Encouraging active pregnancies through new aquanatal classes in Northumberland
Midwives are leading aquanatal classes in two Northumberland towns as part of efforts to support physical activity during pregnancy.
Weekly sessions are now taking place in Berwick and Hexham thanks to a partnership between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the Mams on the Move initiative from Active Northumberland, which runs leisure services on behalf of Northumberland County Council.
Northumbria Healthcare is one of just four organisations in the country to be part of the Active Hospitals pilot, which seeks to improve healthcare professionals’ awareness of the importance of physical activity while boosting their confidence and skills to promote it to patients.
Earlier this year, 12 Northumberland midwives took part in a two-day Royal College of Midwives accredited training course, so that they could qualify to teach their own aquanatal classes.
Northumbria Healthcare’s public health midwife, Carla Anderson, said: “Physical activity is so important for a healthy pregnancy and that’s why we’re really pleased that we can provide these classes to communities in Northumberland.
“Staying active in pregnancy can reduce blood pressure, prevent gestational diabetes, prevent excess pregnancy weight gain and have a positive impact on labour and birth. In addition, these classes will support social and mental wellbeing.
“We hope these sessions in Berwick and Hexham are a success and will be looking to expand them to other pools in the future.”
The midwife-led classes started this month and take place every Tuesday between 11am and 12pm at both Berwick Sports and Leisure Centre and Wentworth Sports and Leisure Centre, Hexham.
Those who want to take part must email wellbeing coordinator Jemma Burt on MOTM@activenorthumberland.org.uk to complete a health questionnaire before booking. Once enrolled, booking is via the Active Northumberland app with sessions costing £4 or as part of an Active Northumberland membership.
Suitable swimwear can be provided for those who are unable to provide their own.
Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer, Northumbria Healthcare
Benjamin.O’Connell@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk or 07833 046680.