New Mums' Zone programme aims to help support postpartum wellbeing through activity

9 August 2019

Canterbury Christ Church University is working in partnership with Get Berkshire Active and Places Leisure on the launch of Mums’ Zone, the new holistic health and wellbeing programme for mums and their babies in Slough and Wokingham areas from September 2019.

The programme is designed to address some of the support needed for mothers in their perinatal period, with a focus on improving mental health.

According to NHS England, perinatal mental ill health affects up to 20 per cent of women during pregnancy and in their first year after giving birth. Research also shows that the effects of the mother’s mental health both while pregnant and after birth, on their children’s mental health can have an impact years into the future. With a strong link between maternal mental health and children’s mental health, Mums’ Zone provides a service to support mums. 

Cathy Carr, Healthy Communities Manager at Get Berkshire Active and Mums’ Zone Programme Manager, said: “I developed Mums’ Zone as it is very close to my heart having   experienced many struggles in motherhood. I felt there was a gap for mums with young babies where they can find a place for some gentle physical activity as well as relaxing, meeting other local mums and receiving a variety of wellbeing support. Having a baby brings many new challenges for mums and being able to meet and talk to like-minded mums and have a weekly opportunity to do this is very important in the first year of a new baby.”

Get Berkshire Active and Places Leisure developed Mums’ Zone in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University. The University has a wealth of expertise in the field of perinatal care and will be providing the research and evaluation of the programme and Places Leisure are also a partner managing the Wokingham delivery. The programme is funded by the Sports Council Trust Company and supported by Slough and Wokingham Borough Councils.

Dr Marlize de Vivo, Senior Research Fellow at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: This is a very timely project; not only as there is an increased awareness of perinatal mental health but we are also expecting the first national guidance on physical activity for women after childbirth to be released later this year.  Mums’ Zone embraces this link between physical activity and postpartum wellbeing, not only by providing mothers with the opportunity to be regularly active in a safe and welcoming environment, but also affording them the opportunity to develop social support networks by engaging with other new mums.”

What can mums expect to see at the Mums’ Zone sessions? It’s a very informal get-together of local mums with a similar age babies (non-walkers). Within the relaxing atmosphere of Children Centres, healthy refreshments and snacks, mums will have a chance to take part in some Yoga and breathing activity, talk about day-to-day issues, get advice from professionals on important topics and learn how to balance a new life of busy parent with the time of self-care.  Places Leisure and Get Berkshire Active plan to run 2-hour sessions twice a week for 26 weeks in Slough and Wokingham.

Cllr Parry Batth, Executive Member for Environment and Leisure, Wokingham Borough Council said: “Mum’s Zone is a great example of how our local leisure service providers are working with external partners to develop and run services to meet the needs of our new Mums within our local communities.”

Places Leisure and Get Berkshire Active are grateful for the amazing support that they are receiving from children centres in Slough and Wokingham that generously provided their facilities for Mums’ Zone’s sessions as well as many other local organisations such as Homestart and Talking Therapies.

The Programme will be supported by a small cohort of ‘Mums’ Zone Ambassadors’ who will be a weekly friendly face and support for the mums. Get Berkshire Active welcome more women to join as Mums’ Zone Ambassadors. All volunteers will be offered training and support. Contact Get Berkshire Active or Places Leisure for more information.

Tim Howells, Public Health Programme Officer at Slough Borough Council said: “A project like Mums Zone is a perfect platform to support young mums with their physical and emotional wellbeing. This project is a fantastic example of taking a whole systems approach to supporting health through working with various partners with different qualities to provide a fully rounded health and wellbeing programme.”

Notes to editors

About Get Berkshire Active.

Get Berkshire Active is one of 43 Active Partnerships in England promoting the benefits of sport and physical activity.

Get Berkshire Active is a Charity and works with sporting and non-sporting partners across the County to increase the number of people of all ages and abilities taking part in sport and physical activity, notably from under-represented groups. Find out more at  ‘like’ us on Facebook @GetBerkshireActive; or follow us on Twitter @GetBerksActive.

Mums’ Zone Project Manager: Cathy Carr Healthy Communities Manager (Slough Delivery):

About Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with 15,300 students across Kent and Medway. Its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.
  • Our academics provide research and consultancy service in the field of physical activity before, during and after pregnancy. This works includes being part of the Expert Working Group developing guidelines for physical activity after childbirth (birth to 12 months), research supporting pre-conception, pregnant and postnatal women to be physically active, and developing undergraduate teaching resources around this topic.

For enquiries contact Dr Marlize de Vivo, Senior Research Fellow:

About Places Leisure (deliver sessions in Wokingham)

Places Leisure is a leading leisure and wellness partner delivering fitness, sport, health and wellbeing. We primarily work with Local Authorities to deliver the right kinds of health and physical activity outcomes that make a difference to the lives of people and their communities.

Project Manager: Healthy Communities Manager; Alison Morrow:

Sports Council Trust is the funder of the programme.



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Last edited: 05/09/2019 11:58:00