You’re finally over the shock of seeing those double blue lines. Now what? Start by perusing this handy guide to the absolute best of the best for Dallas County moms and babies. Local moms voted on their favorites for everything from baby-sitting sources to childbirth classes and we tallied the results. From the best class for tiny swimmers to the best baby-clothing boutique, it’s all here in our Best for Moms and Babies 2015.
Best Hospital to Have a Baby
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
More than 125,000 babies have been delivered at Texas Health Dallas since the Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants opened 22 years ago. And no wonder: With hotel-like delivery suites and recovery rooms, gourmet room service and concierge amenities, the hospital makes moms and their families feel like royalty. They can also be confident of exceptional care, as Texas Health Dallas boasts a level III NICU and a bevy of specialists available 24/7 to make sure you and your little one have a healthy start together.
Best Birthing Center
Birth and Women’s Center
At Birth and Women’s Center, the journey to parenthood starts with a variety of prenatal care services, including exercise education and nutritional counseling. During labor and delivery, the center makes the infant-father bond as important as the bond between mother and child by encouraging fathers to give their new babies a warm Leboyer bath. The center’s team consists of three certified nurse-midwives, three birth assistants and four postpartum assistants, all working to ensure that things go smoothly for each family from start to finish.
Kristine Tawater, MotherMe Midwifery
A mother of five, Kristine Tawater decided to pursue midwifery after the gentle home births of her three daughters. She has since become a certified midwife and faculty member of MotherMe Doulas and offers home birth attendance throughout Dallas and Rockwall counties. Kristine believes that midwifery care should respect a woman’s choices, and she makes it a priority to personally bond with each family in order to provide the best experience throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
DFW Area, 214/914-5015
Melissa Espey-Mueller, North Dallas Doula Associates
Doula and founder of North Dallas Doula Associates Melissa Espey-Mueller has been in the baby business for over 15 years. She’s provided support for hundreds of moms and babies, working closely with midwives and medical professionals to ensure they enjoy the best labor and delivery experience possible. Offering further support, Espey-Mueller offers pre- and postnatal education through childbirth, yoga and breastfeeding classes.
DFW Area, 469/360-3810
Best Childbirth Classes
Who says childbirth classes have to be boring? Natural Beginnings strives to make their childbirth classes educational and fun by encouraging couples to work together as a team. Couples will complete activities designed to prepare them for childbirth in the comfort of the instructor’s home. Small class sizes and an informal atmosphere provide ample time for questions and individual attention for each mom- and dad-to-be. Have a busy schedule? Arrange a four-class, private birth course for $625.
Best Prenatal Massage
La Bella Belly Pregnancy Spa
We know the last thing you want is another trip to the doctor. So skip the stress and head to La Bella Belly Pregnancy Spa & Ultrasound Centre, where you can schedule a relaxing prenatal massage, mani-pedi and facial all before you see the 3-D/4-D ultrasound image of your child. Don’t forget Dad; La Bella Belly also aims to pamper papas with a variety of couple’s spa packages.
Best Prenatal Workout and Best Mommy & Baby Workout
Oh Baby! Fitness
Whether you’re trying to shed pounds postpartum or still waiting for baby to arrive, Oh Baby! Fitness classes at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas are specially designed to help you stay fit before and after the big day. Modified yoga and cardio exercises prepare moms-to-be for labor and delivery, while stroller workouts, mom and baby yoga, and mom and baby fitness classes allow new moms to bond with their littles, who get a gentle massage at the end of each class.
Best Maternity Store
A Pea in the Pod
There’s no way you won’t feel fab in the maternity wear at A Pea in the Pod — especially the trendy new line from Rebecca Minkoff. The upscale boutique offers everything from winter coats to special nursing tanks and tops. Come summer, you’ll find several styles of suits to sport at the pool on that last minute pre-baby getaway.
Lincoln Park, Dallas, 214/346-9140
Best Baby Clothing Boutique
A Tiny Hiney Baby Boutique
Traditional? Trendy? Classic? Whatever your little’s look, A Tiny Hiney Baby Boutique has brands sure to fit his style. The boutique strives to offer a wide range of styles in its constantly changing inventory at a variety of price points. Stop in to stock up on onesies or grab a gift for your next baby shower. Embroidery is done on site and gift-wrapping is free.
Best Baby Furniture Boutique
This resident Snider Plaza boutique stays stocked in the latest styles of bassinets, changing tables and playroom decor, keeping hip new moms coming back for more. With a variety of eco-friendly furniture and toy brands, babybliss has everything you need to make your baby’s room as green as the rest of your home.
Best Resale Shop
Once Upon a Child
Is your wallet struggling to keep up with your child’s growth? Sell those barely worn britches at Once Upon a Child or trade them in for an affordable upgrade. Shop racks of gently worn costumes, dancewear, sleepwear and swimwear too. But Once Upon a Child is not just good for duds — stock up on other must-haves from the impressive collection of baby gear and toys at this one-stop shop.
Best Baby-sitting Source
Mom’s Best Friend
There’s a reason they win year after year. Mom’s Best Friend has baby-sitting down to a science. Prospective baby-sitters and nannies are thoroughly screened before being handpicked and carefully matched with local families. The experts at Mom’s Best Friend are pros at matching families with long-term nannies, but the company also offers temporary care, nighttime baby-sitters and holiday and sick care.
Best Child-care Center for Babies
Infant classes at Primrose Schools focus on three things: active minds, healthy bodies and happy hearts. A low teacher/infant ratio ensures that each child receives adequate care and attention while enjoying, observing and exploring the classroom. The curriculum at Primrose Schools balances social, emotional, physical and academic learning — meaning babies will be more than prepared come preschool. Early education at Primrose Schools starts as early as 6 weeks old and continues through age 5.
Best Mommy & Baby Class
The Little Gym
The Little Gym encourages parents to learn and grow with their child by participating in parent-child classes for children 4 months to 3 years old. Weekly classes are designed to promote independence, develop socialization and help baby reach new milestones through movement, music and play. Try a three-week, introductory experience for $45.
Mockingbird/Abrams, Dallas, 214/515-0800
Preston and Forest, Dallas, 972/644-7333
Best Infant Swim School
Emler Swim School
It’s no wonder Emler is No. 1: They’ve been perfecting their Waterbabies class for over 40 years, making sure that infants as young as 6 months feel comfortable and safe in the water. Try their balanced method of swimming instruction mixed with songs and playtime at a free orientation class, offered on most Saturdays. The best part? You get to be right there in the water with your little one, helping every step (er, stroke) of the way.