Ahhh pregnancy! A time of joy, happiness and wonder... but let's be real, it's also a time of energy drain and aches & pains! No worries, we have lots of suggestions of practitioners who can help you out - from chiropractors to massage therapists, physiotherapists to yoga studios.
We are lucky to have so many great options in Calgary, so how will you ever decide which one to use? Primarily, when pregnant, you want to be sure to access a practitioner who is a prenatal expert, so they know all the dos and don'ts of treating you. Other things you might factor in are location, ambiance, price and reviews. Don't have time to do all that? No worries! We've done the homework so you don't have to. We've got you covered with the best of the best in Calgary!
One Stop Shops
Doctor For Moms: Located in Brentwood, practically right on Crowchild, this facility is absolutely amazing! Dr. Patti Hort, the founder and chiropractor, wanted to build a centre of support for birthing people and she's done an amazing job. The services they offer besides chiropractic are massage, acupuncture, lactation support, naturopathic doctors, homeopathic medicine and so much more. All with complimentary childminding! Plus there are workshops galore on breastfeeding, newborn sleep, yoga and many others. And finally, a store chock full of breastfeeding supplies, cloth diapers, toys, etc. all geared towards the organic and eco-friendly lifestyle (check out our last blog for more). We can't say enough about this place!
The Holistic Institute of Health & Fertility: There are two locations; one right on 16th Ave NW in Montgomery and another in Deer Ridge in the SE. Another all-in-one facility with a holistic focus, caring for those trying to conceive, pregnant or postpartum. This should be a definite stop for all expecting families and also those struggling with infertility. Here you can find acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, craniosacral therapy and reflexology. They also host workshops on a variety of pregnancy, birth and postpartum topics. Yoga is offered at their south location.
Shifra Centre for Wellness: Located in Cochrane, this facility focuses on women-centered care, offering midwives, naturopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, pelvic floor physiotherapy and counselling. We think Dr. Gillian Sawyer (their chiropractor) deserves special mention for her amazing website where you can find her blog about pregnancy, birth and parenting. You can also watch some informative videos and sign up for free tips straight to your inbox.
Vantage Integrative Health & Wellness: Located in the north at Nolan Hill and with another location in Chestermere, here you will find chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists. While these locations don't focus primarily on pregnancy care, they are well versed in it and offer Webster Technique certified chiropractors (an amazing technique that will ensure your pelvis is properly aligned, making you more comfortable and helping baby get into proper birth position).
The Wellness Studio: Found just north of North Hill Mall, this facility is chock full of prenatal specialists. With chiropractic, massage therapy, reflexology, craniosacral therapy and acupuncture practitioners having special interest or training in fertility, pregnancy and newborns.
We think chiropractic care is important for everyone, but during pregnancy it can be crucial. With so many changes to posture due to increased weight in the abdomen, combined with the hormone relaxin making joints loose, it's very likely your back and pelvis will be quite out of alignment. Back aches, natural inductions and breech re-positioning are all things chiropractic care can help with.
With so many chiropractors in the city, how can you choose which one to use? We like to recommend those who are trained in the Webster Technique (see Vantage above) and further narrowed it down by which ones have the best ratings and reviews.
Calgary Centre for Chiropractic Care: With a location in Crowfoot and downtown, both offering massage as well. The Crowfoot location specifically has a Webster, prenatal and pediatric specialist.
Calgary Family Wellness: Situated near Chinook, this practice offers prenatal & postnatal patients both chiropractic and massage. Super convenient for those who see Rockyview Maternity!
Chiropractical: Located in the south near Elbow & Southland, this office has a Webster practitioner and particularly loves working with babies and children, so you could end up staying there for years to come!
Mount Royal Village Family Chiropractic: This clinic (located exactly where the name implies) has some pretty incredible reviews! Lots of testimonials speak very highly of the relief they received as a result of their treatment. They also offer massage therapy.
We think every pregnant person should indulge in massages! Not only to relieve tired, achy backs, but also to reduce stress and help with fluid movement (buh-bye cankles and sausage toes!) And of course it feels amazing!
Calgary Maternity Massage Therapy: Located in Varsity, this clinic has therapists with many years of experience! They work with you lying on your side instead of using the belly tables (which they say further exaggerates the pregnancy sway). They also run infant massage courses.
The Centre Spa & Wellness: Just north of SAIT, this spa at one time only offered prenatal and postpartum massage. While they still have a strong focus there, they now offer other services as well. So you can treat yourself to a mani, pedi and prenatal massage all in one appointment!
Leela Eco Spa: There are three central locations in Beltline, Bridgeland and downtown. While prenatal massage is not their main focus, many of their staff are very knowledgeable in the field. How they set themselves apart is with their focus on using organic products and being very eco-friendly, with energy, water and paper conserving initiatives in place.
Mama Massage: Located in West Springs, this modern facility focuses solely on massage. The best part? Childminding! They have a wonderful area to watch your kid(s) while you relax. Coming with a small baby? No problem, they have a baby swing they can bring right into your treatment room! They also teach infant massage - a great way to bond with your baby.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Say what?? Yes that's right - pelvic floor physio. Seeing a therapist only a few times can help greatly with posture. And they can teach you how to properly relax your pelvic floor which will help greatly during the pushing stage of labour!
Kirstyn Cahoon Richards: works out of the Creekside Momentum Health location (Stoney Tr & Symons Valley Rd.) She is extremely passionate about her job and loves helping pregnant people BEFORE they develop pelvic floor issues (like peeing yourself when you laugh, cough or jump). She can fix these after the fact, but hey, why not avoid it all together!
Momentum Health: In addition to the Creekside location, they also have locations in West Springs, Mahogany and one near the Foothills Hospital (Evidence North) that offer pelvic floor physio. You can also find prenatal massage at Ogden and Mahogany.
Prenatal yoga is highly recommended as a wonderful way to prepare for birth (physically, emotionally and spiritually), to connect with your baby and simply to relax and de-stress! Yes, we could list pages and pages of studios... Again, the focus is on those most passionate about pregnancy and with great reviews.
Dragonfly Maternity: Currently offering classes at The Studio Space in the south central area (near Macleod Tr on 42 Ave SE). Cher is very passionate about building support and resources for those pregnant and their young families. She offers prenatal and postnatal yoga classes, along with a used maternity clothing store and hosts various events throughout the year.
The Yoga Studio: They can be found near Crowfoot, in Varsity and Oakridge. Having been in business for over 20 years, they offer yoga classes for everyone - with classes specifically designed so all ages, shapes and stages will feel welcome and comfortable. Besides offering prenatal classes, they also have ones for mom & baby.
Yoga Santosha: Centrally located near 17 Ave & 4 St SW, this studio offers prenatal classes as well as baby & you for afterwards. They have great intro offers for new clients and come highly recommended!
Yoga Shala: Located just west of North Hill Mall, you can find both prenatal yoga and mom & baby classes, but be sure to book early as they always fill up. This studio makes our list not only for the rave reviews and wonderful instructors, but also because we couldn't not give a shout out to where our owners daughter was born in the parking lot!
We hope you've found some useful information here. These are only a few of the services we recommend when our clients ask us where they should go. Our resource list is one of the benefits our clients enjoy accessing whenever they need to find a product or service. Of course, we feel like doulas are an amazing addition to pamper you throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and the newborn stage. We are a constant help and support for your growing family that will help you stay calm, more relaxed and confident Please contact us to set up an interview!
With Earth Day occurring on April 22nd, what better time to talk about where we can find organic or environmentally conscious goods and services in Calgary? Some of you may be seasoned pros, but many take up a healthier lifestyle upon finding out they are pregnant. Last week may have been take out food, Oreos and wine (not at the same time... although we wouldn't judge if you did) and this week may be organic produce, free range chicken and grass-fed beef! From food to products, we have compiled a fairly comprehensive list of options no matter what you're in the market for. Below you will find some of our favourites, but please let us know in the comments if we've missed anything!
Sourcing locally is a big part of the organic/environmentally friendly movement. So for that reason, we love some of our locally grown stores such as:
Community Natural Foods - one might argue that this is Calgary's original health food store dating back to 1977. They've now grown to 3 locations - one downtown, one near Chinook Centre and one in Crowfoot. You can pretty much find everything you need here from prenatal, postpartum & baby vitamins & supplements to groceries, diapers, and much, much more. They also offer classes or events on a variety of topics.
Blush Lane Organic Market - 4 locations at Marda Loop, Bridgeland, Aspen Woods and a spot at the Calgary Farmers Market (Blackfoot & Heritage). Produce options are plentiful here, as well as bulk foods and Kombucha on tap. They even deliver through SPUD.
Planet Organic - with it's first store in Edmonton, there are now 4 locations in Calgary in the deep south at Deerfoot & 130th, Elbow & Southland, Royal Oak and Shaganappi & Varsity in the NW. All your grocery needs can be found here, along with a yummy deli counter for when you don't feel like cooking. Classes are frequently held on cooking, healthy eating and more.
Amaranth - with 3 locations, one in Arbour Lake, another downtown on 4 St and one in the deep south near Deerfoot and 130 Ave. The south location only carries supplements, vitamins and toiletries, whereas the other two also carry groceries.
Sunnyside Natural Market - located in, you guessed it, Sunnyside! Again, another great local grocer that sources local produce, meats and dairy.
SPUD - Ummmmm, online organic grocery delivery service?? Yes please! What more is there to say? It really is that easy and amazing!
For those who don't trek to specialty stores, the Superstore, Costco and the Bulk Barn are good sources for items as well. Kirkland makes some great organic products and both the Bulk Barn and Superstore have a good health section.
Clothes, toys, and accessories
If you are concerned about what your baby's toys are made of, considering everything for at least the first two years will be put in their mouth, make sure to visit one of these stores to find some toys you can feel good about.
Nature's Baby Basket - inside Dr. For Mom's just off Crowchild on Brentwood Rd. in the NW. This is really a one stop shop for all things baby & organic, like cloth diapers, teething toys, breast pads and so much more.
Babes in Arms - located in Bridgeland, this store carries a bit of everything, including a wide variety of cloth diapers, but is mostly known for being the babywearing experts. They allow rentals of their carriers so you only buy the one you and your baby fall in love with.
Black Sheep Mattress Company - with mattresses made from all natural materials right here in Calgary, you can visit their showroom in the Manchester Industrial area to pick up a toxin free crib mattress, mattress protectors or blankets for your precious little one.
The Mattress and Sleep Company - another great option for organic crib mattresses as well as customizable crib bedding. This is a family run business located just south of Glenmore on Macleod Trail.
While you can purchase organic disposable diapers at most of the above grocery stores, there are great resources for cloth diapering in the city. Besides Babes in Arms and Nature's Baby Basket you can also find cloth diapers at:
Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot - is located just outside the city in Cochrane. They carry all the major cloth brands and will even let you take a trial run so you can decide what brands you like or even if cloth diapering is for you.
Pumpkins Diaper Delivery - will save you the cost & hassle of cleaning cloth diapers with their delivery service. They provide the diapers for you, then pick up the dirties, clean them and drop off a fresh batch!
If you go the disposable route, Soiled Diapers offers a pick up service where they come and get your dirty disposables and then compost them, keeping them out of the landfill.
Another option is to buy used cloth diapers - there is a very active Facebook group called "Calgary Cloth Diaper Moms & Dads" which is also a great resource to chat with other local parents about everything cloth!
If you are on online shopper to the extreme or simply can't find what you want in store, well.ca is a Canadian retailer with an amazing selection of organic products that will ship right to your door. While it would be nice to support the great local businesses mentioned here today, if you're on bedrest or juggling a newborn, pointing and clicking becomes pretty enticing!
We hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to hearing about your favourites in the comments! As always, if looking for Calgary's best doula or prenatal classes, contact us today for a meet and greet!
Tracy is a mother, birth doula and childbirth educator. She lives in the Calgary, AB area with her husband, three kids and her lazy cat.