Friday, April 24, 2009

Women’s Bid To Save Aqua-Natal Classes

“A group of pregnant women has launched a petition in an effort to overturn a decision to scrap popular aqua-natal classes in Inverness. NHS Highland plans to stop the classes in May, following a review of some of its midwifery services. The classes are held twice a week at Inverness Leisure and Bannatyne’s Health Club and are regularly attended by a dozen women. The sessions provide expectant mothers with safe pool-based exercise under the supervision of specially-trained midwives and nurses. Laurianne Sellar, 31, who is four months’ pregnant, has been attending the classes for about a month. She said: ‘It is extremely frustrating to see these classes being scrapped, particularly as we are consistently bombarded with messages from the government highlighting the importance of tackling obesity during pregnancy.’ ‘While pregnant, with an ever-increasing bump, you are limited as to what exercise you can take part in, and aqua-natal sessions are ideal as they allow us to stay fit and healthy under the guidance and supervision of experienced midwives.’ The offshore worker, from Beauly, said: ‘We’ve already had a great response to our petition from people shocked at the decision to discontinue the classes and we’d urge anyone interested in supporting us to get in touch.’ An NHS Highland spokes-woman confirmed there are no plans to carry on the aqua-natal classes after they end in May. She said maternity activity over the past year had increased without an increase in staff numbers. As a result, the health authority was trying to ensure core services were covered and were having to review non-core activities, such as aqua-natal classes. She added: ‘While we are aware that aqua-natal classes are used, it is not a core service. However, it may be something the local providers will be willing to provide.’”

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