We would love to hear how you prepared for your pregnancy in Madrid. If you know of any pregnancy yoga classes, prenatal or antenatal classes, doulas or similar please do let us know.
Recommended by Sylvia Lopez
Yolanda trained and worked as a midwife and nurse in the UK for 10 years. She then went on to train as a Doula in Madrid specializing in antenatal yoga and breastfeeding techniques.
"Thanks to my Doula I had the birth that I wanted. It was natural and very special.The thought Of giving birth for the first time (just turned 40), in a country (Spain) that I did not grow up in made me feel very nervous. I was also set on wanting it natural (if possible). From the first day of our meeting it was the start of a lovely relationship. We met on several occasions to cover all aspects of pregnancy, giving birth and breastfeeding. I anticipated our meeting with great excitment. At the hospital I felt truly reassured and supported by my Doula. Whilst there I used the Gym ball, walked around the hospital and tried various yoga positions, just to name a few. She was also my voice when I was not in a position to do so. The result was a very speical birth. But our relationship did not end there. My doula visited me at home to assist me with breastfeeding and any concerns that I might have at the time. I welcomed her arrival with open arms" (SL, Dec 2008)
“I had two children in Madrid and two very different experiences. My first was at a small private maternity hospital, which was everything I didnt want it to be...about as unnatural as it can get! Therefore, for my second child I was determined to at least set the stage for a very different experience. I cant recommend highly enough the public university Hospital of Torrejon. It is located apron 20 minutes north west of Madrid and I would say is not only a Spanish leader in natural births, but would go as far to say a European leader. When I went for the maternity open day I was blown away by the facilities available (beautiful private birthing rooms with soft lighting and option to play your own music, but also water birth options) but also the philosophy of the place to be as natural as possible at all stages, but first and foremost to respect the wishes of the mother. Music to my ears let me tell you! Needless to say I had the most amazing birthing experience largely due to the fact that I knew I would be treated the way I deserved by people who not only had the medical expertise, but also the human element which lacks so often in the Spanish birthing culture. My Spanish was far from even intermediate so I employed an English speaking doula from Luz Natal who not only helped me with the paperwork required to get me registered on the public system (even if you are not working but here with a partner who is you can get registered on the public health system as a "dependent"), but was an additional support during my pregnancy, my translator at the arrival to the hospital, and was an incredible strength during the birth. My Doula Yolanda spoke very good English having worked as a midwife in the UK for some years.” (CE, Jan 2015)
Recommended by Kirsty Wildgoose
Midwife Graciela Maria Perez Lopez works as part of a team called "En la decima Luna" with 2 other midwives. Combined, the team brings over 20 years experience in assisting in homebirths and work in Madrid and surrounding areas.
Clinic located at Centro Terapiasalus, C/ Costanilla de los Ángeles, 2. 2º B.
"Graciela was a wonderful midwife - I felt very safe and trusted her completely. Shes calm and caring, very experienced and speaks perfect English." (KW, Nov 2008)
To read Kirsty´s story regarding a home birth in Madrid, please click here
Recommended by Clare Evans-Pollard
City Pilates is close to Bilbao metro and runs classes for pregnant women as well as mum & baby classes.
91 445 1303
"These are fantastic for relaxation, breathing techniques, keeping supple and building up strength. She really focuses on the areas which are under strain during pregnancy. I attend 2 classes a week and have never felt so well! I will definitely be going back for the mother & baby classes." (C E-P, June 2008)
Recommended by Vivienne
Grupo Génesis de Asistencia y Preparación al Parto Natural is specifically geared towards those wanting a natural birth.
C/ León 3 1º izda. 28014 Madrid tel. 91 369 05 46
"They also do post-natal classes and only have classes and consultations on Tuesdays and thats the only day there is anyone at this number to answer the phone."
Recommended by Lucy Hales
Escuela Acuatica Maternal
"For our first baby the ante-natal care was just a joke. We were in a class with 5 other couples and we were just talked for 2 hours at a time on a Saturday night for weeks on end. Well it would have been weeks on end if I’d finished the course but we quickly realized it was a complete waste of time. However for our second baby I went to a fantastic ante natal swimming group which included theory lessons on the birth. We did all our breathing excercises in the water and I loved every minute of it. I went twice a week and have seriously never been so fit. It still wasn’t as hands on as the NCT classes but preparing my body like that to be on top form was to be honest better than any theory classes you can have." (LH, Jan 2009)
Recommended by Julie Coles
Bettina Gerbeau is an English speaking breastfeeding consultant.
Tel: 616437260 and 917161919
"Bettina speaks English, French and Spanish fluently. I contacted Bettina for help following the birth of my first child by caesarean. He was separated from me for some hours after birth and had to be bottle fed and after that we found that neither he nor I knew how to breastfeed. Bettina visited us at the hospital and also at our home, but she also has a lovely consultancy where she attends clients. Her amazing advice and techniques proved to be absolutely spot on every time and her kind, confident and good humoured nature were absolutely priceless at what was a difficult and emotional time. Without Bettina’s help it would have been impossible for me to breastfeed my baby. In our case there were initial complications that made breastfeeding difficult, but I would recommend Bettina to anyone at all who is breastfeeding, as her knowledge is impressive and she is able to help with any kind of breastfeeding problem or simply answer any questions that arise to make all stages of breastfeeding a successful and pain free experience for mother and baby. In addition to recommending Bettina, I would like to recommend adding a breastfeeding section to the site to include professionals who can help, but also to list support groups or good places to breastfeed when out and about, etc." (JC, Nov 2012)
Recommended by Allison Phillips
Cath Lucas is a doula who trained with Michel Odent and has trained in Madrid with Montse Cob. She is originally from Wales, but has lived in Madrid for over ten years - so she is a native English speaker, but also speaks excellent Spanish. She is trained to provide support and guidance for new mothers with breastfeeding. Aside from her extensive training, Cath is a mother of two who gave birth to both her babies at home.
"Cath supported me with the birth of my first baby last year. She is warm, caring, and generous with her time and resources for expectant and new mothers. With her support, I was able to dilate completely at home before she accompanied me to the hospital for the final phase of labor. Though she had been up all night with me (my son was born at four in the morning), she came back to the hospital that afternoon as well as later that week at my home to help me sort through some challenges I was having with breastfeeding. I cannot recommend her enough!" (AP, Feb 2013)
Recommended by Imke Buttkus
Dra. Josefina Ruiz Vega, the well known gynaecologist and writer of several books and director of the centre runs pre and post-partum courses here. Some courses are available in English.
Paseo de Habana, 84, 91 457 55 84
"I took Neela to a baby massage course at the same place where I had my birth preparation course: Josefina speaks English but the girl who runs the massage course is only Spanish speaking. They also have a baby playgroup, but again everything is Spanish speaking." (IB, June 2008)
Recommended by Clare Garey
Very popular with many mothers. Lots of reasonably priced classes offered here. Ante and post partum as well as baby and kids yoga, they even run some belly-dancing classes! Mon -Thur de 11.30 a 21.00pm and Fri 11.30 a 19.30pm
C/Raimundo Lulio,5 28010-Madrid (Metro Bilbao) 91 4463896 or 691680003 www.espaciovital.net
"I reckon this was the key to a very easy labour. They also offer Baby Yoga - but I would only recommend it for younger babies (e.g. newborn up to 6 months) because in practice it was more for the Mums" (CG, Feb 09)
Recommended by Saskia Bostelmann
Montse Cob lived several years in the US and speaks perfect English. She is a doula and runs all of the pregnancy yoga, preparation, etc classes at City Yoga. She works with a woman named Elena who also speaks very good English.
Recommended by Saskia Bostelmann
This is one of the bigger studios in the city, and offers everything from various types of yoga to pilates, as well as many types of massages and therapies. Schedules are very accommodating, as there are classes available all day during the week and Saturday mornings. Yoga class size can reach a maximum of 20 students.
C/ Artistas, 43 Metro Cuatro Caminos 915534751
"Great pregnancy yoga classes and also preparation for birth and postpartum. The classes are in Spanish, but I remember there were some people from different countries and they are very relaxed, nice, and helpful. The ones that give the pregnancy yoga classes are doulas. Also, they have baby & mum classes in early stimulation." (SB)
Note on Doulas:
Montse Cob lived several years in the US and speaks perfect English. She is a doula and runs all of the pregnancy yoga, preparation, etc classes at City Yoga. She works with a woman named Elena who also speaks very good English www.doulas.es/directorio/mad-2.html
Recommended by Angela Müller
English speaking doula
Recommended by Alice Byram
Ana works as a doula giving physical and emotional support to women (and their partners) during their pregnancy, partum and postpartum. This includes giving all the information that the new mothers will need and helping them with breastfeeding. In the last 8 years she has also been teaching Pilates following the original method and nowadays she also gives private lessons which combine Pilates, Yoga and stretching exercises to pregnant and postpartum women who want to get more awareness of their bodies, work on their pelvic floor and feel better in general. She speaks English, French and Spanish.
"I know Ana from a breeding group. Her son and my first child have the same age. When I learned that I had breech presentation for my second baby, she offered me information, talking and accompanying me through this difficult challenge, as she had gone through the same experience. She gained my whole confidence by being knowledgeable and providing excellent advice. She revised my birth plan before I sent it to the hospital. On the D day Ana supported me by phone messages and calls, as I thought I could do it on my own, before I finally decided to ask her to come and stay next to me in the hospital. Her arrival was a flow of renewed energy, giving me the extra strength to carry on with labor. I felt safe in her presence. She supported me for hours, as I wasnt able to dilate, and took care of me providing anything necessary to make me feel better and minimize the pain. Once at home, she provided support to help us both, settling down and also with breastfeeding. Her wisdom and sweetness were received as presents. Ana has all my respect and I would strongly recommend her" (AB, Nov 2013)
Recommended by Angela Müller
Ann-Sophie Borchardt is a German midwife who works with Dr. Kamilla Hallier. She also does birth preparation, and after birth offers such things as breastfeeding, recuperation (pilates, yoga, etc.), and home visits for anything related to birth and baby.
Recommended by Jutta Saarinen
Midwife at Home is a new and fun way of understanding the care during pregnancy and the postpartum period. It is a newly founded company whose main purpose is to help you, the future parents, be ready for the challenges with the arrival of a new member of the family. This is a time of many changes and adaptations if this is your first baby or even if you have been through this before. Midwife at Home offer services all through your pregnancy and also once at home with your baby. These services are designed to complement those that you will receive at the hospital where you have decided to have your baby and those from your gynaecologist. They believe in looking after the family as a whole since the pregnancy and the delivery not only affects the future mum but also the dad and even other family members like older siblings, grandparents. The practice of home care, especially after delivery, is common in many other countries (not only in Europe, but also in the USA, Australia or New Zeland among others) and also in other comunidades autonomas like Cataluña. In Madrid it is something that is starting to be offered but at present mainly in a private way. Midwife at Home is one of the pioneer companies in covering these needs for the future parents from la Comunidad de Madrid.
"Me presento, soy Ana, una madre que probó los servicios de "Matrona en casa" para ayudarme con el bebé a la hora de darle el pecho. Ya era hora de un buen servicio para este tipo de problema que sufrimos casi todas las madres, ya sean primerizas, o como yo, que ya tenia una niña mas mayor que no pudo disfrutar de las ventajas de la leche materna por no recibir en su momento todos los consejos que Marta me dio. En el momento en que pensaba que no podía más y que quería abandonar, parecerá una película..., pero apareció ella y me ayudó con la postura y técnicas muy buenas que me sirvieron de mucho. En un momento vi como mi niña se enganchaba al pecho y mamaba con facilidad y tranquila. Yo sola me ponía nerviosa, cogía malas posturas y se lo transmitía a ella sin querer. Mil dudas le pregunté sobre el cuidado del bebé y el mío, todas solucionadas. Hace un año tuve otro bebé, y gracias a esto, se alimentó únicamente de leche materna hasta que le introduje los purés.
Ya por último, darle las gracias de nuevo a Marta, por el apoyo, el cariño y el ánimo que me dió en ese momento, sin ella lo hubiese dejado por imposible. Es una experiencia única. Os animo a probarlo junto a ella." (Ana, Feb 2015)