At over 3600 square feet, West End Mamas’ newly-opened York region clinic is double the size of its original Toronto location. It also boasts seven treatment rooms, two studios and a spacious reception area.
But while the York location is bigger, West End Mama founder Dr. Sarah Mickeler wants potential clients to know that the new space has the exact same goals at the original Jane and Bloor clinic. “We want to help women feel better during pregnancy, we want to give them better births and we want them to not only recover but thrive postpartum,” she explains.
After her own pregnancy and postpartum experience showed how scattered and uneven services for new moms and moms-to-be are, Mickeler, who is also a chiropractor, launched West End Mamas in March of 2017. The clinic was, and still is, Toronto’s only, all-in-one clinic aimed exclusively at pregnant and postpartum women and their babies.
Now Mickeler is taking the idea of “normalizing the pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience” outside of Toronto. Earlier this month, West End Mamas’ second location launched near the 404 and Davis in Newmarket. Mickeler explains that part of her reason for a York region location was purely business-related. While York region’s population, especially of young families, is rapidly growing, she notes that when it comes to high-quality, mom-oriented services, “There’s a real lack of services up there.”
The region also holds a special place for her, since she grew up in Stouffville. “I know the people up there, I know the geography,” she adds.
Just like at West End Mamas’ original location, this new spot offers a range of services, including lactation consultations, pelvic floor therapy, acupuncture and massage therapy.
Free classes on everything from baby-wearing to how to treat colds and flu are already on the calendar, as are several paid options. Mickeler highlights one particular class, called Baby Steps, which is available for babies six weeks to six months and six months to one year. Run by an occupational therapist, this class teaches caregivers developmentally-appropriate activities they can do with their babies while also touching on such hot topics as sleep.
High-quality content such as Baby Steps is a signature of West End Mamas, says Mickeler who adds that when it comes to instructors, therapists and other staff members, “We have the best of the best.”
Like its Toronto clinic counterpart, the York West End Mamas is packed with ways to make moms-to-be and postpartum moms’ lives easier. All booking can be done online, direct billing is available for most insurance companies and yes, the clinic offers child-minding during appointments. Even the interior design is mom-and-baby friendly, “Instead of seats, we have bench seating with fabric that is impervious to everything,” notes Mickeler.
To celebrate her newest arrival, Mickeler and her team are throwing what she calls a “reveal party” on Sunday, June 2 from 1 pm-4 pm. This open-to-the-public event will feature free workshops, yoga, food and an old VW bus that has been converted into a photo booth on wheels.
Opening the York Region clinic isn’t the only project that Mickeler’s been working on. She’s also focused on setting West End Mamas up for franchising opportunities, an approach she believes could see her holistic approach to pregnancy and postpartum services spread across the country.
Says Mickeler, “The goal is to have West end Mamas in communities all across Canada.”