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Best Resources For Expecting Mothers

Expectant mothers are magnets for unsolicited advice. Once your baby bump begins to show, friends, relatives and even strangers will bombard you with their thoughts on the best baby gear, the best way to get a baby to sleep, even the best diapers. While you may wish that these people would just keep their advice to themselves, it can be overwhelming to be pregnant for the first time. There are so many decisions to make and so many choices out there. How can parents-to-be find advice that's actually helpful? Here are some of the best resources for expectant parents in Chicago. 


3717 N. Ravenswood Ave., Suite 140
Chicago, IL 60613

These days, many expectant mothers have strong feelings about the kind of birthing experience they want. For them, Birthways is an invaluable resource. Birthways provides small, intimate birthing classes for families interested in natural childbirth. Expectant parents can choose an eight-week course or, if you are running out of time, an intensive weekend course. Birthways is also a leader in providing doula services, either for labor support or for postpartum care. Birthways also offers parenting classes for expectant parents and prenatal massage. All Birthways clients have access to the organization's breastfeeding hotline in case problems arise.

Bump Club

Bump Club and Beyond

1658 North Milwaukee Ave., Suite 137
Chicago, IL 60647

A social event company for expectant moms and new parents, Bump Club and Beyond offers opportunities for expectant moms to connect with one another and to learn about the myriad resources available to Chicago parents. Bump Club events include brunches and dinners with informative speakers on topics ranging from childcare to sleep issues to baby gear; prenatal exercise classes and even just-for-fun girls' nights out and shopping parties. The price of Bump Club events typically ranges from $15 to $50 depending, or you can join their VIP program ($100 annual fee) for discounts and access to exclusive events.

Galt Baby

Galt Baby and Galt Toys

1915 N. Clybourn Ave.

900 N. Michigan Ave.

Old Orchard Shopping Center
Skokie, IL 60077

For the past thirty years, the folks at Galt Baby and Galt Toys have walked expectant parents through the overwhelming world of baby gear: strollers, car seats, cribs, bassinets, swings, carriers and diaper bags. Galt Baby's friendly trained staff will help you find the right gear for your needs, whether you love in a South Loop loft, a Lincoln Park brownstone or a Wicker Park condo. Galt Baby makes prepping for your special delivery as easy as possible. They will assemble and deliver your new stroller, deliver that new crib right to your nursery, and even install the car seat – one of the few things you absolutely must do before bringing that baby home!

Belly Dance

Belly Dance Maternity

1647 North Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

1849 Greenbay Road, #115
Highland Park, IL 60035

Shopping for maternity clothes doesn't have to be painful. Just go to the right place! Belly Dance Maternity, located in Bucktown and Highland Park, carries fun, trendy and even stylish maternity clothes, including dresses, swimwear, lingerie and even a full line of maternity skincare. Belly Dance has a wide range of styles and designers, so whether you are looking for just the basics, a suit for that big meeting or the perfect pair of high-end maternity jeans, Belly Dance has got you covered, literally. You can even stock up ahead of time on nursing tops and bras. Belly Dance Maternity is also a great place to look for that perfect gift for an expectant mom.

Sweet Pea Studios

Sweet Pea's Studio

3717 North Ravenswood, Suite 213
Chicago, IL

Jennifer Barron Fishman, the owner of Sweet Pea's Studio, is a licensed massage therapist and a certified yoga instructor. She opened Sweet Pea's Studio in Ravenswood as a peaceful retreat for expectant and new moms. The studio offers classes in prenatal yoga, Baby and Me yoga, childbirth education and infant massage. In addition, Fishman uses Sweet Pea's Studio to tend to her massage clients. In addition to the stress relief provided by prenatal yoga and massage, a sense of community is another thing that expectant moms discover at Sweet Pea's Studio. Prenatal yoga and childbirth classes turn naturally into new moms' groups after the participants have their babies.

Emily Paster is a mother of two living in the near west suburbs. She teaches writing at Loyola University School of Law. Read more of her thoughts on balancing work and family and raising kids in the Chicago area on her blog West of the Loop.

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