Back to School for Pregos

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There’s no debating that when you’re pregnant, your mind is on overdrive – especially when it’s your first child. I can remember lying awake at night, obsessing over a million different things related to our bun in the oven, from what he/she would look like to how I was going to manage it all… never mind thoughts of the actual delivery. I tried desperately NOT to think about that, as a matter of fact.

However, as the months went by and I grew larger and larger, I had to come to terms with the fact that a baby was indeed coming out (it’s easy to skip that part and go straight to the bouncing bundle of joy, am I right?). Not having any idea what I had REALLY gotten myself into (other than cringing while watching ‘Knocked Up’ for the umpteenth time), I began researching birthing classes and found that, once again, living in New York City has its advantages — there were plenty to choose from!

If you decide to take a birthing class, here are a few to consider:

Mommybites – (Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown locations) Well, how about that. Yep, you’ve landed on a community that offers Expectant Mom Support Groups (amongst other offerings) where you can gather to ask questions in a laidback atmosphere, meet others expectant moms and come away feeling like you’ve got a handle on this whole motherhood thing. Or at least a start!

Prenatal Yoga Center (multiple locations): In this class, you’ll mix yoga moves with childbirth education, even addressing those aches and pains commonly felt with a growing tummy. Yoga has been proven to help alleviate varicose veins, nausea, etc. related to pregnancy. Altogether now: ommmmm!

Stork and Cradle (171 Madison Ave at 33rd St, Suite 1600) – Classes are led by a licensed nurse/labor support specialist/Lamaze instructor/lactation consultant/holistic health counselor. Need I say anything more?

Brooklyn Birth (Park Slope) – Private and group classes are taught by three midwives, all mothers themselves. Sessions are offered on everything from labor and birth process to newborn care and breastfeeding support.

Check with your doctor – More than likely your obstetrician (or hospital where you’re delivering, if you choose that route) offers a birthing class in the evenings or on a weekend.

I have to be honest and say that when it came down to “go” time and I was in the midst of labor, the breathing and “calming exercises” I’d learned in class flew out the window (along with a few expletives and what was left of my modesty). But, I do feel like attending a class with your partner or close friend is beneficial. We all lead such busy lives, that attending a preparatory class prior to your child’s arrival is a good way to come together and center yourself for the new adventure that’s coming your way.

Author notes:
I wish I could recommend Real Birth (where we ended up), but they unfortunately closed last year. Also, if you’re forced to watch a birthing video from the 1970s, consider yourself forewarned.


Mama to a newborn & toddler, Ellen Schmidt has called NYC home for the last 11 years. While living here as a parent is a much different experience from that of a single gal or newlywed, NYC still captures her heart every day. Currently attempting the balancing act that is family & career, you can find Ellen blogging about all of that & more at Baby Meets City.

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