Nest and Nurture: Supporting Families Through Each Phase of Parenthood

Nest and Nurture offers newborn classes, childbirth classes, infant feeding classes and many more opportunities to learn and connect with other parents in the area. 

About the owners

Gabriel and Auker are both birth doulas who have been working in the field for many years. They work together with another birth doula named Erica, and postpartum doulas on their team to provide services through Tree Town Doulas. At Tree Town Doulas they provide birth support in pairs to support their clients. 

“To be a Tree Town Doula you have to share our philosophy which is a bit different than other groups of doulas. Everyone has their own niche, and we try to provide support for people no matter what kind of birth they are planning,” Gabriel said. “Whether they want a natural unmedicated home birth with a home birth midwife we can support them with that, we can support a planned c-section, we can support a planned epidural birth, we can support a planned unmedicated birth that they want to leave the options open.” 

Auker added, “I would say giving people the information that they need to make decisions is really important to us in so many parts. For everything: for supporting their birth, for childbirth education classes, we just want to give people the information and the research. We know that people will all look at the research and make their own decisions and that’s okay. So it’s just really important to us that people are able to make informed decisions” 

Services, support, and events offered at Nest and Nurture

Nest and Nurture offers many supports for parents and expecting families.

“We envision the space as a parenting space,” Gabriel said.

They offer childbirth classes, an infant feeding support group, baby sign language classes, a CPR class, music therapy groups and more! Nest and Nurture also has hosted a family pride party for a few years. In years past, families have traveled from away to be a part of this family-centered queer-affirming space. 

Nest and Nurture also seeks to provide a sense of community among birth workers in the area. Every month they host a gathering for birth workers in town where there typically is a specific theme and speaker. 

RELATED: Mental Health Resources for Children in the Ann Arbor Area

Gabriel and Auker value inclusivity and make every type of family feel welcome at Nest and Nurture.

Nest and Nurture.
Nest and Nurture.

Nest and Nurture officially opened in April of 2022 at their location in the Water Hill Neighborhood in Ann Arbor. For the past two years owners Cynthia Gabriel and Toni Auker have been working to create a community space for families in the Ann Arbor Area.

Auker said, “Inclusivity is really important to us, the support group… is called the infant feeding support group because we are supporting people feeding their babies in all different ways. We have a prenatal body feeding class because we’re supporting a lot of queer families that don’t necessarily connect with the word breastfeeding…”

Auker continues, “We’ve had people come in who don’t have a partner, and some have two partners, and in a lot of classes that is difficult. There are some classes that are very focused on your partner, and so having the inclusivity for whatever your family looks like is important to us.”

Gabriel and Auker hope that Nest and Nurture continues to be a place that parents new and old can turn to for support and community in the Ann Arbor area. They encourage parents to join them for a support group or event in the future. 

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