In 1987 I (Cheryl Harding) moved to Southampton in my 36th week of pregnancy and I was surprised to find a lack of things for pregnant ladies to do to keep fit.
I am a qualified aerobics teacher and had been teaching classes quite late into my pregnancy and would probably have carried on if not for our move. Soon after the birth of Jennifer, I got together with a friend (who is a midwife) and we devised a programme of water based exercises and started taking Aquanatal classes at a local leisure centre.
These became very popular and the ladies often enquired about other classes. So in 1990 Lynne and I, with advice from an obstetric physiotherapist, started Stretchnatal. A dry land based exercise and active birth preparation class.
In the course of these classes we often used to be asked about waterbirths, T.E.N.S. (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) machines and various other alternatives. At first we would pass on information about companies that would hire out such equipment. However we found that many ladies could not simply not afford the prices that some companies charge.
I was at this time taking bookings for the community birthing pool, which meant that many ladies have the opportunity to have a labour and delivery with the relief and benefits that water can give to a labouring woman.
However it was not long until the word about the facility at a cost of £35.00 (for the tub liner) got around. I found that there were still a lot of ladies that were unable to use the community pool usually because of where they lived or where they had opted to have their baby.
So I decided to invest in pools of my own which I could offer as an alternative.
And so Mamma Works was born! I can now offer T.E.N.S. machines and hand crafted birthing stools. In addition we also offer information on home births, independent midwives, active birth and exercise classes.
The cost of hiring a pool varies from £100 to £145 depending on whether you book the pool months in advance or at the last minute. The hire of a birthing stool or T.E.N.S. machine is £25.00. All equipment is hired out from two weeks prior to the due date of baby and is yours until baby is born, unless other time scales have been arranged.
In 2004 Jennie, my daughter, took over running MammaWorks. If your have any questions the please feel free to contact her on 07413 955 522