About Us

About Our Team

carmen calvo

Carmen Calvo


Carmen Calvo founded The Nurturing Root in November 2011. Having struggled with postpartum fatigue, anxiety and sadness after the birth of her first child, Carmen was eager to find a natural way to avoid these feelings again when she became pregnant with her second baby. Carmen began studying the benefits of placentophagy, and with the help of Placenta Benefits, she had her placenta encapsulated.

The difference it made in her physical and emotional well being made Carmen a firm believer in the healing properties of a baby’s placenta – her mood stabilized, her energy levels rose, and her breast milk supply greatly increased. Gone was the feeling of being on an emotional roller coaster; the placenta encapsulation experience helped Carmen to experience motherhood the way she had always wanted to experience it.

Carmen was so passionate about placentophagy that she dedicated herself to training as a placenta encapsulation specialist. Eager to share the placenta’s restorative powers with other parents, and inspired by the image a placenta created when printed, she started The Nurturing Root, and has been happily offering her services ever since.

If you’re a Maryland parent-to-be, let Carmen be a part of your birth experience – and give yourself and your baby the gift of postpartum health and contentment.

Hannah Morgan

Placenta Encapsulator, Birth Doula

Hannah Morgan is a student midwife and attends births with a busy Maryland-based midwifery practice. She believes birth is
a beautiful and natural event, and enjoys helping parents feel empowered to make their own decisions during their pregnancies and births.

Hannah is enrolled in Birthwise Midwifery School and is working toward becoming a Certified Professional Midwife. She just returned from spending two years in Togo, West Africa, working as a Peace Corps volunteer. There, she witnessed many unassisted births and led infant and prenatal care groups with the women in her village. She is DONA International trained as a birth doula, and trained by Carmen Calvo and ProDoula in placenta encapsulation services. In December 2016, Hannah took a Mayan Abdominal Massage course in Guatemala, Central America. She is also enrolled in Aviva Romm's Herbal Medicine for Women's Health course and enjoys learning about the power of traditional plant medicine in women's reproductive health.

Hannah lives in Baltimore with her two kittens, Placenta and Polenta.

baltimore doula

Anne Fraim

Birth Doula

Anne Fraim received her birth doula training through DONA International. As a birth doula, she knows that birth is an experience that parents will remember all of their life. Her role is to assist a woman and her birth partner in carrying out their birth plan. To achieve this, she will provide continuous emotional support, physical comfort, and non-clinical advice throughout your labor and delivery.

Anne has worked as a physical therapist assistant for 35 years. She has a vast knowledge of comfort measures such as massage, movement, and positional changes. In her years of clinical practice, she has enjoyed working with a diverse clientele. Her calm and objective demeanor are a great asset and comfort to her birth clients.

Anne is committed to helping women create great birth memories!

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postpartum doula baltimore

Alison Shely

Postpartum Doula

Alison has been a nurse for 3 years and started her career in the intensive care unit. She transferred to the postpartum unit at Sinai Hospital last year and fell in love with birth and postpartum work. As a nurse in a hospital setting, she noticed how little support new parents are offered when they leave. After doing research she discovered the role of a postpartum doula. She trained with DONA and immediately started working, hoping to help new parents transition into their new lives.

While she has not had the motherhood experience for herself as of yet, she has dedicated her career to the pursuit of healthy moms and babies during this postpartum period. She can offer emotional support, extensive breastfeeding assistance, and evidence-based information for any family. She will help you have the postpartum period you have always dreamed of.

Eileen Ackerman

Birth & Postpartum Doula

Eileen Ackerman is a DONA International trained postpartum doula. She is excited to help nurture you and your new baby in this important fourth trimester of childbirth ! Recognizing the need and importance of having extra support during this crucial time through her own personal experience as well as many friends and family, Eileen is dedicated to helping foster the most important part of new parenting - bonding and getting to know your new precious baby ! Supporting  a new family and helping to ease some of the worry and anxiety of adding a child into the family is a passion for Eileen and she looks forward to getting to know your unique family and helping make this as stress- free as possible.
Eileen comes with a lot of experience having seven children - 4 birth and 3 adopted and one beautiful grand baby. For the last several years she has been taking care of foster babies right from the hospital for about 6 weeks until they are ready to be placed into their forever families. This has been such a privilege and a joy to take care of these babies and to help their new adopted parents transition into becoming a family !
postpartum doula in baltimore

Kristie Graybill

Placenta Encapsulator

Originally from Louisiana, Kristie now considers the East Coast her home and has spent the last 9 years in a Baltimore City classroom teaching Language Arts to 5th graders. After personally experiencing the benefits of placenta encapsulation following the births of her two daughters, she became interested in helping other women attain these same postpartum benefits. Kristie has trained under Carmen Calvo and as placenta encapsulation specialist through Placenta Benefits. She also holds an OSHA blood borne and pathogens certification and a food handlers certificate.

Kristie believes birth to be one of the most empowering and supernatural experiences that a woman can ever take part in. She is passionate about connecting with moms, both new and experienced, and helping them through this wonderfully rewarding and challenging time after birth.

Kristie currently lives in Baltimore with her husband and two daughters.

Tova Brody

Birth Doula

Tova Brody is a certified birth assistant, student midwife, and doula. After experiencing the beauty of midwifery care and having an incredible birth with her first child in 2011, she wanted to give back to the birth community. She became an enthusiastic birth activist and still currently volunteers with Maryland Families for Safe Birth, an organization that works to improve the maternal healthcare system for Maryland Families. She also started being asked to attends friends’ births to help assist them during the laboring process and she quickly realized that birthwork was her calling. She firmly believes in empowering women and families and is passionate about ensuring they feel supported during every step of their pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum journeys.
She is currently enrolled at the National College of Midwifery and is working with two local midwifery practices, studying to become a Certified Professional Midwife. In addition to that, she educates families on natural parenting topics including pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, and cloth diapering. She also runs a Baltimore breastmilk bank.
Her hobbies include playing music, practicing yoga, reading books, fostering cats, and spending time with her family. She resides in Baltimore with her husband, four daughters and various kitty cats.
baltimore doula
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Maria Barlow

Postpartum Doula

Maria has been a nurse on the mother/baby unit of a local hospital for 2 years and enjoys working  with new babies and their parents. Her experience as a dance instructor for children ages 3-14 has given Maria the skills to help families manage busy households with many siblings.  While working in the hospital setting, it became clear to Maria that families needed so much more support after going home with their baby.  She felt inspired to become a postpartum doula to be able to more intimately support growing families in their transition with their newborn. Maria looks forward to serving Baltimore families.

cleveland birth

Alayna Spratley

Director, The Nurturing Root Ohio

Alayna became interested in birth work while living abroad and pregnant with her first child. There is so much information regarding the perinatal period and beyond; through research it became clear that being prepared and finding an excellent support system is key to a having a smoother birth and gentler postpartum period.

After having her second baby, Alayna trained as a postpartum doula with MaternityWise International.

Welcoming a baby is such a transformative experience, but it is not always easy. As a postpartum doula, Alayna offers emotional nourishment, practical assistance, and evidenced-based information for the entire family. She will honor your wishes for the postpartum period while helping parents and baby heal, rest, and bond. Alayna wants everyone to feel included, confident, and cared for while establishing a new rhythm with baby.

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