Cynthia Jordan Fisher

Cynthia began training in maternal child health through observing births and newborns in Rome, Italy in 1983. After giving birth to her first child in 1986, Cynthia supported mothers from various countries in the Pacific Rim in their homes as a Child Development Specialist in Hawaii, teaching newborn care, feeding, reading baby's cues and assessing and strengthening the mother baby bond.

Cynthia has been working with families in Charlottesville since 1995 where she began teaching parent child classes for parents with newborns - age 3 through her program Babies by the Blue Ridge. While working as a DONA certified postpartum doula with Month10 Doulas over the past 10 years she especially enjoys helping mothers gain insights into their newborn from a Montessori perspective. Cynthia also helps prepare homes to encompass a newborn or infant's needs. Cynthia has been working to develop Nearby Baby for the past two years and training women interested in being postpartum doulas. She has two daughters and five grandchildren. (Fortunately for her they are all locals!)


Zakiah Pierre

Meet Zakiah. Zakiah loves people. Specifically she loves serving others. It brings her great joy. This began when she was very young, volunteering as a Girl Scout and carried into a career in Chemical Engineering. As an engineer she spent years quality testing consumer products you buy off the shelf to ensure both effectiveness and safety. She eventually transitioned to the non profit space to help groom high school students to pursue STEM in college. Today, when she isn’t working to develop a world class student experience for students at the UVA Darden School of Business as a Student Affairs director, you can find her immersed in work serving the Charlottesville community. Since welcoming two children in Charlottesville, she has developed a new respect for moms, the motherhood journey and the need for better and more accessible resources throughout the perinatal period.

Zakiah supports Nearby Baby as an Advisory Board member. She has been a valuable support with initial strategic planning for NBB especially in the area of program design. Zakiah is a trained birth doula with the Sister’s Keeper Collective and is currently taking the NBB training for postpartum doulas to be able to offer future direct doula services and case management support of doulas for Nearby Baby.

Zakiah resides in the City of Charlottesville with her husband, two toddlers and 2 cats.


Dianne Bearinger

Dianne Bearinger has spent her career working with young children and their parents. She is an experienced Waldorf Early Childhood Educator who taught the Charlottesville Waldorf School preschool class for a decade before her own children were born. At that time, she focused Intensively on parent education.

She successfully homeschooled her children (now ages 21 and 24) and helped for a local Waldorf Inspired Homeschool group so that local families could educate their kids at home, together. After homeschool her son and daughter attended tandem Friends School and Dianne served on the Board of Trustees there.

She currently works as a reading (Wilson Reading Program) and math tutor for students in grade K though 6th.

For the past 15 years Dianne has served as a DONA Certified postpartum doula, supporting local families through the transition of welcoming a new baby into their home. She works with Month 10 and Nearby Baby. With her colleague Cynthia Jordan Fisher, Dianne wrote and teaches postpartum doula training classes.

She is also the Parent Child Teacher at the Charlottesville Waldorf School and teaches classes for women.

For more information visit:


Lisa Brown

Meet Lisa.  As an altruist and natural caregiver, Lisa has a passion for the needs of others.  She has a special interest in the well-being of expectant mothers and newborns. In particular, she feels called to action to be a part of interrupting the staggering outcomes of health risk, life loss and trauma during childbirth that are disportionately affecting women of color. This call led her to become a trained birth and postpartum doula. Lisa is committed to building trusting relationships to bear witness to new life and new beginnings and believes all families deserve to be supported during the postpartum period.

Lisa spent 25 years as a professional in the Human Resources and Workforce Development field, civically serving on Charlottesville area workforce, disability service and social service boards.  She has worked in multiple business sectors, corporate and nonprofit. As a volunteer, she worked in the areas of domestic violence as a Volunteer Coordinator for Shelter for Help in Emergency. She is a Partner in Policymaking, disability rights advocate.

Lisa supports Nearby Baby as an Advisory Board member. Lisa is an active birth doula with Sisters Keeper Collective and recently completed the Nearby Baby training for postpartum doulas to be able to offer future direct doula services for Nearby Baby.

Lisa is a proud mother of three amazing humans, who have taught her the joy and patience of motherhood.


Sandra Crawford

Sandra has had a deeply rooted passion for helping others since she was a small child, and this passion to serve others has led her to work in many different fields of care throughout the years. With a love of birth and a desire to support families, Sandra began work as a birth and postpartum doula in 2015.  She recently completed the Nearby Baby training for postpartum doulas and began serving families with newborns through Nearby Baby. As a doula, it is her goal to provide families with the support, information and resources that allow them to enter confidently into parenthood. 

Sandra currently lives with her husband and three young daughters on a farm in the Charlottesville area. She loves hiking and spending time outdoors with her family.


Emily Daniel

Emily Daniel has always loved being with babies. She had the great fortune to babysit young babies when she was still a teenager and continued to enjoy caring for them through adulthood. Despite all her experience caring for babies, she was still unprepared for the intensity of the postpartum period when her first child was born. A native of Charlottesville, Emily was living in California when she had her two children. The experience of being so far from her “village” with newborns made her acutely aware of the way modern American society routinely fails to support new parents. 

After completing Nearby Baby doula training in August of 2018, she has begun serving in the Charlottesville community as a postpartum doula. Emily is seeking DONA certification and has received special training in the identification and management of ankyloglossia (tongue-tie). She recently completed Kate White’s Introduction to Perinatal Dynamics, which taught techniques for working through the trauma that can occur or resurface during the perinatal period.



Erin is passionate about supporting families as they welcome their new babies into the world. She believes that all families deserve to have non-judgmental, knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate support during this time and has been working to try to make this type of support available to low-income families in rural areas since 2015. She was so excited to find out about Nearby Baby in winter 2018, took the training in June 2018 and has been working with the organization as a postpartum doula and a member of the advisory board ever since. Erin speaks Spanish and her husband is from Mexico so her two-fold goal is to help Nearby Baby as it grows to offer postpartum doula services both to Spanish-speaking families and to families living in the rural counties surrounding Charlottesville.

Erin has been interested in working with mothers and babies for over a decade and has attended several birth and postpartum doula and other complementary trainings both in person and online since 2011. She has five young children of her own - including a set of twins - and is homeschooling them. She and her children volunteer locally with Feed My Sheep - an emergency food pantry whose goal is to ensure that no one goes hungry within a 15 mile radius of their hometown of Gordonsville.