Report: Matthew Hibberd
Photography: PA Nicola Harper
A NEW facility providing fitness and wellbeing facilities for pre and post-natal mums (and dads with caring duties), has been formally opened within the Sports And Recreation Centre at HMS Sultan.
Thanks to a donation from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, fridges, baby play equipment and even a sofa area have all been placed alongside regular gym equipment in the new Maternity Suite. The sensory stimulating environment will provide parents of young children with a safe and welcoming place they can confidently visit in order to conduct physical exercise and rehabilitation.
The Maternity Suite was officially opened by Sultan’s Commanding Officer, Captain John Voyce, project lead, Leading Physical Trainer Shanie Jones and Catherine Mitchelmore and her baby Owen.
LPT Jones said: “We are so grateful to everyone who has supported the project, but especially the RNRMC who funded a lot of the equipment and made this possible. It’s a fantastic environment and we have specially trained pre and post-natal care instructors available who will take classes and inductions to ensure that everything is safe for individuals to work out, so that users can train with confidence both during and after pregnancy.”
Also present at the opening was Warrant Officer 1 Rosie Dodd, who is in overall charge of the Parent Support and Information Team, which oversees divisional care for those on any form of parenting leave throughout the RN.
She said: “Ladies who are pregnant and on maternity leave often have issues with their mental health and their general physique as their body changes, so it’s really important to provide them with somewhere safe where they can come and meet with qualified people who can actually do work outs with them, advise and guide them and help them network with other service parents, so that everyone has someone to turn too.
“I think it’s a brilliant facility which has been so well thought out and is split up nicely, so if people want a safe area with their babies then they can. They have brilliant apparatus and supporting equipment such as fridges and it’s also a nice quiet area so you’re not having to go with a baby through the mainstream gym.”
Irrespective of whether you’re a mum or a dad, if you want to do some physical activity knowing your baby is going to be safe, the facility is accessible to everybody. For further advice on the Maternity Suite, please speak to LPT Lauren Parsons at HMS Sultan.