About DASC

Doulas Association of Southern California

The Doulas Association of Southern California was founded in 1997. We are a non-profit professional membership association of birthworkers led and run by a volunteer Board of Directors. 

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. In 2021 I became a Certified Facilitator of the Resilience Toolkit and joined the staff at Lumos Transforms.

I am now a California Certified Massage Therapist; Certified Birth and Postpartum doula; Gentle Sleep Coach; Lactation Educator; 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. 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.

Stephanie Arjona
Stephanie Arjona

Treasurer

With a passion for building strong social and family relationships, Stephanie Arjona has dedicated her life to finding innovative ways to reach children and parents through meaningful connections.

Stephanie has a wide range of experiences to better connect with the families she serves as a practicing Doula. After working in the corporate world for 15 years, Stephanie switched career paths to pursue teaching. She has taught Special and General Education over the last six years. While working with special needs children, Stephanie witnessed the importance of introducing American Sign Language at a young age. She started her business “Signs of Harmony” to teach kids and parents ASL in a fun, engaging way. She now provides Doula childbirth services in conjunction with baby signing classes.

With a love for expanding her knowledge, Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education. She is currently pursuing certification as a Childbirth Educator through Doula Training International (DTI) and certification as a Birth, Postpartum Doula through DONA International. Stephanie actively volunteers with organizations such as Joy in Birthing, Postpartum Support International and Doula Association of Southern California in her free time. Stephanie’s commitment to helping others is why she believes in the power of supporting parents and babies as their trusted Doula.  She hopes to help spread the vital message of how essential this work is, especially during the most vulnerable stages of pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery.

Michelle Brenhaug
Michelle Brenhaug

Secretary

I am a trained birth doula and working toward certification with DONA International. I was trained in the fall of 2020 through Bini Birth and have loved almost everything involved with doula work since then. I have 2 daughters and experienced birth trauma with my first labor and birth experience which is one of the things that pushed me toward pursuing this work. I have found myself the most alive when guiding and accompanying others, whether it be children, frields, or aging persons. Also, since becoming a mother, I have discovered an even deeper ability in myself to intuit someone's needs, sit with, guide, and offer care as they need it. I am also Japanese-American, educated as an engineer and worked as an engineer for 9 years. I find that the combination of my aptitude for technical things, attention to detail, and empathic, intuitive disposition makes me uniquely fit for birth work.

Lucy Roberts
Lucy Roberts

Director of Membership

I am a Birth Doula and ASL Interpreter originally from Carlsbad, California, I moved to Los Angeles in 2008 for college. After graduating with a degree in Musical Theater, I dedicated my education to learning American Sign Language. While training to be an ASL interpreter, I gave birth to my daughter, Lily, in 2018. I found my passion for birth work after that experience. It was a long road to get to this point, but I know that supporting birthing people is what I was meant to do. I am constantly striving to better myself and my work through community and education.

 

I am so excited to join the DASC board and to serve the birthworker community in Southern California. “Live and Love. There isn’t time for anything else”

Monica Flores
Monica Flores

Director of Hospitality

I am a trained postpartum doula, working on my certification with DONA International, I'm a single proud mother of an amazing 29 year old man.

I feel I started in this field at a very early age, supporting my mother with my siblings and around the house. I have taken care of kids of all ages as well as supporting women in different stages in their lives. I like to think I was meant to be of service not only to women, and families, but to anyone who needs extra love and support navigating this experience of life. I truly believe being a Postpartum Doula is my calling. I'm here as a woman, daughter, sister, mother and friend.

I strive to live and create a holistic approach in everything I do. I firmly believe we all have an innate intuition and ancestral wisdom that helps us live and explore life feeling grounded, supported and strong. My main goal as a Postpartum Doula is to support parents and respectfully inspire them to find their unique method of parenting by combining and balancing their knowledge, intuition and love.

I look forward to serving and helping my community of doulas and everyone around me, by being present, loving and caring. My personal goal is to continue to grow in this field, to be more present and outdoors. I would love to travel, explore and understand more cultures.

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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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Position Available

Director of Public Relations & Social Media

Are you passionate about social media and promoting the work of doulas throughout Southern California‽ Contact us to apply to be DASC's Director of Public Relations and Social Media!

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Position Available

Director of Development

Are you passionate about spreading the work of doulas and mission of DASC throughout Southern California‽ Contact us to apply to be DASC's Director of Development!

Join or Volunteer!

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

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