New mums are being given the chance to get moving and feel good thanks to a new initiative being funded by Bath & North East Somerset Council.
The Moving on Up project is being delivered by health visitors from Sirona Care & Health working with the Make a Move charity, and is aimed at mothers who are feeling low or suffering from post-natal depression.
Over 40 women have taken part in nine courses in Bath, Keynsham and Radstock, with 91% saying their mood has improved and over 60% saying their motivation and self-confidence have increased.
Percy Crèche, based in Bath, provides experienced staff allowing the mums to settle their babies and take time out to relax through movement to music with Make a Move’s dance and movement practitioners Michelle Rochester and Sarah Haddow.
Katie Brown is mum to Barney and attended one of the Bath courses. She said: “Moving on Up was a lifeline for me, helping me recognise, come to terms with, and start to manage my post-natal depression.
“It gave me the gift of feeling real joy again. I think every mum would benefit.”
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Cllr Simon Allen (LibDem, Radstock), said: “We’re delighted that this project is having such a positive impact and helping so many new mothers.
“This project was developed as a result of a gap we identified around the specific needs of new mums wanting to get involved in exercise.”
Michelle Rochester from Make a Move, a Bristol-based charity established to help children, said: “This was a new venture for us where we went from working with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties to mums with young babies.
“Our approach is always to allow the mums to check in, explore, move, reflect and relax and each session is completely different and adaptive to the needs of the mums on the day.”
If you have had a baby within the last year and would like to find out more about attending a Moving on Up course, speak to your health visitor or contact Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Active Lifestyles and Health Improvement team on 01225 396271.
The next courses will be running in September in Bath, Keynsham and Radstock.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 new mothers will experience postnatal depression. Estimates also suggest that 182 new mothers in B&NES each year are at risk of postnatal depression.
Postnatal depression is a type of depression some women experience after they have had a baby. It usually develops in the first four to six weeks after childbirth, although in some cases it may not develop for several months.
There are many symptoms of postnatal depression, such as low mood, feeling unable to cope and difficulty sleeping, but many women are not aware they have the condition.
It’s common to experience mood changes, irritability and episodes of tearfulness after birth – the so-called baby blues. These normally clear up within a few weeks. But if a woman experiences persistent symptoms, it could well be the result of postnatal depression.
Make a Move is a Bristol-based charity which was formed to help children who had started life at a disadvantage either due to environmental, learning, behavioural or emotional difficulties.