Our Story


Tender Beginnings is a group of professional and experienced pregnancy, birth, and postpartum consultants that serve the Cincinnati & Dayton area. We are specially equipped to help you simplify what can feel like a complex period of life, and to bring a little more calm to your transition as a growing family.

We began as a small group of doulas committed to serving families through the special journey of becoming parents. Since our inception in 2015, we have grown to eleven birth and parenting specialists, expanding our services to include lactation, belly binding, placenta encapsulation, and childbirth education. What makes us stand out in the communities we serve is our ability to partner, both with our clients and their families, as well as one another.

Whether this is your first baby or your fifth, we understand the unique challenges you face. Our goal is to fill in the gaps in modern prenatal and postpartum care, so that you can feel confident and supported from first pregnancy test to baby's first birthday, and beyond. Our team is trained and insured. We have been trusted by doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, teachers, and more settle into their brand new job as parents, and are ready and experienced to do the same for your growing family.


Meet Our Team

Our Owner: Emily Swegert, MSOL, LD, P-ICD, CLC

Emily Swegert has been serving families in the Greater Cincinnati and Dayton regions for over ten years, first as an early childhood educator, then as a counselor with a local university. Following the birth of her daughter, she decided to step into the role of doula in order to bring her wealth of knowledge about child development, parenting, and family support to a new clientele. In August 2018, Emily was approached by Kate, the founder of Tender Beginnings, about taking over the agency. With her background in both family relationships and client management, it seeemed like a great fit, and Emily took over as the owner and Family Care Coordinator in October 2018.

Emily is a trained labor and postpartum & infant care doula through ProDoula, and a Certified Lactation Counselor through The Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. She serves as a chapter service volunteer with Cincinnati Babywearing Society and is a contributing writer for the Cincinnati Moms Blog.

Emily enjoys camping and hiking with her family, reading, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Liberty Township with her partner and their daughter.

Our Founder: Kate Rich, CLD, CP-ICD, CBE, CBBD

Kate Rich has been a doula and childbirth educator since 2014, and has served hundreds of families during their pregnancy, birth, and the early weeks and months with a new baby ever since! Prior to her work as a doula, Kate was an office manager for a non-profit organization, and also spent time at home with her three children after they were born. She is a CAPPA certified Labor Doula, ProDoula Certified Childbirth Educator and Postpartum and Infant Care Doula, Stillbirthday Certified Loss & NICU Doula, and is the Treasurer on the Cincinnati Area Doula Society Board of Directors. She is also a State Tested Nurse Aide, and works part-time on the Mom-Baby Unit of The Christ Hospital, in addition to teaching childbirth education, baby care, and breastfeeding classes at The Christ Hospital. Her continuing education includes Spinning Babies and Lamaze Childbirth Education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, and is currently working on her RN degree, with the hopes of becoming a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner in the not-too-distant future!

Aside from her work with families in the community, Kate loves to spend time hiking with her family, traveling to new places, and gardening and trying new recipes at home. She lives in Lebanon with her husband and their three children.

Kacey Widmeyer, IBCLC

Kacey Widmeyer has been a doula for over 3 years, helping close to 90 families in the community through labor, birth, postpartum, and beyond. In addition to a trained labor and postpartum doula, she is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and childbirth educator. Kacey is a wife and a mother to two boys who “keep me on my toes”. 

When she’s not doing doula work,  you can find her reading, drinking coffee, or hanging with her friends and family. 

Magen Wright, LD, PD, PPS

Magen Wright started doula work after birth of her son in 2017. She has a Bachelor of Science in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation and is in the process of doing Breastfeeding USA training to become a breastfeeding counselor. Magen has lived in the Dayton area for four years and was brought here via military.  She has completed the Prodoula Postpartum Placenta Training, CAPPA Postpartum Doula Training, Belly Binding Training, Birth Becomes Her photography training, DONA Labor Training, and LAMAZE training.

In addition to doula work, she enjoys sewing, cooking, and reading.

Gillian Foreman, MA, IBCLC, LD, and Mom

Gillian Foreman has a Master of Arts in Health and Wellness with a focus on lactation. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant as well as a trained labor and postpartum doula. Gillian has been working with families for many years, providing support through education as well as during labor and the postpartum period. In addition to her work with Tender Beginnings, Gillian owns Modern Breastfeeding and Education, our partner organization. 

When she isn’t working with families, Gillian is with her family and volunteers through school projects, games, and community support groups.

Suzanne Bell, CLD

Suzanne Bell is a trained labor doula with a passion for working with underserved families. She has been a doula for two years, working with a variety of individuals through the process of becoming a new family.

In addition to her doula work, Suzanne works at a pregnancy center in Hamilton, serving people who are facing unexpected pregnancies in our community.

Melissa Lund Ziegler, LD, Certified Go Diaper Free Consultant

Melissa Lund Ziegler began her work as a doula in Green Bay, Wisconsin before moving to the Cincinnati area in 2017. During her time as a doula, Melissa has served a variety of families through the prenatal, labor, and birth process. She has completed her ProDoula Labor Training and Madriella Labor Doula training. In addition to her work as a doula, Melissa is a Certified Go Diaper Free Consultant, and provides free Potty Training and Elimination Communication support groups and play groups.

When she isn’t working with families, Melissa likes to spend time with her husband and her two children. 

Kate Gonzalez, LD, P-ICD

Kate is a Labor (DONA) and Postpartum/Infant care Doula (ProDoula), with special certification from Birth Monopoly/IEvidence Based Birth in "Know Your Rights". Kate worked as a health educator, clinical assistant, and advocate in gynecological community clinics and private practice starting in the early 90's and now enjoys teaching Comfort Measures in Labor in a clinic setting.

Kate lives with David in Amberley Village and occasionally one or more of their blended four adult kids, who are all brainiacs and world-traveling adventure seekers. Kate also loves spending time with her 4-year-old godson, spoiling her dog, doing yoga and traveling the world with her loved ones.

Grace Piatt, CLD

Grace Piatt became a doula following the birth of her son in 2017. She has lived in the Dayton area for most of her life. Grace has supported a variety of families in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas through pregnancy, birth and the immediate postpartum period.

In addition to being a doula, Grace loves to read, and spend time with her son and husband.

Gina Martell, BSN, CLD

With a passion for natural birth and supporting fellow women, Gina Martell comes to every birth with the goal of bringing an aura of peace and love to the birth of every mother she has the honor to support. By empowering women to be informed about their choices and about the normality and beauty of birth, she hopes to help every mother in her care to have the birth they always hoped for.

Gina is a mother of two beautiful daughters who were born by cesarean section, and hospital VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean). Through her own birth experiences, she realized how invaluable labor support is in all birth settings. Because of this, she was inspired to enter the birth services field, and is now professionally trained and certified as a Labor Doula through CAPPA. She has also received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati and is currently working towards her Masters of Science in Nursing in Midwifery. Gina currently works full time as a labor and delivery nurse at Bethesda North Hospital

Gina is honored to have found her passion as a labor doula and is blessed to have the opportunity to support women as they transition into motherhood.