Stretch and breathe

Offering yoga classes for pregnancy. This class is designed for all stages of pregnancy from 12 wee

I am a specialist in yoga for pregnancy and I also offer regular yoga classes based on the Hatha style. I trained as a yoga for pregnancy teacher with National Childbirth Trust and I am also an antenatal teacher of some 21 years so you can be confident in my ability to support pregnant women . The sessions are suitable to attend from 12 weeks of pregnancy and details can also be found by going t

Operating as usual


With lots of bank holidays this time of year the class is off and on , tomorrow we are On 😁come join me at 6.30pm St Denys church centre for some mum and baby time x


The weekend papers and news feeds are again filled with stories designed to fill us with fear about birth.

Sadly, it's a regular thing. No matter whether they're on the web, in the papers or on TV, these stories are written to be scary and focused on risk. They are designed to instill fear and undermine women’s confidence in their own bodies and babies.

Here are a few things that you should bear in mind when reading these headlines and the associated stories.

1. Both the originator of the research and the people who turn it into a story want to get the headline and the story to spread as far and wide as possible. Their job isn't to help you make an informed decision about what is right for you.

2. The goal of getting maximum publicity for a research finding or story is sometimes achieved by taking a sensationalist stance. Key facts may be glossed over, shared in a misleading way or left out completely.

3. Risk and fear sell news very quickly. There are many, many studies showing that birth is safe and that women's bodies are marvellously good at growing, birthing and feeding babies. But these don't make exciting headlines, and they don't make nearly as many people read, click and share. So they are often ignored.

4. There is almost never any discussion of the bigger picture or the wider context, either of the study or situation itself or of other work that has been done on the same topic. We need more information than can be found in the headlines.

5. In reality, research and report findings are never certain. All studies have limitations. Sadly, the complexity and the uncertainty gets compromised in favour of those risk-filled headlines which make you want to click, read and share.

Stay calm.

Remember that the job of the media is to sell headlines, not to help people making pregnancy and birth decisions.


Get informed.

And then make the decision that's right for you.

If you'd like to see more of my work on this topic, you can find me at

Photo credit .kraft


A systematic review and meta-analysis has examined the characteristics and effectiveness of pregnancy yoga interventions.

“Twenty-nine studies with 2217 pregnant women were included for meta-analysis.

Pregnancy yoga interventions reduced anxiety, depression and perceived stress.

Yoga interventions also reduced duration of labour and, increased odds of normal vaginal birth and tolerance for pain.

The quality of evidence (GRADE criteria) was low to very low for all outcomes.

Twelve or more yoga sessions delivered weekly/bi-weekly had a statistically significant impact on mode of birth, while 12 or more yoga sessions of long duration (> 60 min) had a statistically significant impact on perceived stress.”

The researchers concluded that, “The evidence highlights positive effects of pregnancy yoga on anxiety, depression, perceived stress, mode of birth and duration of labour.”

The reference for this study is: Corrigan L et al (2022). The characteristics and effectiveness of pregnancy yoga interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 22(250).

You can read the full paper at

(We’ll link that in Sara’s stories today).

We share research for those who like to stay up-to-date with birth-related research and thinking. If you're a midwife, birth worker or pregnancy yoga teacher who would like to delve deeper into studies, get updated on what's new and become better at understanding research, join Dr Sara Wickham’s mailing list at


Exciting news as of Monday 28th February Relax stretch and breathe Weekly wellness sessions for pregnancy will be back face to face at St Denys Church Centre for the first time in nearly two years.

The sessions will be from 6.30-7.45 pm and will include breath awareness and breathing for labour, visualisations, gentle stretches to ease out those pregnancy aches and pains and a lovely relaxation to end with.

It also gives you the opportunity to make some new friends and to ask any questions you may have about pregnancy and labour as I am also a fully qualified antenatal teacher with the National Childbirth trust and have been practising for 22 years.

For details on pricing email me at [email protected].


There isn’t a class this evening , but back to normal next Monday 😃


Happy new year !
If you are interested in joining in the relax stretch and breathe classes then please note these will continue online for the time being due to the rise in Covid infections, don’t let this put you off though ,you will still be able to learn the breathing for labour do some gentle effective stretching and sprawl on your own floor for a relaxation 👍


Classes have now finished until Jan and will be continuing on zoom for the time being , if you would like to join in then message me for details.

Merry Xmas


Yoga for pregnancy is still going strong on zoom Mondays 6.30-7.30pm 🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️🧘


A reminder that researchers looking at the effectiveness of prenatal yoga on delivery outcomes undertook a meta-analysis with interesting results.

They, "identified that yoga improved vaginal delivery, decreased premature delivery and birth weight of newborns, shorten the labor duration." (Rong et al 2020).

A note about the birth weight finding before anyone asks. This doesn't mean that the babies were compromised or didn't grow well. The average weight of the babies in the yoga and non-yoga groups was within normal limits and the researchers seem to be suggesting that this might mean that women who did yoga in these studies had babies who were less likely to be affected by gestational diabetes, but this needs more research.

The authors concluded that, "Prenatal yoga is an effective complementary medicine to improve delivery outcomes and not to increase the risk of fetus, which is worth recommending to pregnant women."

Not all of the studies involved in this meta-analysis were of high quality, but it's great that this gives us some evidence and a better idea of what we need to look at in future research.

You can see the original research at

We share research for those who like to stay up-to-date with birth-related research and thinking. If you're a midwife, birth worker or pregnancy yoga teacher who would like to delve deeper into studies, get updated on what's new and become better at understanding research, join Dr Sara Wickham for an online course. Details at


Just wanted to give an update that for the time being relax stretch and breathe is still on zoom.
If you’d like to join in send me a message or email me at [email protected] for the enrolment form and zoom code.


Relax stretch and breathe is back this evening at 6.30pm on Zoom


Morning all,
There isn’t a class tonight as I’m on holiday this week 👍


Hope you are keeping cool on this beautiful sunny day , why not join me at 6.30pm for some relaxing breathing , a series of gentle yoga stretches followed by a relaxation 🙏🙏


Great news I’ve just been given the go ahead to get back to live classes from 1st July or whenever the first Monday falls 👍


A reminder that relax stretch and breathe is this evening at 6.30pm , if you are 12 weeks or more into your pregnancy this is a fantastic way to practise the breathing for labour and to ease out those pregnancy aches and pains .


Back tonight for pregnancy yoga at 6.30pm
And regular yoga at 8.30pm all on zoom .


Pregnancy yoga is still taking place on Mondays via zoom for the foreseeable future .


Pregnancy yoga is taking place on zoom Mondays 6.30-7.30pm , message me for price and zoom code


Pelvic Partnership Stickmum campaign #PGPistreatable


Pelvic Partnership Stickmum campaign #PGPistreatable


A new term of candle light yoga starts this Monday at 8.45pm , if your feeling stressed and in need of some " ME " time then join me at this relaxed Hatha yoga class and have the best nights sleep of the week.


BBC The Social - Kilted Yoga

The benefits of yoga are many 😂

Timeline Photos 10/04/2018

Further highlighting the positive benefits of yoga in pregnancy and beyond .

“As the weeks of my pregnancy were quickly passing and I was approaching 25 weeks, I decided I needed to do something that would put me in the best physical and mental state possible for labour. I saw an NCT Yoga for Pregnancy course, in Stroud Gloucestershire, and it appeared to tick all the boxes.

At the end of the first session, each person was asked to share what had been the best moment in their week and I remember saying ‘coming to this session’ and I genuinely really meant it. Each weekly class was welcoming and involved relaxation, stretching, visualisation and breathing techniques, with pregnancy and labour in mind, but ultimately I found it a time to forget about everything else and really focus on the baby and myself. The breathing techniques, in particular, were invaluable throughout my labour.

After giving birth to my daughter, Imogen, we have regularly attended Mother and Baby yoga and we have both thoroughly enjoyed it….in fact it’s my favourite baby group and I look forward to going each week! The friends I have made through yoga have been a great support as we have shared similar journeys together. We all have regular contact with each other, sharing stories, experiences and advice when needed.” Helen, model and class attendee (Gillian Holmes 'Yoga Teacher' & Emilie Marsden 'Photographer')

Discover how yoga can help you stretch, strengthen and tone your body, both before and after birth. See our website to find your nearest course:


New term starts next Monday 16/04 at 8.45pm , come along and shake of the stresses of your day with a relaxing session of yoga .


So here we are January 2018, do something for yourself that unites body and mind.
Candlelight yoga is back on 08/01 8.45-9.45pm at st Denys church centre . It’s a great way to start the week and it will recharge and relax you , a good nights sleep is guaranteed .

Stretch and breathe 03/09/2017

Stretch and breathe

New yoga class starting on Monday 11/09 at st Denys church centre 8.45-9.45pm .
Candlelight yoga returns :
An opportunity to stretch and relax before bedtime, rid yourself of the stresses from the day and enjoy a good nights sleep.
For more information contact me via this page or my email [email protected]

Stretch and breathe Offering yoga classes for pregnancy.

This class is designed for all stages of pregnancy from 12 week onwards , and the aim of is for you to have an enjoyable and relaxing time ,whilst
Improving your physical and emotional well-being .


A new year begins and a new term,
Come and join me on Monday evenings stretch ,relax and breathe .


New term starts today . This morning mum and baby yoga 10.30-12.30 , yoga for pregnancy from 6.30-8.30 pm and yoga for all 8.35-9.45.

Mobile Uploads 04/05/2014

Some research has been done by "Tommy's" and the results are hardly surprising , yoga in pregnancy is good for mums physically and emotionally.


Have you overdone it this Christmas and New year ? Feeling stressed about returning to work? then come and join me on Monday evenings for Candlelight yoga, 8.30-9.40pm.
Evening yoga is a great way to shake off the day and get relaxed and ready for sleep. The purpose of evening yoga is to wind down and be serene, to focus inwards and gently stretch. This class is suitable for beginners.


The extract below is taken from an article that appeared in "The practising midwife" Volume 16 no 5 May 2013.

Mother and baby yoga is becoming more and more popular in the western world, as postpartum mothers discover the benefits of being able to 'work out', bond with their baby and relax, all in one session.
Postnatal yoga can offer calm and a sense of wellbeing, helping mothers to improve and stabilise their emotional health and to bond. Additionally the mother is able to focus on her relationship with her baby, rebuild the weakened pelvic floor, strengthen the abdominal muscles and even alleviate back and neck pain.
For babies, yoga can aid digestion and alleviate colic; help to strengthen tiny limbs; improve sleep patterns; and enhance their ability to interact with their mother and other people.


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