Our Team of Experts

Nicole Shanks


As a former labor and delivery nurse, clinical nurse, childbirth educator, certified life coach and most importantly, mother of two young children, Nicole created Prepare the Nest to provide realistic mom-to-mom training within the local childbirth class market. When searching for classes to attend while she was pregnant, she felt too many programs focused solely on the day of delivery, with too little time spent on preparing new moms for the fun, frantic and sometimes frustrating role of motherhood.

As a result, Nicole’s desire at Prepare the Nest is to provide new and expectant parents with honest, accurate and practical advice on a physical, emotional and hormonal level through each phase of their pregnancy and postpartum experience. Nicole and her team of experts will coach you through your new role as parents, guide you through relational changes and provide you with the additional support critical for parenting in the first few years of life.

The unparalleled assortment of classes, seminars, and top-of-the-line services at Prepare the Nest will help make your transition into parenthood one that is exciting, informed and ready for the joyful journey ahead of you.   


Certified Childbirth Expert

Certified Life Coach

Amanda Duggan


Amanda has been a nurse for 6 years, with a clinical background in cardiac nursing and OBGYN nursing. She is a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor. She is a wife, and mom to three energetic kids. Her passion is to support parents through the transition of bringing a new member into their family. Her primary goal in education is to make sure parents have the knowledge and confidence to make the choices that are right for their family, during pregnancy and after baby. She enjoys being outside with her family, tennis, dancing and crafts in her spare time.

Geanina Ciobanu


Certified Childbirth Expert


Geanina has been working in the obstetrics field for 6 years as a registered nurse. Women’s health has always been near to her heart because she comes from a family of obstetric, labor and delivery nurses! Her favorite part about her career as a certified childbirth educator is providing education to new moms and dads in order to help them feel prepared and ease some of the anxiety that can come with being new parents. As a mother herself of three young children, she knows what to expect.

Catie Pennie

RN, BSN, RNC-OB, Childbirth Instructor

Catie is a labor and delivery nurse at EvergreenHealth Hospital.  She is also certified in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing (RNC-OB).  She received her BSN from University of Portland, where in addition to her nursing studies, she was on the women's Rowing team! Catie has always been passionate about women's health and it has always been her dream and main goal in life to become a labor and delivery nurse. As a Childbirth Educator she strives to provide as much information and education as possible, with the hope that new parents and families will feel confident (and possibly a little less nervous) about this new and exciting phase of life! Every family Catie meets, every birth experience she is a part of, is truly humbling and special. In her free time, you will most often find Catie out and about with her husband and their Goldendoodle/partner-in-crime, Wilson.

Michele Overholt

EMT, CPR Instructor

Michele is a mom of two grown children and the owner of Overholt Emergency Medical Training. She is an EMT instructor with North Seattle College and King County Emergency Medical Services. She is a Washington State EMS Evaluator and AHA HCP Instructor for Seattle/King County Public Health and has worked Fire/EMS with Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue for the past 26 years. She brings years of experience and a passion and knowledge that she is excited to share with expectant parents through the Prepare the Nest Infant CPR and Safety class.

Joanna Finley

RN, BSN, Childbirth Instructor

Joanna has been a nurse for 7 years, involved in labor and delivery as well as postpartum nursing. She feels passionate about helping parents learn about childbirth and newborn care. As mother to two young kids, she knows that being a new parent can be overwhelming, but a little bit of preparation can go a long way when the baby comes! Before having her son she loved cooking and traveling. Now, she loves eating food that someone else has made and going to the grocery store alone.

Jennie Mills

Labor Doula, Licensed Massage Therapist

Jennie has been working as a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2014 and then as a Birth Doula after completing her Certification class through Bastyr University at the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations. She is also working toward her certification through DONA International. Her fun and flexible personality helps keep the environment upbeat and playful while also being able to provide a calming presence in times of stress. Jennie uses her experience as an LMT as well as her Doula knowledge during the birthing process in order to provide a relaxing and supportive atmosphere. Jennie feels honored to be able to support new and experienced parents and prioritizes their preferences to ensure this magical moment is enjoyed and remembered.

Sandra Hiddleson

Patient Experience Coordinator

Sandra is an innovative professional with years of experience in the childbirth education industry. She is passionate about making sure that all of our parents-to-be have the best possible experience and get the most out of their Prepare the Nest classes, from registration to follow-ups after the class. If you've got questions, Sandra will have the answers!