My role is to support you as you prepare for child birth, and to be a calming, encouraging presence on that day.  I work to support your partner as well, and to help you both prepare according to your values and goals. 

As a birth doula, I accompany women in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. I draw on my professional training, knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort, and as needed, communication with the staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labor. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, soothing touch, aromatherapy, massage, essential oils, and other techniques for comfort and labor progression. I am independent and self-employed. As your doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver or hospital.

Birth Doula Experience: 7 years and 300 births attended (and counting)


  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

  • Hypnobabies - Certified Hypno-Doula

  • Certified Lactation Education Counselor (CLEC) certificate through UCSD

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I have supported mom's at 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, St. Josephs Anaheim, St. Jude Fullerton, Long Beach Memorial, Balboa Navy Medical Center, 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, Scripps Encinitas, Scripps La Jolla, Orange Coast Memorial, Grossmont Hospital, Mercy Hospital

Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
I am familiar with the service, support and well woman care at a variety of Birth Centers. (South Coast Midwifery, Beach Cities Midwifery, Babies and Bloom, Best Start, Tree Of Life and more). 

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

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Breastfeeding support, personal experience and Certified Lactation Educator Counselor via UCSD

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

Curently Taking San Diego Birth Clients in Partnership with Joyful Roots Doula Services at Joyful Roots.

$1600 for birth doula service

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Adoption

  • Breastfeeding Education and support

  • 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

  • Nutritional Support

  • Military families

  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)

  • Parenting consulting

  • Satellite Doula (For remote and rural clients)

  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)



Postpartum Testimonials

- Contacting Dara was our last resort before turning exclusively to using formula. My milk did not come in for weeks after delivery and the hospital lactation consultant told me i needed to use nipple shields. Our daughter was dropping weight quickly. Dara was quick to respond via text and email before coming over for an in home consultation. We have not supplemented with formula since contacting Dara. She gave a me an easy to follow plan that works for our family. I am no longer using nipple shields, we are running out of room in our freezer for our freezer stash and our daughter is thriving little baby rolls and all. I cannot recommend Dara enough. -Heather

 - She even offered to come to my home and give a one-on-one breastfeeding class in lieu of the second in-person meeting. It was so helpful and I think it contributed significantly to my successful breastfeeding relationship with my baby after an emergency Belly Birth. -Annie

-Dara taught me how to nurse, and offered her support after the hospital. She was literally my angel at my shoulder through the toughest time in my life. -Monica

-Once I was home from the hospital Dara came to visit and helped make me feel comfortable with a baby in my home by creating a breastfeeding nest, teaching me how to swaddle, and how to use the Moby carrier. I really can't say enough how much I appreciated having her help me through this experience. -Kellie

-She stayed through the c-section and was in the recovery room to help facilitate breastfeeding -Adrianne

-Her expertise as a certified lactation educator counselor 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! -Alex

I offer a variety of postpartum services to support mother and baby wellness.

See Services Offered At Joyful Roots Doula Services

breastfeeding support

Serving South Orange County and All San Diego Counties


-Assist in identifying new ways to address breastfeeding to encourage peace and affirmation while on the breastfeeding journey.
-Determine if Newborn is getting enough milk
-Help with proper latch and assuring milk transfer
-Provide practical and nutritional suggestions to increase milk supply
-Aid mother in establishing a healthy breastfeeding relationship
-Suggest further resources when necessary

$175 for Initial In Home Visit of 2-3 hours. $75 for one hour In Home follow up
(Unlimited phone, text and email support until breastfeeding relationship is thriving and mother is at peace.)

Dara De Soto is a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor through UCSD with personal breastfeeding experience having exclusively BF her own four children for up to two years each. She has educated and supported countless women towards a thriving breastfeeding relationship with their newborns. She takes great delight in seeing her clients bring their babies above their birth weight at their 14 day appointment!

I DO                                                               

Encourage the family to seek care that reflects their values and needs
Model and teach effective communication
Encourage informed decision making                            
Support the physical and emotional healing of the mother
Provide information on care options and resources for the mother and newborn
Support and assists with infant feeding                            
Educate the family on newborn care and characteristics
Provide support to the new mother’s partner and/or family
Assist with household organization                            
Refer to healthcare professionals when support requires clinical assessment, a need for prescription, or medical diagnosis


Diagnose medical conditions                    
Interpret medical diagnoses or clinical results
Prescribe or administer treatment of medical conditions
Perform clinical procedures, including: taking infant's temperature or administrating medications to infant or mother
Take over complete care of the infant, including: buckling infant into car or car seat and cutting infant’s nails
Transport any family members                
Stay alone with babies or other children             
Sleep train babies                         
Act as a housekeeper or nanny