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SM Bump and Beyond mother and baby outdoor social and fitness class launched in Forres and Elgin

By Garry McCartney

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Forres mum, Sam Montgomery.
Forres mum, Sam Montgomery.

A LOCAL mum has started an outdoor social and fitness class for mothers and babies.

Qualified pre and postnatal exercise and nutrition specialist Sam Montgomery (34), shares lessons she learned from her studies under lockdown while making friends during walks and circuits in Forres and Elgin.

She said: “My husband and I moved back to Forres after we had our first baby. We lived in Glasgow when Max was born, where I met mums at antenatal classes organised by community midwives. Other than being encouraged to do gentle exercise, there wasn’t anything specific to pregnancy and exercise, or preparation for childbirth and the demands of motherhood. Once our babies were here, the ladies and I went to the same mother and baby groups until our family moved back up north. That’s when I started to really get into exercise and try out classes in Forres. At that time there wasn’t any specific postnatal exercise in the area.”

Sam started work as a studio class instructor at Moray Sports Centre in Elgin, completing a Level 2 gym instructor training course. She then opted in to specialist pre and postnatal instruction.

“I had many questions about what exercise was safe and allowed during pregnancy,” she said, “and how to adapt it for pregnancy and postnatal women.”

Sam started Level 3 pre and postnatal exercise and nutrition specialist course theory at the start of the first lockdown, qualifying after numerous case studies just before the second. She went on to work with a physiotherapist specialist in pre and postnatal exercise and rehabilitation.

She said: “I learned how to apply all of this to structured classes for each trimester and also for postnatal clients in a group setting. I was unable to launch indoor classes due to government restrictions but I wanted to offer something for expectant and new mums. I started posting information on social media about postnatal recovery and my own experiences of having children, as well as things I wish I’d been told at the time about what to realistically expect when it comes to weight loss after birth and changes in the body.”

Sam wrote a step-by-step blog for Moray Sports Centre on the changes to mothers’ bodies. The tips help with physical and mental health during pregnancy and postpartum.

She added: “During the pandemic, a lot of women have gone through pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood alone, missing out on antenatal classes. Online baby groups remove the social aspect of face-to-face interaction during what can be an overwhelming time.”

Sam and friends preparing to set off from Grant Park's sunken gardens.
Sam and friends preparing to set off from Grant Park's sunken gardens.

Sam now enjoys running her outdoor mother and baby buggy classes at Mannachie park, Grant Park and Moray Sports Centre.

The local classes are on Wednesday and Thursdays at 9.30am at Mannachie and Grant Park respectively. The sessions include a 30 to 45-minute buggy walk around a planned, buggy-friendly route. Once the walkers return to the meeting point, they have a 20 to 30-minute buggy circuit class focused on strength and​ stability, improved posture and balance. To join, or for more information, email smbumpandbeyondfitness@gmail.com. Sam has also started a private Facebook group called Forres Mum and Baby buggy class.

She added: “Mums share experiences, interact and give advice. I apply my expertise and personal knowledge to help with other topics too.”

The Thursday morning group chat while strolling up Cluny Hill.
The Thursday morning group chat while strolling up Cluny Hill.

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