An exciting opportunity for new parents and those expecting a new addition to the family has been launched in Horncastle. The ‘Buggy’ Wellbeing Walk, which adds to the Lincolnshire Co-op offer of wellbeing walks across Lincolnshire; takes place every Thursday at 9:15am from the Methodist Church on Queen Street and is followed by an optional group play session and refreshments. The buggy walk presents a great opportunity for local parents and parents-to-be to be active and enjoy some fresh air whilst connecting with other families nearby.
The walk is led by Pharmacist Manager, and Lincolnshire This Mum Moves Ambassador Steph Scott, who is currently on maternity leave after welcoming her baby girl in February. Steph is one of 24 Lincolnshire This Mum Moves Ambassadors who trained with the Active Pregnancy Foundation and the Institute for Health Visiting in March 2023 to become an ambassador and to advocate the benefits of being active during pregnancy and beyond. The training was funded and commissioned by Active Lincolnshire as part of the Active Mum’s Lincolnshire programme.
Read Steph’s story below:
During my recent pregnancy, my midwives didn’t discuss physical activity at all but as someone who was already active, I did some research and just listened to my body and did what I felt was right. But now I have completed the This Mum Moves Ambassador training I feel confident and well informed and equipped to be able to advise other expectant and new mothers safely and correctly. The other great thing about the training was meeting other women as passionate about keeping active as I am. The training gave me the confidence to go ahead and set up the buggy wellbeing walk, and I now feel totally comfortable talking with others about physical activity during pregnancy and postpartum. I’m also keen to use the training in my workplace, I would love to share my learning with my pharmacy colleagues, so they also feel confident to talk to customers and patients about physical activity.
As a new mum, I initially felt nervous joining new groups and I was worried that friendship groups had already formed, and I’d be left out. Of course, this was never the case, but I felt that leading the buggy walk would encourage new mums, (as well as other mums, fathers, caregivers) to join in with a group without having to do the ‘scary’ walk into a filled room.
And of course, the physical and mental health benefits of exercising and walking was a driving factor. I was active throughout my pregnancy which I do believe helped me prepare for giving birth.
I couldn’t wait to get back to into exercise following the birth of my daughter; It was just what I needed and allowed a bit of the ‘old me’ to return. The fresh air and peace whilst out walking with the pushchair was something I looked forward to every day and I feel that as a new mum, that is one of the key factors that helped keep me feeling positive during the sleepless nights and long days.”
As we approach World Mental Health Day (10th October) it is important to think about how we can support our own mental health, and that of those around us. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind in England, and 1 in 5 women will experience mental health problems during or post pregnancy. This is often referred to as Pre or Postnatal Depression (PND). Despite all the happiness that comes with having a new baby, there are also times where things feel difficult, lonely, and isolating. Many studies have found that being active during pregnancy can help maintain positive mental health, helps to manage pregnancy weight gain, improves sleep as well as reduces the risk of other health problems during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
“My hope is that the buggy walk will encourage all caregivers, but especially new mums, to join us for a short walk, a chat and some fresh air and know that they are not in it alone.”