54 W. 22nd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-367-9006
715 Ninth Ave., nr. 49th St.; 212-245-0796
Hospital birth classes are always so stiff and sterile you’d think they were mainly preparing moms and dads not to become malpractice suits. Which is why many families have found their way to Realbirth, a touchy-feely haven for new and expecting parents with outposts in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. The centers provide comprehensive, engaging childbirth education (the slant is natural birth, but they explain drugs and other interventions exhaustively), as well as infant-care classes and very detailed breast-feeding prep sessions. There are ample opportunities to socialize, whether during postdelivery workshops, where students get to meet babies who were formerly classmates’ bumps, or during classes on infant massage and baby sign language.