September 11, 2008

Getting Mums Fit and Healthy; DVD Exercise Programme for Mothers Launched


A NEW PLYMOUTH physiotherapist and a personal trainer are on a mission to help Kiwi women return to full fitness after having babies.

Lisa Yates and Fiona Ross have this week launched their DVD called the Core and the Floor.

Their $20,000 project was kicked off after increasing frustrations that they were both seeing women suffering needlessly from problems caused by muscles weakened by pregnancy and childbirth.

And the two are well qualified to put a scientific post- pregnancy education and exercise programme together.

Mothers themselves, Mrs Yates works part-time as a continence and obstetrics physiotherapist while Mrs Ross, a former midwife, is now a personal trainer.

While some post-natal classes are run at the maternity ward, the fast- turnaround for mothers and babies after birth means many miss out.

"There just wasn't enough knowledge out there," Mrs Yates said. "The new mums are having their babies, taught basic breast-feeding and then going off home without learning how to look after themselves.

"We thought that if this was the way things were happening in New Plymouth, what's it going to be like in the smaller centres?"

"We are lucky that we both worked overseas and have seen how it should work," Mrs Ross said. They were born and worked in Scotland and Australia respectively before moving to New Plymouth with their families.

After being taught how to exercise correctly, the women they are dealing with are delighted with the results.

"They were saying if only I had met you and learnt it when I had my baby. It was the same every week," Mrs Yates said.

They have been congratulated by midwives, snowed under with the current baby boom, who are keen to use the new resource for their mums.

"We were given a standing ovation at the annual meeting. They were so enthusiastic."

The two ensured the content was first approved by Netherlands and New Zealand experts.

"We wanted to make sure we had the best information we could."

And women of all ages can benefit from the exercise programme, they say.

"My mother has got six copies for all her friends," Mrs Yates said.

It is the first time they have ever made a DVD, learning everything as they went.

"We've worked on it over six months. It's taken a lot of very late nights to get it together."

They are proud it is an all-Taranaki project. Mark Bellringer of Digital Story produced the DVD while C7 Design and Layout did the logos and illustrations.

Local women doing the exercises are featured on the coastal walkway.

The pair have chosen an appropriate week to launch their DVD. It is incontinence awareness week.

The DVD costs $44.95 and can be bought on the website,



* One in three women who has had a baby suffers from some form of incontinence.

* Clinical trials found that pelvic floor exercise cures 82% of women and is advised as the first line treatment for stress urinary incontinence.

* Up to 30% of women perform the exercises incorrectly, which can make their condition worse.



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