There is a class for everything during pregnancy. Yoga, pilates, breathing, relaxation, baby care, bump clubs... I could go on. And this is great! We need and deserve this kind of support and education during pregnancy. Everyone does. EVERYONE. Not only those that can afford it. But what if you can't afford it? How can you access the things it seems everyone else does without the funds to do so?
I've been through 2 pregnancies (the third to an extent but not as much) with not enough left spare to spend of these things that are often seen as 'luxuries'. So I learnt some tricks and I want to share them in case you're feeling restricted.
YOGA & MOVEMENT
During pregnancy, it is so important to keep yourself active and strong. If you are already very active, you can keep on doing what you're doing if you feel comfortable doing so. If you're wanting to start out, yoga and pilates are often recommended to start getting you moving. These are great, as are most pregnancy exercise classes, but they sometimes are a luxury many can't afford.
So how can you work around this?
YouTube is your bestie. Do a bit of research first and find out what movement would best suit you, who is teaching the sessions and whether or not their information checks out. You will find someone you really like and can follow. These are free and so helpful.
TikTok. There are some professionals on there that post their exercise tips, activities, specifically pelvic floor specialists who share some great insider info and exercises. There are also professionals like chiropractors and osteopaths specialising in pregnancy sharing daily exercises and stretches.
Do what is accessible to you. If you can get out to walk, great. If dancing is more your thing and you can do 10 minutes with music just dancing without thinking, do this! It doesn't even have to be in a class, just the kitchen or your front room. If you march on the spot whilst the kettle boils, or do 10 rolls of each joint, that is all valid and beneficial.
Get on the Spinning Babies website. It's not just for breech babies, there is some great info regarding daily exercisesand activities.
Getting to a prenatal class isn't always possible, what with money, childcare, physical ability, mental health, neurodivergencies.... So we sometimes need to get clever!
Of course I'm going to talk about hypnobirthing. A full antenatal education education that provides information backed by evidence, options, and coping mechanisms should be available to everyone. There are options that won't cost you an arm and leg.
• NHS classes. You can get antenatal prep free on the NHS. These classes are run by midwives, but unfortunately don't have a very good rep. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take advantage of them! If you can, get to one and write down all the questions that come to mind, and take notes of what is said if you can. You can then use these notes to search through hypnobirthing instructors on Instagram or Facebook and cross reference the info you have been given or find the answers to your questions.
• Discounts on hypnobirthing courses. Some of us offer discounts to those in receipt of government support. I offer one free space every course, and one half price space every course for those in need of the extra help. I also offer payment plans so you can spread the cost.
• Books! One i would highly recommend is How To Have a Baby by Natalie Meddings. This is informative, and really easy to read too. I easily got through it within a month during my second pregnancy.
• Digital packages. The Birth Uprising does a digital package that you can purchase. Whislt this doesn't have the same experience as an in-person or live online course, it is unbelievably informative and a great alternative for empowerment!
Of course something that at its core is a money saver and an ancient parenting tool has been white washed and over complicated now making it expensive and often inaccessible to those who could most benefit from slings 🙄
That's where sling libraries can be handy. Finding a local one is as easy as a quick Google, or even Facebook search, and you will have the option of trying out different ones and hiring on a month by month basis. This works out way cheaper than buying, and it's much better for seeing which type of carrier suits you.
There is also second hand groups. The benefit of second hand is not only economical and environmentally friendly, but if you're wanting to try a wrap, sometimes second hand means they're worn in, supple, and much nicer to wrap with.
You also don't have to use anything extra fancy. Yes there are brands with lovely prints and patterns, but a pretty pattern does not a good carrier make. If a carrier that isn't ergonomic is cheaper, you can use the scarf hack! You can also hack scarves into ring slings or short wraps.
Once again, YouTube is your friend. Or even reels on Instagram. Follow people who have experience in babywearing and learn through the videos how to wear and wrap your small.
You do not have to be priced out of babywearing!
I hope these are helpful, if you want to access any of my free spaces or resources, get in touch!