Prenatal fitness

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.

Prenatal fitness @SuperMums
Prenatal fitness @SuperMums Belgium

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.

Fitness classes

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 johannatillycoaching@gmail.com 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/

Prenatal yoga 

Prenatal yoga is a gentle form of yoga that keeps you in shape during pregnancy, explores positions that can be useful during labour and birth, and bring awareness to the importance of calm breathing and relaxation for a low-stress pregnancy and birth.

  • 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.

    She also offers hypnobirthing, baby massage and prenatal fitness. Johanna offers classes at her studio in Linkebeek and as well as online.

    Contact her at: johannatillycoaching@gmail.com to find out more about classes she’s currently running.

Other popular English-speaking / English-friendly prenatal yoga classes and teachers include:

Aquanatal classes

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.

Some hospitals also organise prenatal aquagym classes – ask your gynaecologist or hospital.