Early intervention in pregnancy
- Portfolio total project costs: £2,236,573
- Total funding received from BIG: £1,806,000
- Total number of beneficiaries: 33,500
Stockport MBC delivered 19 projects through its Wellbeing 2 portfolio, working across the three programme themes, working in some of the most deprived areas in the North West.
Stockport MBC’s North West Networks for Healthy Living Partnerships portfolio delivered a project for pregnant woman at the May Logan Healthy Living Centre. The Healthy Beginnings (now New Beginnings) project was designed to improve the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, new parents/carers and their children. Activities included aqua natal and antenatal yoga. This service engaged a target group that otherwise would not have access to these services locally, and provided new opportunities for pregnant women to exercise. This provided safe and appropriate physical activity for women who wanted to remain active during pregnancy. Activities were delivered by a community midwife using a holistic approach, including healthy eating in pregnancy discussions.
Participant/community impacts and sustainability
The Healthy Beginnings project staff highlighted a range of participant impacts. For example, one participant suffered from post-natal depression and reported that the sessions were restorative, providing a break where she could socialise and interact with other adults. Another pregnant participant reported feeling more empowered as the project helped her to loose weight and choose a birth option that previously would not have been possible as her BMI had been too high. Participants also developed social networks, improving their social wellbeing.
The project worked with Sefton County Council Public Health team and Community midwives based in, or visiting the Healthy Living Centre helped to raise awareness of the pregnancy classes and refer clients to them. Discussions with the Public Health team led to a midwife becoming involved in delivering the activity and the Public Health Team is now supporting the project.
The Healthy Beginnings team benefited from being co-located with a community midwife team, which initially attracted support for the project and subsequently led to delivery by midwives. This was crucial in securing ongoing funding. Sustainability was also secured as there was no other comparable activity in the area, and it demonstrated a close fit to the agenda of the service that funded it. Evidence of good attendance levels and case studies showing the benefits also helped convince commissioners.
Aqua natal and antenatal yoga activities provided by another project in the portfolio, based in Bootle, will continue through a contract with the Public Health team. A community midwife helped deliver the activity which raised the profile of the project and its impacts with the Public Health team