Janene Malamud Helps New Parents Relax


Janene Malamud helps new parents adjust to life with their babies as part of the JCC of Greater Baltimore’s Baby & Me department. But her experience is not only as a mother — she was also a participant in the Mommy & Me classes when she was a new mother herself.

Janene Malamud (Bruce L. Schwartzman)

Currently, she facilitates the JCC’s Hello Baby classes, a recently reintroduced program geared at parents with newborns as young as 6 weeks old.

“As a new mom, I remember how much I enjoyed meeting other new parents and sharing the joys and challenges of having a baby,” she wrote in a blog post for the JCC’s website. “In Hello Baby, I’ve loved meeting these moms and dads and being with them at the start or continuation of their family journey.”

Malamud, 54, lives in Reisterstown and is a member of Beth El Congregation. She lives with her husband and son, who will soon be graduating from high school.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Malamud worked as a teacher for 30 years. For a while, she was an environmental educator as part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. After getting a master’s degree in education in Boston, she taught second grade classes at an elementary school in Massachusetts, where she first met her husband. They soon moved back to Baltimore, and when Malamud became pregnant with her son, she started getting involved with the local JCC.

“Everyone always says that people never leave Baltimore, and if they do, they always come back,” she quipped. “That’s exactly what happened with us.”

Malamud volunteered at the JCC after she started taking classes there. She later became a health science educator at the JCC’s Early Childhood Center, a position she held until 2020, when the Healthy Choices program she was teaching was shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because she had prior experience with education, Malamud was asked to come back to the JCC to facilitate the return of the Hello Baby classes, an invitation that she happily accepted.

Though her classes have been on break for the winter and are set to return starting on March 19, Malamud teaches baby yoga, a subject she recently became certified in. Parent-child yoga has gained popularity in recent years as a method for parents to bond with their babies and to encourage physical fitness for children during a formative stage in their lives.

“I had previously trained to teach children’s yoga when I was a Healthy Choices teacher as part of the JCC’s Early Childhood Center,” she recalled. “My experience teaching yoga to kindergarteners was so positive that I wanted to learn about bringing yoga to babies and their grown-ups. It’s been an amazing experience, both from the teaching aspect and learning from my ‘students.’”

Malamud added that these classes are also a great opportunity for new parents to engage with their babies in a relaxing, distraction-free way. Yoga can be beneficial for all ages, from newborns to the elderly.

“It’s nice to see them bond with their babies and with other new parents,” she said. “New parents don’t necessarily have the space to do that all the time. [Parenthood] can be very isolating. You’re running around a lot, you’re sleep-deprived. … It’s just a 45-minute class, but it’s a time when everyone’s cell phones are off, and you have time to pause and breathe and take care of yourself and your baby. It’s really beautiful to watch, and it’s a privilege to lead those classes.”

Working at the JCC means that the services she offers as part of Hello Baby are intertwined with Jewish values, even if Hello Baby classes are fairly secular in nature. The mindfulness and relaxation that baby yoga encourages relate to that.

“I was always taught that taking care of ourselves and others are important Jewish values. In the classes that I teach, we are taking care of ourselves and our babies, and building a supportive, caring community all the while,” Malamud said.

Never miss a story.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Email Address


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here