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Maternal Health

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We're here to help you stay active during and after your pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy has loads of benefits, but mothers-to-be often shy away from being active for fear they’ll do harm, or they simply don't know where to start.

Sport Bay of Plenty is here to help: you can try one of the many organised physical activities and we offer one-on-one support through our Green Prescription programme.

Why move?

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your wellbeing and health.

  • Being active 30 minutes every day can help by strengthening your muscles, heart and lungs, giving you the extra energy and strength needed for pregnancy and post birth.
  • One of the biggest benefits is for your wellbeing. Exercise makes us feel better, and if you’re part of a group class there’s also the added bonus of socialising with other women who understand what it’s like to be pregnant or be a mum.
  • Regular physical activity supports you to establish and maintain positive patterns in family life that are key to raising healthy families.
  • An improved posture, improved circulation and some relief from ailments such as leg cramps, constipation, high blood pressure, fatigue and bloating.
  • Increased muscle strength to get you ready for carrying bubs and the baby equipment.

Getting Started

The first step: consult your doctor or midwife

It’s always a good idea to check-in with your doctor or midwife to make sure the exercise is good for you and your baby. You can also ask for a Green Prescription referral if you'd like extra support.

Aqua Mums classes

Due to COVID-19, Aqua Mums classes are on hold at the below aquatics centres until further notice. Updates will be provided as they become available. For now, please stay healthy and well by following the Ministry of Health advice at

Aqua Mums classes are an enjoyable way to stay fit and mobile, and are great for mums-to-be and those who have recently given birth. The classes are a fun full-body workout in deep water and are suitable for all fitness levels. Participants are encouraged to go at their own pace and according to their individual fitness level. Aqua Mums is also a great opportunity to connect with other mums while being active.

Sport Bay of Plenty is working with several aquatic centres across the region to offer Aqua Mums classes suitable for pregnant and post-birth women. Find a class near you and give it a go!

Classes run during school term time only.


Aqua Mums - Whakatāne Aquatic and Fitness Centre

Thursdays at 12pm. Visit the Whakatāne Aquatic and Fitness Centre website to find out more and to register. Registrations are essential.

Aqua Mums at Whakatāne Aquatic and Fitness Centre

Aqua Mums - Te Puke

Visit the Te Puke Swim School website to find out more and to register. Contact Judy at Te Puke Swim School to register.

Aqua Mums at Te Puke Swim School

Aqua Mums - Mount Hot Pools

A fun class where babies can attend with mum. Aqua Mums is a full-bodied workout targeted at improving the fitness of mums. Classes are Wednesdays 10am - 10.45am and 5:45 to 6:30pm throughout the school term. $7 per person, per class. Term One 2020 classes start Wednesday 5 February.

Register now

Aqua Mums - Baywave, Mount Maunganui

A full-body, low impact workout in warm water to meet the needs of expectant mothers. Classes are on Mondays 11am-11.45am, $7 per class. Term 1 2020 classes start February 3.

Register now

Or register your interest by phoning 07 577 8550 or


Already part of one of the above Aqua Mums classes? We'd love to hear about your experience. Please fill out the below feedback form:

Aqua Mums feedback form

Important things to consider

  • You’re more likely to stay active if you choose an enjoyable activity suitable for your fitness level. Some good options include going for a walk, swimming or aqua jogging.
  • Contact sports are best for after pregnancy.
  • Exercise in cooler temperatures or shorter periods in extremely hot conditions.
  • Take a break before hitting the point of exhaustion.
  • Leave the heavy lifting to someone else and activities that involve straining or holding your breath can be enjoyed after birth.
  • Ligaments can become more loose during pregnancy so choose exercises that are not overloading the pelvic connective tissue.

After the first trimester, choose exercises that avoid lying flat on your back.

Need a hand?

Green Prescription - Maternal

A six-month healthy lifestyle programme to support mums during pregnant and/or post birth. It is designed to support, inform, empower and provide community connections to nurture a healthy lifestyle. The programme helps Mums to make positive changes in activity and/or nutrition that are sustainable.

Who would benefit?

  • All mums! During pregnancy and/or post birth.
  • People who are inactive (less than two and a half hours of moderate intensity physical activity throughout the week) and want support to make changes with becoming more active and support with their nutrition.
  • If you are inactive and your medical conditions are stable, a Green Prescription can help with (gestational) diabetes control, improve blood pressure and cholesterol, help reduce your need for medications, and assist with weight management, improve your general fitness, reduce your risk of cardiovascular complications, improve your wellbeing and improve your life expectancy.

How to get a Green Prescription? Your doctor, practice nurse or midwife can refer you. Once we receive your referral, we will ring you and arrange a time for you to meet your advisor at one of our Green Prescription clinics.

Find out more about Green Prescription

Ready to go?

Community exercise classes

Want to find a physical activity option in your area that is suitable for mums? It’s easy – check out the SportBoP ‘Get Involved Activity Directory’.

Here you will find activities and classes on offer for pregnant and new mums across the Bay of Plenty, such as Aqua Mums, walking groups and antenatal exercise classes. Get active and have fun trying something new!

Find a community exercise class

More information:

Lizzy Horlock_Snppet

Lizzy Horlock

GRx Advisor (EBOP)/Maternal Coordinator

027 554 1401

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