Some women snap straight back into their pre-pregnancy jeans before they’ve even left hospital, swishing their blow-dried hair and looking forward to exercising again. I wasn’t one of them. In fact, I was about as far as you could get from that.
Motherhood is wonderful, and having my daughter Bea is hands-down the best thing I’ve ever done. But having an almost 10lb baby, gestational diabetes and a c-section didn’t really help me stay fit during pregnancy, or in the months afterwards. I was also conscious that I didn’t want – or have much opportunity – to leave my baby with anyone while I went to the gym or signed up for a fitness class.
So when I spotted Movement and Bloom, it seemed perfect – friendly classes for pregnant women and new mums, where babies and toddlers are welcome too. There are outdoor baby buggy sessions, as well as indoor classes across Wirral.
Initially I was nervous that I’d be rubbish at all the exercises but Natalie Johnston, the teacher, is brilliant at alleviating any concerns and tailoring each exercise to each mum’s abilities. She’s a qualified personal trainer and has previously worked for the NHS. Classes are small and friendly – it’s a supportive, rather than a competitive environment.
Most weeks it’s a circuits format, with exercises designed to stretch and strengthen different parts of the body. There’s a focus on pre and post-natal care, taking care of core muscles and pelvic floors that are put under stress during pregnancy and birth. It’s refreshingly relaxed, with mums stopping to breastfeed, change nappies and make sure little ones are happy.
Movement and Bloom, or ‘the party’ as Bea calls it
I was also concerned that Bea might not like it, but it’s been quite the opposite – she refers to it as a ‘party’ and looks forward to going and dancing to the music and playing with the other children each week.
Gradually I’m feeling stronger and fitter, working with heavier weights and I’ve even tried boxing within the classes. If I can do it, anyone can. I wont be stepping into the ring anytime soon, but I’m almost into those jeans. The swishy hair might take a bit longer.
Movement and Bloom run classes across Wirral. For details see www.movementandbloom.co.uk