Baby stores give assistance and education | Fit Pregnancy

One-Stop Shops for Moms

04.17.12 New stores geared toward expectant women and new mothers are offering more than just the usual baby stuff.

As baby products have skyrocketed into a $9.8 billion industry, baby boutiques and breastfeeding resource centers are popping up at a rapid pace in the United States, The New York Times reports.

The Times article took a look at the Pump Station in Los Angeles as an example of this baby business boom. With online retailers and big box megastores dominating in cities across the nation, "the Pump Station survives by offering a service that is not in danger of being co-opted by giants anytime soon: assistance and education for nursing mothers," the Times reports.

More and more businesses are reaching out to confused parents who are looking for trusted sources and products as they navigate their way through a usually overwhelming wave of conflicting information on everything baby, according to the Times report. The article also mentioned similar shops like New York City's Upper Breast Side, the California Bay Area's Day One and Isis Parenting in the Boston area.

The Pump Station's co-owners, Fit Pregnancy advisory board members Corky Harvey and Wendy Haldeman, have hit a nerve with nursing moms. "The store offers a community environment of moms interacting with other moms," the Times reports.

In addition, parents today are looking for ease in certain baby-gear shopping situations. The article touches on the convenience of such retailers as Target, Babies "R" Us and online store diapers.com, which offers free shipping for 24-hour delivery. At Target, breast pumps and nursing bras are becoming staple items in stock.

Every mom-to-be and new mom needs a little help when it comes to shopping for baby gear. Every year, the number of product choices increases, but your budget and your shopping patience probably do not. Check out our 15th annual Buyer's Guide for the 109 of our best picks in baby gear and more!

As a nursing mom, bookmark our Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding as your one-stop resource for everything you need to know about nursing your little one. Then head over to our How to Breastfeed page for step-by-step photos to show you how to get it right.

— Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.