05 May

Move in May: our Community Champions experiences so far

Our community champions have got off to a strong start with being active for 30 minutes every day in May.
Here, Cara and Jessica share what they have been up to with their families over the first week of Move in May.

‘We are four days in to Move in May and I am loving the conversations it is prompting in our house, particularly with my four year old. We have been speaking about the importance of moving our bodies and getting fresh air.

Most of the time he is very keen to get involved but, as you can see, he does get tired occasionally!’

– Cara

So far my first week is going ok. Since me and my little one had Covid 3 weeks ago, my energy levels and my mental health have taken a big dip and suffered a lot. This is also another reason why I wanted to take part in Move in May, it’s amazing how even 30 minutes of activity can all help with the recovery process.

On Sunday 1st May, me and my little one had an hour dance-athon to 80s music in our living room as the weather was rather miserable. Then on bank holiday Monday, I decided I would try out my new weighted hula-hoop and give my kids a good giggle. The next morning my hips were pretty sore but we managed a 2 hour walk along Port Solent and Portchester Castle which really helped with clearing my head. There’s something about walking and just listening to the sounds of birds, water etc. that’s so therapeutic. 

I’m looking forward to more activities and plenty of walking over the next few days and weeks and what’s best is I get to do it all with my little teddy

– Jessica

If you haven’t yet started Move in May, or haven’t signed up, there’s still time to join us! By signing up, you’ll get access to our exclusive live-stream workouts as well as weekly emails, updates, tips and more! 

Register here

03 May

5 ways to keep motivated for Move in May

As life gets busy, things can get in the way of your best intentions. Motivation can dip when there are lots of other priorities and getting going can sometimes feel like the hardest thing to do.

We wanted to share with you a few tips to help keep you motivated during May, so you can move for 30 minutes every day and feel healthier, physically and mentally.


Do it early in the day

Often, our days seem to get busier as they progress, even if we are ticking things off our to-do list. It’s easy to be knocked off track with unexpected situations or when things get busy, especially if you are working, looking after children, housekeeping or running errands. One way to ensure you keep up your activity during May is to do it earlier in the day.

Maybe you could leave the car at home and walk to school or perhaps you could walk the long way home after dropping the kids off.

Or why not book an early swim session at a local swimming pool one weekend – everyone can take part in burning off some energy and you’ve got the rest of the day to spend together doing whatever you fancy.

Be prepared the night before

After a long day, it can be easy to fall straight into bed without thinking of the next day. Benjamin Franklin once said ‘“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” You definitely won’t be failing by falling into bed tired, but it can help to get some things ready the night before to make the next morning run smoothly. Here’s some ideas of what might help:

  • Decide on your clothes and get them out of the wardrobe (especially key if you are going to work out early, putting gym clothes on triggers your brain that you are going to exercise).
  • Make your lunch / family lunches the night before so it’s ready to grab the next day.
  • Pack your bag / change bag / work bag with everything you need. Anyone else run around each morning trying to locate purse/wallet, keys, charger, laptop etc.?
  • Write a list of 3 key actions you need to do the next day to keep you focused.

Set goals

When you want to achieve something, it’s been proven that those people who write it down as a goal are more likely to achieve it. It doesn’t have to be a big goal setting exercise with vision boards, purpose statements and long descriptions, it can be as simple as ‘Tomorrow, I will walk for 30 minutes’. By setting a specific, measurable goal, you are preparing your mind for what will happen.

If you want to, you could set goals each day or week, or an overarching one for the whole of May; different things work for different people.

Use a tracker

Once you have set a goal, you need to know how close to achieving it you are! For Move in May, we have created trackers for you so it’s easy to keep an eye on your progress. There’s a Milk Family tracker for children (or adults too – I know some of the BfN team are using it!) or a straightforward one for adults to use. By visually seeing your progress, you can be proud of how far you’ve come and look forward with positivity to the next steps too.

Take a look at our trackers here.

Get others involved

Have you ever noticed that when you do something with someone else, it’s often more fun? Take the same thought and apply it to Move in May! Here’s some ideas of how you can get others involved:

  • Message a friend to arrange a bike ride together
  • Organise a playdate at the local park and join in with the kids
  • Attend a local fitness class with your partner
  • Create a WhatsApp group with close family so they can encourage and support you

Even if they can’t join you every day, having someone come along side you (physically or virtually) can be a great support and motivate you to keep going through your challenge. We often show up and become more motivated when we know others have an interest in what we are doing.

If you need ideas of active things to do, you can take a look at our list of activities here.

Remember, you are amazing! Every time you choose to do something active, you are improving your health, getting fitter and you should feel more energized (good old endorphins!).

Not registered for Move In May yet? Click here!


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21 Apr

Say hello to our Community Champions

As we get ready to Move in May for 30 minutes every day, we wanted to introduce you to our community champions who will be taking on the challenge too.

They will be lacing up their trainers and sharing their experience throughout May while taking part in the challenge. The ups and downs, wins and challenges, along with some fun images so you can see what they have been up to and be inspired!

They are not fitness professionals or experts, they are mums wanting to be active and healthy with their family. We think they are pretty amazing! 

Cara

I’m Cara. I live in north-east Scotland with my partner and two kids who are 4 and 4 months. I work for BfN but am currently enjoying my maternity leave. I always try and take part in Move in May and find it makes me feel so much better, mentally and physically.

Louise

I’m Louise, I live in Sandwell with my husband and our 6 year old son. Like most of us, my activity levels increased in the Pandemic, I began to look forward to my once a day walk but as the world started to open up a little more I got busier and my activity levels dropped again. I decided to be a Move in May Community Champion this year to regain some of that activity back, and to (hopefully) inspire some others to do the same.

Jessica

I'm Jess from Portsmouth. I'm mum of 9 amazing children aged 21, 19, 18, 16, 14, 11, 8, 4 and 1. I've been involved with the BfN since 2019 and became a BfN supporter in 2021. I run a breastfeeding support group in my local area as well as supporting new mums via phone that have been discharged from hospital. I also volunteer on the NBH helpline and social media page as well as offering zoom support. I'm taking part in the Move in May challenge as I want to give back to the community as well as raising awareness of the work BfN do.

Why not join our community champions and take part in Move in May yourself? 

By signing up, you’ll get access to exclusive live workouts, tracking sheets, weekly emails and tips to keep you motivated!

20 Jan

Happy New Year from the Breastfeeding Network

By Shereen Fisher, CEO

The start of a new year is often filled with feelings of opportunity, optimism and excitement for what the new year will hold. Although times are still uncertain as we enter 2022, here at the Breastfeeding Network (BfN), the new year gives us a chance to look ahead and focus on helping even more families with their infant feeding journey.

 

We already have lots of exciting things planned for 2022 but our recent strategy meeting with the BfN Directors is helping us think and plan about priorities for the future.

There are quite a few things coming down the track that we would like to tell you more about, we are:

  • re-designing and developing a new BfN website. This will ensure it is easy to navigate, with the most visited information visible first, technologically up-to-date and fit for purpose moving into the future.
  • mid-way through an external evaluation of the National Breastfeeding Helpline, working with academics from UCLAN – thank you to all the NBH volunteers and volunteers on the language lines who are supporting the field work.
  • rolling out a newly-developed course for professionals more widely this year, a course that focuses on doulas, midwives, health visitors and other health professionals – it is endorsed by OCN.
  • launching a package of training specifically for GPs, with more information announced later in 2022.
  • revamping our ‘Friends of BfN’ and ‘Friends of Drugs in Breastmilk’ schemes with more membership options, benefits and involvement.
  • looking to build capacity within the Drugs in Breastmilk Service – which has now transitioned to volunteer pharmacists – by running another dedicated training course.
  • hosting another Annual Conference later on in 2022 for our peer supporters and partners, to celebrate our work and all the volunteering that makes such a difference to families.
  • delivering against the promise of our inclusion and diversity action plan, now updated with learning from the equality and inclusion survey – to roll out dedicated supervision plans to volunteers.
  • using the learning from the supervision survey to bring in a number of changes in discussion with supervisors and the board, to improve the supervision environment within BfN.
  • setting up a BfN expert panel to help oversee information development guided by an information policy.

 

At the end of last year, we launched a new peer group service in Shropshire which will continue to grow this year and we are looking forward to delivering a peer support service in Southampton from April 2022. We are also looking at other areas where groups could be facilitated or commissioned by health trusts – if you are interested in working with BfN in your NHS trust then please do get in touch!

 

We are also very pleased to welcome Hester Schofield as the new National Breastfeeding Helpline Manager and Tahira Tabbasum, Finance Officer (maternity cover).

 

Of course we will be continuing all of our usual activities:

  • Peer support groups continue to run in a variety of ways, from face to face groups, 1-1 support, walking groups, online groups and messaging services. There are a number of locations throughout the UK with groups available; a great place to get support, ask questions, meet new friends and feel part of a community.
  • The National Breastfeeding Helpline is open every day to provide support and information to anyone needing assistance with infant feeding.
  • Our Drugs in Breastmilk service is still hugely popular and will be continuing its vital work providing information via social media support and email. We are often updating our drug factsheets when new or relevant information is published and we regularly update our coronavirus page with any recent developments.
  • We continue regular training sessions for professionals, peer supporters and volunteers who work with BfN in supporting new parents and families with infant feeding.
  • Supporting and developing relationships both local and national with Government, Public Health and third sector to ensure we can work as collaboratively as possible to strengthen the outcomes of babies.

 

In 2022, we aim to continue going from strength to strength as we support all parents, families, health professionals and key partners.