Parent's 1st Essex has been offering online fitness classes during the pandemic. These classes help women stay fit and healthy during and after pregnancy. We talked to one new Mum Julie about here experiences of attending the classes with fitness trainer Sally. Julie initially attended classes in-person before the pandemic and has since joined Sally's online classes.

How did you hear about Parents 1st Essex?

I Was given a leaflet from my midwife. Once I was further along and was unsure as to how to safely stay fit, I contacted Sally to join a class. Sally was really welcoming and the class was in person & local so despite being nervous I was pleased to meet other mums to be.

What is your experience and how has your experience benefitted you?

I found the mum-to-be fitness class really beneficial to my well-being and activeness during pregnancy, being able to physically be in a class was brilliant as I got to meet and interact with women in a similar situation as me. Having met some people through our physical class we started a group chat which turned out to be really useful during lockdown. As we had babies at similar times it was great to have local connections to keep each other in the loop with things ever changing and help each other stay sane.

I was so pleased that Sally adjusted to doing online classes during lockdown which I was able to do at a squeeze in my kitchen. I did the classes right up until the week I popped which helped me stay calm & having Sally’s friendly face on the other side of the screen was very reassuring.

After my c section, I went back to Sally for the postnatal course. I was struggling to get about and find the core strength to do daily tasks. I didn't know how to help myself and was worried about doing any more damage on my own. I found Sally’s wealth of experience and knowledge to be hugely beneficial to my recovery.

Thanks to Sally’s class I was able to get myself on the right track and was then able to be more active with my baby girl and was able to take her to classes when they opened back up. Being Covid safe at classes involves doing everything on your own and keeping self contained without a pram where possible. Just the simple task such as being able to carry a bag and baby on and off the floor mat at sensory class seemed unachievable to me before the course. I was also able to gain the strength to take her swimming on my own. Gaining some strength and knowledge through the class really helped to boost my well-being and confidence.

What would you say to other expectant/new parents?

I think they offer a good mix of support & courses. My partner took part in the dads workshop & found it really useful. We did the first aid course & found it really helpful. We are very lucky to have them do so much so locally for us.

Want to find out how you can participate in our online sessions, take a look at the Events page to book a place. Find out more about our pregnancy pal programme and how you can benefit from a pregnancy pal.