Aqua Natal and Baby and Toddler Swim Classes
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Frequently Asked Questions
You are able to start aqua yoga at any time in your pregnancy right through to 40+ weeks.
When can I start Postnatal Aqua Yoga?
When you have stopped bleeding and you have had the all clear from your doctor/midwife. Please also check with your midwife if you have had a caesarean before exercising.
Where are the classes held?
Classes are held in a lovely spa and hydrotherapy pools around Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. Please click on "Our lovely pools"
How long are the classes?
Antenatal classes are 45 minutes. Baby Swim and combined Baby and Postnatal Aqua Yoga classes are 28 minutes long.
What shall I bring to aqua natal?
You will be sent full confirmation but please bring, you swimming costume, a full bottle of water to consume, towel, shampoo etc, warm hat for the winter months, hair tied up please, Aquatic Harmony forms completed, plastic bag for wet costume.
What shall I bring for baby swim?
You will be sent full confirmation but you will need to bring disposable or cloth swim nappies, happy napy must be warn over the disposable, a baby warmer for all babies under 12 months, towels for both you and baby, changing mat, water and milk for little one, snacks for toddlers. Plastic bag for wet items. Warm hat's in autumn winter months.
How many people are there in a class?
Maximum of ten in aqua natal and eight pairs in baby/toddler swim.
When can I take my baby swimming?
You can take baby from birth as long as their cord has healed and you have the okay from you midwife or doctor, preferably you would both have had your 6 week check.
You no longer have to wait until they have had their immunisations any concerns that you may have can be discussed with your GP, Health Visitor or by visiting the NHS website. If you do take your little one to a public pool before attending classes please ensure they are warm enough, a baby warmer is recommended.
Phil and I just wanted to send you our personal thanks for the time and effort you and your wonderful team have put into Freyas amazing swimming experience. She is super happy and confident in the water and her skills are really strong, thanks to you all.
Since our first session when she was only 4.5 months we've been so welcomed and have been so impressed with what she has achieved and we couldn't Thankyou enough. Both of us feel so strongly that being able to swim or indeed have water confidence is such a crucial life skill and we are thrilled we chose you guys. We of course will be carrying on with her swimming and look forward to developing and building on from what you have taught her.
Special thanks to yourself, Karen, Becca and the two Emma's.
A truly heartfelt Thankyou so so much.
LoveChar, Phil and Freya XXXX
Hope you're doing well?
I wanted to drop you an email to say thank you so much for my experience with Aquatic Harmony now that our time with you has come to an end after nearly four years!
I absolutely loved the pre natal classes, then to bringing Tilly to her first swimming lessons at six weeks old. I've already told you how invaluable I found those sessions when she was so young and I was really struggling. Giving me something to get out of the house for, feeling like I was doing something beneficial for my child, and helping me with what I needed the most then was the assistance in building a bond with Tilly.
That turned into lessons that Tilly LOVED and her confidence and swimming in the water came on leaps and bounds. Keeping her out of the water is the challenge now. She rides water chutes I've seen adults refuse and tried surfing in the sea with no fear of going under. She cried huge heart broken sobs on the way home from her last lesson with Karen when she understood that was the last one.
I writing this email sitting on the side of a pool as I watch her in her new lesson (having a little cry if I'm honest) which she is fair too competent for but they would not let her join any higher level because she is still only 3!
Your lessons changed my experience of motherhood for the better. That may sound dramatic but I know it to be true.
Thank you Hayleigh and Karen. You are doing fantastic things and I'm so glad I found you and your company. We will miss you lots.
Jo and Tilly xxxxx
Just emailing to let you know that Aurelia was born at home this morning at 2:46 am weighing 3.05kg. I breathed her out without any pain relief! I think that I was already in labour during the class on Sunday because it all ramped up so quickly straight after.
Thanks for all the advice and support, and of course, if the post natal aqua starts up give me a shout!
2nd February 2016
We are delighted to announce the safe arrival of Sophie Ila on Tuesday 2/2/16, 8lb 13oz, uncomplicated delivery, home and feeding well.
Please say a big thank you to Kerry for such lovely classes, a real highlight of the week and great chance to relax during pregnancy.
19th May 2015
My gorgeous boy Eli arrived on Friday ( his due date) at 11.10pm 8lb 15! Born in the water! I'm sure he's loved floating around the pool these last 15 or so weeks and felt quite at home in the water making for a positive straightforward delivery! So much better than my first labour! Please pass on to Carrie! Thanks so much for the sessions and maybe see you for some baby swim!
Rebecca 19th May 2015
I wanted to let Carrie know that I had my baby daughter (Erin) on bank holiday
Monday. I was lucky enough to get the use of a pool at Southmead and managed labour without any pain relief at all. I'd like to think that was down to the breathing techniques
and relaxing association of water thanks to Carrie's classes. Please pass on my thanks.
I would like to sign up for swim classes with my baby, but think the June term will be too soon for us. When do the next set of classes start after that?
Rebecca (attended Mercure on Sundays)
Amy Facebook April 18th 2015
Following from an excellent ante natal swim class last Sunday evening with rotations to persuade my breech baby to not be breech I am pleased to report she is now head down! Thanks to the class no need for any procedures to turn her she's done it!! I'm so pleased thank you Aquatic Harmony!!!
10th Feb 2016
I'm happy to say that our little man arrived on Sunday, we've called him Henry and he weighed in at 7lb 7. Thank you so much for the classes, the breathing in particular helped me so much in labour, and in terms of pregnancy I'm sure it cured my spd! We'd love to attend your Sunday baby swim classes at Bradley Stoke when he's big enough if you have spaces?
Thank you for everything,
Lucy and Henry
Hannah Netmums December 2014
I have been desperate to get into the water as soon as I found out I was pregnant and so at 12 weeks I started my sessions with Hayleigh at the Mercure (I later moved to Aztec as its closer to home). I am now 33 weeks pregnant and can honestly say that Aqua Natal has been one of my favorite parts of pregnancy! The sessions really help with relaxation, especially when you are still struggling with the daily grind of work etc. The sessions helped me to forget about all my worries and connect with my unborn baby ? I am planning on a water birth and I am sure that the breathing exercises we do will come in handy then too. In short, I can’t recommend Aquatic Harmony enough
Laura Netmums December 2014
I can highly recommend Aquatic Harmony for antenatal yoga classes. The pool at the Mercure Holland House was lovely and warm and the classes were wonderfully relaxing. I only wish I'd started them earlier in my pregnancy. I hope to take my daughter to baby swim classes with Hayleigh in the new year.
Maele November 2014 (netmums)
I would highly recommend aqua natal to other mothers to be. It was amazing for me, the benefit to my posture, my breathing... the instant relief being in water weightless and making movements that alleviate back pain and heavy legs etc.. I would come back home relaxed. Hayleigh is very friendly and shows you a series of exercises that prepare you for labour... and so its all beneficial! What amazed me too is that baby can hear the movement of the water and so will enjoy it too!
Samantha November 2014 (facebook)
Really relaxing classes and such a great way to meet other expecting mummies! Hayleigh and Vicky are brilliant, you'll love it!
Shelley November 2014 (facebook)
I've been taking my little girl to Aquatic Harmony's baby swim classes since she was just 4 weeks old. The lessons are relaxed and fun and have been a great way to introduce my little one to water in a safe and controlled way.
I took my little girl to a public pool today (she's 7 months) and was surprised that I had a number of mums come up to me and say how amazed they were at my little girl. They couldn't believe how well she was 'swimming' and how much fun she seemed to be having even when going under the water! It then became clear to me how valuable it has been taking her swimming from a very young age.
We always look forward to our swimming lesson each week and we can't wait to start another term. Overall I would definitely highly recommend Aquatic Harmony's baby swim classes.
Faye Feb 2014
I have thoroughly enjoyed both the baby swim classes & Aqua Yoga in pregnancy. Just wish I'd started the yoga earlier! It's so relaxing, in a lovely warm & friendly environment. Gives me time to focus on breathing exercises & feel weightless in water. I would defo recommend these to anyone. When my second is born, I can't wait to take them swimming again, swimming lessons were always our favourite day of the week with my eldest!
Eleanor Feb 2014
I did both the ante-natal classes and then it was a pleasure to take my baby to the baby swim classes. The ante-natal classes were a
really nice way to connect with my body as the pregnancy developed, and prepare for the birth. I was able to use the breathing techniques that I learnt to help give birth to my daughter, these helped
to keep me calm even though she surprised us by arriving a month early.
I was apprehensive about taking her to the pool, as she really hated having baths, but the lovely mix of singing and gentle movement in the baby swimming class helped us both to relax and really enjoy the sessions. She now loves baths as well! I hope to do another term soon!
Leesa Jan 20th 2014
Whilst pregnant I did the antenatal aqua yoga which was a lovely class. It was great to be able to do some gentle movements and relax in the water. Hayleigh was a fantastic teacher & always very cheery & helpful. Very relaxing and used to be the highlight of my week, I miss it now! Me & my daughter are now doing the baby swim and we love it. Its such a fun class for us both. I also feel it is really building her confidence in the water. Would recommend both classes to anyone.
Sadie 18th Jan
I did two terms of baby swim classes at the Murcure hotel with Hayleigh and we just loved it. We did the combined yoga and baby swim
class for a term followed by just the baby swim class.
I really liked Hayleigh's relaxed approach and that you were supported to take the class at your own pace.
I will definately be booking on to the pregnancy water yoga class when im pregnant with my next!
Lorna Jan 18th
I attended Aquanatal classes at Henbury in the Hydrotherapy pool. They were extremely helpful during my pregnancy, giving me relief from my SPD symptoms, and also the breathing exercises we learned essentially gave me my natural water birth experience. Always a great bunch of ladies and the instruction is fantastic. Highly recommended. I will attend the postnatal classes in the near future.
January 18th 2014
Our baby girl was born last Sunday 12th Jan at 11:41pm, 8lb 5oz. Totally natural water birth in
the new suite at Southmead. It all happened very quickly, full on labour started at 10pm, Marnie being born not long after. The breathing exercises are what got me through and I cannot rate them
was born in the pool, and at one point, with my face in the water, I was transported back to the birthing breath exercises which was great for my mind to concentrate on. Once I'm able to I'd love to come along to the baby swim sessions so I'll be in touch, but thanks for the classes, they were invaluable, and best of luck to the other ladies
December 21st 2013
Hi Hayleigh and Vicky! At last, I have some news for you. Our beautiful son, Daniel Isaac was born on Wednesday 18th December at 21:12 at Stroud Maternity Unit. He weighed in at 8lbs 12.5! I managed to have a water birth and he was actually born in his sac! I was able to use lots of the moveswe had practised in class and I found the combination of the gas and air and the water worked a treat! Looking forward to bringing Daniel to his swimming classes once he is bigger. Thank you for all your help in preparation for the birth...it really did make all the difference. Love Jess x
5th Nov 2013 via facebook
From Joanna who attended classes in 2012
" I had a water birth in the birthing suite at Southmead I had a very good experience. I also did aquanatal yoga every week from 20 weeks pregnant and I feel the techniques and exercices we did there really helped to strengthen my body in the right places, and made me feel very at ease in the water when I was in labour. See Aquatic Harmony x
29th Oct 2013
Just to let you know we had Jacob James on Thursday (24th) weighing 8lb 11.5oz. We had him at Cossham in the pool. Many thanks for the aqua courses, the breathing techniques definitely helped!
3rd April From Sarah via Netmums
I have been attending Hayleigh’s Aquatic Harmony class since I was 27 weeks pregnant and I plan to continue until my baby is born. It is a fantastic way to relax and take time to focus on yourself and your baby. I attend the classes at the Mecure HoIland House Hotel. It is a lovely venue and each class feels like a weekly treat. The classes are small, private and Hayleigh is great at putting everyone at ease. I look forward to the class each week and could not recommend it enough!
20th March 2013 Stephanie sent via Netmums
I joined Hayleigh's classes from around 14 weeks until 39 weeks and found them an ideal way to take time out to relax, soothe
pregnancy aches and pains and dedicate time for you and baby.
Hayleigh is patient and easy going, taking time to check for any joint pain (as well as remembering previously mentioned pains) and adjusting the exercises accordingly. Her classes are small and the pool private which allows full relaxation and time to bond with baby as well as chatting with other mums to be.
Fully recommended for any mums to be out there!
18th March 2013 nina says via netmums
Hayleigh's aqua natal classes are excellent for relaxation and birthing tips. Some of the exercises done in the water are
also very good for hip and pelvic strengthening, which is great for the inevitable pelvic instability that arises due to pregnancy hormones. Great sessions.
8TH April 2013
Thanks for a great class yesterday. I felt so knackered this
past week and really uncomfortable but
the class totally sorted me out! I felt great when I got home. I think my husband was quite relieved to see a happy me for once!Thanks and see you on Sunday!
From Alex - via Netmums 18th Feb 2013
I'd really recommend Hayleigh's classes. I took my son from 3 months to 9 months and we both really enjoyed them. She's good at explaining things and making sure you do all the holds as safely as possible. There's a nice friendly atmosphere and the pool (mercure) is a nice size, warm enough and you can walk into the pool rather than climbing down a ladder. I stopped going when I started back at work and have tried another company, only because they do classes on a Sunday, and I don't think they're a patch on Hayleigh's class. I'd do these classes again if I could. Highly recommended them!
LOUISE SAYS FEB 2013 I started the antenatal aqua yoga classes when I was 13 weeks pregnant after Hayleigh was recommended by a work colleague. The classes were easy to follow and well explained, great for a yoga novice like myself and also included all important breathing techniques for during labour . As the pregnancy progressed Hayleigh would tailor the exercises to address any aches and pains that I had each week as well as offer advice regarding positions and moves to use during labour whether on land or in water. I attended my last class when I was 39 weeks. Kieran arrived just over a week later after a long early labour the final stage was very quick, 5 pushes so barely got to use the birthing breath that I had practised very week! I was also lucky enough to not need any stitches, which I put down to all the stretching exercises that I had been doing during hayleighs classes, and as a result was back running and playing hockey only 5 weeks after giving birth! I have now just started Hayleighs baby swimming classes and Kieran loves it.
From Jo via Netmums 13th Jan 2013
My son and I thoroughly enjoyed Hayleigh's classes. We started when he was 3 months old as the thought of taking him on my own was a little intimidating, and continued for 8 months. Hayleigh was amazing at showing us different holds and increasing my confidence in moving and playing with him in the pool. He now loves swimming and flaps his arms excitedly every time he sees water and he kicks and splashes like crazy. We learnt to take him underwater and I now feel confident to do this, but this wasn't forced and we could have quite happily enjoyed the classes without participating in this bit. Learning the safety behaviour like how to encourage him to hold onto the side of the pool and roll onto his back has been really useful. I only wish I hadn't had to stop as i've gone back to work, but we're carrying on what we've learnt in the local pool. We would highly recommend these fun and friendly classes and they seem like a really good deal compared to other swimming classes in the area. Thanks Hayleigh!!
January 2013 - Hayleigh just wanted to say a huge thank you for introducing Alfie to swimming so calmly and in such a realxed way. We have both become more confident as the weeks have gone on and so look forward to wednesday mornings. I am so sad that we have to stop due to my work, but I am sure we will hear about the fun that flynn is having wishing you all the very best and thank you once again love Karen and Alfie x
Georgia 3rd October 2012
I gave birth to Virginia Rose 10lb 4oz at 9am today with just gas and air. All plans went out the window but the breathing techniques we learnt in class really helped me through. I look forward to bringing her along to the baby swim. Georgia
sent via text
Hiya Hayleigh, Michael John was born Friday 7Ibs 6oz completely natural birth in the birthing pool, i'll email you properly as there is so much to write. All I can say is all the aqua yoga prepared me in so many ways!! Wil be in touch soon with full story and booking the postnatal classes, hope you had a lovely holiday Rebecca xx
29th July 2012
Hi Hayleigh, I just wanted to say thanks for the tips about my hips, they have been much
better than last week after doing the exercises in the class and also what you
have recommended to do at home.
See you on monday!
Thought I'd send you a picture of Archie and just let you know how the birth went and what was helpful from your classes.
All went really well and I didn't need any pain relief beyond a few paracetamol. I had him at home and spent all the time in the water - initially in the bath and then in a birthing pool. Initially I used some hypnobirthing techniques to manage the pain of contractions which was really helpful. When I moved into the birthing pool and started pushing I found the techniques you taught us so helpful. The one where you dive under water and push the amount of time you breathe out for was probably the best one, I used this all through the 2nd stage. I'd also been practising some techniques when on the toilet (sorry if too much info!!). All this may be why the 2nd stage only took 30 mins! Midwife kept telling us it would take longer but I felt really confident in breathing and pushing and could feel baby moving forward and not slipping back at all.
The only slight downside to it all was that the midwife assumed that I was much earlier in labour because I seemed so relaxed - when she finally examine me I was 9cm dilated and it was then a bit of a rush to get the additional midwife out and get set up!!
Not that I'm complaining, was far quicker and straightforward than I could have ever hoped for and we got Archie at the end who is healthy and lovely!
Thanks for sending me the info on post-natal sessions, I will let you know.
All the best and thanks again for your help!
Hi Hayleigh - we had a baby girl Amber, born 2.55am this morning - very quick active labour - amazed how much everything I learnt form aqua yoga helped so much!!!! Thank you so much :) Fran
23rd Feb 2012 11.55am
Hi Hayleigh! I had a gorgeous baby boy Caspar born at home on Tuesday evening weighing a mega 10lbs! I used my Golden thread breath and labour breathing, and he came out in 3 pushes with no tears! Hopefully see you for some postnatal stuff soon - my poor pelvis definitely needs some attention! Rowan xxx