English-speaking antenatal or pregnancy classes & groups are fairly difficult to come across in Barcelona but are on the increase. Many Catalan pregnant women often get advice from their own families so without family here, information can be scarce and conflicting. If you would like to recommend an antenatal or postnatal group or online site please do let us know by sending us your comments.
The following websites are all in Spanish but provide very useful information on pregnancy and birth and those first few months with your newborn.
Recommended by Lou Melotte
Brooke Philips and her husband are both specialist acupuncturists and practitioners of natural medicine - and the only ones in Europe to offer a system of testing called Total Body Analysis. Their main objective is to help couples to prepare for creating a baby by working at detoxifying both wife and husband. A mix of acupuncture, massage, and breathing techniques is used.
Avda. Catalunya, 38 - 5.3, 08290 Cerdanyola V
Calle Consell de Cent 265. 936925269
"I had gone through an IVF treatment with negative results and I was anguished and nervous. Now after a frozen embryo transfer I am 12 weeks pregnant! The acupuncture treatments and the recommended exercises helped me to relax and to become conscious of my body. I recommend the Programa de Fertilidad Natural because I think it is a very important complement to the IVF treatments to compensate for the negative effects and alleviate the tension that it entails." (CB, Feb 2008)
"I came to the Programa de Fertilidad Natural because I was looking for a non-aggressive natural alternative for infertility treatment. I did not want to take hormones or medications and my gynecologist wanted me to take medication to help me ovulate. The treatments with Brooke and Ferran were great. I was able to relax and prepare my body. In five months I was pregnant I recommend the program for other women and couples. This week I am ready to give birth and I am very happy!" (VG, June 2008)
Recommended by Marie
Regain energy and learn to integrate your baby into your yoga practice. A relaxed environment allows you to respond to your babies needs whilst having the opportunity to re-tone muscles, alleviate aches and pains, combat fatigue and feel a sense of well-being. Classes are suitable for babies from 6 weeks until they start to crawl.
"Taking prenatal yoga classes with Raphaella, I believe is one of the best things I did for myself and my baby during my pregnancy. It helped me adjust to my changing body, and left me feeling more energetic and balanced after every class. I felt my body strengthen and prepare for birth in a very gentle way. I will certainly be coming back for "mummy and me" classes to enjoy the calm and friendly atmosphere." (MFH, 2010)
Recommended by Tara Cemlyn-Jones
Sarria-based centre which offers ante-natal classes, osteopaths, specialist massages and a full range of facilities for expectant mums including sessions in the pool. There are also birthing classes available to couples. Open Mon -Sat.
Calle Dr Roux 19, tel: 932038424 or email@example.com
Recommended by Ellen Menzies
Every CAP (social security centre) has their own antenatal clases which are given by the midwifes of the centres. You should enquire at your local centre for more details. The courses will be conducted in Catalan or sometimes Spanish.
"I attended one and thought the information was useful and correct. If you have social security it is for free, just make sure you sign up for it on time as there is limited space." (EM, July 2008)
Recommended by laura byford
Shawn McSweeney (mum of two) is an experienced doula operating in the Barcelona area. She speaks fluent English, Catalan and Spanish. Her services include birth preparation, prenatal yoga and postnatal support as well as help with breastfeeding.
firstname.lastname@example.org (+34) 619880952 (+34) 938113282
"Shawn is a highly experienced, sensitive and caring doula. Her ability to support and guide me through my pregnancy, birth and post natal period was outstanding. She was able to see exactly what I needed in terms of physical, practical and emotional support during a very hard post natal period for my family. I had a complicated birth followed by post natal depression and I had also recently relocated to Spain from the UK. As Shawn is trilingual (Catalan, Castellano and English), she was also able to help me with many of the practical steps needed to integrate in to my new community in Sitges. Her services range from antenatal yoga classes and labour and delivery preparation for couples, to assisting at the birth and regular post natal home visits and assistance with breastfeeding. All of my family benefited from her wealth of baby rearing experience and her reassuringly friendly manner." (LB, May 2008)
Recommended by Brooke Phillips
Manuela Garcia is an Alexander Technique instructor and doula. She is a Member of APTAE, Doulas Barcelona and Doula España y Gestar. Manuela trained at the Bloomsbury Alexander Technique Centre and has taught at The Mary Ward Center, the Golders Hill Practice and several music and art schools in London. She runs Eutokia, a Barcelona antenatal course provided in English, Spanish and Catalan. The classes offer a sound introduction to the Alexander Technique and aim to improve co-ordination and freedom of movement during the different stages of pregnancy. They allow women to prepare for birth in a number of ways. As well as providing essential advice to expectant mums regarding nutrition and birth physiology, they also work at creating the basic necessary conditions for labour to progress smoothly.
"I began lessons with Manuela hoping for some relief with neck tension and lower back pain. I am quite thin, yet my body was feeling so heavy. To my surprise the sessions of Alexander technique are totally changing my relationship with my body. The sessions are so relaxing and I am continuously amazed at the amount of tension I hold in different places and how the most minimal adjustments made by Manuela allows the tension to be released and offers such a feeling of lightness. In London she worked in a Waldorf type school as an Alexander Technique Instructor so she has a lot of experience working with children. She is also a birthing doula and works with pregnant women using the technique to adjust to the changes of the physical body during pregnancy. I am recommending her to everyone I know!!!" (BP, April 2008)
Recommended by Laura Schmidt
"Juliette has the capacity to embolden anyone into taking charge of their pregnancy and childbirth, which is an inestimable gift. She also
gave us the tools to do so." (LS, May 2008)
Recommended by Cecilia
More women try to get pregnant at older ages, where years of pollution, bad habits, a sedentary lifestyle, illness or overweight can have negatively influenced their hormonal system. This of course has significant effects on the female reproductive system. Personal training improves these hormonal imbalances through regular physical exercise immediately. Women increase their fertility by losing only a couple of kilos and sufficient exercise. As a matter of fact it is quite a simple solution to something that drives many people mad searching for fertility pills, medication etc. Nutritional advise and diets are another benefit for increasing fertility.
Active-8 Sport & Health Coaching
tel: ( 34) 934072788
Recommended by Melissa Kennedy
Based in and around Barcelona and the Baix Llobregat, Caroline was trained by, and is an active member of the Mares Doules Association. Available during all stages of maternity: Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum and Loss, she works hand in hand with mothers, working through their needs, worries and doubts with total respect and empathy towards their decisions and desires. Caroline also helps find answers during the maternity process: planning, preparing, taking decisions and family needs. Fluent in Catalán, Spanish and English, always prioritizes the mothers emotional language related to her personal development.
Caroline is also Psychotherapist, counselling in Barcelona and Sant Just Desvern. The approach is a respectful and empathic one, bringing changes in ones personal process, overcoming difficult emotions, low self esteem and relationship or communication problems.
email@example.com / 639 402 908
" I am a first time mother who embarked on this journey with little knowledge, when I first found out that I was pregnant. I was looking for some guidance when I read about doulas and talking to a friend she recommended Caroline to me.From the first phone conversation we had I just knew she was the right support I was looking for. And I was right - she has helped me navigate the sea of emotional and physical changes that occured during pregnancy. There are not enough words to express my level of gratitude to the support and confidence Caroline provided me. I had an amazing birth experience even though it was a C section due to complications.I can only say she provides wisdom and counsel mixing beautifully all her skills. Thank you Caroline for helping me bring out the best mom I can be!!" (MK, August 2012)
Recommended by Erin
Barcelona Well Woman Clinic integrates the established medical system with natural methods, all in the same place. Their mission is to support, guide, and help families live a healthy and balanced life. They offer all kinds of effective therapies to benefit your health and lifestyle. Belly to baby and beyond Antenatal course for a happier, healthy and holistic approach to birth. Whatever kind of birth you will have, in hospital, at home, without interventions or through a C-section. In English. For more information visit: http://bcnwellwoman.com/en/
"I just finished completing a course with the Barcelona Well Woman Clinic. The course was called Belly Baby and Beyond and I found it really helpful in preparing both myself and my husband mentally and physically for birth. The course lasted 9 weeks in length and included 5 sessions with both the pregnant woman and the birth partner as well as 4 sessions for just women. The sessions were alternate (one week partners, one week just pregnant ladies) which I think was nice for the birth partners. In the sessions which included the birth partners we learned different techniques for dealing with labour and quite extensively about the whole process. Viktoria, the doula running that part of the course has lots of experience and was also able to answer a lot of our questions and doubts (especially as foreigners) about how things work here in the hospitals and what not. The women only sessions were run by a dance therapists called Anna, and we focused more on the phycological changes during pregnancy and while begining motherhood. These sessions were very nice to form a bond with the other women in the course. Anyway, I highly recommend the course." (Erin, April 2012)
Recommended by laura
Olga Oskorbina is an Advanced Certified Jivamukti and Prenatal yoga teacher living and teaching in Barcelona, Spain. She offers regular scheduled classes whose aim is to guide students towards becoming stronger and more flexible physically, help them release emotional blockages and to develop a more balanced state of mind. Classes are designed for all levels of yoga practitioners. You can begin with a Basic course where you learn the fundamentals, then move to Beginner Vinyasa and Open classes. All of these classes are 1 hour 30 min. Spiritual Warrior is a set vinyasa sequence 1 hour class for busy bees. Prenatal classes are also available. All classes are conducted in English with Spanish and Russian classes coming up soon. Jivamukti is a form of Hatha Yoga taught in a vinyasa style where each movement is linked to the breath.
Calle Méndez Núñez, 6, 1-2
tel: (+34) 638859882
More about Prenatal Yoga:
Whether you’ve practiced yoga before pregnancy or not at all, prenatal classes will provide you with renewed energy, an awareness of your changing body and a greater confidence that will enhance the comfort and enjoyment of pregnancy and birth – as well as a deepened connection to your baby. Gentle postures, breath work and relaxation techniques are learned to develop the strength and flexibility necessary to comfortably carry your baby through pregnancy, into labour, and beyond.
"I was about 5 months pregnant when I started pre natal yoga with Olga. Combining work and a pregnancy wasn’t always easy and I noticed I was feeling exhausted and drained. As my belly got bigger I had more trouble sleeping. Pre natal yoga solved these problems. After my sessions with Olga I felt lively and energetic again. And more importantly it helped me sleep like a baby. Olga has been a great teacher. Patient, calm and funny. She helped me connect to my baby in a way I didn’t know was possible. Now I’m the mother of a beautiful 10 month old baby. I can t wait to start classes again. But this time without a big belly." (Laura, March 2012)
Recommended by Marie-Louise Fernandez Hilligsoe
Yoga Ishta Style provides tailored private tuition, general classes, pregnancy yoga and mums & babies yoga. Based in Barcelona classes can be delivered to your private residence, workplace or hotel. Want to choose your own timetable? Why not get a group of women together and form a class suitable for you. Regular courses for pregnancy and mums & babies yoga are held at Hotel Arts at the Six Senses Gym. More information http://yogaishtastyle.com
"Taking prenatal yoga classes with Raphaella, I believe is one of the best things I did for myself and my baby during my pregnancy. It helped me adjust to my changing body, and left me feeling more energetic and balanced after every class. I felt my body strengthen and prepare for birth in a very gentle way. I will certainly be coming back for "mummy and me" classes to enjoy the calm and friendly atmosphere." (MFH, Oct 2010)
Recommended by Amanda
Yoga classes for mums and their babies (up to 1 year old). Their are schools in central Barcelona, Gracia, Eixample and Poblenou. Take a look at the website for more information: www.yogamamasybebes.com or their facebook page: www.facebook.com/yogamamasybebes
Recommended by Sonia Gigler
Lucy Hackney is a qualified physiotherapist and offers postnatal pilates courses at L’Atelier in Poble Nou and Barcelona Wellwoman Clinic. For more information visit her website: www.barcelonaphysio.com
“The teacher Lucy is great, shes a physiotherapist from England and has excellent knowledge about all the things that you might struggle with after the pregnancy (worn out pelvic floors, aching backs, lost muscles, a few more pounds etc). Its also really nice to get out and meet other mums and their babies!!!! We always have coffee after the class and i think we will continue with the coffees once the course ends.” (SG, Jan 2014)
Recommended by Anne Daulny
Amy Proszowski is a Canadian Birth Doula and Yoga Instructor who aims to empower women to have confidence in their bodies and ability to give birth by informing them of their options and preparing them physically and emotionally for birth and post partum through yoga, breathing and meditation. Amy also does Customised Postpartum Yoga Recuperation Sessions in your home. Contact her for more details.
Facebook: Yoga Doula Barcelona Spain
“I just gave birth 3 weeks ago to a little baby boy with the invaluable help of my doula, Amy Proszowski. I met Amy at her pregnancy yoga class. I loved attending her class to relax my mind and my pregnant body, and to alleviate sciatica. I can’t wait to attend her “yoga with baby” class.
Before birth she helped me make an informed decision on the way I wished to be birthing. I had a baby that was in breech and had several birth options. She helped me write a birthing plan and gave me more confidence in asking for specific birth conditions in the Hospital I would deliver. The day of my delivery wouldn’t have been the same without her. She gave me strength to go through the hardest contractions of my labor. She brought me physical relief through different techniques as well as moral support. I could tell her contribution when the medical team asked her to step out of the delivery room when I got an epidural installed, without her support I suffered a lot more. She was allowed back in for the delivery phase that lasted a while due to the breech presentation of the baby. She reassured me all the way, told me the progression of the birth, helped me to relax in between pushing. I felt very supported by her and it helped me enjoy this precious moment. Amy took also care of informing my partner that was in the waiting room and she brought him to meet his son as soon as the baby was given to us. This birth was a lot less stressful than my previous one despite the baby being breech and big, and it’s in a great part thanks to Amy.
Amy visited me at the hospital as well as at home after the birth. Being at risk for post-partum anxiety she is helping me to take preventive measures. She was also and is still there for me when I need to talk and she is checking on me regularly. On a personal level Amy is a very sweet and smart person, very agreeable to talk to. She is very discreet and calm, she has a reassuring presence. She was always available for me and very attentive to my needs. At every step of the process she always knew professionals she was referring me to in order to solve the specific problems I encountered.” (AD, Dec 2013)