Joanna Helcke Video






Gentle exercise during pregnancy is a lovely way to aid relaxation, maintain your fitness levels and help you to feel happy and positive. If you are expecting a baby, and whether you are in the first, second or third trimester, it is truly important that you do the right sort of exercise. To keep both you and your growing baby safe it is highly advisable to exercise with an instructor who is fully trained in pre and post natal fitness – this will also give you peace of mind. Pregnancy affects our bodies in so many ways: posture is altered, the abdominals lengthen and stretch, and the pelvic floor is put under a great deal of strain. Taking part in a regular exercise programme that is tailored for expectant women will not only increase your energy levels and help prevent lower back pain but it will also encourage a more speedy post natal recovery.


  • Is a wonderful form of safe, effective and relaxing exercise during pregnancy
  • Will enable you to do both cardio and resistance work without placing pressure on your joints, stressing your pelvic floor, or aggravating back pain
  • Will give you a lovely sense of freedom and lightness as you and your baby grow
  • Will keep you feeling positive and energetic
  • Will help with your circulation
  • Some sources suggest that AquaNatal may help you have a shorter, active birth and may also reduce the chances of having an assisted delivery



Courses start in January, April and September and run during term time only onTuesdays at 6.30pm-7.15pm: this enables me to look after the same small group of women for the whole of this period, and it also ensures that I am aware of any medical restrictions (back trouble, joints, pregnancy-related complications etc.) that people might have on the course, as everyone fills in a confidential medical screening form beforehand.


AquaNatal takes place in the lovely private pool at Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College, set in beautiful countryside just south of Loughborough. Classes are limited to a maximum of 15 so that I can make sure that everyone gets sufficient help and feedback.


How Much

The classes are run as courses and if you break down the cost it comes to £9.95/session.  For this you get:

  • Tailored AquaNatal classes in a beautiful, clean, private pool.
  • A small group setting where you are looked after as an individual, catering for the stage of pregnancy that you are in, and any individual problems such as back or joint pain
  • A complimentary natural cotton shopping bag filled with information about, and special offers from, lots of interesting products and services
  • A monthly newsletter with lots of information, tips and recipes
  • A programme of (optional) mum-to-be social events from weekend brunch mornings with a pregnancy-related talk, foodie workshops, drinks out and more
  • An interesting and varied mix of equipment used in class to keep you strong and to help release tension in the lower back and shoulders.

If you are coming towards the end of your pregnancy and you don’t complete the course, I will offer you a reduction – equivalent to the number of classes missed – on one of my popular and very sociable post natal exercise courses.

I do hope you like the sound of AquaNatal. If you do, please have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions below, and then follow a few simple steps for booking onto the next course. If at the end of all that you still have any unanswered queries then please do feel free to contact me via email

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon can I start? It is not advisable to commence AquaNatal until after the 12th week of pregnancy is completed.

What do I wear? A normal bathing costume is fine, although as your pregnancy progresses you may need to purchase one specifically designed for pregnancy. It is also advisable to wear a sports bra underneath to give added support. I would also strongly recommended that socks or aqua shoes are worn to provide improved grip and protection from the pool floor.

I can’t swim. Can I still participate in AquaNatal? Yes, most definitely. Be sure to let me know and don’t ever venture into the areas of water are that are out of your

What conditions preclude me from participating?

The following conditions definitely preclude participation in AquaAatal classes:

1. PIH (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) – this does not mean slightly raised blood pressure – check with your Midwife if you are unsure.

2. Pre-Eclampsia

3. Cardiac Disease

4. IUGR (Intra Uterine Growth Retardation) – this does not mean slightly small baby for estimated delivery dates – check with your Midwife if unsure.

5. History of 3 or more miscarriages.

6. History of premature labour.

7. Placenta Praevia – some women may have a low lying placenta, but it does not necessarily mean they may not participate – check with your Midwife.

8.  Vaginal Bleeding.

If you have any of the following conditions, could you please contact me beforehand just to check that it is safe for you to go ahead.

Extremely under or over-weight.
Raised blood pressure prior to pregnancy.
Thyroid disease.
Twins, Triplets, etc.

I have some pain – can I still join in? This of course depends on what pain and where. You will need to discuss this with me before you sign up on the course.


Pregnancy Exercise
Now that you are pregnant you need to make sure that you know the "dos and don'ts" of prenatal exercise. Here's the perfect guide for you!

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