“Mum and Me” Classes – Hope to Promote Emotional Well-being in Post-natal Mums of Mayo!

For the past year or so, something at the back of my mind has been niggling at me to create something special for the post-natal Mums in Mayo blending my physiotherapy and holistic experience along with my passion for empowering women around optimising their health.  An encouraging email from a previous pregnant Mum client of mine persuaded me to go with my gut instinct and just do it! Three weeks following this email “Mum and Me” was born and I am proud of the results of the 5 week programme which commenced on Nov 15th 2018.

The classes were held in the Balla Resource Centre a great venue, easy to locate with good parking and a very well maintained space. Indeed, Balla has just won a national award in the “Pride of Place” competition. Congratulations to our committee for all their hard work!

The first exercise and wellness classes were attended by 8 Mums and Babies and the 20 minutes of discussion at the beginning of each class was enjoyed on a great range of topics including:

  • the influence of emotional and environmental stress, social media, sleep quality, good nutrition and movement on our health.
  • the need for a strong and efficient core and pelvic floor to prevent development of pelvic organ prolapse and pelvic floor dysfunction generally
  • practical demonstration of bowel massage on baby - to assist with constipation and wind issues!
  • demonstration of gluteal massage on mums using spikey balls
  • breathing and other techniques useful for stress reduction

There was a special interest from Mums when I broached one of my favourite topics – that of hormonal health. Many hormones whether thyroid, cortisol or oestrogen/ progesterone are oftentimes off balance and under pressure in our modern society of rushing and racing.

Our classes had plenty of exercise and restoration work going on for our pelvic floors, glutes and cores and time was also given to the release of tight neck and other spinal regions. Most mums feel stiff and tightened from the constant lifting of buggies and car-seats in the early months and all the stooping into and out from cots on a daily basis.

It was lovely to see new friendships forming and our Mums had some socialising in the resource centre with me over teas/ coffees and nibbles as well as heading across to our lovely new Coffee Stop café.

It was always my ambition to create a sense of community for Mums – many are at a loose end particularly after having a first child. This can be a time where social interactions are reduced for the first time in a woman’s life and this can come as a major shock. The “Mum and Me” type class can be a welcome routine in a post-natal Mum’s week, having a place to go that incorporates meeting new people, learning something interesting and also exercising as well. And maybe even the likes of these sessions can be a help in “Minding Mum” as Alison Canavan advocates for in the heading of her book for post-natal Irish Mums and go somewhere to assist in the reduction of the almost 20% of women who develop low mood and post-natal depression in Ireland. I certainly hope so!

young mother does physical yoga exercises together with her baby boy

Some comments on what was enjoyed from participating Mums at the first “Mum and Me” classes – Nov/Dec 2018.

“Interesting lifestyle tips, nutrition and on the go exercise”

“Talks at the start of the class”

“Enjoyed the well-being talk at the beginning and the tips about doing exercises at home”

“Enjoyed all especially the knowledge re: nutrition, stress and health with recommended reading and how to do post-natal exercises correctly”

“Enjoyed bringing baby, mix of topics and expertise of Doreen”

“Enjoyed learning stretching routine and exercises that are possible to do at home”

“Enjoyed the wealth of knowledge in women’s health from Doreen and found topics really interesting to listen to – the class really suited my needs”

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