Bump and buggy event organisers.jpeg

Free health service for mums and pregnant women is publicly recognised

A local exercise programme has been awarded for helping mums to-be and their babies to take care of their bodies and assist with health and mental wellbeing during and after their pregnancies.

The free Bump and Buggy Programme, offered by Coventry Family Health and Lifestyle Service picked up the 'Innovation of the Year' at The Coventry Public Health Awards, recently hosted by Coventry City Council. The awards acknowledged numerous health care services and achievements across the district with the Bump and Buggy Programme being recognised as an example of best practice.

The weekly outdoor ante and post-natal exercise class is run by Health and Physical Activity Leaders, Kerry Harris and Lucy Foster, and Community Lifestyle Coaches, Claudia Bacchi and Sue Douglas, who are employed by South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust. Designed so it can be adapted to cater to all levels of fitness, the service also encourages new friendship groups and peer to peer learning.

Event details:
Mondays (10:30-11:30), Longford Park, Coventry
Wednesdays (10:00-10:45), War Memorial Park, Coventry – birth recovery gentle exercise class
Wednesdays (11:00-12:00), War Memorial Park, Coventry - intermediate exercise class

The sessions are structured to work the key areas that are weakened during pregnancy and childbirth as well as improving cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength and endurance. The exercises taught can be re-enacted at home with little or no equipment. They can also be carried out with babies. This encourages bonding and allows the women to still work on their fitness away from the classes.

In addition, the service presents an opportunity for the participants to have monthly health checks. This includes information on their BMI, body fat percentage and visceral fat and hydration levels - leading to discussions around nutrition. Bump and Buggy also provides an avenue for referral for women who develop gestational diabetes and postnatal appointments reminders.

To ensure the service is easily accessible the two event locations have free parking and are on a bus route.

Kerry Harris, Health and Physical Activity Leader said: “We are so pleased to be recognised in this way. It has been a positive and enjoyable journey, encouraging mums and giving them confidence to get out the house to the park (in all weathers) with their baby and partake in an exercise session. The feeling of improving self-worth at a time when some may be feeling isolated and confidence can be low is very rewarding.”

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