| ROUNDUP | Pre/Postnatal and Mommy & Me Resources in Chilltown

Moving my body was one of the hardest parts of my pregnancy and the postnatal period (would you still consider 20 months to be "postnatal" because I did, apparently). I experienced a very stagnant pregnancy after horrible first trimester morning (all-day) sickness, and I never really recovered to my previously active self. I did attempt prenatal yoga at Karma Kids in the City, but I made it to pitifully few classes and found them to be terrifically hard, despite actually being pretty damn easy. Post-morning sickness, my inactivity was really attributed to stress at work and working insane 15+ hour days, which distracted me from, well, basically my entire pregnancy.

Fast forward to a newborn in my arms, and my movement-ometer did not fluctuate much from pre-baby. We traveled a lot during the first year of her life, per usual, and when I was home, I mostly vegged out with my little squirrel.

As we hit her two year mark this coming Monday (whaaaaa?), I'm just barely regaining my pre-pregnancy fitness levels and body (almost, sort of, getting close). Yeah. It hasn't been the easiest journey.

As I continue to get to know Jersey City better, the belle that she is, I wish I lived here when I was pregnant and postnatal. The vibe of the city, the local support and sensibilities, and the wealth of resources for new mommies would have been really nice. And helpful. And might have made a huge difference in my postnatal experience.

But maybe it can improve yours, Jersey City mamas! Check out some of the pre/postnatal and mommy & me resources below, and let me know how they are (I haven't tried any of them myself, as opposed to most of the posts on B+aBBQ, so I'm relying on you to give them a whirl and report back because there won't be another baby in m'belly any time soon!).

275 Grove Street (Downtown near the Grove St. PATH)
Website | Schedule | Twitter | Facebook

Photo courtesy of Yoga Shunya's Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Yoga Shunya's Facebook page.
  • Prenatal ClassThe Prenatal class offers women a yoga practice to nurture a healthy, comfortable pregnancy and to prepare for labor and delivery. One of the most important benefits of prenatal yoga is the friendship and support of other women during pregnancy and after the birth. Over the years, our prenatal classes have created a beautiful community of family and friends. Partners, mothers, and friends are always welcome to join the prenatal class.
  • Family YogaFamily Yoga is a class for kids and parents to move, stretch, breath, hop like a frog, slither like a snake, and bark like a down-dog. The instructor takes you on imaginative adventures while you and your child explore yoga poses together. The class uses songs, props, and games to engage and inspire. We finish with a foot rub for all the young participants. Appropriate for ages 2½ - 5. Drop-ins welcome. Come play!
  • Parent & Baby ClassThe Parent & Baby class focuses on the specific needs of the postpartum body while promoting a healthy bond between mom and baby. We help the babies reach important developmental milestones while helping the moms reconnect to their core and improve posture with special emphasis on shoulders and back. This class is appropriate for newborns (as soon as the doctor says the baby can go outside) to the just-beginning-to-crawl. The Parent & Baby class also provides an important social network for new parents. *Since we are on the third floor, it is a good idea to wear your baby.
  • Parent & Toddler ClassIn the Parent & Toddler class we practice poses for little ones, sing songs and go on adventures. With a mixture of poses for both children and adults, this class begins to teach the children about doing their own yoga. The Parent & Toddler class uses postures and activities that allow them the choice to explore the space on their own or with a parent. Drop-in attendance is OK. Come play!

Website | Schedule | Twitter | Facebook

Photo courtesy of Michelle Timek Yoga's Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Timek Yoga's Facebook page.
  • Pre/Postnatal ClassBuild strength, find your up-to-the-moment center and prepare for labor! We’ll practice strengthening back/shoulder openers, gain/re-gain core and pelvic stability and find overall ease of movement and breath in a lighthearted, nurturing, soothing and loving environment. Gentle yet empowering so you can move with greater balance, comfort and stability. Class consists of group sharing/community, practical “take aways” for common pre/postnatal ailments and an hour of movement with breath work. When you take care of yourself, you take care of baby. Twice as nice to enjoy for both of you!
  • Mommy & Baby ClassOur postnatal vinyasa class will gently help recondition the postpartum body and create physical, mental and emotional ease and confidence as you reconnect with your own self and your baby. In this sacred, nurturing environment moms can "take a break" to reset and focus on themselves, interact with other like-minded moms and bond with their little one. Learn simple and effective techniques for baby such as massage to comfort and aid in digestion/trapped air, gentle stretches and calming cradling holds. Mommies and babies alike will feel rejuvenated, relaxed and restored! Dads and caretakers welcome. Baby ages: up to early crawlers.

419 Monmouth Street(in the Village neighborhood)
Website | Schedule | Twitter | Facebook

Photo courtesy of JC Barre Studio's Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of JC Barre Studio's Facebook page.
  • Mommy & Me B3Get the full effect of our signature B3 class with your little one cheering you on.  Classes incorporate babies in a safe and gentle manner. Open to babies in car/pumpkin seats.
  • Kinder BarreA unique blend of ballet, Pilates, barre and yoga to do with your little one (ages 5 to 8).  Start the habits of a healthy, dance infused life for munchkin.

16 Erie Street (just below Hamilton Park toward Downtown, off Newark Ave.)
Website | Schedule | Twitter | Facebook

Photo courtesy of three little birds' Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of three little birds' Facebook page.
  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Whether you’re a yoga veteran or a novice, this class will help you connect with your developing baby, and with other pregnant moms. Specially-designed postures, breath-work and visualization not only ease current discomfort, but develop the strength, flexibility, stamina and the inner-peace you’ll need for the birth experience. Your instructor will address common fears, concerns and anatomy questions that come up during pregnancy.
  • Chill, Yogi, Chill: Baby Yoga for Newborns-Crawlers with Michelle GoitiaThis sweet program uses yoga movement, songs and baby massage to enrich babies’ development, and deepen the bond between caregiver and child. You’ll leave each session armed with new tools to help ease your transition into parenthood—from creative ways to have tummy time to gas-relieving techniques. Even if your baby sleeps or eats through class, you’ll look forward to this special time with your little bird—and the chance to connect with other families.
  • New Mamas Support GroupWe cannot emphasize enough the importance of hanging out with other women who are doing what you’re doing. Swaddling, nursing, trying out bottles, using front carriers, swings – these are some of the things you’ll discuss. But there are also the sensitive issues of body image, careers, and relationships. Finding other women with whom you can share your experiences is important. Michelle, our yoga instructor, doula and mom of two will guide you through group discussions to help you navigate the joys and fears of being a new mom in a supportive and relaxed environment.

The Brunswick Center at 276 Brunswick Street
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Photo courtesy of Hudson Vibe Suz's Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Hudson Vibe Suz's Facebook page.
  • Zumbini™ Designed to let you and your little ones 0 to 3 years old wiggle, sing and learn together, the Zumbini™ program is where the science of child development meets the magic of Zumba® – for the ultimate bonding experience!  Classes feature cool Zumba® music packed with world rhythms and catchy, kid-friendly tunes created just for this program. Parent/Caregiver participation is key!Classes happen in 4-week sessions (the first is August 6-27 on Thursdays at 10:45 AM), and each term you can purchase a brand new Zumbini™ Bundle (for an additional fee) containing a songbook and two copies of the class music CD, so you can take the class experience wherever you go!The Zumbini™ Philosophy is music is inherent. We all have music in us!  This program is unique in its design to build positive associations with living a musical lifestyle at the earliest possible age, with the attention focused on social, emotional, cognitive (mental), and motor and language development. Children are born with musical aptitude.  If they are not exposed to music at an early age, this aptitude can diminish.  The Zumbini™ format helps them tap into this element.  They learn to feel the music, feel the beat and feel free to express themselves.  This makes learning with music a natural process. The Zumbini™ program is not competitive or performance oriented, and its mission is to cultivate respect and dignity for every child and every child’s level of participation.   Fundamental to the program philosophy, it does not impose upon participants any specific, measurable goal outside the most basic program intentions: joyful participation!  

Are you a new mama or a mama-to-be? What other resources have you found around Jersey City that have helped you through your pregnancy or to navigate the waters of new motherhood? Please share in the comments below, and I will update this post. Papas: substitute the word "papa" for "mama" anywhere through this post.

*Note that I've used the descriptions provided by each business on its website, which is why they vary in depth and detail. If you are one of these businesses and would like to elaborate, please email me at burbsandabbq@gmail.com and I will update this post.*