Active Northumberland and our story so far with our postnatal journey…

Last year Active Northumberland was awarded funding from Sport England to tackle inactivity in the economic disadvantaged areas of the south east of Northumberland. Our project ‘MAMS ON THE MOVE’ supports postnatal mams into safe, appropriate exercise classes which are low cost, child friendly and offer a great experience throughout, for both mams and their babies.

We launched the programme late last year and formed a partnership with The Thoughtful Body™  who run the popular Mamas Pilates™ and Mamas Corestability™  courses. Several of our fitness instructors trained in the Level 3 Award in Designing Pre and Postnatal Exercise Programmes and since then ‘MAMS ON THE MOVE’ has gone from strength to strength. We have continued to develop our programme which includes specialist classes to support the recovery of women’s physical and emotional health. Something we at Active Northumberland feel very passionate about!

Classes we offer include, Mamas Core Stability™, Baby Tone, Buggy Fit and our popular buggy walks! The feedback and response from staff, mams and the communtiy as a whole has been overwhelming and has definitely motivated us to do more. We will continue to grow the project and help create opportunity for our local mam’s in the area by breaking down any barriers they may face. Including, child care, gym costs, postnatal depression, social anxiety and overall just the overwhelming changes that these women are going through.

A section of our project allows time to train and educate existing Health Care professionals and early years staff on the benefits and importance of safe exercise during and after pregnancy. After consultations with staff it was apparent that they were not aware of current exercise guidelines which resulted in poor information being passed on to the women. An online E learning Platform was designed with the aim to educate the professionals so they could pass on the most upto date information to the mams. Our new training allows staff to understand what is safe and what is appropriate. This partnership also allows professionals to signpost postnatal women to our services and form strong working relationships in the community.

“I had the perfect excuses for not exercising during my pregnancy with tiredness and a low lying placenta, then sleep deprivation during the baby newborn stage led me to a total sedentary lifestyle. I was at home all day, alternated between looking after the baby and laying on the sofa watching TV. Then I came across some activity sessions targeted at new mums at my local children’s centre. The sessions gently got me exercising again, more importantly persuaded me getting out of the house each week.

Jemma is so lovely and friendly, encouraging without being overpowering at the classes, the exercises are demanding, fun and varied, I only exercised at the intensity that Iʼm comfortable with no pressure. The sessions got me to be active again, going for walks and out of the house regularly, I enjoy the classes so much, I also go to buggy fit and buggy walk frequently now. I had the baby blues thick and fast, the endorphins from exercises, socialising with other mams and having structure throughout the day and week had dramatically improved my mood. I am so glad this initiative is running at where I live, itʼs hard adjusting life and lifestyle after having a baby but ‘MAMS ON THE MOVE’ has made both easier.”

As we come to the end of year one we hope for an even more successful second year, developing skills and confidence in employees and early years staff and widening opportunity for our mams!

The journey continues to grow.. Mams on the move at Active Northumberland!

Jemma Halliday

Wellbeing Coordinator.