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Expert advice for providers working with mums

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Find out how you can support new and expectant mums

The resources and information provided below aims to support people, services and health professionals to further encourage and support mums to be more active during and after pregnancy


Do you work for a health provider, wider whanau ora service? Are you facilitating ante- or post-natal groups? Or are you an exercise provider working with mums?

If so, you play a critical role in helping mums lead healthy and active lifestyles. But it's important to understand the unique health needs of new and expectant mums to ensure you offer the right advice, or you know who to turn to if you or your maternal clients need further support.

Below are some resources to help you understand the value of physical activity for pre- and postnatal women, and key information to ensure you're supporting women using your service with the latest knowledge and best practice advice.

The message from experts is loud and clear: Physical activity has huge benefits during pregnancy and post-partum.


Let's talk pelvic health

Pelvic floor muscles often become weaker during pregnancy and childbirth, causing incontinence for some women when they sneeze, cough or exercise. Being open about these impacts and supporting your pre- and postnatal clients with advice can help remove the stigma that may hold them back from exercising during and after pregnancy.

"Talk about your pelvic health with ease, as you do talking about your knees," Kirsty Watts, specialist in the safe return to exercise

Hear what our experts have to say about pelvic health, and pelvic floor information that may be useful for your clients.

Goals of physical activity

How to know if your pelvic floor needs attention

Returning to exercise post-birth, and preparing your pelvic floor

Common pelvic floor issues and exercising

For more support in your area, talk to Emily Burmester, Sophie Arnold or Frances Tague (details below).


Want to know more?

Get in touch with our leaders in maternal health

If you're after further information, or would like to refer one of your clients, then get in touch with one of our leaders in maternal health


Penny Stevens

Penny is a registered nurse with the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Service (PIMHS). Penny works with women who have moderate to severe mental health symptoms during pregnancy and up to 12 months after birth of baby.

A referral to PIMHS can be sought via a GP, midwife or Plunket nurse.

Bay of Plenty DHB - Maternal Mental Health

Emily Burmester

Emily is a women’s health physiotherapist. Emily provides physio care and support for pregnant mums, those who have just had a baby and ongoing support for their post-natal journey.

Project Physio

Sophie Arnold

Sophie Arnold is a pelvic health physiotherapist, and qualified to help mums continue with their choice of physical activity pre- and post-partum, safely. Sophie is available for face-to-face and tele-health consultations.

Body in Motion


Kirsty Watts

Kirsty is the founder of Bootiful Fitness and has a wealth of experience training pregnant and postnatal women. She is qualified in pre and postnatal fitness, and is a Registered Exercise Professional of New Zealand (REPS).

Bootiful Fitness

Frances Tague

Frances is a physiotherapist and clinical pilates instructor at Te Ngae Physiotherapy and Pilates. She has a clinical interest in women's health,

Te Ngae Physiotherapy and Pilates

Tim Gutteridge

Time is a registered social worker with Te Ngako Perinatal Mental Health Team, Rotorua (Lakes DHB Perinatal Mental Health Team). Tim and his colleagues provide support to mothers and babies and pregnant women who have mental health issues.

Lakes DHB Perinatal Mental Health Service

“Maintaining physical health is one of the cornerstones of good mental health and can also be a means of recovery when experiencing mental illness during both the ante-natal and post-partum period” - Tim Gutteridge


Useful links and information

Larissa Cuff_Snippet

Larissa Cuff

Health Team Leader

021 023 79615


Learn More

x3 May 2016