Having a baby is a bewildering experience for most people. Luckily, Southern California has several stores that provide classes, products and support for new moms and dads alike.
The Pump Station
2415 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
more locations in Hollywood and Westlake
The Pump Station is a major resource for Westside parents. As the name implies, lactation support is a big component of the offerings here. Classes are offered at various times of the week, all led by lactation consultants. The huge selection of nursing bras and tops is a big draw for new moms. The place is usually hopping, but there is ample staff to assist. Breast pumps are available to rent and purchase. Additionally, there is a wide selection of baby products. Check out The Pump Station's site for the list of classes offered, particularly their "Hot Topics" series that covers topics ranging from "infant massage" to "coping with pre-school panic." Yes, you just had that kid and now you need to stress about pre-school. Did you forget this is LA?
Bright Beginnings & Beyond
229 Avenue I
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Bright Beginnings & Beyond is a real gem for moms in the Southbay. It is co-owned by a local OB/GYN and Lynette Miya, a Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner who runs and operates the store. When you check out of the hospital, this should be your first stop with your baby. Lynette is usually in the store and is an amazing resource for breastfeeding support. There is a scale available to weigh your baby which can be extremely reassuring to a new nursing mom. There are four scheduled breastfeeding support groups weekly, each run by RNs/Lactation Consultants. Bright Beginnings is a truly inviting space with a nicely edited selection of nursing wear and new baby gear—really the "best of the new mom must haves". Pumps are available for rent and purchase. One of the biggest draws of Bright Beginnings is their beloved "Mommy & Me" programs. Visit their site to see the offerings of pre and post-partum classes.
A Mother's Haven
15928 Ventura Blvd, Ste 116
Encino, CA 91436
A Mother's Haven refers to itself as a "boutique and educational center." This is the San Fernando Valley's one stop shop for the new mom. With lactation supplies, pump rentals and support groups, A Mother's Haven is fully tuned in to the needs and challenges of the nursing mom. Cloth diapering supplies can also be found here along with a good selection of organic and homeopathic products for mom and baby. The educational offerings for the prenatal phase are specifically geared to be small so everyone gets the attention needed. The well known "Mother's Gatherings" are support groups that begin when babies are 5-8 weeks old and continue until about one year of age. These popular classes fill up quickly so be sure to sign up fairly soon after your baby is born.
Bellies, Babies & Bosoms
2430 Honolulu Avenue
Glendale, CA 91020
With the slogan "Nursing the Real Needs of Motherhood since 2003", Bellies, Babies & Bosoms sure must be doing things right. Run by a team of women who believe that breastfeeding and nurturing your baby is more important than selling you products, the store helps you release some of the new mom stress when you walk in the door. Famous for their wide range of nursing bra styles and sizes, they make sure you are fit with the bra that is right for you. New moms can also rent or buy pumps and all associated products with the added benefit of the one-on-one attention a boutique experience offers. While there you might want to pick up a hip diaper bag or a trendy baby outfit. Most new moms find that their baby is better dressed than they are, so enjoy the moment--they are only tiny for a short time.
27111 Aliso Creek Road, Suite 195
Aliso Viejo, CA, 92656
(949) 831-MILK (6455)
If you can't tell by the name, Milkalicious, exists in support of the breastfeeding lifestyle. This is the go to spot for new moms in the OC, with FREE breastfeeding support classes. They also offer in-store, in-home or Skype lactation support sessions for clients desiring one-on-one attention. Milkalicious rents and sells pumps as well as nursing apparel, baby carriers and any nursing gear you might need. With the goal of supporting the care and nurturing of new moms and babies in a fun and personal boutique experience, Milkalicious offers education, products and social events that empower the modern mom. Have you heard of "My Brest Friend?" They sell it at Milkalicious.
Elizabeth Peterson learned a lot of the above information the hard way. She blogs at Traded My BMW For a Minivan.
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