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Gracie Gambino
DONA certified Birth Doula, Postnatal Doula
BA Spanish/MAT, Proud Mama

A native Charlottesvillian, I grew up surrounded by babies and witnessed birth for the first time when I was in high school! I was captivated by the magic of that experience and it planted a big seed in my heart to pursue this calling.

I am also a local Spanish teacher, and while finishing my student teaching at JMU I met a colleague who is a doula. She inspired me to complete my training through DONA, and I became certified in 2020. I love to continually expand my knowledge and skills by working with different types of families and attending workshops such as Spinning Babies.

I live in the middle of town with my husband Michael and our beautiful daughter Aurelia. 


"I am so grateful to have had Gracie at my side during my daughter’s birth! Gracie has a calming presence that helped me stay relaxed and focused during labor. I felt protected and could let go, because Gracie took care of everything! Gracie was a constant source of ideas for movement. She kept me moving, kept me calm, and under her monitoring, we were able to do most of my labor at home. In the hospital, we didn’t run out of ideas because Gracie was there. I was able to stay active and try different positions for further opening. She renewed my energy with snacks and aromatherapy. Gracie helped me stay focused and helped to relieve my pain with counter pressure and massages. When we reached transition and the waves of contractions became tsunamis, Gracie remained a steady force and encouraged me to the end. Gracie was an essential part of my birthing team and I can’t imagine how we could have done it without her! "


Molly Duncan
RYT, Prenatal Yoga Teacher, DONA Trained Birth Doula, Spinning Babies (2020)
Proud Mama

I have always been inspired and amazed by the journey women make through pregnancy and birth into motherhood. My own birth was transformational and called me towards a path of uplifting and supporting women during this time period of their lives.

I have completed my doula training through DONA and I am a certified yoga instructor. I also completed my 85 hour prenatal yoga teacher training through Kelly Cox at Bend. 

As a Doula, my aim is to help facilitate a birth in which Mom feels empowered, heard and safe. Birth is an experience defined by the deepest emotions, and I am so honored to bear witness as new families are born. 


"I don’t know what I would’ve done without Molly. Before birth, she listened to all of my concerns, wants, and needs and I could tell she really cared about me. She made me feel prepared and capable to give birth and I went into labor with a positive attitude because I knew Molly would take care of everything. When it came down to it, she was all that and more. I had a very long labor and she was by my side for 48+ hours doing counter pressure, massaging, providing appropriate snacks, positioning me, and creating an over-all positive environment. I felt comfortable and taken care of the entire time. 

My husband was also a part of my birth team and he was so nervous. Molly helped him feel helpful and a part of the experience while taking over the parts where he didn’t know how to help. In his words, “Molly saved my life.” 

I truly owe her my sanity and the ability to look back at my birth with good feelings.'

"My husband and I cannot sing Molly's praises enough. Molly was exactly what we needed during our birth prep, labor process and support postpartum. She not only supported me through my choices but also was 100% there for my husband. Throughout the process she provided us with resources and support that we needed and met us where we were at. I so appreciated her ability to empower me through the whole process. She was informative, calm and made me feel like a super strong woman who could absolutely meet my goals. Because of Molly, I was able to have an all natural childbirth for my 9 lb baby boy. Molly was the perfect combination of kindness and helping me to push myself to meet my goals. I felt so comfortable with her and her support throughout my labor made all of the difference. I could not have met my natural birth goals without her. I cannot recommend her enough!"

"I had my baby in mid-March 2020, in the midst of a sea of change in hospital policies (and upending of daily routines everywhere). Molly was a reliable, calm, competent presence through it all. She kept me focused on the task at hand and was in sync with me emotionally, bringing empathy and intensity and lightness as needed. I am grateful for her loving care during and after the birth and consider her a very important person in my son's history. If I had another baby I would most certainly request her presence." 


I went into premature labor at 35 weeks. At the hospital, I felt unprepared and anxious—until Molly arrived. She dropped everything and met me at the hospital, despite my delivery being outside of her on-call window. My husband and I agree that the mood completely shifted once Molly was in the room. We both felt her presence and involvement was so helpful, supportive, and calming in an otherwise traumatic experience. My daughter ended up needing to stay in the NICU. During that time, Molly checked on us frequently and offered advice. She also visited us once we came home from the hospital, providing emotional support and validating our complicated feelings. If and when we have more children, Molly will most definitely be part of our birth team. She provides absolutely vital input and support during pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. 


Chloe Watkins

E-RYT, Prenatal Yoga Teacher, ToLabor trained Birth Doula, Postnatal Doula, Proud Mama.

Jay Brown says, “family life is the yogic cave” and it is this idea that echos in Chloe’s personal practice and in her teaching. Drawing inspiration from everyday activities - raising a young family, juggling jobs and tasks and making ends meet - Chloe seeks the wisdom in our mundane experiences. Her aim is to provide her students the tools with which they can begin to notice the intricacies and joys of their lives as they are today - the good, the bad, and the indifferent.

Chloe was trained in 2012 at PURE Yoga in New York City under Yogi Charu and KayKay Clivio. She has been blessed by many incredible teachers over the years including Kelly Cox, Jen Fleisher, Shala Worsley, and Tiffany Cruikshank.

Shannon McElroy

DONA trained Birth Doula, Prenatal Yoga Teacher
Pediatric Nurse, BSN, RN

After giving birth to three of my own children and using a birth doula as support, I fell in love with the practice. The experience I had of bringing life into this world with my husband and my doula by my side was transformative. I have had the personal experience of a C-section and two successful VBACs.

I have been practicing as a pediatric specialty nurse for 19 years, working with children and their families during challenging physical and emotional times. I value supporting people through these challenges and forming connections and relationships to lift them up. I have also been teaching various styles of yoga for over 12 years that I incorporate into both my doula and nursing practice. The breath, mind connection, and physical asana can be a strong addition to the birth experience!

My intention as a doula is to empower women and their families to deeply connect to the powerful experience of birth. I also strive to adapt to the changing needs of each mother and family as they arise throughout pregnancy and delivery. I am honored to serve in this practice and be a part of your journey.


Erica Tharrington
BS Biology/Spanish, CRC , Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula

I am a clinical research coordinator for UVA's CF care team, a mother, and a ToLabor trained doula. I believe that every birthing person should be given the opportunity to make informed choices in order to achieve their "perfect" birth. My goal is to provide support for all of my clients with respect to their dignity and human rights. I am adamant that ALL people should have access to doula support through the full-spectrum of pregnancy (from preconception, to birth, to abortion, to miscarriage, to adoption, to postpartum). 



Having a doula this time around has given me that extra sense of calm surrounding my upcoming birth. Erica has been there since the beginning with encouraging words and helpful advice. All the time reminding me that my body was made for this."

Kelsey Fatsi & Laura Bates

Moonfire Doulas

Kelsey: DONA trained Birth Doula, Art Therapist (ATR), Mama of 3 fiesty girls

Laura: DONA trained Birth Doula, Mama to 3 wild ones


Moonfire Doulas is a doula partnership that we created with the intention of nurturing well-being, confidence, and connection for people on their birthing journey through skilled support, compassionate presence, and community art.


In addition to our birth doula packages, Moonfire Doulas also offers facilitated pregnancy rituals, explorative art sessions, birth consults, and a monthly support circle for pregnant people to come together to connect. Together, we are working to create a community of support for pregnant and birthing people and their families in our beloved little town of Crozet.



“Even though our birth didn’t go exactly as planned, it was a wonderful experience thanks to Laura’s knowledge and calm positive energy. Laura supported and empowered me, and did the same for my husband. I felt like I had the perfect team by my side and would recommend Laura to anybody!” - Jessica, first time parent


“There were a lot of moments when Kelsey was the only reason that I felt calm and in control. Having her wealth of knowledge allowed me to trust my body to do the next right thing and remember the strength I had inside me.” - Kate, client


Mary Thelen

Labor and Delivery/Mother Baby Nurse, RN, BSN

Postpartum Doula (DONA trained)

Proud Mama



As a labor and delivery/mother baby nurse for the past nine years, I have been fortunate to witness and often be a special part of some of the most powerful and transformational of births. 


I absolutely love supporting families during birth as a labor nurse, especially when I have the opportunity to connect deeply with the families and help them navigate the medical system, empowering and advocating for them along the way as needed. 


This is my life’s calling. Once my littles are more grown, I plan to pursue midwifery; but for now, I would like to focus my time on supporting families in a way that is near and dear to my own heart, in a manner that I do not have the opportunity to while at the hospital. 


It was only after having my own two little ones that it truly dawned on me just how powerful the transition into parenthood really is, and how so much of that journey occurs well beyond the birthing room with little to no support or guidance, usually in the wee hours of the morning once you are home and on your own. 


I was fortunate enough to have an older sister, an experienced mom herself, who made it a point to come stay that first week with me postpartum with both of my children. She took care of everything I asked her to, and some things that I didn’t realize I needed. She was the ultimate postpartum doula. She was there solely to care for, listen to, validate, and support me. And I don’t know that I could have made it through those first few weeks without her. I believe everyone should have access to this kind of support postpartum, and I am honored to take on this role.

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