Barnsley mums-to-be are being encouraged to be healthier and fitter during pregnancy through a new exercise referral scheme.
Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Maternity Unit is working in partnership with NHS Barnsley, GP Practices and Barnsley Premier Leisure (BPL) to offer pregnant women 24 free sessions at Barnsley Metrodome, where expectant mothers can attend the gym, swim or join classes such as Pilates or Yoga.
Anne Smith, Public Health Specialist Midwife at Barnsley Hospital said: “When people talk about giving your baby the best start in life everyone thinks about the time when the baby is born, but actually it begins well before that – being a healthy mum-to-be is the best way to give your baby a healthy start.
“Eating for two is a common misconception in pregnancy that can often lead to excessive weight gain. You do need a bit of an extra energy in the last 12 weeks of pregnancy but it’s only actually an extra 200 calories a day – that’s the equivalent of 2 slices of toast.”
Complications in pregnancy and childbirth such as high blood pressure, diabetes or blood clots are more common in overweight, expectant mothers.
Through the scheme BPL provide specialist advice and support for clients who have been referred by their community midwife.
Mark Goodhead, Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator from BPL said: “I am delighted that we have developed links with midwifery services to offer physical activity opportunities for pregnant ladies. Exercise should be a part of everyone’s daily routine including pregnant ladies. All Health & Wellbeing staff have received specialist training to advise on programmes and exercises that are safe, but still enjoyable.”
Kevan Riggettt, Health & Wellbeing Manager from BPL added “It is fantastic to work in partnership with like minded health professionals to improve the health & wellbeing of people in Barnsley.”
The new maternity exercise referral scheme began earlier this month. Contact your community midwife for more information or to be referred to the programme.