Strabane Goes Aquanatal


Strabane Goes Aquanatal

Expectant mums in the Strabane area are benefitting from a programme of activities promoting fitness during pregnancy organised by the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) and funded by SureStart.


Riversdale Leisure Centre in Strabane is one of the leisure centres used to provide aquanatal classes for pregnant women. These activities provide the women with the positive physical and mental stamina they will need for labour and for life as the parent of a new baby.


Sylvia Blair, Western Trust and SureStart midwife, said: “Aquanatal is like aqua aerobics especially designed for pregnant mothers. Participation in aquanatal is not only enjoyable but also a great advantage to women both during and after their pregnancy.

“A typical aquanatal class might consist of specially designed aerobic workouts in the water; involving swimming a few lengths or doing exercises standing in the pool. The water will help support your weight, while gentle stretching exercises make you feel good and can help keep you fit and supple for birth.”


Carmel Cochrane, a Western Trust community midwife, said: “All activities are delivered by midwives and the classes are designed to give expectant mothers gentle exercise. Breathing techniques and relaxation skills are taught to alleviate pregnant mothers’ tension and promote relaxation towards the end of their pregnancy in preparation for giving birth.


“Aquanatal classes are available for women who are generally fit and healthy. It is recommended to join from 16 weeks onward and you can continue until the birth of your baby.”


Aquanatal classes are held at Riversdale Leisure Centre (Strabane) on Tuesdays from 10am-10.45am. For more information call (028) 7138 2672 or speak to your midwife or your local SureStart.