Online pregnancy classes to book yourself onto now
Pregnant women may be spending the next few months at home, but there's plenty of socialising and support available with these fantastic online pregnancy classes
For every cloud, there's a silver lining: for the moment, there's no need to worry about being jostled on the Tube, buying an unsustainable maternity wardrobe, or missing out on your pregnancy meetup groups or fitness classes. You're just going to meet your new neighbourhood BFFs – with whom, crucially, you can discuss the contents of your baby's nappy at length – on Zoom instead of in person.
Here are some of the brilliant pregnancy classes and workouts every expectant woman should know about, which have helpfully moved online for as long as pregnant women need to be indoors and the rest of the UK remains in social distancing mode. Not only do these provide valuable, expert information to help assuage any fears (regarding coronavirus and pregnancy, as well as pregnancy in general), but they also offer an opportunity to socialise, a community to connect with and an opportunity for self -care whenever you need it.
A virtual NCT class in Frome
Online pregnancy classes and mum meet-ups
National Childbirth Trust (NCT)
The leading parents' charity in the UK has moved its antenatal classes live and online. These classes are indispensable for mums and dads-to-be. Not only are they an opportunity to engage with fellow local parents, but they can provide social connection in the interim as parents-to-be learn about labour, breastfeeding and having a newborn, and build a community support network that will last for years and years (ours is going strong a decade later). Expectant parents will also benefit from one-to-one online support sessions, as well as practical info from course leaders trained to the highest standard in conjunction with the University of Worcester.
JoJo Maman Bébé and Mama Society
For mums-to-be and new mums craving connection, Mama Society and JoJo Maman Bébé's virtual meetups tackle topics like hypnobirthing, sleep, baby massage and more. From May 11th, sign up for baby massage with Baby Glo London, while the following week there's a sleep clinic with Snooze Tots. London mums can also meet other local mums in their neighbourhood, on May 11th (north London) and 12th (south London), at 11am - digitally of course.
The Bump Class
Run by sisters Marina Fogle and Dr Chiara Hunt, The Bump Class is the antenatal group for the South Ken and Parsons Green set. Helpfully, these classes have moved online to accommodate self-isolating pregnant women. Classes are being taught remotely online via video link, at the originally designated times. If you already have kids, you may want to tune in and watch Marina's husband, Ben Fogle, who's hosting adventure and wilderness Instagram live streams for kids, which you'll find online at 4pm weekdays.
Bump & Baby Club
Bump & Baby Club
The leading independent provider of pregnancy classes in the UK, Bump & Baby Club operates in 62 London locations – and has moved all classes online for the foreseeable. Hosted on Zoom, the lessons are interactive, social and informative, with most run by practising London midwives who are on the front line of what's happening in London hospitals.
The course includes Baby First Aid training and a sociable afternoon tea – which can be enjoyed virtually. Join the tea and hang with your new pals online, while nibbling on treats that have been delivered to your home (yes, you can totally be in your PJs for this).
The Baby Show Live at Home
Expectant parents and new ones alike have come to depend on The Baby Show to test out baby gear and get all the expert tips and advice from the pros. It's gone online this May 16th and 17th on Facebook and includes breastfeeding experts, midwives, weaning specialists and more. Celeb Q&As include Joe Wicks, Jessica Ennis-Hill and more - plus you can shop online for all of the pregnancy and baby essentials you need.
NowBaby Live - the original online antenatal class initiative - has changed its focus to equip those waiting for a precious bundle with the latest news on how the current pandemic will affect the duration of their pregnancies and labour. All parents-to-be can try out a free Coronavirus and Pregnancy antenatal class with the latest advice and guidelines for expectant parents. The next class is running April 27th at 5:30pm, and you can book in here.
The Positive Birth Company
The Positive Birth Company is ensuring that pregnant and new mums have access to support and classes in isolation, and launched virtual antenatal and postnatal breastfeeding workshops online - which are available to view on their YouTube channel, in case you missed the live versions. Run by NHS breastfeeding practitioner and mum-of-four, May Langan, the videos cover everything from how to get baby to latch properly to nipple pain to knowing how to recognise if your baby is drinking enough. They also have daily yoga, meditation and breath work sessions.
Babyopathy's Stress During Pregnancy course
Natural parenting expert Angela Spencer runs a Stress During Pregnancy course for mums to be - even more essential listening during a pandemic, we think - through a series of short videos and tips to give pregnant women quick fixes and long-term strategies for staying calm during pregnancy and labour. The course is currently free to access.
Online pregnancy fitness classes
Pregnancy yoga with Nadia Narain at Triyoga
Nadia Narain's pregnancy yoga classes at Triyoga's Chalk Farm outpost are legendary – she's an incredible teacher, and it doesn't hurt that she's BFF with Jools Oliver and Sam Taylor-Johnson, who sought her out during their pregnancies.
Good news: her classes are available to stream online (Saturdays, 9am-10am, and there's also pregnancy yoga on Thursdays at 12:30pm with Susannah Hoffman), along with a range of other Triyoga classes and therapies. Parents-to-be who also have kids at home will be delighted that there are family and kids' yoga offerings to live-stream as well – a much-needed complementary therapy for those who are homeschooling, we think. Just. Breathe.
Hollie Grant's The Bump Plan
The Bump Plan
Hollie Grant's Pilates PT is now live-streaming The Bump Plan classes, designed to support pregnant women in their second and third trimesters with a combination of trimester-specific Pilates and low-impact cardio. The classes are geared towards preparing for labour, gaining muscle strength and reducing any pregnancy niggles, and cost £10 (free for NHS workers).
Normally taught at FLEX Chelsea (which has its own selection of online workouts running), Paola's Bodybarre is live-streaming classes online. A combination of dynamic Pilates, ballet barre conditioning, functional training and HIIT, there's a dedicated BabyBarre class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30pm for those looking to build strength, particularly in the core and pelvic floor. The class also works post-natally, welcoming babies up to nine months.
Busylizzy's online fitness class
Busylizzy Family Club
Busylizzy is a fitness-focused family club with a slew of London locations, from Clapham to Kingston. They've got a selection of 21 pre- and post-natal workouts, as well as baby and kid-centric classes, that are being streamed online for £20 a month.
Classes are on daily, with at least two live-streamed classes per day, and there are also opportunities to socialise with other parents as well as pick up expert tips on pregnancy and parenting (past workshops have covered topics like coronavirus and pregnancy and self-care). Some classes you can start streaming now? Baby massage, Mum-to-be yoga, Mummy and Me Pilates, baby music, Hip Hop Tots and Mummy and Me bootcamp, to name a few. There's a 14-day trial period so you can see if it's a good fit for you.
ReFrame is hosting pregnancy Pilates classes online
With outposts in Herne Hill, Brixton and Dulwich, ReFrame Pilates is every southeast London gal's fave workout space. For now, catch founder Holly Spence live-streaming her pregnancy Pilates class Wednesdays at 12pm. If you can't make the live stream, it's no biggie – sign up to Holly's email class plan and you'll receive a recording of the live-stream class to do in your own time. There are also postnatal Pilates classes available online.
LushTums pregnancy yoga
LushTums runs yoga classes across the UK for pregnant and postnatal women, as well as kids' yoga sessions. They've moved their schedule online – almost in full – and recommend signing up to a class near where you live (they have East and Sydenham locations in London).
The classes are running at the same time as they would IRL, but if the timings don't work, women can sign up to a course in another location or practise with LushTums founder Clare on Wednesdays, 6am-7.15pm, or Saturdays, 11am-12.15pm.
LushTums is also running free online Zoom hangouts for mums and babies and mums-to-be to connect, share tips and questions and enjoy a breath practice or yoga Nidra relaxation – so essential right now. If you're in the market for an Antenatal Education Course, including baby First Aid, LushTums has one starting on 7 April.
Four Sides, the Battersea-based Pilates studio that specialises in women's health and pre- and post-natal fitness, is somewhat of a CW obsession (we strongly believe seeing a women's physio post-birth is essential for every new mum). Their Four Sides at Home series includes Pilates videos programmed for each trimester, with exercises that challenge you physically and breathing techniques that calm you mentally.
A gong bath at Re:Mind Studio
In these crazy times, being able to stay centred and calm (not easy mid-pregnancy and Covid-19, we know) can really help keep you positive throughout pregnancy, even when you're indoors. Re:Mind Studio is brilliant for this: a healing, meditation and breathwork studio, it's the perfect way to chill out, or at least give those anxieties a helpful push. A selection of classes is available online, like reiki healing, crystal bowls and energising breathwork.
Fit Bump Box
Dr Joanna Helcké's pregnancy, postnatal fitness and mums-with-little-time programmes are all available online now - and you pay what you can. The mum of three specialises in pre- and post-natal fitness and health and these tailor-made programmes are designed to suit you, whatever stage you're at.