A personal training business shining the spotlight on maternal mental health and motherhood has launched in East Devon.
Funmumsfitness recently launched classes and sessions in Axminster and Colyton in a bid to promote body confidence to mums in East Devon.
The workout sessions aim to help mums recover after birth, lose weight, get fit, feel strong and make new friends.
The East Devon classes are held at the Reece Strawbridge Community Centre, in Colyton, and at Axminster Football Club.
In September 2020 a new private studio for personal training sessions was set up in Axminster.
Founder Dora Szentivanyi said: “Very soon after having my first child I realised that popping to the gym was not so easy anymore and with a super-fussy child, gym creches weren’t appealing for me.
“As a personal trainer I spent two-and-a-half years finding a place to train my mum clients where children are allowed.
“Either that, or I was carrying all my weights and equipment to parks and working there so my clients’ children could run around and mummy could exercise.
“In September 2020 I finally managed to set up a private, one-to-one studio in Axminster, which is completely child-friendly.
“Toys, baby bouncers, stair gates, nappies, and of course a comfortable sofa and coffee and tea are all available alongside a well-equipped gym space to provide a unique and guilt-free working out experience.”
Dora said the business promoted a sense of community and friendship, boosting mental health as well as fitness, while removing any ‘mum guilt’.
She said: “The mother and children classes are a whole community in themselves. Mums are not just workout buddies they are a brilliant friendship group too.
“The after-class coffees and chats are an essential part. We chat, we share, we off-load, we cry, we laugh and support each other.”
The Funmumsfitness founder added: “Over the past few years women have finally begun to talk honestly about motherhood. It’s certainly not the idyllic, perfect, sugar-coated experience that social media and TV has led us to believe.
“It can be rough, painful, lonely, confidence-breaking and quite often stinky.
“More and more mums are talking about their pre or postnatal depression – or both – and having therapy is not something that we hide anymore, but a part of our self-care routine.”
Dora said: “Unfortunately, we don’t talk enough about the importance of physical activity and the incredibly healing effect this can have for mums’ mental health.
“We don’t mention enough how essential it is to feel that we belong somewhere, as a new mum.”