Babies help out in getting mum back into shape!

Bringing along baby: Karen Pollard is running a mum and baby exercise class at Wendy Holland's Fitness Studios in Thornton.  She is pictured with baby Frankie Porter and Wendy Barratt
Bringing along baby: Karen Pollard is running a mum and baby exercise class at Wendy Holland's Fitness Studios in Thornton. She is pictured with baby Frankie Porter and Wendy Barratt

These two women are setting up new mum-and-a-baby classes – with a difference.

Wendy Barratt and Karen Pollard have set up the fitness sessions, entitled Bump2Fit, at Wendy’s fitness studios in Thornton.

Mums will be able to get fit and back in shape, while at the same time playing with and bonding with their new arrivals.

And the baby can even be used to help mum get fit – like using a weight!

Fitness instructor of 25 years and mum-of-three Karen stresses everything is safe and the focus is always on baby first. She said: “We will always stress to mums in the class that baby’s needs comes first, so if their baby is crying or needs changing, feeding or just wants a cuddle, then we encourage them to take time out to do that.

“The babies really enjoy the sort of exercises we do in classes and all the interaction.

“It’s a great way for mums to bond with their babies, spend time together and it’s also functional training.

“It can help mums for when the baby starts getting heavier to pick up – so they are stronger, but also help with showing them how to look after their bodies when lifting their baby, putting their baby in a car seat and so on.”

The classes are designed for new-born babies up to about six months – as long as babies are not yet crawling.

They are part of a 28-day programme, which will also include nutrition advice, exercise tips for at home and online support.

Karen said: “A lot of new mums want to be fit and healthy for their baby and would like to get their shape back, but it can be difficult to find time to fit it in.

“Not many gyms have a creche for them to attend, and it’s not always possible to find childcare. Some centres do offer a creche, but the beauty here is the fact mum and baby can have some time together.

“Sessions will include Pilates-style exercises and a focus on the core, as well as pelvic floor.

“We will be offering full support online, too, on closed groups on social networks where those taking part can ask questions and get advice.

“We will be preparing home workouts mums can do, perhaps they might be able to just do five or 10 minutes while their baby is asleep.

“There will be some baby yoga incorporated, so mums can learn how to stretch and flex their babies.”

Examples of exercises include mums lying on their back and lifting baby up and down above the chest, or lying baby on the floor and doing a push-up over the baby to give them a kiss.

Mums can also perform squats while holding baby or use the pram for exercises like lunges.

Karen said: “A lot of things are things mums might do anyway instinctively while playing with baby, but this is helping to form it into exercise.”

A taster session will be taking place on Tuesday, at Wendy Holland’s Fitness Studio, Butts Close, Red Marsh Industrial Estate, Thornton. For details, call 07951 012888, or visit wendyhollandsfitness.com.