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:
(370 W 58th St + multiple locations) Offering a comprehensive program for expectant and new moms -including childbirth prep, newborn care, breastfeeding, infant CPR, and… wait for it… Dad Bootcamp! In their own words, “We provide new parents with the necessary tools to be happy, healthy and confident.” Sounds good to me!
(141 W 72nd St): Prenatal yoga classes strive to make pregnancy as comfortable as possible by addressing any aches or pains you might have. Classes include poses that bring balance and alignment to the pelvis, pelvic floor and pelvic and uterine ligament with the intention of encouraging your baby into a more optimal birthing position so you may have a more functional, less complicated birth. Altogether now: ommmmm!
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(11 East 86th St) – Classes are led by a licensed nurse/labor support specialist/Lamaze instructor/lactation consultant/holistic health counselor. Women and their partners are “encouraged to tap into their inner stores of strength, knowledge, and intuition.” Need I say anything more?
(105 Grand St, Brooklyn) – Believing in accessible-to-all birth, CHB offers education, emotional, and non-clinical physical support during the perinatal period for parents to be – and the Doulas who support them.
They offer birth and postpartum support, infant feeding support, childbirth education and more. They’ve also trained more than 300 birth and postpartum doulas worldwide.
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.
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Mama to a newborn & toddler, Ellen Schmidt has called NYC home for the last 18 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.