The activities, organised by a team of Manchester midwives from the university and psychologists, will be held in Moss Side, Hulme and Rusholme areas of Manchester.
Pregnant women and new mums with babies aged one year or less can enjoy free activities such as: Pilates, cooking classes, yoga and swimming.
A research midwife at The University of Manchester and project lead, Claire Lyon said: “We know that being active is good for mum and baby – delivering oxygen and nutrients around the body. It helps to keep mum fit and avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy while reducing anxiety, and releasing endorphins (the happy hormone).”
Claire Lyon added that research suggests pregnant women who do not remain active during pregnancy are 4.5 times more likely to have a caesarean section.
“So making even a few small changes can make a big difference.”
The activities are being funded by the EU-funded Together Project.
Free swimming sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 20 April until 30 August 2016, 1pm-2pm, at Moss Side Leisure Centre.
Women who wish to participate will need to register for a free swimming pass.
The four-week Pilates course for women with babies aged one year or less will start 22 April 2016, 1pm-2pm, at Martenscroft Children’s Centre. For this activity, women will have to register at reception.
Overall, the project aims to encourage women to make changes to their lifestyles.
Dr Debbie Smith, a health psychologist involved in the project, says that research shows that despite physical and psychological transitions, pregnancy provides a great opportunity to make lifestyle changes.
More information about the University of Manchester project can be found here.
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