Following the birth of her first child Stephanie Whelan was determined to get back to the gym as soon as possible. However, she quickly discovered that there was little in the way of classes for new mothers, and certainly nothing for those who wished to bring their new arrival with them.
She encountered the same issues after the birth of her second child. But this time she decided to do something about it. Not the type to do things by half, Stephanie, who had no previous experience as a personal trainer, enrolled in a course specialising in providing classes for new mums.
Thus, The Mum Gym was born, a pre and post-natal fitness class which not only promotes fitness but also helps new mothers overcome health issues associated with difficult pregnancies.
And, so popular have the classes proved, Stephanie's venture has expanded at a rapid rate.
'It started last July, it's going great. We've gone from having one class a week to six. Most of the classes have been in the Ferrycarrig, but we've also held them in the Maldron and Clonard Community Centre. We have three different types of classes, Chapter One: for new mums and mums to be. Chapter Two: which caters for mothers with infants. And the Mum and Toddler Fitness Class for those with slightly older children,' she explained.
The one thing that all classes have in common is the presence of children, and Stephanie says that, in many ways, the classes revolve around the little ones.
'In the classes mum can exercise while child goes around doing its thing. The big concern people tend to have is 'what if my baby cries?' But it's not problem if this happens, all the babies cry, my baby cries. It's natural, if your baby cries you're free to go and tend to it.'
Revealing that she's a few weeks away from adding another addition to her own family, Stephanie said she'll be bringing her own new baby to class at the first possible opportunity.