Teresa Gonczy knows babies. With a background in child development, the director of A Mother’s Haven is well-versed in everything from teething tablets to teaching new mothers how to help their baby to sleep through the night.
Gonczy said the goal of A Mother’s Haven is to make life easier for mothers and mothers-to-be.
“A lot of times the new moms will come in feeling frantic and overwhelmed and not knowing how to do something," Gonczy said, "and we just want them to leave feeling calmer and more relaxed and more confident in their own mothering skills.”
This week, the store is gearing up for World Breast Feeding week which starts Aug. 1. In honor of the week, “A Mother’s Haven” will be holding a sale on all of its nursing bras and tank tops and will also be taking part in the “Big Latch On” Saturday.
“It’s an international event that we’re trying to get as many women and babies breastfeeding at the same time as possible. Moms of babies and toddlers who are breastfeeding can come to the store around 10 a.m. to take part,” Gonczy said.
The event is hoping to break its previous record it made last year when over 5,000 women participated.
“It’s a great way to get women together who are breastfeeding so they have other people to talk to about the issues, because breastfeeding is not that easy and we want to make it so people know there is support other people are doing it and they can get through it to,” Gonczy said.
The event comes just after the store's last party a ten year anniversary celebration held last weekend.
“We had a big celebration, two full days with face painting, story time, balloons and giveaways,” Gonczy said. “We had reunions as part of the anniversary as well, we had three, four, five year olds coming back in and meeting the teacher they had when they were four months old.”
A Mother’s Haven offers both prenatal classes as well as “Mommy & Me” classes after the baby is born, in addition to baby clothes and retail.
“People don’t always realize the different things we do here. They come in because they want to buy a product, but then they don’t realize we also do the classes. We also rent out breast pumps, a lot of time people come in with questions how do I use my breast pump also have a baby scale where people can weigh their baby see how much they weigh,” Gonczy said.
Gonczy, who purchased the store three years ago from the original owner, Laine Podell, said she was inspired by her concept.
“She started it about the time she had her son,” Gonczy said. “She basically was going to one place to get baby clothes, one place to get breast feeding stuff, one place to take classes and one place to see a lactation consultant. She wanted to have a place where new moms could come and get everything they needed, community and support and education.”
Gonczy said she has tried to continue the tradition of her predecessor.
“I really wanted my next business to be about really helping people. I love that this combines the education with the retail and even on the retail side for the most part almost everything we sell has a helpful purpose.”
Gonczy said A Mother’s Haven takes inspiration from the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
“A lot of times when people have a new baby especially out here in California, in L.A, they might not have family that is all that close by and their friends might not have babies or if they do, they might have older kids,” Gonczy said. “When the mom’s come to their “Mommy & Me” groups here,, they get to meet other moms going through the same stuff. It’s really nice to have some friends who are going through the same developmental stages as you are, so when your baby is keeping you up crying in the middle of the night you have someone you can email.”
,15928 Ventura Boulevard, Encino. Tel: 818-380-3111.