24th August 2018
Pregnancy depression on the rise


A recent report said that today's expectant mothers are far more likely to be depressed than their mothers were during pregnancy.

Research carried out at the University of Bristol suggest that a combination of the strains of work and social media are contributory factors in the rise of depression in pregnancy.

The research study recruited 2,390 pregnant women between 1990 -1992 aged 19-24yrs and quizzed them about their moods and feelings. They then repeated the proceedure between 2012 and 2016 with 180 women in the same age group.

Amongst the first group 17% exhibited symptoms of depression or anxiety, amongst the latter group 25% did.

Dr Rebecca Pearson told The Daily Telegraph that "pregnancy is getting harder". Some of the reasons expressed were financial and that more women are working very close to their due date compounding physical and psychological stresses of pregnancy. Another factor, she said, may be the "compare and compete" culture of social media, which risks giving pregnant women the false impression that their peers are coping better than they are.


Bloomingfit is passsionate about the benefits of exercise for both physical and mental health wellbeing.

Safe and appropriate exercise and activity during pregnancy can without a doubt help relieve stress, anxiety and build confidence. All of which makes for a healthier mum and baby.

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9th January 2018
Rising Caesarean rates in UK


Caesarean section rates are rising in the UK


Maternity figures show the numbers of both elected and emergency Caesarean sections have gone up despite a fall in the overall number of births. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said the figures reflect an increase in "complex births", with obesity and age the main reasons and The Royal College of Midwives said the rise in Caesareans was "a worry".


More than a quarter of all babies born in England are now delivered that way.

There were 73,551 elective (planned) - C-sections on the NHS in 2015-16, which was about 6,750 more than in 2011-12. There was also a small rise in the number of emergency Caesarean births - up from 97,054 in 2011-12 to 99,403 in 2015-16.

A study by the Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries found about 40,000 maternities each year in the UK involve women who are clinically obese.

Dr Pat O'Brien, a consultant obstetrician and spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: "In recent years, there has been a higher number of complex births due to obesity and these are both associated with a number of complications, including a greater risk of a more complicated labour."

A spokesman for the Royal College of Midwives said: "The continued rise in Caesarean sections is a worry. “Whilst some are needed for medical reasons we need to know why the rate is increasing, and take steps to address this. "This issue is also linked to the rising numbers of overweight and obese pregnant women and I remain concerned about the increase in these numbers.

"These women are more likely to have a Caesarean section, and may also need additional support and care because of the potential complications that can occur in pregnancy for these women."

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17th October 2017
Exercise advise from the Chief Medical Officer

Recent advice from the Chief Medical Officer

"Expectant mothers should undertake 150 minutes of moderate physical activity spread throughout the week, according to guidance released by UK Chief Medical Officers.

The advice, which is being issued in the form of an infographic, is aimed at providing midwives, nurses, GPs, obstetricians, gynaecologists, and the leisure sector, with the latest evidence on physical activity during pregnancy.

Northen Ireland Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, along with his counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales, have jointly released the guidance — believed to be the first of its kind in the world.

The recommendations aim to reduce issues such as obesity, diabetes and other health concerns during pregnancy. Approximately one in 20 women are recorded as obese during pregnancy.

Key points in the guidance include: pregnant women who are already active should be encouraged to maintain their physical activity levels; women may need to adapt their activity throughout their pregnancy; those who are not active before pregnancy are advised to avoid intense exercise; pregnant women should avoid activities where there is an increased risk of falling, trauma or high impact injuries.

Dr McBride said: “This new advice for pregnant women is designed to provide practical help about the types of activities that are safe to do during pregnancy.

“Participating in safe, responsible and appropriate physical activity whilst pregnant can have many health benefits. Research shows that taking regular physical exercise during pregnancy can boost the immune system, help to prevent health risks such as Type 2 diabetes in addition to improving mental health and wellbeing.

“We encourage pregnant women to listen to their bodies and adapt their exercise accordingly. As a general rule, if it feels pleasant, keep going; if it is uncomfortable, then stop and seek advice from your health professional.”

Alison Replies:

Good 'general' advice but once again no specific details to help pregnant women plan a detailed exercise plan specific to their own unique requirements within safe yet effective limits.

Statements like this from the Chief Medical Officer inspire me even more to push ahead with the fantastic resource that is BloomingFit.

If you agree please spread the word about

Be blooming fit x

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31st July 2017
Exercise & depression research
Excercise & depression research


A recently published study following 932 women from 1990 to 2016 found the following results. Very interesting reading & totally what BloomingFit has been trying to inspire and deliver (pardon the pun) for many years now....

"Physical activity during and after pregnancy improves psychological wellbeing and may protect against postpartum depression, according to a new analysis of existing research.

Even low-intensity exercise, such as walking with a baby stroller, was linked to a lower likelihood of depressive symptoms in new mothers, researchers found.

“The negative consequences of postpartum depression not only affect the mother but also the child, who can suffer poor emotional and cognitive development,” said study co-author Celia Alvarez-Bueno of the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Cuenca, Spain.
Postpartum depression, the most common complication of bearing a child, affects 1 in 9 women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can include anxiety attacks, insecurity, irritability, fatigue, guilt, fear of harming the baby and a reluctance to breastfeed.

The symptoms start within four weeks of delivery and are considered severe when they last for more than two weeks, the study team writes in the journal Birth.

“That’s why it’s important to test the most effective strategies to prevent this disorder or mitigate the consequences,” Alvarez-Bueno told Reuters Health by email.

The study team analyzed data from 12 controlled trials of exercise interventions during or after pregnancy between 1990 and 2016 that addressed the effects of physical activity on postpartum depression. The studies included a total of 932 women and all examined the severity of postpartum depression as well as including basic information about the length, frequency, type and intensity of the exercise.

The exercises used in the various studies included stretching and breathing, walking programs, aerobic activity, Pilates and yoga.

Compared to women who didn’t exercise, those who did had lower scores on depression symptom tests during the postpartum period, the researchers found. The apparent benefit of having fewer depression symptoms was seen even among women who did not meet the cut ff for a depression diagnosis “We expected that physical activity could reduce postpartum depressive symptoms,” Alvarez-Bueno said. “However, we were pleasantly surprised when we found that exercise after pregnancy also reduced depression among the women who didn’t have diagnosable symptoms.”

Most intervention programs lasted for three months or longer and recommended three to five exercise sessions per week, but the current study didn’t draw conclusions or provide recommendations about the type or length of exercise that would be most beneficial.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommended in 2009 that pregnant and postpartum women engage in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.
“We know that exercise is just as effective as anti-depressants for adults. The trick is to get them to do the physical activity,” said Beth Lewis of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, who wasn’t involved with the study.

“With postpartum depression, it’s even more complicated due to the increased stress and sleep deprivation after having a baby,” she told Reuters Health. “We’re starting to learn more about exercise and how it helps.”

Future studies should include more data about the types of physical activity programs that could reduce depression, the study authors write. Health providers should know more about the duration, intensity and frequency of exercise to recommend to new mothers, Alvarez-Bueno noted.

“It remains unanswered how these characteristics improve postpartum depression prevention,” she said. “More research addressing this issue is urgently necessary because of the influence on both the mother and child.”

Lewis and colleagues are conducting a randomized trial that analyzes home-based exercise and home-based wellness programs among 450 mothers with a history of depression. In another study, they’re analyzing exercise programs among low-income women at risk for postpartum depression.

“Exercise is often the first thing that gets crossed off the list when there’s a new baby,” Lewis said. “It’s important to take care of yourself through exercise to keep that wellbeing high.”


More research based encouragement to share and help us support all mums. Ali x

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1st June 2017
Anxiety as a new mum


Anxiety as a new mum


According to NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recent figures show approx 12% of women have anxiety or depression

during their pregnancy. This rises to 20% in the first year following birth. NICE is advising GP's to ask about mums 'emotional' wellbeing

at their 6 week check in order to offer more support to new mums mental health. Great idea in theory but with the average GP appointment time

being limited to only 10 mins its quite a big ask for GP's to complete the full physical and emotional 6 week check.

What has your experience been at your 6 week check? Have you recieved support and advice from your GP's or other health professionals?


We do know that exercise can be a highly effective 'treatment' for anxiety and depression.

Let Bloomingfit help and support you to better wellbeing for both mental and physical health.

Take Care

Alison x   

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12th October 2016
Pregnancy Sickness Support

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is common on average affecting 70 -80% of pregnant women.

Most women find the first 12 weeks or so of pregnancy the most uncomfortable with nausea and tiredness. But for some women they can suffer extreme levels of

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is common on average affecting 70 -80% of pregnant women.

Most women find the first 12 weeks or so of pregnancy the most uncomfortable with nausea and tiredness. But for some women they can suffer extreme levels of sickness in pregnancy known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). This can be extremely debilitating, isolating and affect your health, wellbeing and even your ability to work and cope on a daily basis,.

There is help available via the UK Charity Pregnancy Sickness Support. where you can recieve fee advice and support from a range of professional and volunteer support workers. They have a helpline you can phone during the week Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and outside of those hours you can leave a message and the support co-ordinator will get back to you. They can offer you advice about current treatments and services available in the UK. Also the charity a support network of women who have experienced HG across the UK and the support co-ordinator can match you with one near you for one-to-one support throughout your pregnancy.

Please do not suffer alone and do also ask your Gp for help if you are concerned about you health.

Take care

Alison x

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25th February 2016
post natal depression help...


25th February 2016


Although having a baby is a joyous time for many parents, for 1 in 10 mums, like Hannah, being pregnant or having a baby can bring about mental he health illnesses. Many women feel completely alone and too embarrassed to share their true feelings.Hannah started to feel overwhelmed immediately after the birth of her son, Noah. Her anxiety soon turned into panic attacks. She started to question if she was a good enough mother and compare herself to other parents

“I felt very isolated and hugely overwhelmed by being a new mum. It made me question how capable I was to look after my son. It affected the relationship I had with my family.”

Hannah, 31, went to see her GP who diagnosed her with postnatal depression and prescribed her anti-depressants, however Hannah started to develop health anxieties around taking them. She discovered Bluebell Care Trust online, a charity that provides support and one-to-one outreach to mums and dads who experience pre or postnatal depression. The Bluebell Care Trust, a charity in her area which receives money raised through Sport Relief.

“It’s invaluable to be able to meet with a mum and tell her honestly that you do understand how she’s feeling but, more importantly, be able to say that I’ve been in that place once and you do get better.

Hannah is now a Bluebell Buddy – a peer-to-peer support worker. She carries out home visits and says being able to tell mothers she understands what they’re going through, and reassure them that they will get better, is vital to helping parents regain control of their lives.

That's why today, Hannah and other other mums and dads previously affected by maternal mental health problems will share their experiences on Twitter @sportrelief #MumTalk. We encourage you to join the conversation.

Cash raised through Sport Relief has been funding maternal mental health projects in the UK since 2010, allowing women like Hannah, and families across the UK to access specialist support when they need it.

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5th January 2016
Obesity the biggest threat to women says Chief Medical Officer

Obesity is the biggest threat to women's health and the health of future generations, warns England's chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies.

Her annual report, which focused on women in 2015, said tackling obesity should be a national priority to avert a "growing health catastrophe".

She said the food industry needed to do more or it should face a sugar tax.

Dame Sally is also calling for better treatment of ovarian cancer and more open discussion on incontinence.

England's top doctor said obesity was so serious it should be a priority for the whole population, but particularly for women because too often it shortened their lives.

In England in 2013, 56.4% of women aged 34-44 and 62% of women aged 45-54 were classified as overweight or obese.

Obesity increases the risk of many diseases including breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Sugar tax

Dame Sally warned that if the food industry did not clean up its act then new taxes may be the only option.

She told the BBC: "I think it is inevitable that manufacturing has to reformulate and resize, that supermarkets and others need to stop cheap promotions on unhealthy food and putting unhealthy food at the check-out, and limit advertising dramatically.

"I think we're at a tipping point. If industry won't deliver then we'll have to look at a sugar tax."

Elsewhere in the report, the chief medical officer recommended that:

  • clinical staff be better trained to recognise and respond to violence against women, including female genital mutilation, domestic abuse and sexual violence
  • more research is needed to improve maternal and child mental and physical health
  • more research on screening tests, preeclampsia and foetal growth is also needed
  • children should receive integrated personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) with sex and relationships education (SRE) at school
  • a full range of contraception services should be available to all women, at all reproductive ages

Pregnancy health

Dame Sally highlighted the fact that women had to look after their physical and mental health during pregnancy for the sake of their children and grandchildren.

If a woman is obese during pregnancy, research indicates there is an increased chance of miscarriage and premature birth.

A woman's overall health during pregnancy also has an impact on the health of the child in later life, the report said.

A pregnant woman's health affects the conditions inside the womb which in turn can have life-long consequences for the health of the child including the risk of obesity or type 2 diabetes.

Dame Sally said she wanted to "bust the myth" that women should eat for two when pregnant, adding a healthy diet with fruit and vegetables and avoiding alcohol was important.

Prof Nick Finer, from University College London's Institute of Cardiovascular Science, said obesity was now "the most pressing health issue for the nation".

"Estimates of the economic costs of obesity suggest they will bankrupt the NHS.

"Elevating the problem of obesity to a national risk could help to address the current 'laissez faire' attitude to this huge, angry, growing health catastrophe," he said.



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21st October 2014
Mums warned to stop eating for two...


(October 2014) Mums warned to stop eating for two...


In todays Daily Mail it reported:

  • Pregnant women who are overweight should be sent to slimming classes to help tackle the childhood obesity epidemic, politicians say.

  • Doctors should challenge the ‘fallacy’ that eating for two will produce a fit and healthy child.
  • An all-party group of MPs and peers called for GPs and midwives to be trained in ‘body weight levels for pregnant women’.

It said action was needed as soon as a woman becomes pregnant, as children of obese parents are more likely to be overweight themselves, adding: ‘Obesity is a family affair and it starts early.’

The new advice is contained in a report by the all-party Parliamentary group on a fit and healthy childhood, which says Britain faces a ‘child obesity epidemic of intractable nature’.

The report said a Cabinet-level minister should be responsible for tackling the potentially ‘devastating’ problem.

The report also said that breastfeeding should become the ‘desirable norm’ in the UK, pointing out that in Europe, television advertisements about breastfeeding are ‘perfectly acceptable’. It claimed that mothers could be persuaded to avoid fattening formula milk if there were more places to feed children in workplaces, shops and leisure facilities.


The group called on local authorities to provide better outdoor play facilities so children don’t spend all day in front of computers. And it suggested that councils should carry out fitness checks in schools.

Former Play School presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin, who led the all-party Parliamentary group, said: ‘It is now widely acknowledged that the nation is in the grip of a child obesity epidemic. This report will help families and the professionals who support them to turn the tide and establish new and healthy patterns of living for all our children.’

Slimming World spokesman Jenny Caven praised the report, saying: ‘If we don’t take steps now to do something to support families to adopt healthier patterns, our children will die before us.’


Alison Comments:

I totally agree that obesity is a family affair and that it can start literally from pregnancy and its outcome affects the entire family and the familys health in the future. Slimming clubs arent the answer for all pregnant women, but information about balanced diet and exrcise is. That is what Bloomingfit is all about, that is what we stand for..... so please pass on this free resource to as many as possible. One day maybe the government will be reccomending all pregnant women to visit Bloomingfit and not slimming world!!!




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14th January 2014
Exercise makes brainy babies...


 (January 2014) Exercise makes brainy babies...

Women who exercise during pregnancy have been shown to have babies with more developed brains.

The Daily Telegraph recently reported on research carried out by the university of Montreal in Canada.

Eighteen expectant mothers at the start of their 2nd trimester were randomly divided into seperate groups; the 'exercise group' and the 'sedentary group'.Thos mothers in the exercise group did 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week to the intensity where they were 'slightly out of breath'.


When brain activity was monitered once the babies were 8-10 days old, those babies with mothers in the exercise group had more mature cerebral responses; indicating that their brains had developed more rapidly in utero.

Study leader Proffessor Dave Ellemberg said he hoped the findings would encourage women to adopt healthier habits in pregnancy

"given that the simple act of exercisin could make a difference to their childs future" 


 Alison Comments...

Yet again we have more evidence based research as to how valuable, positive and important healthy exercise habits are in pregnancy. 

So why dont ALL pregnant women exercise?? Probably because they are unsure about what exercise is safe, which is why Bloomingfit is SO important, so please spread the word and help promote healthier exercise for all pregnant mums out there.


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