The shining sun and easing of lockdown saw a team of local midwives lead the first ‘Beach Bumps’ walk with a group of the pregnant women under their care.
The midwives, from the Rowan Suite at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, led a safe, socially distanced walk of pregnant woman to encourage gentle exercise during pregnancy.
The World Health Organisation advises that any type of physical activity while pregnant is beneficial. Remaining fit while pregnant reduces the risks of complications and helps women cope better while in labour.
Beach Bumps organiser Jacqueline Lewis, a midwife at the Rowan Suite, said: “The gentle walk was fun and got everyone moving. We all soaked up some vitamin D in the lovely Seaton Carew sunshine and had a good chat. After months of isolation, the company was almost as important as the exercise.
“We want all our pregnant ladies to remain as fit and healthy as possible during and after their pregnancy, for their own sake and for the health of their baby. A walk in the sunshine gets the legs moving, the heart pumping and the good company keeps the mind stimulated.
“There really are no downsides to it.”
The recently refurbished Rowan Suite provides ante- and post-natal care and co-ordinates births for women who are deemed low risk throughout their pregnancy.
Low risk includes:
• Being of a heathy weight
• Not having medical conditions such as diabetes
• Pregnant with one single baby
• Being a non smoker
• Having had no complications during previous pregnancies or births
The Beach Bumps walks have been developed as part of the Trust’s commitment to ensuring as many women from Hartlepool can birth their baby in the Rowan Suite or at their own home.
The walks will take place every Wednesday morning at 10 am, starting at the car park on Coronation Drive in Hartlepool, and will take around 45 minutes to complete. Mums-to-be under the care of the Trust will be encouraged to join the walk.
Stephanie El Malak, head of midwifery, is in full support of the Beach Bumps walk, commenting: “I’ve heard all the women had a great time and I’m really pleased we’ve been able to get this first walk done during the first week of lockdown ending. Our team don’t mess around, they got straight on with organising the walk.
“The walks will definitely continue and hopefully will soon include other local areas.”
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust ‘Beach Bumps’ also forms an important part of the Trust’s ‘Active Hospital’ programme. The Sport England project will encourage patients to be more active while under the Trust’s care and in the longer term.