Story of Haven
Haven Birth and Wellness is a fulfillment of a dream for Certified Nurse-Midwife, Lauren Drees who has been practicing since 2010 with the pleasure of over 600 “catches”. Haven was created with the desire to empower women through pregnancy, birth, and beyond. We desire to provide safe, holistic, relationship based care in the comfort and security of a woman’s home. With the belief that birth is much more than just a physical event, we aim to provide care for a woman’s body, soul, and spirit. As a practice, we believe women are strong and capable of much more than they realize. Haven’s goal is to walk along side a woman to help her find her own strength through this transformative journey.
Haven Birth and Wellness will be working closely with a local OB/GYN in the Nashville area to provide consultation and transfer of care when necessary. In addition to prenatal, labor, birth, postpartum, and newborn care; Haven also provides full women’s wellness exams, pre-conceptual visits, and gynecological care with plans of expanding into greater avenues of holistic care in the future.
"Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers- strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength."
- Barbara Katz Rothman
Lauren Drees, CNM, MSN
Lauren Drees, founder of Haven Birth and Wellness, has been practicing as a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) since 2010. Lauren first felt called to care for pregnant women, in 2004 while in nursing school. After witnessing highly medicalized births she was left searching for more leading her to the discovery of midwifery. While working to become a CNM, Lauren worked as a labor and delivery nurse for 6 years. After graduation from Nurse-Midwifery school she worked with Vanderbilt’s West End Women’s Health Center. Lauren enjoyed these years of experience in a high volume practice but also wanted to have more time to connect and build a relationship with clients. After 3 years of hospital based care, Lauren moved to Arkansas to help open a birth center with the desire to provide a more intimate birthing experience for families. After months of preparation and work toward opening the birth center in Arkansas, Lauren left the first birth and immediately said to the other midwife “why are we not doing this at home?” Lauren is thrilled to be stepping into this intimate and patient centric environment where respect and relationship are central. Lauren is passionate about protecting the sacred experience of birth and the transition into motherhood, whether for the first or seventh time!
The journey into homebirth was a natural progression for Lauren, and one where she finally feels like she is practicing in line with her values. Lauren considers being invited into a clients pregnancy journey an absolute honor and finds her greatest joy from supporting and empowering women to do all they were created for. Whether hearing a baby’s heartbeat for the first time or hearing the first cry, these moments are life altering and should be treated with dignity and individuality. Believing women know their bodies better than anyone else, Lauren values the opportunity to listen and support women through their unique journey of health and wellness, while also ensuring expert care and ongoing safety for mother and baby.
When Lauren is not catching babies, she loves to be outside. Whether going for a long run, hiking through the woods, or lying in her hammock this is her “haven”. She also enjoys cooking fresh, wholesome foods, hosting dinner parties, and spending quality time with close friends and family. She is the proud aunt of three nieces who live in the area and she claims as her own!
Our Birth Assistants
April Graves, RN
April’s appreciation and wonder over the birth experience began as a young child. Her mother was a Labor & Delivery nurse and April loved the birth stories her mother would share. Later putting that passion into action, she chose to pursue a career in nursing, with the goal that she would work with mothers and babies.
In 2004, she graduated from Belmont University School of Nursing and began working at St. Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville, TN. She devoted herself to the field of Maternal Infant Services, providing compassionate, personalized care for mothers and newborns, which propelled her into various areas of experience. From 2004 to 2015, she worked in the Newborn Nursery (2 ½ years), the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (8 years), and the Lactation Department (2 years).
During this time, she gave birth to her three sons. Her birth experiences varied and it is this variation that fuels her mission to provide care that is driven by knowledge and choices. If you ask her how much she enjoyed pregnancy, she will tell you she likes being pregnant but she loves the natural labor, delivery, and breastfeeding experience the most! Feeling empowered by her own birth and breastfeeding experiences, April pursued additional education/training and completed her certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She left hospital based care in December 2015 to focus more of her time on raising her three young boys – ages 4, 7, and 9 years old.
April is excited join the phenomenal team of caregivers at Haven Birth and Wellness and is thrilled to have an opportunity to fulfill her dream of compassionately and mindfully supporting mothers in their birth and breastfeeding journeys. She looks forward to empowering families with knowledge and self-awareness while instilling a sense of confidence in the choices they make.
Abbey Harris, RN
Abbey began her nursing career at the University of Colorado; she had returned to school after deciding to change careers from social work to nursing. While in nursing school she started supporting her close friends while they labored naturally and she fell in love with natural childbirth. She worked a short stint at Memorial Hospital's digestive medicine unit in Colorado Springs before landing her first nursing role at a birth center: Mountain Midwifery in Denver. She worked there for 3 years receiving a fantastic education and foundation for supporting moms and babies in the birth processes.
She then met her husband, Shaun, and moved to Nashville, soon after which she starting work on Vanderbilt's postpartum unit. She was there almost a year when Baby and Company Nashville opened and has been working there as an RN assisting midwives since 2015.
In 2014, Abbey became a certified Holy Yoga instructor and completed her pre/post natal certification in early 2017. She loves teaching and offering the gift of movement and breath to help educate and support women during the labor process as well as aiding in the recovery for the postpartum mother.
Abbey brings a unique spirit of support and encouragement to our families, as well as confidence that every birth story is unique and powerful. When she's not working as a nurse or yoga teacher she is spending time with her husband, Shaun, and goldendoodle, Captain, doing things like hiking, riding bikes, traveling to see friends and cooking!
Aline Pinkston, RN
Born and raised in Switzerland, Aline began her career at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in Lausanne. After meeting her soon-to-be husband, she decided to follow him to L.A. and trade the beautiful views of the Alps and Lake Geneva for California sunsets and waves of the Pacific. She worked at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA in pediatric intensive care and neonatal acute care until the birth of her first child.
As a mother of six, five of whom were delivered by midwives, and having coached several parents through pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care, Aline brings both medical and a mother’s perspective in her relationship with our clients.
When she is not chasing kids around the house or putting miles on her minivan, you can find her seeking solitude with a good book or experimenting with new recipes with dinner guests.
(Photo Credit: Felicia Marie)