A local fitness instructor is encouraging other mums-to-be to stay as active as they can during pregnancy, just like she is.
Pip Hobbs is one of the instructors for I Will If You Will (IWIYW), the fitness movement supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by Bury Council.
She is only weeks away from having her first baby but has maintained delivery of her busy schedule of IWIYW classes and her own training programme all the way through her pregnancy, under guidance from her midwife.
Thanks to the power of social media and her own YouTube channel, Pip was soon inundated with messages from ladies in a similar position.
“As soon as I announced my pregnancy on my Facebook page, PIP Fitness, I was receiving so many messages from women asking if it was safe to still be so active and whether I could give them advice,” she said.
“At that time I wasn’t qualified in this area so the only advice I could give was for people to listen to their own body and midwife, just like I had.
“If you’re already at a certain level of fitness, and everything is medically sound with your pregnancy, I believe carrying on with your usual routine is more than possible, especially with adapted moves during each trimester. I wouldn’t recommend starting a brand new exercise class or lifting weights while pregnant if you’ve not done it for a while or have never tried it.”
The response to her own pregnancy prompted Pip to undertake a professional qualification in Adapting Exercise for Ante and Pre-Natal Clients, which she was awarded in late September.
“Doing the qualification meant I could answer a lot of my own questions as well as those from people in my classes or getting in touch online,” said Pip.
“I also saw more pregnant ladies joining my classes as they saw where I was on my own journey and hopefully it gave people like Helen the confidence to keep training with me during her own pregnancy.”
Helen Bellis trained with Pip until she was 35 weeks pregnant, giving birth to baby Nellie a matter of weeks ago.
“I started training with Pip after having my first baby Noah as I wanted to get back into shape,” she said. “As soon as I found out I was pregnant again, I knew I’d feel confident in her classes as she was putting herself through the adapting exercises qualification and she was pregnant herself!
“I’d worked so hard to build my fitness back up after having my first baby, it was really important to continue this into having a healthy pregnancy – keeping fit with Pip did just that. I love coming here and seeing all the girls; it’s part of my life and I don’t want to ever break that habit.”
As more ante and pre-natal clients joined Pip’s classes, she realised the importance of becoming qualified in this area even more.
She said: “As an instructor who meets so many different women in this job, it’s so important to make everyone feel comfortable in my classes. I like to think I show people what can be done, if medically allowed of course, and I want to make other women in my situation feel safe when exercising.
“So many people tell me they’re shocked to see me being so active this late into my own pregnancy but I’ve still got so much energy and I still want to train both myself and my clients. I firmly believe staying fit has made me feel like this, even when so heavily pregnant.”
Pip will be taking a break from her classes to enjoy a short maternity leave in late 2016 and into the New Year, but she’ll be back at it in January all being well.
Press release issued: 11 October 2016.
Picture: Pip Hobbs (centre) with her Thursday Kettlercise class at Blackford Bridge URC, Manchester Road, Bury.
Note to editors:
About I Will If You Will
I Will If You Will is focused on changing women’s and girls’ behaviours towards taking part in sport and physical activity with the aim of getting more women and girls being more active, more often, and helping improve the health and wellbeing of people in Bury.
It aims to overcome the many practical and emotional barriers to being active, while encouraging women to support each other by joining the I Will If You Will community.
The Phase One campaign was delivered by Bury Council with £2.3 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England. For the Phase Two campaign, Sport England has allocated a further £2 million to extend delivery over the next two years (to December 2016).
The successful IWIYW pilot campaign identified valuable insights and helped develop the foundations for Sport England’s national This Girl Can campaign, which launched in January 2015, as well as Sport England’s practical guide to helping women and girls get active (www.sportengland.org/womenandgirls).