Are you new to the area and finding it difficult to discover where to go, and Google just isn’t cutting it? Perhaps you are a Seacoast native new to this thing called motherhood. Maybe you know your way around town as a singleton, or you’ve had your “plus one” for a while, but things have changed. You’ve entered the land of parenting! Where should you go to find a doula (what in the world is that?), pediatrician, child care, or mommy and baby groups? Let me help navigate you. Here is my survival guide for the Seacoast mommy.
1. Seacoast Birth and Family Connection
The Seacoast Birth & Family Connection has a variety of businesses that support women during their pregnancy to postpartum and beyond, such as their Mommy Mingle Events and outdoor concerts.
Imagine learning the sex of your baby in a spa-like environment with essential oils filling the air. Or, maybe you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy. Wouldn’t you prefer a serene atmosphere instead of a cold, sterile 8 x 10 room? Consider booking an appointment with Jessica at the Diagnostic Ultrasound Suite and get a 3D/4D diagnostic image.
2. Portsmouth Christian Academy
On the hunt for a preschool? Portsmouth Christian Academy is located in Dover. PCA’s teaching is based on a classical philosophy; the academy has dual accreditation, Kaleidoscope classes, and differentiated programs that maximize each child’s development (preschool through grade 12). Before- and after-school child care is also offered to working parents.
My daughter loves her teachers; they truly care for their students. Don’t let your concerns for tuition stop you; there are programs for financial assistance. One is the referral program–mention my name (Melissa Spaulding) and my daughter receives a tuition discount! Once you enroll, you can benefit as well!
MAC Photography may be the right fit for your young family. You won’t regret booking a session with Michelle! Visit her at the Seacoast Birth and Family Center in North Hampton to capture your most treasured moments. You will have an in-depth consultation at her beautiful location.
If you live closer to Dover, then you must request a session with Hannah McMahon Photography. I booked a session immediately after viewing her portfolio. She was fantastic with my children and captured our family perfectly. Aren’t her maternity photos gorgeous?
4. Dover Pediatrics
Look no further than Dover Pediatrics for a trusted pediatrician; they are affiliated with Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. Every parent wants a doctor who has had the best education. You can choose among Yale-, Boston University-, Cornell- or Dartmouth-educated physicians, to name a few. You’ll also get access to a care manager and a lactation consultant. Be on the lookout for a new website coming soon.
5. Salt Kitchen & Bar
My absolute favorite place to eat on the Seacoast is Salt Kitchen and Bar, located in the historic Wentworth by the Sea Hotel in New Castle. Wine and dine on their seasonal menu surrounded by old New England architecture, mixed with a modern, contemporary aesthetic.
6. jessica todd
Everyone needs a haircut from time to time; don’t let this routine service become a mundane endeavor. Book an appointment with Master Artist Chelsey Drapeau (my fabulous go-to girl) at jessica todd in Portsmouth! Make this a creative, exciting experience. All of the “Hair Design Artists” are “vigorously educated” and use L’Oreal Professional and Kerastase products.
7. Applecrest Farm
Visit New Hampshire’s oldest and largest apple farm, Applecrest Farm. Take along the family to pick fruit, share an ice cream, or dine at the Farm Bistro (an incredible farm-to-table dining experience). Love buying fresh, local food? Check out their Farm Market for an amazing variety.
8. Cultural Care Au Pair
Have you considered an au pair? I had the privilege of meeting Angi, a former au pair (and now a local childcare consultant) who will guide you through this process. Here is her perspective: “Hosting an au pair and being one is an unforgettable, life-changing experience. For me, the most essential part is the sharing of cultures and how this childcare/work/family relationship gives the opportunity for strangers to become like family members. This program opens the doors of the world to your children and family.”
9. Anchored In
Are you going through a difficult time? Tammy Sollenberger and Elisa Monahan are licensed clinical mental health counselors in Dover. Not only do they help individuals manage their mental illnesses, but they work with businesses to assist with stress management, and work with groups of moms to help them achieve balance, self-care, and boundaries. What mom couldn’t benefit from that, right? You can learn more about them at Anchored In.
10. Kid’s Activity Places
We live in New England, people! Let’s be honest, shall we? The winter can be long and no translation is needed. Here are a few places my girls and I love:
- ARTastic Arts & Crafts, Hampton Falls: enjoy the walk-in art studio or Playplace in Hampton Falls.
- Sonatina Center, Dover: they offer developmental and therapeutic programs that incorporate music, art, movement, and play.
- Seacoast Science Center, Rye: attend a program, walk the trails, or have fun on the playground. Trick the kids into learning while having a blast!
- Rumble Tumble, Portsmouth: hit this child’s gym and play zone in downtown Portsmouth. Perfect for those rainy or freezing cold days!
- Portsmouth Music and Arts Center: a non-profit music and visual arts school. Worried about the cost? Simply apply for financial aid. They rely on the community’s generosity to provide more than $40,000 in tuition assistance. Maybe you have a little Beethoven at home waiting to be discovered!