Staying active and fit during pregnancy can help you carry the extra weight of pregnancy, make your joints stronger, improve circulation, ease backache, generally help you feel well and be more prepared for labour and birth. And while it’s not the time to take up a new strenuous sport, you can keep up your normal physical activity or exercise (running, yoga, dancing, walking to work etc.) for as long as you feel comfortable.
For trusted advice, read this article on Exercise in Pregnancy from the UK’s National Health Service and this article by Bea Romo of Supermums, where she outlines the kind of exercises you can safely do during pregnancy.
On this page, we go through some of the options available to you in Brussels and the surrounding area. Remember, if you are in any doubt as to whether or not a certain activity is suitable, talk with your care provider.
There are various prenatal fitness classes on offer:
- Prenatal yoga and prenatal pilates specialist Johanna Tilly (see Johanna’s village profile and Facebook page) gives private prenatal fitness sessions with prenatal yoga and prenatal pilates in the comfort of your home. Classes can be organised when it suits you best and are adapted exactly to your needs. Contact Johanna at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Johanna also offers post-natal fitness classes, as well as a range of postpartum support.
- Supermums offers a range of fitness classes for mums, whatever stage they’re at. For expectant mums, SuperBellies is a soft and safe prenatal gym classes, adapted for each stage of pregnancy that will allow you to be in shape when the time comes to give birth. Supermums also offers post-natal fitness classes.
- Babette Biehne offers Pre-Kanga classes that combine light cardio, strength training as well as pelvic floor preparation for your upcoming delivery. http://babette-babycourses.eu/
- Emily Gold runs prenatal yoga classes that combine strength-building poses to help you feel empowered throughout your pregnancy as well as specific breathwork, meditation and restorative yoga poses to help reduce stress and help you remain calm and mindful. Sessions can also be tailored to help with the management of common prenatal mental health conditions including prenatal anxiety and depression.
- Sophie Girard-Sequeira runs Yoga for pregnancy and birth classes that combine the benefits of yoga with effective physical and mental preparation for labour and birth. Classes include the use of gravity and the breath in gentle yoga movements, the practice of positions for labour and birth, breathing practice for labour and birth, and relaxation and visualisation to help you connect with your growing baby. Online booking available. Sophie also offers private hypnobirthing classes and doula guidance sessions.
- With her prenatal yoga classes, Irene Ibbe gives you the opportunity to reconnect with the changing shapes of the pregnant body whilst helping to maintain strength and posture. Breathing techniques and soundings are used as a powerful tool to connect to oneself and one’s baby as well as to increase energy stores and feelings of rejuvenation.
- Johanna Tilly (see Johanna’s village profile and Facebook page) is an internationally certified and experienced yoga teacher, specialised in pre- and postnatal yoga and yoga for stress management. Her prenatal yoga classes are suitable from 14 weeks until birth. Johanna offers individual and group classes at her studio, privately in your home, and also near the European Institutions. Contact Johanna at email@example.com to find out more about the classes she’s currently running. Johanna also offers hypnobirthing, baby massage, prenatal fitness, and doula services.
Prenatal aquagym classes ideally take place in a pool heated to around 32°, and partners are usually welcome too.
Classes usually consist of gentle exercises for overall fitness as well as breathing exercises and relaxation techniques that can be useful in labour. Many women particularly enjoy the freedom of movement that water provides (the buoyancy of the water means you only experience about 30% of your weight), especially later in pregnancy.
- Poseidon offers prenatal aquagym classes
Some hospitals also organise prenatal aquagym classes – ask your gynaecologist or hospital.