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Sweaty Mama Franchise UK. BONDING with your baby can be one of the great joys of maternity leave but for some it can be a struggle.

Around one in 10 mothers may suffer from post-natal depression, which can lead to difficulty bonding with their baby.

A NEW mum in Bolton has found her mums and baby exercise class can help boost moods and improve the bonding between a mother and her child.

Rianna Lucas, aged 32, is mother to 14-month-old Freddie.

During her maternity leave she decided returning to the life of an estate agent was not for her and instead set her sights on a career as an exercise instructor.

Mrs Lucas found out about Sweaty Mama through Facebook and applied to gain the franchise for Bolton. She launched in July 2018.

Now she offers four mum and baby classes a week as well as a women’s-only bootcamp session.

Mrs Lucas said: “We are with babies, bonding with them, by holding them, carrying them and being close to them.

“I know from some of the mums that it has helped them with post-natal depression.

“They have said they have suffered with it and it’s helped them feel better.

“Sometimes just knowing they are booked on to a class they’ve paid for on a morning they don’t want to do anything can help.”

She added: “For the new mums its not just a fitness class, it’s a community. The fitness side of it is so important for post-natal depression.”

Like other forms of depression, exercise can help manage post-natal depression and the NHS says excising regularly can “help boost mood in people with mild depression”.

In 2017 a study by the University of Birmingham, published in the British Journal of General Practice found exercise, whether alone or in a group, is effective at reducing post-natal depression symptoms.

The researchers noted in their study that mothers can be reluctant to take antidepressants, while exercise is a low-cost (or even free) alternative.

Mrs Lucas said: “It’s really, really important to be able to build that bond it’s lovely to make nice and happy memories while on maternity leave.”

Exercising just after giving birth might seem like a distant dream but Mrs Lucas says mums with children as young as six weeks come to her classes.

She said: “We don’t say any earlier and we might advise a mum to wait longer if there’s something not straight forward.”

Mums attending a Sweaty Mama class can take part in a range of activities might do push ups, kissing their baby with each downward drop or carry their baby in a sling while taking part in a cardio work out.

Related: Fitness Franchises – Should You Buy a UK Fitness Franchise?

Babies do not have to be involved though said Mrs Lucas, some mums will choose to leave sleeping babies in their prams while toddlers might play at the side of the class.

There is also a focus on core strength and pelvic floor muscles to help new mums recover from birth.

Before launching the Bolton franchise Mrs Lucas, who has always been keen on fitness classes, completed training and passed exams in pre- and post-natal exercise to be able to safely guide new mums through exercise that it suitable for them.

Mrs Lucas said: “Bootcamp is a little bit more intense but we still provide options of low intensity if they prefer.

“It’s still suitable for new mums though but you don’t have to be a mum to attend that class.

“It’s a female-only, child-free class, if someone wants to come with their mum, sister or aunt we encourage that as well.”

Sweaty Mama classes can be booked in six week blocks for a cost of £35. They take place at Bolton Arena, Queens Park, Sharples, Horwich and Westhoughton.

Each class is 45 minutes long but mums are advised to allow about an hour to give the children time to settle before class.

Source: The Bolton News

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