Physical activity readiness screening(PARmed x)for pre and post natal women under the NHS

Physical activity readiness screening(PARmed x)for pre and post natal women under the NHS

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Sophie Ablett started this petition to UK Parliament and

There is a lack of support for pregnant women and new mothers wanting to keep fit and healthy before and after having a baby. Many women are scared to exercise while pregnant for fear of hurting their unborn child, and afraid to exercise post birth as a result of trauma and post operational damage. Women aren't certain where to find professional advice because there is a distinct lack of it. There is no thorough and personal physical screening in place after pregnancy with NHS general practitioners other than a blood pressure check. Quite simply, no one seems to care about this. As a woman who has recently given birth to her first child, and as a personal trainer, I've found information regarding continuing and returning to exercise during and after pregnancy, both hard to access and unclear. Since studying for my pre and post natal exercise qualification, it became clear that exercise with a pregnant or postnatal client was only to be carried out with clearance from a general practitioner. However, I feel this assessment is very rarely carried out with the detail needed for safe exercise. I want women to have access to the knowledge and information that will reassure them, explaining how to exercise when pregnant, and when they can return to normal exercise after pregnancy. In the UK there are no PAR med X documents for postnatal or pregnancy. This is a document that details specific medical conditions that may make exercise inappropriate or unsafe. The NHS website states it will only offer advice on exercise and diet if the patient is overweight or obese, which feels like punishment for those who enjoy being fit and healthy, and want to continue to be so. What's more, the advice regarding the BMI system (you're considered obese with a BMI of 30 or more) is severely outdated, not considering very active women who have larger muscles as a result. 

Exercise is key for the mental health of almost everyone, but this could be especially helpful for mums-to-be and new mums, who'll likely be feeling overwhelmed at all the changes they're experiencing already. A lack of exercise can often lead to low self esteem and may also lead to post-natal depression as a knock on effect.

Please support this petition, which is calling on more training to be given to GPs for instructing pregnant women or new mums on how to exercise with confidence and feel comfortable in their new bodies. In addition a PARmed x document should be created and completed by GPs to help fitness professionals feel more confident taking on these women as clients. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!