Tips for dads, partners, family, friends, carers & community leaders
Helping you to support the mum, or mum-to-be, in your life!
Let's be honest, being pregnant is not all smooth sailing. And it’s only the beginning.
Once you are a mum, there are many things that can get in the way of an active lifestyle.
If you are the partner, family or friend of a mum or new mum and they are
finding it hard to be active, there are some things that you can do to help.
Here are some tips to get you started!
Do you know what your loved one’s reasons are for not being active? Maybe she feels scared that she may harm baby, perhaps overwhelmed or even embarrassed. Or could it be that she simply does not feel that she has the time. Listen to her concerns and ask what you can do to be supportive. She may need someone to pitch in to lighten her load. Sometimes she may not even want solutions, a listening ear and some reassurance might be all she needs.
Encourage your loved one to connect with and seek out the support of other active mothers. Sharing experiences with those who are in a similar situation can be very valuable and widens her support network.
Parenting can be a lonely experience, often filled with self doubt and sometimes guilt. It's important to acknowledge the mental health impact of having a child.
If you think your mum or mum-to-be could benefit from mental health support, encourage her to take action, share concerns and/or seek professional help.
Little things go a long way. She may ask for help with specific things around the home, but don’t stop there! Have you considered other ways you can pitch in? If you're at home perhaps offer to cook dinner every other night or pick up the shopping, perhaps take the kids out for the day? As a friend or family member you could bring round a meal or two, or grab some essentials whilst you're at the shops. The offer of childcare can make all the difference, especially if it's difficult to make time to be active.
Do it together
Consider ways in which you can be active together. Can you pick a time of the day where you can both be active? Perhaps you can take the dog out for a walk in the evening? Can you meet up at the local leisure centre after work? It could even be as simple as a walk to the coffee shop or a stroll in the park.
Wellbeing can be significantly improved by connecting with others. So doing something together won't just improve a mum's mental and physical health, but yours too!
There are many misconceptions and old wives’ tales associated with being active during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Can you be part of the solution rather than part of the problem? Perhaps find out what the physical activity guidelines are and discuss these with your loved one. If it's appropriate and/or possible go with her to ante-/postnatal visits and ask questions about any issues you are unclear about.
Recognise her efforts without judgment. Remember that any amount of physical activity is better than none. Regularly remind her that you love her no matter what shape or size. And finally, be kind and patient; pregnancy brings about significant changes, do not put pressure on your loved one to lose weight or get back into shape. Her body has done an amazing thing, it has grown a human being! That is very special.
Share Your Story
Dads, partners, friends and family; we would love to hear your stories too!
If you are willing to share your ideas and journeys with us, please get in touch.
You can also share over social media by tagging us and using the hashtag #movingthroughmotherhood