A mother and entrepreneur from Putney has launched a new boot-camp specialising in post-natal fitness.
Rosie Stockley, 35, trained as a dancer and personal trainer but was motivated to set up her own company Mamawell after the birth of her daughter Charlotte, one.
Now, as well as a one-to-one sessions, she has started a twice-weekly outdoor boot-camp for new mothers and their babies.
She said: “It’s a really good atmosphere – it’s really fun.
“After having Charlotte I attended a lot of great classes that were a little more sedate. I appreciated them at the time, but when I got to do high intensity stuff again it really felt like the old me.”
Rosie said that although she was lucky in her pregnancy and birth, she still noticed a lot of changes in her body, and wanted to give new mums the time and space to work on their bodies with like-minded people.
“It’s not about looking good – it’s about being fit, lifting your baby up with ease, sleeping well and feeling like the old you”, she said.
Post-natal depression is a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth, and often going unreported.
Having a child can be strangely lonely, particularly if you don’t have a network of friends in the same position.
According to the NHS, regular exercise is effective at both preventing and treating post-natal depression.
Rosie said: “I wanted to build a community of mums, so we meet up outside boot-camp and share our experiences – it’s a good support system.
“You can become a little bit isolated when you’re with your baby sometimes, so it’s great having a group of women that understand exactly what you’re going through.
“I’ve got people with babies from ten weeks old up to about 2, so everyone has a bit of advice to offer.”
Rosie began by training a few friends and clients, but quickly noticed that many of them wanted to get back into their pre-pregnancy routines, such as running and other forms of high intensity exercise. Often, they had a bigger goal than just attending an exercise class.
As a result she tailors her classes specifically for post-natal fitness – with lots of warm ups and exercises for the transverse abdominis (the stomach muscles that may have separated during pregnancy), pelvic floor and back strengthening.
“As a mum you’re always holding your baby, pushing a buggy or breastfeeding, so you’re in a hunched over position a lot of the time,” said Rosie.
“We want to help new mums stabilise their body in the pelvis and the back.
“We do cardio circuits, strength and toning – but the focus is on working out as a group.”
Over the last year Mamawell has grown mostly through word of mouth, and in the long-term Rosie wants to expand into Richmond and Clapham.
Rosie says weather has not proved troublesome so far; if it rains they just carry on: “Once you go inside you’re an exercise class – this is a bootcamp, and it’s going to stay that way.”
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