Musgrove midwives say keeping active during pregnancy is good for you and your baby - 16 June 2016

Musgrove midwives say keeping active during pregnancy is good for you and your baby - 16 June 2016

Midwives at Musgrove Park Hospital have teamed up with Tone Leisure and Knightstone Housing Association to encourage expecting mums to exercise during and after their pregnancy.

Tone Leisure has set up a series of exercise classes, called Bumps and Beyond, at its leisure centres and swimming pools in Taunton and Wellington.

All classes are run by qualified ante and postnatal fitness instructors, many of who are also midwives.

It is part of a six month trial, aimed at encouraging more women to reap the benefits of physical activity.

The classes cover a range of exercise activities, including aquanatal, circuits, yogalates and mums and babies fitness classes.

Pregnant women and new mums will also benefit from a reduced admission price, with a further discount for people on benefits, thanks to a subsidy from Knightstone Housing Association.

It is part of Knightstone’s Creating Active Communities initiative – a three year Sport England project designed to encourage and help people to get active.

Hilary Fitzgerald, a midwife at Musgrove Park Hospital, said it was a myth that exercise during pregnancy was bad for women.

“It is actually very important for women to stay active during pregnancy,” she said.

“In fact it’s an ideal time for making an important lifestyle change and has huge advantages, such as reducing the risk of gestational diabetes and helping to relieve symptoms such as pelvic pain and swelling in pregnancy.”

Claire Dancer, who recently gave birth to a baby boy at Musgrove Park, said she loved taking aquanatal classes during her pregnancy.

“The classes helped me to keep fit and active throughout my pregnancy, even in the last few weeks before birth,” she said.

“The water supported the weight of my bump and gave me such a welcome relief. As well as being great fun, I got to meet other mums to be too.

“I would highly recommend these classes, and still attend now following the birth of my son.”

The initiative will initially run at the Tone Leisure Centres in Taunton and Wellington, but if there is enough demand, it may be rolled out in other parts of Somerset.

For more information or to sign up to a class, go to or contact Amy Colwill on or 01823 217 128.