DiStefano

Samantha was reffered to us by a mutual friend in late 2013  during my pregnancy with our first child and right from the start she was nothing short of wonderful. Over the of course of our pregnancy, she was right by our side providing us with unconditional guidance and support and at times went above and beyond in order to help us through the bumps along the way.  

Samantha not only provides an amazing level of ongoing supportive for both the mother and non-birthing partner, but also has a wealth of pregnancy, birthing, and post-partum knowledge that is truly invaluable when it comes to navigating the process of giving birth.

She is much much than just a Doula in our eyes... She's a life long friend and we are so lucky to have found her.

We highly reccomend Samantha to anyone who's looking for a world class Doula!



Posted 12/16/2014

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Laurie Savage

There are many reasons my husband and I would recommend Samantha for doula services.  On our first meeting, she was incredibly present and connected, immediatly putting us at ease as first time parents with no birthing experience.  She is thoughtful and informed, but most astonishingly, Samantha possesses that rare genuine and loving air of confidence that makes a caregiver most effective.  

When she came over during my labor, the entire energy in the apartment shifted.  She showed a natural intuition in how to keep me active working through my contractions.  Her presence is gentle, unnassuming, but assured and secure.  She kept my husband very involved and I successfully labored at home with them for four hours, and was already 8 cm dilated by the time we moved to the birthing center.  

My delivery was complicated, a last minute breech and hospital transfer.  Samantha's guidance during my active labor certainly served me later, in the hospital, as I fought to naturally deliver my breech son, feet first.  We were both healthy, and I was truly grateful for the confidence she had instilled in me, which played no small part in giving me the strength for such a delivery.  

During the post partum visit, it was clear that Samantha's investment in her clients is spiritual for her as well, and that she truly cares about our new little family.  My husband and I feel honored to have her among a small circle of people that truly experienced the birth of our boy. 

Posted 10/14/2014

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Alex Woo

We had the pleasure of first meeting Samantha at a birth preparation course she was instructing and were immidiately taken with her professionalism, knowledge of the birth experience (important given we were first time parents) and great sense of humor. Although we had never intended on having a doula present for the birth of our daughter, after meeing and speaking with Sam we decided we definitely wanted to have her along as part of our journey and are very pleased that we did. Sam giuded us though the last two months of the pregnancy and was always available for advice on everything from our choice of hospital to any and all questions on the actual birth process. Her approach is open, honest and practical and what we were particularly impressed with was her focus on not only understanding what we wanted and needed but also on opening us up to other availabe options and ways of thinking. Sam made herself available 24/7 from up to two weeks before our due date and on the day stayed by our side through the 26 hour delivery. She worked tirelessly with us through multiple birthing positions, and seemed to be available for massage and coaching on breathing at each and every contraction which got us through some very challenging moments! Her sense of humor and professionalism never waivered and we were so very pleased to have her by our side when our daughter Francesca finally made her appearance!

Sam has stayed an important part of our lives since Francesca's birth and we would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone looking for (and even those who don't think they need) a doula!

Francesa, Jessica and Alex

Posted 8/21/2014

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Holly D

My husband and I immediately clicked with Sam on our first meeting. She was very thorough in her walk through of what to expect during birth and listened attentively to our wishes. We actually did not come up with a birth plan because I trusted her judgement implicitly and I am so glad that I found her thru another mother I knew. 

I was her first homebirth and she was sensational. Even my midwife was astounded as she normally has a preferred doula that she works with. I heard Sam's voice consistently for the 15 hours of labor I was in. When I got annoyed by my husband, she was the calm that made me focus on getting my baby out. She reasoned with me and made me hear the choices I had to make when no one else could (present were my husband, midwife, Sam and her back up doula.) 

Sam held me up mentally and physically without wavering and for that no price can be placed on that kind of support. Even after the birth and I had difficulties, she was on hand to comfort and provide needed additional help without question.

We love you for being wholeheartedly present for us always.

Posted 8/17/2014

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Korena Schlegel

Sam is a caring, energetic, and grounded professional. After a less than ideal birth experience with our first son, we knew we wanted the support of a doula for the birth of our second child. I was determined to have a natural birth, but hoped to find someone non-judgemental, just in case things didn't go as planned. Upon meeting Sam I knew we'd found a great match.  She was friendly, relatable, and knowledgable.  Sam patiently listened to my long and detailed birth and pregnancy history, asked all the right questions, and provided wonderful feedback. She took our concerns seriously but shared our sense of humor (two huge items on my checklist). Even though I liked my midwifery practice, I felt very pressured when I went past my "due date" to submit to the fear the traditional medical establishment often imposes upon pregnant women and their partners. Sam encouraged me to stay true to my instincts, and with her advice and a few doula tricks I was able to have the natural birth I had wished for. Bonus points to Sam also for hightailing it to a different borough than we had planned, when I went into a super speedy labor and needed an ambulance to get to the closest hospital. I'm still not sure how she got there as fast as she did, but we are beyond grateful she worked her magic!

Posted 2/12/2014

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Brianna Ladapo

Sam Hillstrom was by far the most wonderful doula I could ever have asked for! For a long time, I had no idea whether a doula was even necessary for me, as my husband is a great physician, and I thought he would be sufficient, but honestly, I could NOT BE HAPPIER that we chose to have Sam as our doula! Even if my labor experience had been easy, she would have been of great comfort and companionship to me, but as it was, my labor was very long and very difficult, and there were several complications with the first eight hours of staff we encountered (those who actually delivered my baby were wonderful, however). I truly don't think I would have gotten through my birth without her!

My regular OB was on vacation, and the on-call OB tried to unnecessarily induce me immediately, at which point Sam absolutely stood up for me (along with my husband), and impressively cited a plethora of data supporting all of the reasons why my preference not to be unnecessarily induced was valid. The OB was so unprofessional that she literally ignored us for the remainder of her eight hour shift, during which my contractions become 30-45 seconds apart. I was in excruciating pain for HOURS and nobody even checked on me! Sam absolutely saved me--she has the most natural, soothing, intuitive gift for helping birthing mothers find the best possible positions to breath through pain, she teaches amazing breathing techniques to handle even the most brutal contractions (trust me, I know!), and she never left my side. 

When the shift changed and we finally got a great OB and delivered my baby about 24 hours after I was admitted, Sam was an absolutely AMAZING birth coach! What I love about Sam is that she makes sure you have the experience YOU want to have and is fully committed to the birth experience you, as the mother, have your heart set on. In summation, she is the best in the business, and you would be very fortunate to have her as your doula!


Posted 2/1/2014

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Kelly Titus

I can't say enough wonderful things about our birth experience with Sam. At our first meeting, we were struck by her knowledge, energy and strength and we knew she was the right match for us. Throughout the whole process leading up to birth she was supportive and available in a way that made me feel much calmer about the unknown experience ahead. During my birth she was 1000% there for us the whole time, supporting me and my partner no matter what was happening. She was our anchor and without her I can't imagine I would have made it through my unmedicated birth.  She was amazing and I would never birth a baby without her.

Posted 1/18/2014

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Dorota Raczka Cooper

We knew from the first moments of meeting Samantha that she will be our labor doula. It was her positive energy, confidence, warmth and knowledge what made us feel very comfortable with her from the start.

Our first impressions turned out ot be true, even more. She spent with us over 20 hours in our crazy non progressing labor, didn't close her eyes even when I was trying to doze for a moment. she stayed alert and focus in case I needed her, helped me thorugh contractions and kept me positive. It is only thanks to her we didn't panic and avoided confusion and uncessesary trip to the hospital. We stayed at home for as long as it was possible and on the end spent only few hours on the Labor and Delivery. I can't imagine going through it without her wisdom and support.





Posted 12/5/2013

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Lindsay deJongh Stoulil

Sam assisted my husband & I with the amazing birth of our second daughter. I could tell from our first meeting that she was the doula for us, as we wanted someone extremely professional, knowledgeable, warm, and confident. Our prenatal meetings were both relaxed and productive. Sam took a thorough history--something I very much appreciate from any care provider--guided us through a birth class "refresher," and helped us write a birth plan. Her previous experience assisting an unmedicated delivery at a hospital was incredibly helpful as well.

I think Sam exceeded all of our expectations on delivery day. She was encouraging when we were not immediately admitted to the hospital. Her positive energy kept me focused on our goal. She even joined me in doing lunges down Second Avenue to help labor progress! Super insightful in knowing when my needs had changed and when to head back to the hospital. I don't remember her ever leaving my side from the moment active labor began. I especially remember her coaching when I got to 7 cm, a perfect mix of intense and calm that got me through those contractions. Not to mention the amazing photos she captured of the birth, including the moment of sheer joy when I got to hold our daughter, my very favorite photo to date.   

We got the unmedicated birth we desired & owe much (most?) of this to Sam's support. 

Lindsay & Matt





Posted 10/2/2013

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