Just as each pregnancy is different, every birth experience is also unique. No two are alike and every pregnant woman needs non-judgmental support during this time, free from anxiety and pressure. City Births has accomplished just that through their classes and programs tailored to make expectant moms feel comforted and supported.
What’s more, they will be at the New York Baby Show on May 20 and 21, at Pier 94.
The nation’s largest show for expectant and new families, the New York Baby Show is a wonderful family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler. From top products to trusted parenting experts, the New York Baby Show welcomes thousands of expectant and new parents from New York City, the Tri-State area, and beyond!
Tickets to the New York Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.
We spoke with Andrea Lee, Founder and Program Coordinator of City Births, to learn more about the brand and what new parents can expect at the New York Baby Show.
For someone unfamiliar with City Births, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?
Our objective is to enable parents to be fully informed of their choices in labor and birth as well as the care of their newborn, so that they can make informed decisions on their care. We provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based information on the realities of giving birth in NYC.
Tell us about the company’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?
When I was pregnant with my son, I did a lot of research on giving birth in NYC: What options were offered at the different hospitals? Who were the best doctors? Where should I take a birth class? Do I need a doula? You name it and I researched it! What I kept coming across was that there seemed to be a big disconnect between the childbirth community and the medical community. In general, there’s some mistrust between both sides. Doctors are not always trusting of what info is given by childbirth educators and likewise, a lot of the birth educators are a little distrusting of the information doctors are giving to their patients.
So when I was at 8 months pregnant, I signed up for a childbirth class recommend by my doctor and I walked out of there afraid. I was told by the instructor that really all my doctor wanted to be doing was playing golf and would push a C-section on me, and God forbid I would go into labor close to a weekend, then they would push more drugs on me, because we all know doctors hate weekend work! It was really sad and added so much anxiety to a group of very pregnant women. Creating more anxiety is the wrong approach. How can you expect a pregnant mom to relax in labor if she is anxious about everything that is happening? It was hands down the wrong approach to educating pregnant moms on options in birth.
So fast forward, and I am now a mom. I am talking to all these other moms about their birth experience and they all have similar things to say. They were happy to have a healthy child but the actual birth experience left many feeling weak, sad, defeated, in other words, just plan unhappy about the birth process. I thought I could really do something here to help change women’s experiences during the birthing process but also what they experience in childbirth classes. Could it be possible to have a healthy baby AND a positive birth experience? Yes, yes, yes!
I went back to school to receive the necessary training and started teaching privately, and then I branched out and opened one location on the UWS. I quickly earned a good reputation within both the birth and OB community as being a trusted, non –judgmental, evidence-based center that was working to bridge a gap between the two, to work together and not against each other in order to help expectant mothers have not just healthy babies but also positive birth experiences. Here we are several years later and we are now offering class in three locations in Manhattan. We have been voted the best in Manhattan three years in a row and are the number one Childbirth Education Center in the city. It is an honor to be able to work with so many families during such a transformational time. Our staff of women (and one special man) who teach at City Births are truly gifted and passionate about helping the families in NYC have the best possible experience transitioning into parents.
What are the most popular and/or newest services from City Births?
Our most popular classes are our Childbirth Prep and Newborn Care Classes, however we are also very excited about the great turnouts we are getting in our Daddy Boot Camp and our CPR for Care providers class. Our Boot Camp class is a blast. It is just for the Dads, and taught by other dads who bring their real living, breathing, peeing, crying babies with them. It is a lot of fun! The CPR and Infant Care Class for Nannies, Grandparents, etc. is our newest class and great for anyone who will be assisting the parents in the care of the newborn. We have had a great mix of Grandma, Grandfathers and Nannies looking to stay up to date on all the changes in Infant Care. I get many Grandparents calling me to say they need help, and that the last time they changed a diaper was 1979, when they were still putting babies to sleep on their tummies! It is wonderful to see the older generations wanting to help and become informed with today’s teachings.
What sets City Births apart from other childbirth education services?
Our goal is to provide moms with information on the reality of giving birth in NYC, not to frighten moms. We don’t have any hidden agendas about what type of birth we think moms should have. What we want to do is spell out what options they have and what they can expect from the each option. Learning about birth options does not have to be scary or cause anxiety!
Our curriculum is based on evidenced-based backed research from peer-reviewed journals like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as well as extensive conversations local OBs and midwives, so that when their time comes our moms to be can be informed and able to better participate in their care.
What I think sets us apart and has made us so popular is that in addition to being trusted as the leading provider in Manhattan, our classes are also the smallest in the city and our offices have been likened to being in a spa. Small classes ensure that each couple can get one-on-one time with our instructors and really feel that their concerns are being addressed fully. It is hard to do this in a room of 20 people. I really wanted to make the environment comfortable for everyone. I had to sit on the floor during my childbirth class and at 8 months that was not fun at all! Our classes have several setting options so expectant moms can change their positions as frequently as they need. We also provide catering on weekends, a fridge stocked with seltzers and water, and always have plenty of snacks on hand to make the time more pleasant.
What can parents expect from City Births at the New York Baby Show?
I will be moderating a panel discussion on Sunday!
To learn more about City Births, check out citybirths.com.