It was Claire Ward’s own experience of her journey into motherhood that inspired her to want to help others. Identifying a clear need for better postpartum health care and support, she created The Nurture Centre, to ensure more women have access to support services that would guide them through a healthy and thriving postpartum. The Nurture Centre helps connect women with quality, evidence-based health and wellbeing services to support them from conception through to motherhood. Here, Claire talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about launching a business she is so passionate about.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
The Nurture Centre was the result of my own introduction to motherhood. I left my work as an Occupational Therapist to be a stay-at-home mum and was feeling challenged and confused by the lack of postpartum health care and support. I started teaching baby massage classes and very quickly realised that this experience was shared by everyone. Even though we all have a unique situation, all mothers were lacking support and consequently feeling the effects of this in all areas of their health and wellbeing. So The Nurture Centre was created as a way to find a solution to this problem and make sure more women were able to enter motherhood with easy access to support services that would see them healthy and thriving through postpartum life.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Things really started when I was teaching baby massage classes in our lounge room. I very quickly realised there was a gathering place for mamas to learn, so my husband and I found a tiny little shop front in our town and spent a few months renovating it into a beautiful studio. We did all of this with a 3-year-old and newborn, both of whom have come to work with me most days! We were able to host classes, workshops, consultations and more, all from the studio. We stayed here right up until the pandemic began. We moved things online for 2020 and ever since, I have been playing around with new ideas and ways to get mums connected with the services they really need.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I really had no blueprint to work off when I started! There was an obvious need out there but finding the right solution has taken a whole lot longer than I could have imagined. I have come to look at the first two years of The Nurture Centre as a period of “data collection” – we experimented with services and how we presented them, listened to the ideas and needs of our community members, developed and implemented services in response to these needs, and so much more. This process has led down a path I could not have predicted, but that has been the greatest gift in trying to create something new. So while we change how we do things, the heart behind it has not changed at all. We instead have a much clearer idea of what the needs are and how we can fill the gaps in healthcare for motherhood.