Build Your Nest has partnered with Nurturely, an Oregon-
based nonprofit to bring perinatal health programming to families on the North Coast.
They will be speaking at the Fort George Brewery in Astoria on September 13 from 7-8pm.
When native Oregonian Kestrel Gates was a young girl her mother was the secretary to a home birth midwife in Gold Beach, Oregon. “I would go home to her house after school while my mom worked upstairs in her office. She had one of the busiest midwifery practices in Oregon,” Gates remembers. “As the daughter of a single mom, the idea that mothers need more support and care made a lot of sense to me as soon as I was old enough to look back on my childhood and reflect.”
Today, Gates is a mother and a maternal health advocate living with her husband and two children on the Northern coast of Oregon. Nestled on two acres outside of Astoria, she runs her business Build Your Nest, a postpartum workbook, training program, and global community that emphasizes the universal need for rest, support, and care in the days and weeks after birth. “I have been involved in the Oregon birthing community since 1996 when I attended my first birth. Sadly, the needs of the postpartum time still aren’t widely known in our communities – we must ask for help and support, otherwise, in most cases, birthing parents are really left on their own,” she says. “Build Your Nest came out of that need.”
To date, the Build Your Nest Workbook has received rave reviews from parents and practitioners alike, with translations in six languages. Indispensable and easy-to-use, Build Your Nest offers expectant parents a flexible planning process with crucial information about the postpartum time and ideas about how to make a plan, specific to their own parenting style, family structure, culture, and community. Gates developed the Build Your Nest Postpartum Navigator role and training in response to existing gaps in maternal health care and the crisis of the pandemic, which further highlighted the need for greater care, especially in rural communities. Offering emotional and informational support, the Navigators act as a hub, connecting parents to the local resources they need.
The growing global Build Your Nest community — comprised of parents, doulas, midwives, psychologists, nurses, journalists, and social workers — shares a common vision of improving maternal health in their own communities. “We share the understanding that postpartum recovery is a basic human right and that the health of mothers and birthing people, is foundational to healthy societies,” says Gates. “After giving birth, all mothers need rest, support, and care. Postpartum planning can make this possible. We’re here with a big vision for improving maternal health around the world, one family at a time.”