At the APF HQ we've been looking back at 2020, and perhaps it's an understatement to say it hasn't lived up to expectations! Reminiscing about the way we spent our last Christmases, it would never have occurred to us that we would spend so much of the following year confined to our homes, unable to see many of the people we love...and not being able to touch them either.
Whilst the last year has been confusing and stressful for us all, we are very aware of the loneliness and anxiety many expectant women and their families must have been feeling. Being mums ourselves, we recognise how important it was to have our partners, family and friends around.
But despite the bumpy ride, we've got much to be excited about. This is the year that the APF was officially inaugurated and after nearly two years of hard work behind the scenes, we finally gained charitable status in August. We have made so many connections and were supported by many individuals! This means the world to us.
Recognising that pregnant women and new mums were disproportionately affected by the pandemic, we launched two lockdown surveys in association with the This Mum Moves project. We wanted to gain much needed insight into the needs of mums and mums-to-be, and we learnt a lot!
During Lockdown 1.0, our findings were used to support the development of an ‘Active at Home’ online resource, featuring qualified pre-/postnatal fitness trainers, giving free access to workout routines reviewed by an expert panel. Then, when Lockdown 2.0 came into force on the 5th of November, we responded with a ‘Top Tips for being active during the Covid-19 pandemic’ infographic and social media campaign.
On a global scale, positive things have also come about! The World Health Organisation released their new guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour in November, and for the first time there are recommendations for specific populations including pregnant and postnatal women and people living with chronic conditions or disability. This is huge step forward in the right direction and magnifies our aim as an organisation to normalise active pregnancies as part of a life course approach to being healthy.
We are an organisation in its infancy, but we are supported by professionals with years of experience and we know that there is still so much work to be done. So, we’ve put our heads together and come up with four themes to help us focus our time and energy in 2021.
1. Language. Let's talk about being active in a way that is inclusive. When we change our language, we break down barriers and empower women.
2. Visibility. We want to increase the visibility of active pregnancies with more: active mums and mums-to-be acting as role models; qualified professionals; and safe active spaces.
3. Representation. We are for every mum; so we will endeavour to increase the diversity and inclusivity of active pregnancies through representation in imagery. Activity is for everyone.
4. Community. We will create a support network where we welcome questions, ideas, and sharing of experiences - a non-judgmental community where women can find their active. #movingthroughmotherhood
These themes will form the basis of the projects we take on and the decisions we make in the next year. This will be Our Big Push for 2021!
Here’s to better and more active days ahead because, ultimately, we know that an active pregnancy forms the foundation of an active family and healthier society.
With much love from our bubbles to yours,
Sally & Marlize x