While women are taught from a young age the importance of caring for their body, there is perhaps no more important time to do so than during pregnancy. Not only are we interested in providing the healthiest environment for our developing child, but we are also doing anything in our power to make for the easiest (read: least painful) delivery. Later, after our little bundle of joy arrives and we’re left with a bundle of mush around our middles, we seek the quickest route back to our pre-pregnancy bodies as possible. Below are some of our top picks to aid in your quest. By Renee Smith.
Prenatal Yoga Center
251 W 72nd Street, 2F
New York, NY 10023
For the ultimate prenatal (or postnatal) yoga experience, head to the hub of it on the Upper West Side. They were the first yoga center in NYC to cater exclusively to expectant moms and new moms and they have got you covered! They have solutions and support for every stage of your journey through motherhood and it helps to know that NYC moms have trusted the Center for many years.
Long Island, NY
Adele Arkin brought Stroller Strides to Long Island three years ago. Since then, over 800 moms have participated in this local chapter of the national fitness class chain. Moms and children spend an hour together in this postnatal class — moms pushing their children (from 6 months to 5 years) in strollers through parks, malls, libraries or even synagogues. Stations are set up along their course so they can address cardio and strength training and stretching – all while entertaining their children!
Bounce Bebe at Wiggles and Giggles Playhouse
875 West 181st Street
New York, NY 10033
Moms in Upper Manhattan love Wiggles and Giggles Playhouse in Washington Heights – and Perry Longno’s Bounce Bebe ™ is all the rage. This is a postnatal workout for moms and babies, ages 2 months to crawling, and involves bouncing on an exercise ball with your baby (which the little ones, of course, love) and is an intense, but fun, core workout. The classes are small in this amazing space, giving you plenty of opportunity to bond with your new baby and other moms.
NY, NJ and Long Island
Have you heard of M.E.L.T.? It’s a self-treatment technique that prevents pain and heals injury while working to increase flexibility and mobility. It was created by Sue Hitzman and involves using balls and rollers to simulate massage. It works on anyone, but prenatal moms can benefit tremendously from the technique. As M.E.L.T. instructor Amanda Cizek says, “It quiets the nervous system and keeps connective tissue happy!” For postnatal moms, there is also a series of classes aimed specifically at increasing the integrity of the abdominal wall and pelvic floor. You can find a class or study privately with an instructor to learn the techniques and find the tools to treat yourself at home on your own (quickly disappearing) time.