The joy of having a baby is second to none. But with all the joy comes a lot of questions. Where to deliver? Should you have a midwife or OB-GYN? What about a doula? How do you help baby find a good sleep schedule? Who should you trust to care for baby when you’re at work? Where can you get baby moving and learning? OK, let’s take a deep breath. The moms who read DFWChild are great at sharing, so they can help answer all those questions. Our annual Best: Moms & Babies survey compiles their recommendations for everything from hospitals and birthing centers to swim classes and sleep consultants. Read on for this year’s winners in Dallas County.
Best Hospital to Have a Baby: For the first time, it’s a tie! Baylor University Medical Center + Medical City Dallas
At Baylor University Medical Center, welcoming a child is a unique experience. The team specializes in providing quality care, education and empowerment for families through every stage of pregnancy (including postpartum). Some of the notable amenities Baylor offers include wireless fetal monitoring, aromatherapy during delivery, lactation support, a take-home meal (for four), placenta processing and donation—and so much more. The hospital is also a doula- and midwife-friendly environment. In fact, Dallas’ Best Midwife, Taylor Houser, works with Baylor often. Do you have a high-risk pregnancy? Baylor’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine services provide access to testing, support and treatments. As an added plus, the hospital was recently designated a Level IV maternal care center—the highest possible designation—so you know you’ll be in good hands.
3500 Gaston Ave., Dallas; bswhealth.com/dallaschildbirth
This year’s other Best Hospital to Have a Baby in Dallas County is Medical City Dallas. Moms love the Medical City Dallas delivery experience. There are 24 spacious labor and delivery rooms and 12 VIP suites, with amenities including a separate room for family’s overnight stays, easy access to the nursery, refrigerators in each room, gifts for mom, Tempur-Pedic Murphy beds for partners and much more. Medical City Dallas also offers lactation consultant services and other breastfeeding resources. This hospital also stands out as the only North Texas hospital with a full-service children’s hospital, a Level IV maternal designation, a Level IV NICU and an adult hospital on the same campus. If there are (heaven forbid) any complications, family can still be in one place.
7777 Forest Lane, Dallas; medicalcityhospital.com
Best Birthing Center: Origins Birth and Wellness Dallas
Our readers repeatedly choose Origins Birth and Wellness Dallas for its outstanding midwifery care. On top of labor and birth services, Origins Birth and Wellness offers nutritional counseling, maternal and fetal health monitoring, education, lactation counseling, newborn care and more. Origins will be there for every step of your journey into parenthood! Moms love that the Origins team takes care of not only their physical needs but also their emotional and spiritual needs. They’ll talk to you about stressors, family dynamics—anything that needs to be discussed to make your birth experience the best it can be. Birth suites are designed offer the comfort of home while providing exceptional safety and security. The Origins Birth and Wellness Dallas staff includes certified professional midwives, certified nurse-midwives and even a chiropractor.
3100 Swiss Ave., Dallas; originsbirthdallas.com
Best Midwife: Taylor Houser, Dallas Midwife Associates
Every woman deserves choices. That’s the belief that guides certified nurse-midwife Taylor Houser, our readers’ Best Midwife for Dallas County. Houser, who holds a doctorate of nursing practice, has eight years of experience serving women and babies. Along with her mother Carla Morrow (Tarrant County’s Best Midwife), Houser founded Dallas Midwife Associates, where she offers boutique-style prenatal, labor, birth and postpartum care. Additionally, the practice provides well-woman services, including pre-conception counseling and family planning options.
3611 Swiss Ave., Suite 200, Dallas; dallasmidwifeassociates.com
Best Doula: Melissa Espey-Mueller, North Dallas Doula Associates
Melissa Espey-Mueller is a regular winner in our Best: Moms & Babies survey. The owner and director of North Dallas Doula Associates, Espey-Mueller recognizes birth and the postpartum period as a rite of passage that is profoundly impacted by the guidance, information and support you’ll receive from her. She and her staff work with all birth preferences (medicated, unmedicated, C-section, VBAC) and provide postpartum doula support, parent education, placenta encapsulation and lactation support. Espey-Mueller—marking her 21st year as a doula— is a DONA- and ProDoula-trained, master-level, certified elite doula; certified childbirth educator; certified lactation counselor, and a gynecologic teaching associate (GTA) through Texas A&M Health Science Center.
107 Murray St., Dallas; northdallasdoulas.com
Best Childbirth Class: Rosemary Zinser, Medical City Dallas
Rosemary Zinser’s goal is to provide expecting moms and their partners education and confidence about their baby’s birth. In the classes she teaches through Medical City Dallas, Zinser covers pain management (medical and non-medical), the labor process, positioning techniques and postpartum recovery, among other topics. She has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of pediatrics and women’s services. For the dad-to-be, Zinser offers Tool Time for New Dads, teaching them how they can be part of the team during labor, delivery and even breastfeeding. You can also check out Breastfeeding 101, Baby Care Basics and the Infant CPR and Childhood Safety. You’ll finish class feeling empowered about the experience ahead—knowing you can handle everything as a family unit.
7777 Forest Lane, Dallas (classes currently being offered online); bit.ly/mcdclasses or 972/566-7153
Best Infant Sleep Consultant: Live Love Sleep
Being sleep-deprived goes hand-in-hand with parenthood, right? Not necessarily! Our readers in Dallas County (and throughout DFW) know they can trust the experts at Live Love Sleep to develop a sleep plan tailored to their family’s needs. Founder Kaley Medina and her team craft around-the-clock plans, including feeding time recommendations, nap troubleshooting, new bedtime routines, strategies for helping kiddos fall asleep and stay asleep. While Live Love Sleep’s baby program takes about two weeks, you can generally expect to see some big improvements at bedtime by the third or fourth night. And if you have an older child who could use a better sleep schedule, Live Love Sleep can help you there too. Their consultants also work with families of toddlers and elementary-age kiddos.
Best Child Care Center for Infants: Primrose Schools
Our Dallas County readers recommend Primrose Schools when they need child care for their babies. There’s so much that impresses them: the Primrose curriculum—which combines teacher-guided learning with child-initiated play—and the school’s long history of serving families, with Primrose launching in 1982. Our readers also love the convenience. There are multiple Dallas County locations (and 62 private preschool campuses throughout the Metroplex—it’s the infant care provider of choice in Collin and Denton counties as well), so quality care is close by. Primrose offers early childhood education for children from 6 weeks to 6 years, and an after-school program for children up to age 12, so little ones will have consistent care throughout childhood. All Primrose teachers have experience in child development and are trained in CPR and first aid.
Multiple locations; primroseschools.com
Best Babysitting Service: Sitting Made Simple
When a night off is necessary, or work keeps our Dallas County readers busy, they turn to Sitting Made Simple—a membership-based babysitting service that prides itself on being safe, affordable and convenient. Serving Dallas for the last four years, Sitting Made Simple helps parents manage competing responsibilities or get some Mom-and-Dad time. Whether you need a last-minute sitter, before- and after-school care, virtual learning assistance, daytime or nighttime care, or an ongoing sitter, Sitting Made Simple has you covered. Its professional sitters are all certified in CPR and first aid, in addition to completing background and driving checks.
Best Parent & Baby Classes: Kindermusik
Dallas County moms rave about Kindermusik, a childhood development class that encourages infants (and older kiddos, too) to learn through music. Experienced and licensed educators help bring a unique blend of musical activities helps stimulate physical and cognitive development through this weekly class. Parents are encouraged to join in on the fun as their child learns through vocal play, object exploration, instruments and creative movement. Newborns (4 months and younger) enjoy their first month free. Many Kindermusik studios are currently offering virtual classes; check with your location about COVID protocols for in-person classes.
Multiple locations; kindermusik.com
Best Infant Swim Class: Emler Swim School
Dallas County moms and dads trust the pros at Emler Swim School to introduce their babies to the water and build the comfort little ones need to develop future swim skills. Emler Swim School has two locations in Dallas—Preston Forest as well as Walnut Hill—and another in Sachse (plus locations in other cities across the Metroplex). Classes are available for infants as young as 2 months, and experienced instructors guide kiddos through swim fundamentals as they grow. Lessons take place in 90-degree saltwater pools that have a max depth of 4 feet, with classes kept small for individualized attention. There are enhanced cleaning and safety protocols throughout the schools, including UV water purification systems and advanced air filtration.
Multiple locations; emlerswimschool.com
Image courtesy of iStock.