Then Comes Baby
We provide classes and groups, breastfeeding support, and massage for new and expecting families
You'll likely get many great recommendations -- I remember being overwhelmed by the resources when I had my kids.
There are 3 people/ places that helped me tons, for different babies and different things:
1) Amrit Khalsa - she works at Bayside where we had our first pediatrician and also does home visits. https://www.amrit-lactationconsultant.com/
2) She recommended me to Then Comes Baby in Oakland, where we ended up getting a breast pump and really great IBCLC support for a different reason (and our moms group, which I soooo needed). then-comes-baby.com
3) Paula Santi -- she was so wonderful for our last baby when Then Comes Baby and Amrit were booked for a last minute urgent need. paulasanti.com
You'll likely get your needs well taken care of. Best wishes!
I really liked the class at Then Comes Baby. It’s only CPR and it’s not for certification, but information-wise it’s great! I’m I nurse and I thought it was one of the more informative infant/child CPR classes I’ve done.
Maybe Birthways in Berkeley (www.birthways.org)? Or, if Oakland works for you, I took my Infant & Child CPR Class twice at Then Comes Baby (near Lake Merritt) with my husband and my parents and we all really thought it was excellent (www.then-comes-baby.com). I even had to use the choke saving skills on a toddler (not my own) and it was amazing how fast the skills came to me. (It was a big bite of burrito and the smushy tortilla and beans bound together to form a ball.) I was SO grateful for the class and just took it again because my memory was fuzzy on it after 1.5 years. It was still great the second time around!
I was asking these questions about 2 years ago and got some great support here on BPN, so I thought I'd chime in quickly with my experience (active toddler, permitting). :-)
I worked with an incredible birth doula, but she is now in school to become a midwife (bummer, we are expecting #2 now)! I was going down the rabbit hole of online research, but on a whim, went to the free Doula event at Then Comes Baby. That was such a good choice. They weren't "sales-y" in their approach, and they took it more as a time to educate us about what a doula does and doesn't do. Plus, an eye-opener for me, the roles of the various people involved in a hospital birth (we were at Alta Bates) and the difference between midwives and OBs. We met several lovely doulas there and chose the one that felt like the right vibe, that both me and my husband felt we could work with if the S#** hit the fan, so to speak. Going there was SO MUCH easier than what I did (digging through the interwebs) and my only regret is that I wasn't referred there sooner. They still do it and I am going to go back to that event since my doula isn't available now and I am expecting again!
From that event, I decided to give Then Comes Baby a shot and took their prenatal yoga with Torrey (she's awesome), then I joined the 4-week birth class with Anna (another gem), and the Breastfeeding class (I forget the teachers name, but I learned a lot). Between the yoga classes and the birth class, I really found that "mom" community you were talking about. And, two+ years later, that's what is still going strong. We were pretty new to Oakland when we got pregnant, and making friends there was the real game changer, for both me and my (kinda busy/ distracted/ shy) husband.
The East Bay is awesome and has much to offer on this front. I found it a bit dizzying, honestly, for my first baby. I also heard nice things about Loving Arms, but their birth class was longer than we had time for at the time with our commutes and busy pre-baby prep. I'm sure they're great, though!
The 2nd Time Moms Group at Then Comes Baby was great! I really liked the group that I was part of (many of us are still in touch after 2 years) and it was definitely a professionally ran group. It's been some time, so I don't know if the facilitator is the same, but my experience there was that every class I took was excellent. Best wishes! http://then-comes-baby.com/classes/support-groups/second-time-moms-group/
Then Comes Baby on Grand Avenue in Oakland has one. If its still moderated by Robyn Aragona, then it should be wonderful. I was in her first time moms's group last year and we all still keep in close touch.
I took Then Comes Baby's childbirth class and based on what you are looking for, I would not recommend it. The class covered natural child birth coping techniques only. There was little mention of interventions or pain relief options which was something I wanted to learn more about. The class literally covered up to getting the baby out of your body. It did not cover what happens at the hospital after the baby is out and we did not go over any baby care whatsoever. I felt the class did not cover the things I needed to know so I ended up taking a baby care class through Stanford Hospital because it was the only class available before my baby's arrival. That class was very informative. It covered dressing, bathing, soothing, feeding. It sounds like something like that would better suit your needs.
I'm not sure what other options there are in the area, but like you, we were making a choice between these two places as well... for us the hospital classes didn't feel like a good fit.
Our Alta Bates midwife recommended Then Comes Baby, and I have to say, it was a really wonderful experience. We took a birth prep series with Anna and both our a breastfeeding class (free with the series) and a class all about understanding your newborn (sleeping, soothing, and getting into the rhythm of llfe) with Sabrina. My husband was initially not that excited to sign up for classes since we're so busy, but then he ended up being the biggest fan! The education manner was both relaxed but authoritative -- they know what they are talking about but are mellow about how they present the info! That was helpful for both us, not having someone make us feel more stressed, but being clear on the "why" behind things. Thankfully, the skills came in handy for my husband and he was really a rock for me in labor. The best part, though, is that we made friends that we are still in touch with, and me and a few moms from birth class just took the moms group there after (also expertly ran). I actually had a discount on that group, too (bonus!) because I had lactation consulting both in my home and in their office (super cozy with beautiful light and air conditioning!), as recommended by my pediatrician.
So, all in all, I guess you can say that I am a fan of Then Comes Baby. :-) But, I think that you'll be take care of at both places -- they both have good reputations, so it's probably about what feels like the right fit for your life. Best wishes!
I was struggling with serious tension headaches and then low back pain as my pregnancy progressed with funky nerve things going on and I went to a place near where I live called Then Comes Baby. It's on Grand Ave. in Oakland, away from the lake toward Piedmont (not far from the Safeway). That place has helped me out tremendously. I started there with massages, but after my baby was born I continued on with breastfeeding help -- the lactation consultant actually did some much needed (and respectful) breast massage to help with my plugged ducts, but she also included a shoulder massage and arm and hand massage because I had some major "mommy wrist" going on.
Check them out to see if they can help (I didn't have round ligament pain): then-comes-baby.com
I've had a similar experience myself, but have found a couple groups via Then Comes Baby in Oakland that I like. I would love to meet some more moms and babies in area though, especially for play days and maybe to help exchange babysitting for parent date nights.
I have a soon to be 5 month old son and we live in Temescal, near Piedmont.
Please contact me if your interested in meeting up. I return to work soon so week day meetups will likely be difficult for me.
I really enjoyed my recent Mom & Baby yoga classes at Then Comes Baby in the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland, which was easy to get to from 580 coming from Emeryville. With the help of the baby holder I was actually able to have enough time to myself to work up a little sweat (though that wouldn't take much these days). The baby holder was super-sweet. I thought at first that I'd be nervous having someone hold my baby, but it's a really intimate and friendly environment, so it felt more like being with new friends. Torrie really did a great job teaching the class and I enjoyed it enough to try out their other class later in the week, with a different instructor (Alexa, maybe?). Then, afterward, it was nice to hang out and feed my baby. The baby holder even brought me a cup of tea! They were really great and uber-accomodating and probably would be okay having an older baby there. Here is their site: http://then-comes-baby.com/yoga-dance/