• The Best Pre-Natal & Post-Natal Classes In NYC

    Our Annual Guide To The Best Pre- & Post-Natal Education, Exercise, And Support Classes In NYC

    By Mia Weber

    Karma Kids Yoga. Photo by Luke Volpe

    The old saying that “it takes a village” to raise a child still rings true—and New York City is just about the most well-stocked village there is when it comes to support and resources for expectant and new parents. Of course your (or your partner’s) OB-GYN is always a terrific starting point for knowledge gathering, but beyond their office, the city is rich in wonderful education, exercise, and support classes and groups. Here are some of our favorites!

    92Y: The 92Y’s Parenting Center has been a supportive community for new parents and expecting families for over 35 years. Prenatal offerings include: Becoming Parents: You Can Do This, Caring for a Newborn, Lamaze Complete Childbirth Preparation, Boot Camp for Dads, and Prenatal Yoga. For families of newborns, weekly drop-in sessions include: New Parent Get-Togethers (newborn to 12 months), Breastfeeding Support, and Sleep Support. Classes include New Mother, New Baby (newborn to 5 months), Yoga for Mommy and Baby, Parent and Infant Observation (ages 3-8 months), Shape Up With Baby (6 weeks to 9 months), Baby Massage (2-5 months), and Baby and Toddler/CPR and Safety. 92y.org

    Ancient Song Doula Services: Since 2008, Brooklyn-based Ancient Song Doula Services has offered quality doula services to women of color and low-income families. Over the course of the last seven years, they have grown to offer trainings and workshops, midwifery care, well woman services, and advocacy through community engagement and campaigns to address the lack of resources to communities of color. They also offer classes in childbirth education and pregnancy cooking, as well as support groups for new parents and for teen parents.
    ancientsongdoulaservices.com

    Babies “R” Us: While the Babies “R” Us Union Square flagship location is best known for selling baby and nursery goods, the one-stop shop has continued to provide customers with an extensive menu of classes for moms and moms-to-be. Through frequent “Baby Basics” classes, customers can receive expert advice and tips on how to take special care of their little one via topics such as feeding, bathing, diapering, and essential equipment needs. Through their prenatal educational provider, Stork and Cradle, Babies “R” Us also offers classes in CPR, baby care, Lamaze, and breastfeeding, as well as a breastfeeding support group. They also offer post-natal mommy and me music classes from Little Maestros, Music for Aardvarks, and Music Together, as well as a baby dance class from Dionne Kamara Dance and an Expectant and New Moms Support group series with Babybites. babiesrus.com

    Baby in the Family: Baby in the Family specializes in prenatal education and postpartum support. Founded by Andrea Syms-Brown in 2006, workshops are hosted at various locations in the city. Their Caring for a Newborn Baby workshop concentrates on practical care routines such as diapering and bathing, and is also available online at bitfamseries.com. Their How to Breastfeed workshop focuses on breastfeeding techniques and routines for newborns through their first 30 days. Syms-Brown, who also provides individual postpartum lactation support in NYC and the Tri-State area, has most recently served as both president and education director of the New York Lactation Consultant Association. babyinthefamily.com

    Birth Day Presence: Birth Day Presence is a top provider of smart, non-judgmental childbirth education, doula matching services, and on-demand breastfeeding help for savvy New Yorkers. One of the longest-running and most trusted independent childbirth education, doula, and lactation referral centers in the city, BDP hand-selects the best ideas and techniques from a range of childbirth traditions to provide NYC’s expectant and new parents with modern, practical education and support, helping to reduce the fear and anxiety around childbirth, while increasing the joy and pleasure of confidently becoming parents. Classes include Childbirth Prep, Breastfeeding, Newborn Care, and Infant CPR. Services include the BREAST START, which is NYC’s only on-demand breastfeeding help service—you can text BDP and they will connect you to a local lactation professional within hours of your request. BDP has locations in Union Square, Park Slope, and Williamsburg/Greenpoint; they do in-home appointments as well. birthdaypresence.com

    NYC Dads Group

    Carriage House Birth: At Carriage House Birth they have recreated “the village” vibe for NYC families. Carriage House has woven a web of support by curating and mentoring a wonderful collective of birth and postpartum doulas. In their womb-like storefront, located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, they continue on their dedicated path of support by offering classes like Childbirth Education, Twin Magic, Breastfeeding Support, Sleep Seminars, and more. They also host fantastic bodyworkers for the body and soul, and offer grief and loss support groups, newborn care classes, new mom meet ups, foundation birth doula trainings, community reiki, and community acupuncture. All of these resources are born out of a true need to have a home away from home for expecting families and new parents alike. carriagehousebirth.com

    Choices in Childbirth: Located in West Chelsea, Choices in Childbirth is a non-profit organization aimed at providing parents-to-be with a wealth of information and educational resources as they make choices about the birth experience they want. Their goal is to educate, advocate, and shape policy to help families make informed decisions about where, how, and with whom to birth, and to increase access to childbirth services that support healthy birth outcomes. They also offer their All About Birth workshops throughout the year, which bring together parents and providers for expectant parents to hear a wide range of information as they prepare for birth. choicesinchildbirth.org

    City Births NYC: City Births NYC is pleased to now offer classes in both their West Side and East Side offices, on the topics of Childbirth Preparation, Newborn Care and Breastfeeding, Infant CPR & Safety, Dad Bootcamp, New Moms Groups, and Breastfeeding Support. Their goal is to enable parents to be fully informed of their choices in childbirth as well as the care of their infant. They provide the most up-to-date evidence based information to our expecting families. City Births instructors meet regularly with local OBs to discuss ACOG updates, advancements in obstetric care, and updates in hospital policies. They also hold discussion groups on Childbirth Education, Infant Care and CPR, and bring in experts in each field. Their instructors have years of experience attending births at all the NYC hospitals, and are some of the most trusted, trained, and knowledgeable in the childbirth industry. citybirths.com

    “Conversations with Rosie Pope”: Rosie Pope’s MomPrep program began as an in-store core curriculum of prenatal and postpartum education at Rosie Pope retail locations in NYC and Santa Monica, CA. The original classes and personalized concierge services have now transformed into digital education on Rosie Pope’s YouTube channel and blog through the mini-series “Conversations with Rosie Pope.” From C-Section FAQs to Do’s and Don’ts of Birth Plans, the core curriculum is an essential foundation that also offers less traditional videos like Sex After Pregnancy. “Conversations with Rosie Pope” strives to serve customers with unprecedented access to expert information with a non-judgmental and supportive approach. rosiepope.com & youtube.com/rosiepope

    FitBump: FitBump was created to cut through the clutter, offering moms-to-be honest answers to their questions before getting pregnant, during pregnancy, and after baby is born. Going beyond “what to expect,” it inspires, educates, and supports with expert fitness advice, the latest workouts, nutrition news, healthful recipes, inspiring profiles, and concrete health information—allowing a new generation of moms to learn, share, and shop (don’t miss FitBump’s line of high-performance, ingeniously designed workout wear) and to find solutions that make living a healthy life fun and fulfilling. fitbump.com

    Hospitals: Many expectant parents don’t realize that hospitals generally have very good classes at affordable prices—and often they’re open to attendees intending to give birth elsewhere. Most of the city’s major hospitals and their class listings can be easily found online.

    JCC Manhattan: The JCC Manhattan is the Upper West Side’s premier location for pre- and post-natal support, education, and services. In addition to classes, seminars, and support groups including Caring for Your Newborn Baby, a Weekly Parents Drop-in Group, CPR Certification, and Breast-Feeding Support Groups, they offer socializing experiences such as Tummy Time and Baby Play at the J! For the mother who is looking to stay fit during pregnancy or get back in shape after, the JCC’s popular health and wellness classes include Prenatal Water Workout and a variety of post-natal offerings. jccmanhattan.org

    Karma Kids Yoga: Karma Kids Yoga believes that having a good support system is as important as being in good physical and mental shape during this time, striving to make your transition into motherhood as smooth as possible. Offerings cover a range of tools that include: Prenatal Yoga, Prenatal Pilates, Pre/Post-Natal Yoga and Pilates, Childbirth Education, and Yoga for Delivery Workshops, as well as doula speed-dating events, baby-wearing clinics, and other support group services. Once the baby is born, they offer Mom & Baby Yoga, Dad & Baby Yoga, My Baby Fingers Infant Sign Language, free Yoga Story Time classes, and My First Birthday Parties. karmakidsyoga.com

    Lamaze Childbirth Education: Lamaze International offers trusted education and resources to build skills and confidence for a safe and healthy pregnancy, birth and early parenting. The Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices simplify the birth process with proven strategies to help alleviate fears, manage pain and understand options. Lamaze offers online resources including online classes, a mobile app, a list of their NYC locations, and more online. lamaze.org

    LCFITNESSNYC: As an AFPA-certified pre- and post-natal fitness specialist Manhattan-based Liz Cook of LCFITNESSNYC helps you get in shape and stay in shape both during and after your pregnancy. She works one-on-one and with small groups in the comfort of your own home or gym. lcfitnessnyc.com

    Manhattan Twins Club: Founded 25 years ago, the non-profit Manhattan Twins Club supports multiple birth families in the greater NYC and Tri-State area. Parents share resources, get support, and offer advice securely and privately online, as well as attend free or low cost educational and social events. The group’s members-only classified ads section includes posts for member-recommended nannies, gently used strollers, cribs and more. Dues are $50 per year. It’s a must-have for NYC multiple birth families. manhattantwinsclub.org

    Metro Minis: Metro Minis offers personalized and small group babywearing and early infant contact educational resources in-person, through their website, and through online courses. Have a bag of hand-me-down carriers? Need guidance with what carrier would be best for your lifestyle? They will travel to your home for a private consultation. Metro Minis makes daily life with baby easier and more enjoyable. metrominisnyc.com

    Mom Support: Jessica Shapley is a licensed social worker and the founder of Mom Support. She has helped hundreds of parents care for their children and themselves through mom support groups, sleep consultations, and work with individuals and couples. Her weekly support groups enable new moms, seasoned moms, and moms of multiples to share the joys and address the challenges of parenthood by establishing support, combating isolation, and normalizing the experience of being a new parent. Her sleep consultations are customized to each family based on their personal needs. Shapley’s individual and couple sessions include work with pregnant and postpartum moms, and couples facing a variety of emotional and physical struggles. jessica@momsupport.org & momsupport.org

    The Moms Groups: Hosted in 23 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, The Moms Groups is the city’s largest organizer of groups for pregnant women, new moms, older babies, and working moms. Founded in 2008 by Renee Sullivan, the organization specializes in professionally-facilitated chats connecting moms to each other and the best resources in NYC. Women can share experiences, engage in parenting discussions, ask questions, and gather valuable resources—from sleep and routines to finding childcare (and everything in between). The warm, informative, and friendly sessions will easily connect members to a great group of moms in their neighborhood and provide essential resources and support for raising a baby in New York City. themomsgroups.com

    Mommybites: When Mommybites’ co-founder Laura Deutsch was a new mom living in NYC, she was astonished at how lonely she felt in such a huge, happening city. Deutsch, later joined by her business partner Heather Ouida, started Mommybites because they wanted to create an easy way for moms to meet other moms, feel supported, and learn from top parenting experts. Founded in 2006, Mommybites (originally Babybites) has become one of the largest social and educational communities in the New York City area, with a growing online community across the country. Through their signature, free mom-generated nanny board, free online parenting classes, mom job board, and parenting tips and articles, Mommybites connects moms to experts, and all the latest parenting education, products, resources, and support to help make their lives a bit easier. mommybites.com

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    NYC Dads Group: Started in 2008 by Lance Somerfeld and Matt Schneider, the NYC Dads Group is a community of active and caring dads who are redefining what it means to be a good father in the 21st Century. Prenatal offerings include New Dad Boot Camps at top parent education providers around the city. These workshops for dads, by dads, give new and expectant fathers the opportunity to connect with veteran dads and their babies and to give the rookies some hands-on experience holding, feeding, and calming infants. The group also organizes weekly meet-ups for post-natal dads and their kids at parks, museums, and parent-and-me classes, as well as parenting workshops and dads’ nights out. NYC Dads Group is now the flagship for City Dads Group—a burgeoning organization of dad communities in 25 other major cities across the nation. nycdadsgroup.com & citydadsgroup.com

    Pregnancy & Parenting: Pregnancy & Parenting offers Childbirth, Babycare & Feeding, CPR & Safety, and New Dad Boot Camp classes to expectant parents in Brooklyn and Manhattan. An affiliate of Tribeca Pediatrics, this resource is open to anyone. The classes, designed by leading NYC birth educators and experts, help pregnant women and partners feel more confident about giving birth and caring for a new baby. The philosophy is open-minded and practical. Their certified teachers are extremely knowledgeable and their engaging classes are known to be fun and not overwhelming. pregnancyandparenting.com

    The Pregnant New Yorker: The Pregnant New Yorker provides fun, alternative health events in NYC, educating the pregnant community on how to have an easy, healthy pregnancy. Janet Markovits, also the owner of Maternal Massage and More, founded this health-minded group in 2008 when her clients kept asking for advice and referrals and had questions related to everything pregnancy and baby. The Pregnant New Yorker brings the best guest speakers together to teach pregnant and postpartum moms, while providing an opportunity to learn something new about different services and products, and a chance to meet other pregnant women. Markovits is a new mom herself and attests that regular prenatal massages made for an easy pregnancy, as did the wealth of information learned at The Pregnant New Yorker’s events. thepregnantnewyorker.com

    The Prenatal Yoga Center: The Prenatal Yoga Center is the first and only yoga center in New York City to focus solely on expectant and new moms. Using a three-pronged approach to their teaching, their classes address the aches and pains of pregnancy so students feel better each day as well as balance and prepare the pelvis and uterus for birth, they foster a supportive community of friendship, and they integrate childbirth education to help the mother be more prepared and empowered for labor, delivery, and motherhood. They have prenatal yoga classes on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, in Tribeca, and in the Flatiron District. PYC also offers numerous childbirth preparation and breastfeeding workshops and events as well as a vast online presence with free yoga videos and an educational blog. prenatalyogacenter.com

    PROnatal Fitness: PROnatal Fitness offers prenatal group fitness classes, postpartum stroller workouts, in-home personal training, and diastasis recti rehabilitation. Developed with input from OB-GYNs, physical therapists, and women’s health experts, PROnatal Fitness workouts are designed to reduce pregnancy pains and injuries, facilitate easier labors, and help women recover faster after delivery. They incorporate a balance of optimal cardio, strength, and core training, and are modifiable for all fitness levels and stages of pregnancy or motherhood. Personal Training is available in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, and all trainers come directly to you. pronatalfitness.com

    FitBump

    Seleni Institute: Seleni Institute is a nonprofit organization that was founded by Nitzia and George Logothetis in 2011 to destigmatize and transform mental health and wellness by addressing real-life issues that challenge the emotional health of women, men, and their families. Seleni seeks to create a world where our emotional health is valued as much as our physical health so that everyone has an opportunity to reach their potential. They offer weekly breastfeeding, mom and dad groups, and a breadth of additional services, all in a unique and collaborative environment. seleni.org

    Stork and Cradle: At Stork and Cradle, they give families the real deal about birth and breastfeeding empowering mothers to make radical decisions for yourself and your baby’s wellbeing. Parents are led through a series of self-discovery exercises to create a birth plan that reduces stress and increases pain coping skills. Ultimately, parents leave class pumped with confidence to face birth like a boss. Stork and Cradle’s prenatal breastfeeding class and private lactation consultations are covered by insurance. In addition, they offer the following classes: Childbirth (in-person and online), Baby Care, Infant CPR, Expectant Multiples, Sibling and Grandparent Prep. You can also watch your free birth class now online. storkandcradle.academy

    Twiniversity: Now teaching thousands of NYC families since 2009, Twiniversity is the hottest ticket in town for families expecting twins! Taught by Natalie Diaz a native NYC mom of twins (of course!), families will learn all the tricks of the trade on everything twinnie. From best strollers to breastfeeding, to delivery day and beyond, this best-selling author of What To Do When You’re Having Two will give you the inside information on what you really need to know. Diaz, is a world-renowned guru on twin parenting and is on a mission to make sure that families have their questions answered and the support they need on the bumpy road that is twin life! twiniversity.com/classes

    OB-GYNs, Midwives, Doulas & Lactation Experts

    If you’re searching for an OB-GYN, midwife, doula, or lactation consultant, there’s no shortage of qualified professionals in NYC. Start by asking friends for recommendations, but don’t take their advice as the last word. Follow your instincts. Use online resources or one of your childbirth reference books to really understand the role of each provider, taking note of questions to ask.

    Baby Nurses
    Mama Views, mamaviews.com

    Doulas
    DONA International, dona.org
    NYC Doula Service, doulacare.com
    The Metropolitan Doula Group, metrodoula.com
    Mama Views, mamaviews.com

    Lactation Experts
    The New York Lactation Consultant Association, nycla.org

    Midwives
    The American College of Nurse-Midwives , midwife.org

    OB-GYNs
    Castle Connolly, castleconnolly.com

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