The ultimate Westchester maternity guide.
Terrific local resources that make pregnancy easier, stylish, and far more comfortable.
When you’re pregnant, everything changes. Your body, your diet, your priorities—suddenly, everything’s in flux and every day brings a new challenge and worry. Is the baby okay? What is that dark line down my stomach? How the heck can I get to sleep on my side?! To help you navigate what might well seem like the longest nine months of your life, we’ve assembled the ultimate guide to Westchester maternity.
Where to Find Fashion
Maternity wear has come a long way from tent dresses and tunics. Whether you need a bikini, a red carpet-worthy gown, or a pair of jeans you would’ve been proud to wear BTB (“before the bulge”), you can find it at one of these area shops.*
14 Railroad Ave, Greenwich, CT, (203) 625-8620 (Entrance accessible through Kid’s Supply Co.)
For the mom who is looking for the latest styles just minutes outside of Westchester, Veronique offers casual, dressy, and transitional pieces that are fitted to a pregnant woman’s growing belly, says store manager Valerije Nezaj. The store carries European lines as well as Chaiken, Cadeau, and Citizens of Humanity, to name a few. It also stocks non-maternity clothes, which can include lines like Generra. “There is one outfit that I got here and someone who wasn’t pregnant asked me where I got it,” Kirsten Meyer of Greenwich, CT, says. “She was shocked to learn it was maternity wear.” Price Point: High-end.
5 Maple Ave, White Plains, (914) 948-1279
Three different boutiques under one roof offer everything from practical basics to fashionable splurges.
A Pea in the Pod: 7 for All Mankind, Juicy Couture, Velvet, Tocca, and Diane von Furstenberg. Price Point: High-end.
Mimi Maternity:. Everything from office wear to swimsuits. Price Point: Mid-range.
Motherhood Maternity: Hot fashions at affordable prices. Price Point: Value buys.
The Westchester, 125 Westchester Ave
White Plains, (914) 948-9511
Price Point: Mid-range to high-end.
Shelly Belly Maternity
Slated to open next month in the Rye Ridge Plaza in Rye Brook, this 1,800-square-foot boutique carries trend-setting clothing brands. Price Point: Mid-range.
*Also try Gap Body, C&C California, Michael Stars, and Splendid for non-maternity clothing that stretches with growing bellies.
Where to Get and Stay Fit
Pregnant women already “feel the burn”—that’s why they buy antacids in hospital-sized dispensers! So when it comes to exercise, what’s needed is not an aerobic workout, but a routine that calms the mind, keeps aches and pains at bay, and helps prepare the body for the rigors of labor. The following classes do just that.
132 W Boston Post Rd Mamaroneck, (914) 381-3201
The studio offers one-on-one training by instructors experienced in working with pregnant women. Benefits: flexibility, better posture and inner thigh and arm strength. A mat class costs $18; a one-on-one private session costs $80.
Golden Temple Yoga Studio
233 Katonah Ave, Katonah
(Specializing in Kundalini yoga and meditation)
Kundalini yoga is much more than physical exercise—it’s a spiritual practice that focuses on the movement of energy through the chakra system (seven energy centers that begin at the base of the spine and continue to the top of the head). Model Josie Maran is reportedly a Kundalini devotee. Prices: For 13 weekly classes , the cost is $260; a 14-week package is $280. Classes are approximately 90 minutes long and yogi tea is served. Private sessions are $108 for 90 minutes.
The Learning Studio
5 Maple Ave., White Plains
Pregnancy classes include prenatal yoga ($12 per 60-minute) class, which incorporates gentle yoga postures using beginner movements and techniques that are intended to increase flexibility, circulation, strength, and balance. Partner yoga ($35 per class), helps with birth preparation.
62 Main St, Tuckahoe
Expecting moms can practice prenatal yoga, a holistic yogic path, including postures, breathing control, and meditation. Classes tailored to the needs and limitations of pregnant women meet twice a week for about 75 minutes. The studio also offers prenatal massage. A drop-in class costs $18. Class cards for five, 10, or 20 sessions are available as are monthly cards which offer unlimited visits.
Where to Find Other Moms
You’re not the only woman to ever go through this—although it may feel that way. Finding other expectant women or new mothers can help you form a support network and get the inside track on everything from diaper deals to nursery-school applications. Where can you find a group near you?
Your town’s “newcomer” club might have one and the local library often plays host. Area hospitals are another great starting point. Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, for example, has a new mother’s support group and a “Mothers of Multiples Club” for women who are raising twins or triplets. Call (914) 666-1370 to register for the new moms group, (914) 666-1292 for the “Mothers of Multiples Club.”
Baby Bites is a luncheon for new and expectant moms held monthly at Palmer’s Crossing (1957 Palmer Ave, Larchmont). Raffle prizes are given away and guest speakers discuss topics like “Getting Your Baby to Sleep.” Admission is $30 in advance, $35 at the door. For information: www.babybitesnyc.com.
The Web offers other great ways to connect. At www.essentialmom.com, you can find a list of area groups and www.meetup.com, a website that connects local people with similar interests, is also a must-visit. Joining a group is as simple as logging on and signing up. Here are some area groups we located on the site:
The Dashing Divas, Bedford Hills. This more than 100 member group has events designed for the “hip, friendly, and sophisticated” mom including play dates, kid outings, mom nights out, family day, and spa trips.
Mothers and More,
Moms and Babes of Westchester Group, Bronxville. This meetup group of 46 members and counting is for stay-at-home moms looking for friendship, reassurance, parenting and career advice. Group organizer: Adaria Heath.
Where to Make It a Very Special Delivery
No matter where or how you give birth, it’s going to be one of the best days of your life (at least in retrospect), and extra help and hospitals with special amenities can make labor a little more bearable.
5 Perryridge Rd, Greenwich, CT, (203) 863-3000
Greenwich Hospital offers moms and dads a complimentary gourmet dinner, which includes lobster and Champagne. “The special celebration dinner is served in the patient room on a rolling room service table with linens, china, and glassware,” says Richard G. Spielmann, food service manager. This meal normally is served on the evening before the new family goes home, but it is also possible to have it as a mid-day meal or picnic.
The Hudson Valley Hospital Center
1980 Crompond Rd, Cortlandt Manor
In the hospital’s Women’s Pavilion, five whirlpool tubs are available for pain management and birthing to those who have not received an epidural or are not confined to the bed. Each labor/deliver/recovery room has its own whirlpool tub. According to Linda LeMon, lactation consultant, childbirth educator, and doula with the Hudson Valley Hospital Center, about one percent of laboring women give birth in the tubs and about 50 percent use the tubs as a source of pain relief.
Northern Westchester Hospital
400 E Main St, Mount Kisco (914) 666-1200
The hospital’s maternity unit has six state-of-the-art birthing rooms equipped with a bassinet with resuscitation capabilities, says Mary Zajc, director of Women’s and Children’s Health Services at the hospital. A whirlpool tub is available to ease the pain of labor. After the baby is born, the hospital offers an infant massage class.
A doula is someone who “mothers the mother.” During labor, a doula may provide physical comforts (like massage) and emotional support. After the birth, a doula can help coach a new mother on breastfeeding, assist with the recovery from childbirth, and even help out with light housework and meals. But with area hospitals boasting such great maternity care and resources, do you really need a doula?
“I don’t think it is absolutely required,” says Elisa Burns, MD, the chief of the OB/GYN Department at Northern Westchester Hospital. Maternity ward nurses, she explains, are inclined to be helpful as well as supportive and know many of the same techniques a doula might use. In fact, Ana Mantini of Ardsley, who delivered her son, Liam, at Northern Westchester Hospital in November, 2005, says, “My nurse, Peggy Ohnmacht, was amazing. She did a whole aromatherapy thing before and after I delivered. The next day, I had a Reiki massage.”
However, Dr. Burns does think a doula is a good idea for someone who is looking for extra-special attention.“I wouldn’t go through birth without a doula, personally,” says Valerie Viera of
Doula fees and training vary. Some doulas have no formal training, others attend a weekend workshop, and still others have studied extensively. Typically, fees range from $500 to $1,000 and include one or more pre-pregnancy home visits, presence during birth, and post-partum visits. To find a doula or learn more about their services, ask your obstetrician or visit these websites:
Where to Find Help Eating Right
Eating right was tough enough when all you had to worry about was your own health! Now that you’re pregnant, a little professional guidance might be in order.
To find a registered dietician who specializes in advising expectant mothers, go to: www.eatright.org, the website of the American Dietetic Association and click on the “find a nutrition professional” link. The website’s search engine features a pull-down menu of specialties, including “nutrition during and after pregnancy.” If you enter your zip code, the search results will display professionals that are close to home.
Where to Get Some Nursery Design Tips
144A Bedford Rd, Armonk
(914) 730-7242; www.cicicrib.com
According to store owner Christina Doherty, the most fashionable nursery decorating schemes are contemporary. For example, the Netto furniture collection, Gwyneth Paltrow’s choice for her daughter, Apple, is hugely popular. But that doesn’t mean that Grandma’s favorite toy from her girlhood has to get left in the toy box. “Mixing vintage toys with new or modern furniture can give a nursery a completely different look,” Doherty says.
Opened last January, CiCi Crib carries Netto furniture by catalogue (cribs, changing tables, dressers, and toy chests), designer bedding, embroidered blankets, hand-made quilts, and Italian, artisan-made chandeliers. In addition, there’s a collection of vintage toys from the ’30s and ’40s for sale (Doherty is a collector). Doherty also provides decorating services.
Where The Truth Lies
A scale that doesn’t lie, even if you want it to, Tanita’s InnerScan Body Composition Monitor (BC-533) is a great tool to help you keep track of your weight during pregnancy. It has a built-in memory system that records your last four weigh-ins. After you’ve delivered, take advantage of the scale’s many features to guide your fitness progress. The monitors on the scale use Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) to track body-fat percentage and body-water percentage and analyze the data to estimate daily caloric intake, metabolic age, bone mass, muscle mass, and physique rating. Available for $119.99 at www.thecompetitiveedge.com.
Where to Find Child Care
Whether you want a nanny, a sitter, or a group program for your little one (or her older siblings), start your search at the Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc. A non-profit organization located in White Plains, the council maintains a database of all accredited childcare programs in the Westchester area as well as agencies for babysitters and nannies.
The council does more than just provide lists of regulated providers: “We provide information and guidance on how to select the kinds of services they’re looking for,” says Executive Director Kathy Halas. “People can request referrals through our telephone line or via the website and we’ll match them with the location, hours, and type of childcare they need.”
Not only is the council’s service free, but it also offers information on childcare subsidies, scholarships, and tax credits. Log on to www.childcarewestchester.org or call (914) 761-3456, ext. 140 to access the council’s referral line.
Where to Find Local Tips with Your Fingertips
Gretchen Menzies’s website, www.essentialmom.com, is a Westchester mom’s best friend. Gretchen, who is also a W