Our Experts

HiRes crop_Shanks_4400Nicole Shanks

RN, CCE, Founder and Educator



As a former labor and delivery nurse, clinical nurse, certified 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 moms with honest, accurate and practical advice on a physical, emotional and hormonal level through each phase of your pregnancy and postpartum experience. Nicole and her team of experts will coach you through your new role as a mom, guide you through relational changes and provide you with the additional support critical for parenting in the first few years of life.



Geanina Ciobanu

RN, Certified Childbirth Educator



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 OB and 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, she knows what to expect .


Jocelyn McClave




Jocelyn has been living out her love for nursing for more than 20 years. Her education and practice has flourished from the Pacific Northwest with extensive experience in the hospital setting, community health and education. She received her nursing degree from Seattle University where she adopted their deeply rooted values of being in service to others. As an effective regional speaker, Jocelyn’s engaging style allowed her audiences to gain confidence in a meaningful and joyful learning environment. Jocelyn is excited about sharing the amazing journey of childbirth and parenthood, having welcomed her son Kieran on January of 2018.


ShellyPommerShelly Pommer

Graphic Designer



Shelly Pommer is the owner and senior designer at Geyser Studio, a design company that specializes in print design of all sorts. Her passion has been branding; putting a face to new businesses and updating established companies marketing in a way that brings out their strengths and expertise in a visual way. Her versatility in design allows Shelly to hone her clients design to represent their character and personality well. Design is a professional, creative outlet for her. She also enjoys photography, spending time with her husband and kids, cooking and hiking.



Sandra-1024x768Sandra Hiddleson

Executive Assistant



Being a homemaker and mother has been her chief occupation for many years. This first-hand, real-life experience has made her extremely proficient at multi tasking, time management, and motherhood in general. All of which has perfectly prepared her to handle the behind-the-scenes logistics to make our business run smoothly since 2013.

She has 3 children, one grandson and a wonderful husband. In addition to her work with us, Sandra is very involved with her church activities, enjoys golf, and spending time with friends.


KimCaifano.HeadshotKim Caifano

Communications Director/Blogger



Kim Caifano is the Chicagoland-based blogger for Prepare The Nest. She uses her experience as a wife to Marc and mommy to Dylan (7), Elle (3) and Carston (1) to create useful articles for expecting moms, often with a bit of humor sprinkled in. Her desire is to be the written “voice” of that girlfriend you can have (decaf) coffee with and chat about maternity clothes, how to pick a bottle brand from the overwhelming huge aisle at Babies R Us, and whether that pregnancy gas will ever stop. Her ideas and advice come from 119 weeks spent being pregnant, 156 weeks caring for newborns, and 1,367 playdate conversations she’s had with real moms who are “in the trenches.”