Joanna Helcke Video



Pregnancy Pilates in Leicestershire


If you are expecting a baby, it is important to do the right sort of exercise – this applies whether you are in the first, second or third trimester. To keep both you and your growing baby safe it is highly advisable to exercise with an expert in pre and post natal fitness.

Taking part in a regular pregnancy exercise programme that is tailored for expectant women will:

 increase your energy level


help prevent the all too common back pain in pregnancy


encourage a more speedy post natal recovery


help to alleviate pelvic pain in pregnancy


ensure that your weight gain in pregnancy is minimised


Fit4Birth – a unique Pilates based programme for pregnant women - is a highly effective, easy going and enjoyable antenatal class incorporating a mixture of Pilates, core stability and postural strengthening exercises, using resistance bands, “overballs”, and body weight exercises.


Fit4Birth pregnancy Pilates will:

  1. Help to strengthen postural muscles - reducing the risk of pregnancy-related back pain
  2. Maintain the tone of your deep abdominal muscles during pregnancy
  3. Keep the pelvic floor strong
  4. Aid relaxation

 and perhaps most importantly of all…

give you the opportunity to meet, and socialise with other mums-to-be at the social events which is all organised for you

I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions! Just send me a quick message on the "We'd love to hear from you!" page and I'll be back in touch with you asap.



How Much

Sign up for Fit4Birth



Courses start in January, April, September and July on Mondays at 6pm. Other than the July course, the length of the courses is determined by how long the term is so, for example, the September course is always the longest.

Running my pregnancy Pilates as a course 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.

I am very lucky to be able to take mums-to-be all the way through their pregnancies and then into the postnatal period with my mother-and-baby classes. What’s really lovely is to see the strong friendships that develop amongst you all, and also to see your families grow over the years from one, to two and even three children.

We'd love to hear from you if you have any questions! Just gives us a shout at "We'd love to hear from you!"


Fit4Birth - my pregnancy Pilates in Leicestershire - takes place in the lovely new Woodhouse Community Hall, LE12 8TZ, 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 lots of help and feedback.



Click on my lovely pictures to enlarge them and have a good nose!


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How Much

The classes are run as courses rather than on a pay-as-you-go basis, so, for example, a 10 week course would cost £79.50, a 5 week course would be £39.75 etc. Here are all the lovely things you’ll be getting when you come to my antenatal classes:


  • A small group setting where you are looked after as an individual, catering for the stage of pregnancy that you are in, and any specific problems you may have, such as back or joint pain
  • A gorgeous natural cotton shopping bag filled with information about lots of interesting products and services
  • Newsletters with lots of (optional) pregnancy events such as Saturday mroning brunches with different pregnancy speakers, evening meal out each term; optional drinks out twice a term, foodie workshops etc
  • 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, you can simply carry over your remaining credit to one of my popular and very sociable postnatal exercise courses.

We'd love to hear from you if you have any questions! Just send us a message at "We'd love to hear from you!"


If you go to the Testimonials section of my website, you’ll find well over 100 wonderful messages from mums and mums-to-be who have done my classes… but in the meantime, here’s some lovely feedback from Caroline:

Jo tailored the exercises to suit each stage of my pregnancy, to help with my posture and core strength. Her classes are always good fun and challenging; even when pregnant I felt I had a workout and was always much more relaxed after the class. Jo is an excellent teacher, explaining how to do exercises very clearly […]”
Caroline, University Lecturer

Sign up for my Fit4Birth pregnancy Pilates


Registering for these classes couldn’t be easier - to sign up simply

• Click on “registration form” which you will find in the menu down the left hand side of this screen
• Fill in this online medical screening form
• Click “submit registration”
• Sit back and wait to hear from me. I'll give you all the information you need before coming along to your first class

Frequently asked questions


Q. When does the next Fit4Birth course start?

A. If you go into the “Latest” section of the website you will find up-to-date information on dates and times of classes, as well as all sorts of other tips, advice, news, recent testimonials, and free taster sessions.


Q. Must I already be exercising to join Fit4Birth?

A. Not at all. This class is appropriate for anyone who is generally healthy, regardless of fitness levels.

Q. I already exercise. Is there any point in my doing Fit4Birth?

Yes! Unlike, non-specialist exercise classes, Fit4Birth is designed specifically with pregnancy in mind, and focuses on all those changes that occur to the body during pregnancy. Every week you’ll be getting a dose of exercise that is tailored specifically to you and your pregnancy.


Q. Can I wear my normal, everyday clothes to Fit4Birth?

A. You are best off wearing loose clothing, such as a tracksuit or gym wear, which allows freedom of movement. Although this is a non-impact class, it is still important to wear a bra that provides good support. Trainers are recommended because when the weather is good we exercise outdoors (very good for the soul!)


Q. I suffer from back pain. Is it alright to do Fit4Birth?

A. This course uses Pilates techniques and focuses specifically on strengthening your back muscles and encouraging good posture. It can, therefore, be particularly beneficial for those suffering from back pain. I would, however, suggest that you seek advice from your GP before enrolling. 


Q. Your current course is already running. May I join part-way through?

A. Of course you may, just as long as there’s space for you! The best thing is to contact us to see what availability there is.


Q. I suffer from Pelvic girdle pain. Is it Fit4Birth appropriate?


A. This depends on the severity of your PGP. Many (but not all) PGP sufferers report reduced pain following Fit4Birth sessions. The best thing is to arrange to come along and try a session to see how you get on. Sign up for your 7 day FREE class pass to come along and try it.


Q. Should I eat before Fit4Birth?


A. Yes. Please make sure that you have a light snack and a drink about 1½ hours before the class starts, so as not to end up with a sugar low. Please also remember to bring along a drink to the class.


Q. At what stage in my pregnancy may I start Fit4Birth?



A. If you have been doing Pilates prior to conception, have carried on since, and everything is going smoothly, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start Fit4birth immediately. If, on the other hand, you are new to exercise or have not been exercising recently, I would suggest waiting until you have gone past the 12 week mark. Feel free to book a place now, though!


Q. I have been suffering from wrist pain in pregnancy. Can I do Fit4Birth?


A. Yes you can, and certain exercises will be adapted for you, so that you are comfortable.


Q. My blood pressure is a little low in pregnancy and this can make me feel dizzy. Am I OK to do Fit4birth?


A. It depends on how low your blood pressure is. Much of the class is mat-based and so you are unlikely to feel dizzy. However, some exercises are standing and these will be adapted to a seated position for you. Your blood pressure should improve during your second and third trimesters.


Q. Oh boo, you haven't answered my question here!


A. No problem. Just give us a shout at "We'd love to hear from you!"


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