10 of the best pregnancy classes in Islington

Now you are pregnant, don’t be tempted to turn into a couch potato! Regular, gentle exercise will raise your energy levels, while helping you during pregnancy and birth with relaxation and pain control

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Play yoga pregnancy – Pop Up Yoga (Upper Street)
Yoga during pregnancy can strengthen your back and will help with childbirth by opening your hips and groin while increasing blood circulation. It’s also a great way to meet other pregnant women and create your own support group. Classes are recommended from the end of the first trimester, but early booking is advised as there is a limit to 12 participants per class.

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NCT Antenatal Course – Highbury Baptist Church (N5)
T
ese popular antenatal courses are designed for couples but you can attend on your own or with a friend, relative or even birth partner. Subjects covered include pregnancy and birth choices, body awareness and relaxation through breathing and massage, home birth and water birth, what happens in labour, pain relief and looking after a newborn. Refresher classes for second- or third-time-round parents are also on offer. There is a charge for classes but concessions are available.

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Maternally Fit
Run by a women’s health physiotherapist, Maternally Fit classes are designed for pregnant and post-natal women. Pregnancy classes are suitable for novice and experienced exercisers as each class is tailored to individual fitness needs. Recommended from 12 weeks to full term, they consist of cardio-vascular fitness and strength training – great to prepare you for the big day! Props include exercise ball and hand weights. Classes are pre-booked and pre-paid, but a free trial class is available.

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Birthing Classes at Morelands
These free antenatal classes, sometimes called parentcraft classes by midwives, help you to prepare for labour and childbirth, including the early days of looking after your baby. Topics discussed include locally available choices for labour and birth, how to compile a birth plan, birth complications and any other issues you or other expectant parents want to discuss. Classes are informal and you will be meeting mums who are due around the same time as you.

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Active Birth Workshop
This workshop aims to make you feel empowered and in control during labour by focusing on how you can use your body to achieve a positive birth experience. Positions, movement, breathing and other strategies to cope with contractions and pain will be explored. If you are attending with your partner or birth partner, they will gain an insight on how a woman’s body works in labour and how she can be supported, including massage. Ideal if you are thinking of giving birth at home or in a midwife-led birth centre, this is also an excellent refresher for parents expecting a second or subsequent baby.

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Yoga for Pregnancy @ Yogabase (Liverpool Road)
No need to book or pre-pay, just turn up! De-stress and re-energise with yoga postures adapted to prepare your body for labour and birth through gentle stretching, breathing techniques and deep relaxation. Special offers are available if you want to pay in advance for a set of classes.

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Ante-natal Pilates
Suitable for women in their second and third trimesters, these classesaim to strengthen your pelvic floor and deep abdominals to decrease the stress on your lower back in order to achieve correct alignment and posture. Equipment includes Swiss balls, foam rollers, overballs, bands and cushions. Classes are limited to six participants, so early booking is recommended.

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Aqua Aerobics
Water aerobics is a low-impact workout that improves the fitness of your heart and lungs, while the support of the water reduces stress on joints like knees and ankles. This makes it ideal for relieving back pain and those carrying excess weight, including pregnant ladies! Classes at Highbury leisure centre are ladies only, but classes are also held at Archway Leisure Centre.

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HypnoBirthing with Katrina Berry
HypnoBirthing aims to make childbirth a positive experience, allowing you to relax and let nature take its course. Pain is reduced while anxiety and stress are removed, making the birth of your child easier, calmer and more comfortable. These classes are great for nervous, first-time mums who want to feel more relaxed, positive and in control. At present only private classes are available in Islington.

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Birthlight pregnancy yoga
Birthlightis a friendly, informal charity focusing on a holistic approach to pregnancy, birth and parenthood, using Yoga and breathing methods to enhance your and your baby’s wellbeing. Sessions are run as blocks of classes,so early booking is recommended.

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