A doula can ease your fears

The fact that you are here, at this website, may mean that you are looking for something beyond a typical hospital birth experience. Perhaps you've heard horror stories about unnecessary and unwanted interventions, inductions and c-sections. Perhaps your first birth was 'a nightmare' and you're hoping for a calmer, easier, faster birth this time -- an experienced doula can make all the difference.

Perhaps you're here because you want your birth experience to be life affirming, rewarding and even enjoyable. This is your chance to feel empowered, safe and cared for and to have a better birth in a hospital, birth center or at home.  Whether you're planning a natural, unmedicated birth, an epidural or a surgical birth, the first step toward a better birth experience includes the support of an experienced doula.

If you want to help make changes to hospital policies, be sure to participate in the Letters Project and to tell all of your pregnant friends.

If you are uncertain about what hospital is best for your type of birth, please check the Hospital Project, where hospitals are rated by experienced doulas based on what services, protocols and policies are in place. 

A doula can save you money

The presence of a doula during your labor can reduce the need for a surgical birth (c-section) by 40-60%. Your copayment for a surgical birth may be less than the doula's fees, and you may be reimbursed for up to 70% of your doula's fees by your insurance company. Even without reimbursement, you can save money by hiring a doula to prevent unnecessary and costly procedures. These charges include the cost of the anesthesiologist, the additional days mother and baby spend in the hospital, additional tests and procedures required for a baby born via surgery and the cost of postpartum help while the new mother recovers from major abdominal surgery. Can you afford NOT to hire a doula for your baby's birth?

About B*E*S*T Doula Service

B*E*S*T includes a wonderful group of

birth and postpartum doulas -- 

qualified birth professionals who come

from a wide variety of backgrounds. 

B*E*S*T doulas may be trained in Birth

Hypnosis (aka HypnoBirthing), Birthing

From Within, Bradley and/or Lamaze 


B*E*S*T doulas provide the information

you need to make good decisions 

about your pregnancy and birth and will

support you and your decisions

without judgment wherever and 

however you give birth.

About tracy hartley

The owner and operator of Birth

Empowerment Support Team (B*E*S*T) 

Doula Service, tracy hartley has 

supported over 680 Los Angeles area 

pregnant and childbearing women and 

their families since 1996. She has been 

quoted in The Doula Advantage by 

Rachel Gurevich and Easy Labor: 

Every Woman's Guide to Choosing 

Less Pain and More Joy During 

Childbirth by William Camann and 

Kathryn Alexander. She has also been 

seen on A Baby Story and featured on 

Channel 7 Eyewitness News.

What is a Doula?

Birth doulas (also called childbirth

assistants, labor support 

professionals, birth assistants, or 

birth companions) provide 

emotional, physical and 

informational support during

pregnancy, labor, birth and immediate


A doula does not replace the partner.

Instead she helps support the partner

so that he or she can love and

encourage the laboring woman. 

Doulas provide support in the hospital,

at home or at a birthing center -- 

wherever women give birth.