It feels like I’ve hardly had any time for my second pregnancy, which I feel incredibly guilty about. I’m nearly 22 weeks and sometimes I forget I’m even pregnant! Life at the moment with a toddler, my blog, a part-time job and a house move on the cards just doesn’t stop so there is little time to think about anything else! Compared to when I had Violet I haven’t been able to slow the pace of life, put my feet up and scoff chocolate, this baby has just had to ride along with my crazy busy life and all that entails – poor little thing! Plus, poor me as I’ve noticed as time goes by those aches and pains are starting to creep in too.
A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to make a conscious effort to set aside a small amount of time a week for this pregnancy. This is a time for me and bump and absolutely nothing else. So, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been attending my local Waterbumps class. They are lovely gentle prenatal classes for pregnant mums-to-be which focus on light exercises, breathing, circulation and relaxation. Sounds just what the doctor ordered, right?
Waterbumps classes are brand new to Brighton & Hove run by the team who do our Waterbabies classes, which I’m sure you’ll know from all my posts over the last year we absolutely LOVE. This means it’s also in the gorgeously warm hydrotherapy pool in Hove where Violet has her lessons too! I go to my class on a Sunday evening, which is perfect as it’s shortly after Violet’s class, meaning we can all have a turn in the pool on a Sunday – I was sad when V took over our Waterbabies class when I got pregnant and had really missed the water!
The class is run by Vicki, who is super friendly and puts everyone at ease straight away. I often feel nervous going to a new class if I don’t know anyone, but the small group and chatty atmosphere made me feel comfortable from the start. We start off the class doing some light exercises whilst introducing ourselves and finding out about how many weeks we all are, how things are going and if we had any specific aches/pains or problems. Just this was also nice as I haven’t met any pregnant friends this time around yet, so having a good chat (or rant) about pregnancy with someone who can relate is fab!
Each class has a similar structure, focusing on different areas:
- Breathing Exercises – taking a few minutes to circulate oxygen around the body, this is also great practice for labour too.
- Gentle Exercises – All exercises are low-impact, not so much about ‘getting fit’ or ‘getting in shape’ but tailored around stretching and strengthening and helping with pregnancy conditions.
- Pelvic Floor exercises – super important through all stages of pregnancy and after birth – and a good reminder as this is ALWAYS something I forget to do.
- Relaxation – taking the weight off your back and drifting around a beautiful tranquil warm pool. It’s heaven!
Vicki demonstrates each exercise first, so it’s really simple and easy to follow along, getting out of the pool to show some of the lower body moves that are hard to see through the water! She also goes into detail explaining the benefits of the exercise too. So far we’ve done activities like leg lifts to open the hips, hulas (just think Beyonce like moves under the water) and upper body strengthening with the pool woggles. Each class has a different set of exercises, which Vicki tries to tailor for everyones specific needs and to target problem areas for the group. I especially love the pool hulas as they feel so good for an all over stretch and loosing up he lower back, hips and taking the weight off your bump! I could do them all day and think they’ll be a good help for me in labour too.
Waterbumps classes are the perfect way to have some quality me-time with bump, to soothe those aches and pains and to relax. The teams teaching qualifications are accredited by Royal College of Midwives, so you know you are in really safe hands too. As the class goes on I can literally feel my body lightening and all the tension I’ve built up in the week just floating away into the water. The classes are so laid-back and friendly, chatting along the way and having a giggle too.
The best part of the class has got to be the relaxation at the end. You can choose to float on your front or your back, supported by floats. Honestly, I can’t describe the amazing feeling of weightlessness after feeling the weight of pregnancy all day. Also, whilst pregnant you can’t sleep on your front or back, so it feels like such a novelty to lay in these positions too. The warm water just laps around your body as you drift about the pool, listening to the distant hum of the pool filters, rain falling outside the window and most importantly, silence. Vicki is on hand at all times to check you don’t bump into the sides or each other, so there truly is nothing left to worry about. As our lives are so busy at the moment this is the moment I truly look forward to as I just escape from absolutely everything for those 5 minutes and ‘wake up’ feeling so rejuvenated!
We always do a few light exercises afterwards just to get the circulation going again so we don’t finish the class too sleepy and leave on a high.
I’ve genuinely been loving my Waterbumps classes, I wish I could have done something like this with Violet’s pregnancy. I think this time it’ll really set me in good stead for relaxation and breathing techniques for labour and just feeling so much better about myself for the next few months, especially as my self-care time is so limited now. I’m hoping to continue right up to my due date as I just love I have this allocated time for me and bump, it’s so important to take that time out to bond and look after yourself whilst pregnant!
If you are looking for an aquanatal class and are local to me in Brighton, please do check out Waterbumps as I highly, highly recommend it, you can find more information about class times and signing up here or on their Facebook page. They also have Facebook group for Waterbumps Mums-to-be, so you can get chatting after the class and keep connected too, which is a really lovely touch as it’s more of a community than just a class.
If you aren’t local, don’t worry! They also operate in different locations around the country so search here to find a class near you!