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Being confident in water is necessary for the class, but your feet are on the floor the whole time, so, you don’t need to be able to swim.  There is a section of relaxation towards the end of the class where you can hang out in the deep end (depending on pool venue having a deep end!) if you wish, but a feet on the bottom option always available.

Over the years many non-swimmers have enjoyed and participated happily in the class.

Having pelvic pain is tough, something I experienced in two of my four pregnancies!  The pool is very helpful in easing the pain, and it feels great to be able to move and still feel that you’re working out despite the pelvic pain.  All instructors are chartered physiotherapists and alter the classes for each individual, working around your pain.

You’ll be amazed at how much you can do in the water, particularly when you’re so restricted on land feeling that you have to control opening, getting up and down, rolling over in bed etc on land, the water freedom is fabulous!

When you’re in water up to your chest, you only weigh one quarter of your normal weight.

Generally backpain just melts away in the water with your body feeling buoyant and light.  All the weight that increases during pregnancy, and stresses the joints of the spine and pelvis is cancelled out in the water.  This means that you can move with greater ease and stretch and move the joints without gravity affecting things so that you get out of the pool feeling an inch taller!

I encourage people to start their Aqua4mums classes anytime from 16 weeks onwards.

The reason for this is that energy levels generally start to come back up towards normal around then and you don’t feel quite so crappy!  Your bump is generally starting to become more bumpy and the weightlessness in the pool starts to become needed!

This is one of the wonderful things about Aqua4mums classes.  The more pregnant you are, the better and better you feel in the pool!

Even at 41 weeks+ you still feel light, agile and can participate in the class fully.  Getting dressed afterwards is the only thing that gets harder!

All the splashing around may help to get things moving too!

The classes run in 6 week blocks, you pay at the beginning for your six classes and receive your special block rate.  It is possible to start partway through a block and there are pro-rata rates for this.  Most people start in their second trimester and continue block after block until their baby arrives.

If you’re due during a block you just come pay as you go.  All classes after 40 weeks are generally free!!

There is a little bit of light splashing during the class, but generally people don’t feel they need to wear goggles.

Your face isn’t in the water at any stage of the class.

I’m blind as a bat so always wear my glasses in the pool.  I find I can’t hear as well if I don’t wear them!

It’s up to you, there is full verbal instruction, but generally people follow along/copy my movements too.

PAYG in Aqua4mums is generally for people who are due during a block.  People have found that doing their classes in a block gives them a really good base in terms of fitness, flexibility and strength.  There is good alternatives offered in being able to join a block part way through, so its possible to start on a shorter block if you’re not sure.

Most people become very addicted to feeling great in the pool, I’m sure you will too!

Aqua4mums classes have evolved over the past 17years (the first babies (and their mums) who started with me in 2003 are getting ready to sit their leaving cert (eeeek!)  Aquamum classes incorporate moves and stretches from Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Physio Therapeutic Exercise and Aquafit, all aided by the weightlessness of water.  Each class covers at least 25mins cardio, arm/neck/shoulder strengthening set, trunk/core strength/flexibility work, balance development, deep abdominal work, relaxation, birth prep and pelvic floor practice.

There is much more movement in an Aquamum class compared to antenatal yoga or antenatal pilates so they complement each other well.

Generally, when you sign up for a block at an Aqua4mums venue, that’s where you’ll develop your friends/tribe and it’s great to meet up with them every week.  It’s also good to have a consistent physio instructor to guide and progress you through any issues that come up.  There is however great flexibility in the system and you’re welcome to change venues occasionally to make up a missed class or to match your working schedule.

Some people like to attend twice a week so sign up for two venues at a time for this.

I’m more than happy to discuss how to manage this with you, just get in contact.

The beauty of the water is that you are almost weightless and can manage a full session, so could your granny!  The skill of the aquatic physiotherapist is in using its resistance properties.  The water provides resistance to your body and changes your centre of gravity.  Imagine how walking through a vat of treacle would feel like and how hard you would have to work.

Now we don’t go for treacle, but the water makes it almost 9 times as hard to move through than air.  We use and vary this resistance in class by changing the shape/size and speed of a limb moving through the water or adding floats/water weights to make it more or less challenging for each person.  Everyone works at their own level.

People wear a variety of swimwear to the class.  Bikinis, one piece suits or tankini and briefs are all very popular choices.  Its whatever you are comfortable in, but there is a good bit of activity and bouncing in the class so feeling secure (!) without Janet Jackson wardrobe fails is necessary.  Some people actually find wearing a black bra or sports bra under a black swimsuit very comfortable, particularly if larger on top.

Anything goes, make sure to match your togs to you hat, very important, only kidding.

The basics are your bump and a smile.  You do also need togs, towel, hat and flipflops that are secure on your feet, and give you good grip, as pools are slippy places.  It’s a good idea to bring a drink with you as well as a snack as you often feel hungry afterwards, or have it before if you need a bit of a lift after work.

Whatever oils, potions or lotions are up to you!

Baby bundles available on health insurance policies have improved massively lately.  I’m more than happy to provide a receipt for your block of classes.  Although Aquanatal in and of itself is not covered, antenatal yoga and pilates are and we cover a bit of these in each class…….

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