Best for Moms and Babies 2019
Words Alexis Manrodt, Lisa Salinas
Published snow DallasChild, CollinChild, FortWorthChild, NorthTexasChild
Updated February 13, 2019
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Life is busy enoughbut when you’re pregnant, you might as well be scheduling for two. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the advice offered up in mommy blogs, parenting books and at obstetrics appointments, we get it. The quest to secure the best for your babe can seem impossible. That’s why we did the work for you. We polled nearly 9,000 moms (8,833 to be exact) for their go-to resources from pregnancy to birth, and then asked the winners what makes them the best for local families. Read on for moms’ favorite hospitals, prenatal classes, sleep specialists and more.

BEST CHILDBIRTH CLASSES

Collin: Childbirth Classes at Medical City Plano
Moms stay loyal to Medical City Plano, thanks to a strong postpartum community that offers a weekly meet-up group, a Facebook forum moderated by a registered nurse and classes in infant care, CPR, breast pumping and feeding, plus prenatal yoga. The comprehensive range of childbirth classes makes Medical City Plano a favorite for first-time mommies in particular—weekly classes cover what to expect at each stage of labor, different birth-plan options and comfort measures like anesthesia and relaxation techniques. The hospital also offers classes for new dads, grandparents and siblings. Expecting moms beginning their seventh month of pregnancy can register online or by phone for a course. All courses (except Infant Safety & CPR) are free.
3901 W. 15th St., Plano; 972/596-6800; medicalcityplano.com

RUNNER UP: Prepared Childbirth Classes at Texas Health Plano

Dallas: Prepared Childbirth Classes at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Before it comes time to head to the hospital, Texas Health’s Prepared Childbirth class will provide you an overview of the birth process and medication, labor support, relaxation techniques and birthing options. The class incorporates yoga positions and breathing to further help you develop techniques for labor and relief throughout your pregnancy. Sign up for the eight-hour class online, offered on weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Pricing begins at $25. Texas Health also has a free, online version of Prepared Childbirth, including videos, interactive tools and access to childbirth instructors.
8200 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas, 214/345-6789; texashealth.org/dallas-baby

Fort Worth: Your Best Birth Classes by Barbara Davis
Your Best Birth, Barbara Davis’ six-hour-long Saturday childbirth class at the Fort Worth Birthing and Wellness Center, covers everything from birthing basics, such as the definition of dilation, to what to do once you bring baby home. Stations in the class allow mothers to try out different birthing positions, and teach partners how best to support them. Soon-to-be moms leave with a 50-page workbook full of information and Davis’ cell number. Davis also teaches Your Best Birth as a private class in clients’ homes. Your Best Birth is available during the week as well, during two-night sessions at Precision Chiropractic in Fort Worth. Beginning this month, Your Best Birth’s Saturday sessions will be available in Aledo and Burleson.
Dallas-Fort Worth area, 682/777-3932; birthfortworth.com

RUNNER UP: Birth Classes at Texas Health Harris Fort Worth

North Texas: Preparing for Birth Classes by Maria Pokluda
In her four-week Preparing for Birth course, repeat Best for Families winner Maria Pokluda works with expecting moms to customize a birth plan and practice how to articulate your delivery wants and needs. If short on time, moms can get a crash course in the childbirth experience at the bimonthly workshop Preparing for Birth in An Afternoon. Classes are available across Addison, Coppell, Dallas and Frisco, but stay tuned for additional locations this year. Private classes are also an option. Moms entering the third trimester can sign up online and Pokluda will contact you one week before the course starts to confirm additional details.
Dallas-Fort Worth area, 214/223-0226; greatexpectationsbirth.com

RUNNER UP: Birth Classes at Texas Health Denton

BEST HOSPITAL TO HAVE A BABY

Collin: Medical City Plano
When the big day comes, moms-to-be choose Medical City Plano because it really feels more like a hotel than a hospital. Labor rooms are equipped with adjustable lighting and Spotify access so that Mom can DJ her own delivery, while the spacious and private postpartum suites each feature memory-foam beds, a bathroom with tub, a kitchenette, a bedroomand a lounge area. After baby arrives, you’ll likely be hungry. Order a celebratory meal or send Dad to order food from the Dine on Demand service. The hospital also offers an on-site newborn nursery, a 24-hour obstetrics hospitalist, neonatology coverage and professional photography services by Mom 365. If needed, the hospital’s Level III neonatal intensive care unit also has a cuddling program for high-risk and premature babies.
3901 W. 15th St., Plano; 972/596-6800; medicalcityplano.com

RUNNER UP: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano

Dallas: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
With 5,000 babies delivered each year, the nurses, doctors and midwives at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas are experts in the delivery department. Comfort is a top priority at the hospital, which is home to recently renovated luxury suites that feature gift baskets, snacks and Keurig machines. Room service is provided to all patients. For an added charge, manicures and pedicures come to you. The hospital also has an on-site hotel, if you need to ship your in-laws away for a night (or two) while you catch up on sleep.
8200 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas, 214/345-6789; texashealth.org/dallas-baby 

RUNNER UP: Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas

Fort Worth: Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital
With on-campus midwives, childbirth classes, breastfeeding support and a complimentary celebration meal following your delivery, it’s no wonder Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital has won this award for more than 20 years. Helping moms experience births according to their wishes, the hospital features everything from tub births to gentle cesareans. The hospital also has a Level III neonatal intensive care unit (connected to Cook Children’s Hospital) to care for babies born with special medical needs.
1301 Pennsylvania Ave., Fort Worth, 817/250-2000; texashealth.org/fw-baby

RUNNER UP: Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center, Fort Worth

North Texas: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton
Expecting mothers have yet another reason to choose Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton, thanks to the recently renovated neonatal intensive care unit that allows mothers to room with their new babies. Luxury labor and delivery rooms, plus additional amenities like room service, breastfeeding support and the Texas Health Baby app make the postpartum period even easier. Call or go online to schedule a tour.
3000 Interstate 35, Denton, 940/898-7000; texashealth.org/denton 

RUNNER UP: Medical City Lewisville

BEST BIRTHING CENTER

Collin: Plano Birthplace
Readers loved their experiences at Plano Birthplace, the only certified nurse-midwife owned and operated birth center in Plano. Mom can keep comfortable in one of the two birthing suites, each outfitted with soaking tubs, walk-in showers and beds. The full-service midwifery care facility offers Birth Boot Camp childbirth classes as well as prenatal, postpartum and well-woman care.
5172 Village Creek Drive, Suite 101, Plano, 469/912-0727; planobirthplace.com

RUNNER UP: Allen Birthing Center

Fort Worth: Fort Worth Birthing and Wellness Center
Located in the heart of downtown Fort Worth’s medical district, Fort Worth Birthing and Wellness Center is staffed by four certified nurse-midwives who provide prenatal, labor and delivery, newborn and postpartum care. The licensed and nationally accredited birth center’s amenities will make you feel right at home. Experience labor from the comfort of a full-size bed in one of the spacious birth suites, or opt for a roomy tub to complement your water-birth plan. During your stay, you’ll have access to Wi-Fi and a full-sized private kitchen. The center is only blocks away from Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in case of a medical emergency.
622 Hemphill St., Fort Worth, 817/878-2737; fwbirthcenter.com

RUNNER UP: Origins Birth Services

North Texas: Inanna Birth and Women’s Care
Certified nurse-midwife Jean Sala leads the team at Inanna Birth and Women’s Care, which offers natural births and water births in a safe, home-like environment. Inanna provides support before and after pregnancy as well, offering family planning services, health care, CPR and fitness classes and hormone therapy.
Denton area, 940/483-1569; inannabirth.com

RUNNER UP: Grapevine Birthing Center

BEST DOULA

Collin: Jessie Prim & Tracy DuBois (TIE)
Moms recommend Tracy DuBois, founder of the Mother’s Knot, because of her 20-plus years of experience as a certified birth doula and childbirth educator. DuBois offers support for moms throughout pregnancy and delivery, and provides postpartum support as a lactation counselor and sleep educator. Starting this year, she also offers maternity and family health coaching, infant sleep consultations and private childbirth classes.
Dallas-Fort Worth area, 239/222-5474; mothersknotdoula.com

With five kids and three grandchildren of her own, Jessie Prim brings a personal understanding to her 34 years as a certified childbirth educator and certified doula. Prim has experience with hospital births, home births, VBACs, water births and more. She also works with expecting at-risk women, and has developed postpartum classes and childbirth classes for moms on bedrest in North Texas.
Plano, 972/208-1591 

Dallas: Melissa Espey-Mueller
Espey-Mueller has won Best Doula year after year for helping to guide women through pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care. Founded in 1999 by Espey-Mueller, North Dallas Doula Associates has established relationships with local hospitals, physicians, nurses and midwives and serves more than 500 families each year. Services include preconception planning, maternity concierge, birth doulas, board certified lactation consultants, postpartum doulas and placenta encapsulation. Espey-Mueller also serves as the director of parent education at Medical City Dallas and Las Colinas.
107 Murray St., Dallas, 469/360-3810; northdallasdoulas.com

RUNNER UP: Keisha Baker

Fort Worth: Barbara Davis
With a dual certification in birth and postpartum doula services and training in breastfeeding education and placenta encapsulation, Barbara Davis knows a thing or two about providing care for expecting moms. Davis supports your birth your way, providing hospital, birth center and home births. Her services range from scheduling inductions to supporting women so they know they aren’t alone during their pregnancy. Recently, Davis assisted in founding the Inclusive Birth Workers of Tarrant County to ensure all couples—regardless of gender classification or sexual orientation—have the birth care they need.
Dallas-Fort Worth area, 682/777-3932; birthfortworth.com

RUNNER UP: Melissa Gonzalez

North Texas: Maria Pokluda
Moms trust Maria Pokluda not just because of her credentials—but they certainly are impressive. The mom of four owns Great Expectations Birth and teaches a popular childbirth class called Preparing for Birth (more on that above). Pokluda has more than 15 years of experience preparing expecting mothers throughout their pregnancies and deliveries, but specializes in VBACs and pregnancy after infertility.
Dallas-Fort Worth area, 214/223-0226; greatexpectationsbirth.com 

RUNNER UP: Laura Fortner

BEST MIDWIFE

Collin: Amy Giles
Repeat winner Amy Giles has more than 15 years of experience supporting moms. As owner and clinical director of Allen Birthing Center, the certified nurse-midwife was the first in Texas to hold privileges at a birthing center, hospital and home. Her new practice, ABC Women’s Wellness, offers support for women long before and after baby is born, through biotin-based hormone therapy, neurofeedback and nitric oxide support during labor, IUD placement and postpartum depression treatment.
406 W. Main St., Allen, 214/495-9911; allenbirthingcenter.com

RUNNER UP: Teri Mitchell

Dallas: Johanna Congleton
A mother with more than 10 years of experience in midwifery, Johanna Congleton knows a thing or two about caring for expecting mothers. She works to build trust between herself and the mother, offering personalized birth and health options, including mental and emotional health care. As a hospital-based midwife, Congleton is able to care for women with high blood pressure, diabetes, twin births and those who have previously had cesarean births. In March, her services will be available at Baylor Dallas, as she will join the Dallas Midwife Associates.
Boardwalk Obstetrics & Gynecology; boardwalkobgyn.com // Dallas Midwife Associates, 3611 Swiss Ave., Dallas, 214/975-3937; dallasmidwifeassociates.com 

RUNNER UP: Adrienne Jones

Fort Worth: Lissa Goble
Before receiving her midwifery and doctorate of nursing practice degree from Baylor University’s School of Nursing, Lissa Goble worked in labor and delivery as a registered nurse for 16 years, giving her lots of experience with expecting moms and infants. During an appointment, Goble learns about a woman’s individual needs in order to provide the best customized care options—such as implementing essential oils—in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. She has experience assisting women in both a hospital and birth-center setting, including providing epidurals. Currently, Goble serves women with low-risk pregnancies who wish to have a natural birth at the Fort Worth Birthing and Wellness Center.
622 Hemphill St., Fort Worth, 817/878-2737; fwbirthcenter.com

RUNNER UP: Kathleen Donaldson

North Texas: Heather Caudell
With more than 26 years of nursing experience and 14 years as a certified nurse-midwife, Heather Caudell is known as a caring and highly trained labor guide for expecting moms in Denton County. She has more than 1,680 births under her belt and possesses expertise in high-risk pregnancies and adapting birth plans. Caudell seeks to unite midwifery and medicine, and regularly works with seven OB-GYNs at Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates if delivery complications arise.
4001 Long Prairie Road, Suite 150, Flower Mound; 972/420-1470; fmobgyn.com

RUNNER UP: Katie Perez

BEST CHILD CARE CENTER FOR INFANTS 

Collin, Dallas, North Texas: Primrose Schools
Primrose Schools take each child’s unique developmental pace, learning style and interests into account with their Balanced Learning approach to child care. Kids as young as 6 weeks explore creative arts, social studies and STEAM subjects while also building language, literacy, physical and social-emotional skills. The first aid- and CPR-trained teachers are all experienced in child development. Go online for a virtual tour of programs and teachers at all Primrose School locations.
Multiple locations, primroseschools.com

RUNNER UP (Collin, Dallas): Bright Horizons, Multiple locations
RUNNER UP (North Texas): The Children’s Courtyard, Multiple locations

Fort Worth: Bright Horizons
With “The World at Their Fingertips” curriculum, which includes lessons in science and arts in addition to developing healthy habits, and experienced staff with more than 10 years of tenure, Bright Horizons has been rated Best Child Care Center for Infants again this year. Bright Horizons provides care for littles as young as 6 weeks old from 6am–8pm. Aside from watching over your little ones, staff members teach them skills that will contribute to their success in school and beyond. Schedule a tour online to visit your local center.
201 Jones St., Fort Worth, 817/334-0036 // 1709 N. Enderly Place, Fort Worth, 817/927-6249; brighthorizons.com

RUNNER UP: Primrose Schools, Multiple locations

BEST BABYSITTING SERVICE

All: Care.com
Whether you’re looking for a last-minute babysitter or a full-time nanny, repeat winner Care.com has candidates for nearly every occasion. (Academic tutors, after-school care, day care centers and caregivers trained in special needs are also available.) Visit the website or download the easy-to-use free app (available on Android or Apple) to search for local sitters by ZIP code. Basic membership is free, but premium membership ($147 per year) provides access to a sitter’s customer ratings and references. Care.com’s HomePay system streamlines payment processes and provides advice for budgeting and sitter taxes.
Dallas-Fort Worth area, 877/227-3115; care.com

RUNNER UP (Collin): SeekingSitters
RUNNER UP (Dallas, Fort Worth, North Texas): Mom’s Best Friend

BEST PARENT & BABY CLASS 

Collin, Dallas, Fort Worth: The Little Gym
Readers loved their experiences with the creative classes at The Little Gym, a repeat winner with locations across North Texas. The weekly 45-minute classes are designed to improve your child’s cognitive, social and motor skills. Enjoy exploration time at the start of class, when parents and their babies (ages 4 months to 3 years) can meet and play on the gym’s red mat before moving on to activities to get your kiddo up and moving around the gym. Pricing and class dates vary per gym; call to sign up.
Multiple locations; thelittlegym.com 

RUNNER UP (Collin, Fort Worth): Gymboree Play & Music, Multiple locations
RUNNER UP (Dallas): 
Kindermusik, Multiple locations

North Texas: WinKids
For more than 20 years, WinKids has offered a creative environment for moms to learn, grow and move with their babes. Starting at 6 months old, children can build social, motor and coordination skills by joining classes in developmental gymnastics, martial arts, tumbling, music instruction and more. Call or go online to sign up for a free orientation class and register for weekly 45-minute sessions.
3000 Waketon Road, Flower Mound, 972/355-9988; winkids.net

RUNNER UP: Kindermusik, Multiple locations

BEST INFANT SWIM CLASSES

Collin, Dallas, Fort Worth: Emler Swim School
At Emler Swim School, you and your infant will learn swim essentials during the weekly free Bathtime Babies class for babies 2–5 months old. Babies float and kick (with Mom’s help, of course), while you’re given ideas for songs and activities to encourage bonding and comfort in the water. The Waterbabies program teaches kids as young as 6 months more advanced swim techniques like kicking for up to 10 feet and holding their breath underwater for 10 seconds. Sign up for a free Waterbabies orientation class or register for a course online; prices vary by location.
Multiple locations, emlerswimschool.com

RUNNER UP (Collin, Fort Worth): Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, Multiple locations
RUNNER UP (Dallas): 
Baylor Tom Landry Health & Wellness Center

North Texas: AquaKids Swim School
At AquaKids Swim School, babies as young as 2 months can practice swimming skills in indoor 92-degree pools, seven days a week. Private lessons are available, but group lessons are no more than six kids per class to ensure that your child receives the necessary attention from the instructor. Babies at least 6 months old practice floating, kicking and submerging under water for five to six seconds in the entry-level Waterbaby class. Younger infants can dip their toes in the pool and join the free Waterbitties course until they reach 6 months.
3409 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound, 972/724-1528; aquakids.com

RUNNER UP: Emler Swim School, Flower Mound

BEST SLEEP SPECIALIST

Collin: Sweet Dreams Infant Care
The “dream team” behind Sweet Dreams Infant Care knows firsthand how sleep deprivation can affect a family. With children and grandchildren of their own, owners Pam Jones, a registered nurse, and Pat Porrey, a certified doula and infant-care specialist, are dedicated to get Mom, Dad and baby plenty of Z’s. During a phone or in-home overnight consultation, the team will design a sleep plan and teach you how to create a positive sleep environment for baby to self-soothe in the night. Learn more sleep training secrets in Jones and Porrey’s new book, Raising Confident Parents – Secrets from Baby Nurses and Parents About Pregnancy, Infant Care and Achieving Sweet Dreams.
Dallas-Fort Worth area, 708/429-2229; sweetdreamsinfantcare.com

RUNNER UP: Newborn Nightingales

Dallas: Rest to Your Nest with Mary Cantwell
There is no doubt about it—sleep is vital to your ability to function daily. It’s especially important for your little ones, who are beginning to discover the world around them. Award-winning sleep specialist Mary Cantwell of Rest to Your Nest can help your tiny tots catch all their Z’s. She serves littles from ages 4 months to 5 years and develops a plan with you based on your child’s needs, including assessing your child’s room. Before scheduling a two-hour consultation, you’ll fill out a form detailing your child’s current sleep habits and goals, and you’ll leave the meeting with a game plan. Sleep packages begin at $465.
Dallas-Fort Worth area, 972/638-9974; resttoyournest.com

RUNNER UP: Newborn Nightingales

Fort Worth, North Texas: Newborn Nightingales
For more than six years, Newborn Nightingales has been the go-to for more than 1,000 families in search of that elusive good night’s sleep. Founder Melissa O’Neill brings more than a decade of experience as a labor and delivery nurse to her company, which offers overnight RN care for your baby as well as sleep consultations by phone, email or in person. Night nurses will feed your baby according to your wishes, plus clean your baby’s pump, bottles and laundry as well as stock the nursery. An RN will be available to answer any of your postpartum care questions for a full six months after signing up. Newborn Nightingales also offers a Rest Registry so that Mom and Dad can crowdfund their way to a better night’s sleep.
Dallas-Fort Worth area, 214/632-1673; newbornnightingales.com

RUNNER UP (Fort Worth): Heaven Sent Sleep
RUNNER UP (North Texas):
Sweet Dreams Infant Care