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Pre and post-natal physical activity – North West Leicestershire District Council

Engaging and empowering pre- and post-natal women to take ownership of their own movement levels, receive accurate physical activity advice around their pregnancy journey and have the opportunity to participate in physical activity within their local communities and homes.

The challenge

Increasing physical activity in women during and after pregnancy.

The solution

Joint work between NWLDC, Everyone Active, Active Together’s Active Mum’s Club and Nesting Lotus:

  • Pre and postnatal exercise through aqua natal, delivered by two qualified midwives – delivered by Nesting Lotus and supported by NWLDC and Everyone Active. (NWLDC provided funding to support this session through Leicestershire County Council grant whilst it was struggling to get off the ground and build up numbers)
  • Staff trained in ‘This Mum Moves’ by Active Mums Club
  • Two people trained in pre and post-natal (one from NWLDC and one from Everyone Active) through Active Mums Club
  • Pre and post-natal session within Whitwick and Coalville Leisure Centre (due to start end of April)
  • Everyone Active promoting that they are breast feeding friendly in their leisure centres. 
  • District wide provision mapped and understood to identify gaps and opportunity to signpost. (NWLDC and Active Mums Club)
  • Monthly mums walk (NWLDC and Active Mums Club)
  • Identify Active Mums Club ambassadors.

The impact

Nesting Lotus Aquanatal

NWLDC has received a grant from Leicestershire County Council’s Public Health to increase participation in physical activity in NWL. NWLDC used some of this funding to support Nesting Lotus to start up their aqua natal programme. Everyone Active have also supported the programme as the session is held in one of their leisure centres. 

Nesting Lotus had low numbers initially, the funding supported hire of the pool keeping costs down whilst they built up their numbers to create a sustainable session. NWLDC also circulated comms and marketing with partners and general public. 

As a result of this support the session is now flourishing and providing a much-needed service to residents delivered by midwives. 

Nesting Lotus said “They were able to offer ladies some free sessions and had a great response form the offer. These ladies are now paying customers (helping with sustainability) and the sessions are quick to book up each week.”

Active Mums Club

This programme is early on in terms of delivery in NWL. We understand Active Mums Club will also submit learning from a Leicestershire perspective and may be able to provide more insight/evidence. 

  • Three people trained on This Mum Moves (one NWLDC and two Nesting Lotus) with learning being applied when delivering walks and aqua natal. 
  • As a result of a pre and post-natal trained instructor Everyone Active are due to launch a new class end of April 2024. 
  • Monthly mum’s walk has been well received – “the walk has helped me to be more sociable during a time of change and encourages me to get out of the house. The group didn’t feel cliquey or intimidating and it allowed me to make new friends whilst benefiting from walking.” 
  • Three Active Mums Club ambassadors have been identified. 

Feedback from Active Mums Club:

Partnering with NWLDC has opened up many opportunities for the Active Mums Club, resulting in a genuine impact for pre and post-natal women to be more active in North West Leicestershire. Together we have been able to collaborate the local offer for pregnant and new mums, as well as developing opportunities in the community for women to take part in activities such as fitness sessions and walking groups. We have developed staff and volunteers to take on the delivery of these projects, a model which we will continue to champion and look forward to seeing the project upscale in the area over the next year. 

How is the new approach being sustained?

Nesting Lotus is charging to cover costs, as long as numbers remain high this session will continue. 

Active Mum’s Club Walks are being delivered by NWLDC Health and Wellbeing Team and Active Mum’s Club. 

We are looking to upskill participants with walk leader training so that participants can lead these walks. Turnover however will be high due to maternity leave ending for many therefore we would need to identify and train new leaders regularly (every three to six months).

Everyone Active will charge for their new session.

Lessons learned

  • Applying a free taster works well. 
  • Groups can struggle to get off the ground without the support of the local authority through their networks and communications. 
  • Groups struggle to get off the ground without an initial injection of funds to support their start-up costs. 
  • It takes time to implement due to mapping, training, creation of communications and so on.