I spent a long time researching and asking around for recommendations on Pre and Postnatal classes in the city during my pregnancy. San Francisco has a lot of class offerings for new and expectant moms but the information never seems to be that easy to find. I wanted to focus this post on some of my favourite classes that I have spent the last year exploring.
B E F O R E B A B Y
What: Prenatal Yoga w/ Jane Austin
Where: Yoga Tree on Valencia St (Mission)
The teacher Jane Austin (Yes, that is her real name!) has a huge following to her weekly classes for soon to be mommas. If you want to connect with other moms and feel part of a community then this is the yoga class to come to. Jane starts each class with a simple yet effective arm sequence which is like a moving meditation. Then followed by gentle yoga stretches to help prepare your body for birth and for life as a mom. Expect fun tidbits and sage advice about motherhood and pregnancy from her throughout the class. Jane is a mom and also a midwife, so she knows what she is talking about. You can tell she really cares about each and everyone of her mommas and their individual journeys through pregnancy to birth.
What: The Dailey Method Barre
Where: Cow Hollow, FIDI, Mission/Castro and Ingleside Terraces (Some studios even have Child Care available)
If you are looking for more strength and toning but still a low impact workout with a strong emphasis on correct alignment, then look no further. The Dailey Method offers some of the best barre classes in the city. You can receive a thorough full body workout in any one of the class offerings on their schedule with just a few tweaks to make the class safe for a Pre or Postnatal body. All teachers are trained to be able to modify and adjust the workout to suit pregnant students. During my pregnancy I took Dailey Barre classes right the way through to my 3rd trimester. I also enjoyed the Dailey Interval class which has more of a cardio focus and larger range of motion exercises. In classes like this where you have a mixture of pregnant and non pregnant students and varying abilities make sure you are listening to your own body and adapting the exercises to suit your needs.
What: Prenatal Yoga w/ Rachel Yellin
Where: Mindful Body Studio
I religiously attended Rachel’s Monday evening yoga classes at The Mindful Body during my pregnancy. I found Rachel’s breathe cues really helped me in preparation for and during the Labour itself. Rachel is a Doula and runs Hypno-Birthing workshops throughout the year in the Bay Area. I was unable to make her birthing workshops but did purchase her audio guides. I used them as guided meditations and exercises to help me practice my breathing techniques on the lead up to my labour and the early stages of labour.
What: Pre/Postnatal Pilates
Where: Mighty Pilates
The Pre/Postnatal class at Mighty is a lovely balanced workout appropriate for expecting moms. I attended these classes throughout my pregnancy and more consistently in my third trimester. This class is great if you want a little more physical challenge than the Prenatal yoga but not quite as intense as barre classes.
What: Preggo Pilates
Where: EHS Pilates
Unfortunately I was unable to make the Preggo Pialtes classes here but I have heard GREAT things! The founder of Preggo Pilates Stephanie Forster has a wealth of experience in Pilates and women's health. You are sure to be in good hands attending her classes at EHS.
M O M M Y + B A B Y
What: Baby Yoga + Massage
Where: Its Yoga Kids! (Presidio)
When: Fridays at 11.00am - www.itsyogakids.com
I have been taking my son Sebastian pretty consistently to Michelle’s Baby Yoga and Massage class on Friday mornings. This class is great to help develop your babies motor skills. Introducing the foundations and mechanics of movement to prepare their minds and bodies for crawling and eventually walking and balance. The first 30 mins are spent doing the Baby Yoga exercises and the final 15 mins is Baby Massage. Sebastian always has the best naps after this class. Happy baby, happy mom!
What: Lets All Sing Along Music Class
Where: Sprout on Union Street
When: Wednesdays at 10.15 & 11.15 - www.sproutsanfrancisco.com
This class is great for infants from 4 months up. The classes I have attended so far have definitely had more toddlers in the mix so for some babies it may be a little overwhelming. Jenny the teacher is super sweet and energetic. This is an interactive class and the parents and caregivers are encouraged to dance and sing with their little ones.
What: Story Time w/ Jamaroo
Where: Sprout on Union Street
When: Mondays at 5pm - www.sproutsanfrancisco.com
This is a short 30 minute class geared towards infants. Stories from around the world are delivered and puppets are occasionally used. This class is great to help stimulate creativity and imagination.
What: Baby Stroller Bootcamp w/ Marianne
Where: Marina Green near Yacht Club
When: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am - www.babybootcamp.com
If you want a class more focused on the moms then this class is for you. Its outside and there is a great bunch of moms who regularly attend. You park your stroller up and set your mat down and the teacher Marianne leads you through a cardio, strength and conditioning class. You run short circuits and use resistance bands to deepen the work on the legs and upper body. This is a really fun class that is sure to get your heart rate up and the added bonus is the fresh air is most likely going to send your baby to sleep.
What: Baby Swim Lessons
Where: La Petite Baleen (Presidio)
At La Petite Baleen hey have a custom built pool with a special filtration system and the water is heated to a specific temperature so it is comfortable for infants. The Baby and Me class is for babies as young as 2 months to 16 months old. The class focuses around breath control, balance and buoyoncy and safety skills like back floats and underwater submersions.
What: Variety of Classes & Workshops
Where: DayOne Baby (Laurel Heights)
My husband and I attended the Baby Massage workshop which was really engaging and informative. DayOne offer many classes from music to breastfeeding support. If you haven’t been I would highly recommend checking out there facilities if you are in the neighborhood. They have complimentary breastfeeding and changing stations all in a blissful, relaxed setting tucked behind their shop.
What: Story Time for Infants
Where: Marina Library (Ask your local Library for a list of their monthly events)
Library’s are great resources in our communities but sadly in this day and age are often forgotten about. Most Library's will offer classes and the best part is they are all FREE! This is great way to support your local Library and to introduce your little one to the wonderful world of books!
A N D i f c l a s s e s a r e n ' t y o u r t h i n g . . .
What: Alamo For All, Movie Screenings
Where: Alamo Drafthouse (Mission)
When: Tuesdays - www.drafthouse.com
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema offer special showings throughout the middle of the day every Tuesday geared towards moms and their babies. The lights are slightly turned up and the sound down and you are able to tend to your babies needs from nursing to soothing all in the comfort of your cinema seat while watching a movie. Plus they have table service and they serve wine! So a win for everyone!
I am excited to announce that I will be helping to launch a Dailey Baby class at The Dailey Method, Marina location in the Spring. This is a barre class like no other! If you are interested in learning more about this class then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list.
If you have any other class recommendations then please leave a note in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!