What’s in the bag? – having fun with the launch of RSM

Monday 28 September 2015 – what an exciting day! It sees the launch of Ready Steady Mums (RSM) as a programme run by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV).

Melita outdoors

Melita finding the great outdoors in her bag

Keep an eye out on social media this week for #Whatsinthebag as the iHV launches its new RSM programme with its #TriHV challenge team. This gritty group of health visitors completed the 170 mile very hilly coast-to-coast Way of the Roses charity cycle ride last weekend from Morecambe in Lancashire to Bridlington in Yorkshire. As a group of non-cyclists, they set themselves the goal of completing this gruelling challenge and, as a team, they completed it together. At the end of the ride, everyone was presented with a special goodie bag, not to be opened until Monday 28 September! So look out for #Whatsinthebag posts on Twitter or FaceBook to find out what they got in their goodie bags!

It’s so important when wanting to achieve a particular fitness benefit, to set yourself a goal, so why not set yourself your fitness goal and share it on the RSM blog at http://readysteadymums.org/set-fitness-goal

Ready Steady Mums, as many already know, is a national network of community activity groups to promote mums’ physical and emotional health. Now being led by the iHV, the new programme offers health visitors a proven tool to help mothers in their own local area overcome feelings of isolation and depression, whilst also improving their physical, social and emotional wellbeing.

In a new iHV survey of health visitors, 99% of them say it is important for health visitors to encourage mothers to take part in physical activity and 99% also agree that exercise can help maternal wellbeing and reduce mild/moderate postnatal depression. However, health visitors often report that they wish to do more about issues such as postnatal depression, and in the iHV survey 66% of them said, that they do not currently have the capacity to provide that support.

iHV’s leadership of RSM will provide health visitors with easy access to this great community-led programme. Its proven success in bringing mums together for gentle exercise and socialising can make a huge difference during pregnancy, the early days and weeks after birth. Many groups start off, and many stay, as a walking group around the local park with other mums and their buggies or prams. Some groups agree to develop their exercise and move on to other types of physical activity. So it’s not all about hard workouts with a physical trainer! Walking with other mums and their buggies is an easy way for all mums to get involved.

RSM, with iHV’s leadership and support, provides the social and community support that many health visitors find missing. So it’s a great way for health visitors to encourage mums to get together socially, while building exercise into the everyday routine. This is great, not only for health visiting, but also for local communities and for local authorities who are responsible for improving community heath.

So please do keep an eye out on social media this week for #Whatsinthebag as iHV launches its new programme Ready Steady Mums – and why not set yourself your fitness goal and share it on the RSM blog at http://readysteadymums.org/set-fitness-goal