MP supports local initative to deliver free swimming for expecting mums


Efforts to support healthy pregnancies in South Gloucestershire have taken another step forward as local MP Luke Hall has called on the local authority to introduce free swimming at South Gloucestershire Active Leisure Centres.

The provision of free swimming would be made available to pregnant women living in the local area, following research which demonstrates the huge benefits for expecting mums. The Royal College of Midwifery have welcomed reports from NHS England, as well as recommendations from the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, who has advised parents to aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity during pregnancy.

Benefits specifically for pregnant women include helping to prevent diabetes during pregnancy, reducing the need for caesarean sections, improved fitness and reducing high blood pressure.

As a father himself, Luke has teamed up with mums and families in South Gloucestershire, asking South Gloucestershire Council to help deliver free swimming at our local leisure centres, to support pregnant mothers, improving access to this vital source of exercise.

Luke said, “South Gloucestershire Council has been proactive in supporting local families and healthy lifestyles, however I recognise more can be done to help pregnant women in our community.”

The MP continued, “Alongside expecting parents and families in South Gloucestershire, I will be pressing the Council to help facilitate free swimming classes and opportunities for pregnant mothers, so we can continue to enhance the support for healthier pregnancies and ensure parents have the access to key services they deserve.”

Discussing her own personal experience, local mum and campaigner, Emma-Louise Doney said, “Swimming during my pregnancy was extremely important. It meant I was able to maintain my strength, endurance and flexibility as it provides a full body workout. Swimming is a low impact sport and meant I could keep a workout routine during pregnancy as well as keep cool while I exercised. Swimming during pregnancy is life changing." 

On behalf of local parents, Luke has written to Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Cllr Toby Savage, to outline the many benefits swimming offers and has asked for assistance in securing free swimming in Active Leisure Centres in the Thornbury and Yate area. 

A petition has been launched to demonstrate the communities support for the proposals and can be found here;

For more information about the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations, please see the following link: