Call for free swimming for pregnant women

NAILSEA mums have called for free swimming to be introduced for pregnant women in North Somerset.

Swimming is considered good, safe exercise for mums-to-be who may have to stop other forms of exercise in the later part of their pregnancy.

Rachel Mason, who is almost five months pregnant with her second child, keeps active by playing netball as well as going running and cycling.

However, she has had to give these up until her child is born.

Rachel, aged 30 of Greenslade Gardens, said: “I was very disappointed to learn that in many areas throughout the country, including Bristol, the councils fund free swimming for pregnant women, but North Somerset doesn’t.

“If free swimming was not available for pregnant women anywhere in the country, it wouldn’t really be an issue as I know cuts need to be made, but it is the inconsistency that bothers me.

“It is quite difficult to keep fit when pregnant, especially when you already have a child and when ‘free’ activities become either too difficult or too dangerous.

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“Paying for a spin class or swimming two, three or four times a week is just not viable for many mums, and it seems that free swimming would be a very useful and, I am sure, relatively inexpensive thing to fund.

“I would just like to know why North Somerset feels it is not worth funding, but Bristol City Council thinks it is?”

Another Nailsea mum, Sarah Allan of Causeway View, also thinks North Somerset Council should offer free swimming for pregnant women.

The 29-year-old mum-of-two, who suffered from pelvic pain known as SPD during both her pregnancies, said: “Swimming is one of the best exercises for relieving SPD. It is quite a common thing that a lot of women suffer from.

“Swimming is so beneficial for your health and well-being during pregnancy.

“I don’t see that allowing pregnant women swimming for free would cost that much.”

A North Somerset Council spokesman said the authority had never offered free swimming to pregnant women in the past and had no plans to introduce it for the future.

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