About DASC

Doulas Association of Southern California

The Doulas Association of Southern California was founded in 1997. We are a non-profit professional community of doulas which recognizes the profundity of birth on the human experience and society at large, while respecting the individual needs of childbearing families. We provide a supportive forum for maintaining professional standards, continuing the education of birth and postpartum doulas, and informing the public of the benefits of doula care.

DASC members listed on the referral pages (Find a Doula) are professionally trained as birth support or postpartum care doulas by one or more of the following associations, which have met DASC’s criteria:

Our Purpose

The Doulas Association of Southern California’s purpose is to continually advance the profession of birthwork.

Our Mission

We do this by providing:
advocacy for reproductive/birthing justice;
a nurturing community of peer collaboration;
educational opportunities for doulas and the public;
and a bridge between the public and our members.

Our Vision

A diverse, inclusive, and thriving community of supported, educated, and successful birthworkers.

Meet the Board

Mikaela Lynn Johnson Vaal
Mikaela Lynn

President

Once Upon a Time … I started my journey in the healthcare field in 2010 when I began training as a Massage Therapist in NYC. I continued on to become a New York State Licensed Massage Therapist and an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist then spent several years teaching at the institution I received both degrees from. Since moving to LA in 2017, I have turned my focus more specifically to equity and healing for marginalized folks in health and wellness. 

I am now a California Certified Massage Therapist; DONA Ambassador for California; ICEA trained Childbirth Educator; Master Reiki practitioner; and 500RYT Yoga Instructor. I am currently working on completing training for: PAIL Advocate for Full Spectrum work, BADT’s CBE, a certification in Yoga Therapy, Coaching & Training Women Academy’s Pre and Postnatal Coaching Certifications, BBH’s Essence of Birth Photography Certification, and many more. In 2021 I will be in Lumos Transforms’ Certified Facilitator of The Resilience Toolkit training. I am a lifelong student always looking to learn and grow in my skills to better support my clients and community.

In 2018 I joined the Board of Directors of the Doulas Association of Southern California (DASC) shortly after joining DASC! I am very excited to continue in this field, as I am fiercely passionate about improving the healthcare equity for women and femmes - specifically Black, trans, and nonbinary folks.

When not working, I am an artist through and through! From two advanced degrees in talking and playing pretend, to learning to make jewelry, pottery, painting, and websites ... I spend most of my free time creating things! I’m so glad to have found DASC where I’ve also had the opportunity and immense pleasure of making friends with amazing and supportive humans who I hope to have in my circle forever.

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Erin Fitsimmons

Vice President

I feel fortunate to have found the Doula community in Southern California.  I am a trained, DONA PostPartum Doula working on my certification and am new to the field.  I was drawn to this work because I love the idea of nurturing families and easing the transition when a newborn becomes part of the family. I look forward to continuing to grow in this field and plan on pursuing a certificate as a Breast-feeding Consultant.

I have a Certificate from UCLA Extension as a Patient Advocate and currently work part time for a physician in Santa Monica.  I have two wonderful children and before I became a mother I worked in film production and development.  I love systems and helping to facilitate ideas and would love to help DASC grow and expand its reach.  I am originally from New York City and moved to the westside of Los Angeles in 1998.

Erica Hunt
Erica Hunt

Treasurer

While my work in supporting families started long before my doula work, I officially became a birth worker in January 2015. We had just moved to California a few months earlier and after getting settled in I made up my mind that it was time to go all in. I found the next available DONA training and signed up for the workshop that following weekend.  Since then I’ve continued to grow and educate myself and the families I work with. My life before birth work consisted of my husband and my two children, who are now 13 and 15. My husband has been in the Army for 17 years and the military lifestyle has meant a life with short roots and at times a lot of uncertainty. I attribute my ability to adapt to each individual birth and each family’s needs and personalities to my life of consistent change. 

Along with being a birth worker I am also a Newborn Care Specialist, a Postpartum Doula and a Placenta Specialist. And honestly, being a certified Reiki Practitioner is one of my favorite practices and it’s something I love to incorporate into birth and postpartum work as well.

I am currently studying to become an Ayurvedic Healthcare Practitioner and a Certified Herbalist along with starting the Bebo Mia Infant Sleep course later this year. I am thrilled to be able to bring these practices into my work. 

When I am not making postpartum meal plans or attending births you can find me with my family. We enjoy all things outdoors, we love a spontaneous road trip or adventure and we really love food. Really though, most of our days are spent on or near the beach.

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Leica Jones

Secretary

Leica Jones trained as a birth doula through DONA International in 2019, after which she volunteered as an in-hospital birth doula at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City before moving (back) to West LA in September 2020. After experiencing the magic of childbirth and the blessing of having a doula through the birth of her first child, the birth doula path became a clear choice for her. Leica is passionate about the process of birth and about helping birth parents have the best possible experience through preparation, education, and continuous support.

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tracy hartley

Director of Membership

I completed my DONA birth doula training in May of 1996 and have supported over 675 families since then.  I've also trained with CAPPA, ICEA, Birthing From Within, Spinning Babies, HypnoBirth and HypnoBirthing and have taken every training I've had the opportunity to attend in the past 23 years.  I have served on the DASC Board in several capacities for most of my doula career and I love working with and mentoring new doulas. I am a mother of two amazing grown children and the grandmother of three wonderful grandchildren and I was the doula for the births of all of my grandchildren. I allow new doulas to shadow me at births to help them ease into this amazing work that we do.  I also teach a marketing class for new doulas to help them grow their business and become successful doulas.

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Tremaine Wilson

Director of Public Relations & Social Media

Tremaine is a DONA-trained Full Spectrum Doula, Lactation Education Specialist and traditional Postpartum healer with specialties in Placenta care and more. Supporting families all across Southern California and the Las Vegas region. She entered birth work to help advocate and bring trust and more love into the birthing space, that she believes transcends into beginning of the development and beauty that is a healthy family and parenthood. Her main philosophy is to allow her birthing people and families to own their strength and truly see beauty in the unpredictability of birth and early childhood development (and of life itself.). 

As a birth worker she focuses on ensuring families are well educated/prepared and stress free prior to delivery and have her assistance in whatever capacity they need. As well as care and help after birth. She does not dictate the choices that the birthing person and/or partner make, She wants them to always feel heard. She knows within that this work is her calling. Knows that she is meant to help women and families of all backgrounds. She offers her dedication and undeniable commitment.

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Sara Bejaoui

Director of Development

Sara Bejaoui is a certified birth doula and clinical counselor. After years of clinical practice, Sara strengthened her skillset with a focus on motherhood and childbirth. Sara is passionate about supporting families throughout the entire experience of the birth process via educational and supportive means.

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Sarah Pinder

Member At Large

 I am a first-year postpartum doula and have really gained so much insight from my membership through DASC. I am looking forward to giving back to the organization and hoping that I can provide some assistant to the board, as well as the organization at-large. I am a jack-of-all-trades, having worked in administration, website content, TV, and non-profit counseling. I’m looking forward to offering a hand and perhaps a voice to new postpartum-doulas and those beginning in this profession.

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Tiphanie Sparks

Member at Large

Hello, I am Tiphanie Sparks!

I am a certified, professional doula, a certified lactation counselor, an educator, and a trained Hypno-Doula. I specialize in prenatal support, birth/labor education, birth/labor support, postpartum care (parent(s) and newborn), breastfeeding, and mediation.

I have dedicated my life to supporting people through the various stages of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood. Connecting and developing relationships is very important to me, I am excited to connect with all of you in the near future.

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Sara Hoke

Member At Large

I always felt that my calling was to nurture, teach or counsel. Further, I’ve been drawn to mothering, babies and the mysteries of birth from my youth. Now a mother of two, I truly know how transformative and beautiful birth is. Working with and supporting parents through the intense, raw and monumental period of birth and postpartum is a dream come true. 

I trained with Jessica Diggs of Doula Training International in 2019 and am continuing my training and mentorship with Haize Hawke of Get Rooted Doula Training.  My approach is to meet the parents where they’re at, to respect their individuality and find what they truly need to feel safe while giving birth. 

Other interests include singing, dancing, the outdoors,  food & wine, my other career in travel and hospitality, and making friends. I’ve loved joining DASC and connecting with the doula community.

Join or Volunteer!

If you’re interested in joining or volunteering for DASC, please contact us!

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