Out and about with baby on NCT walks in Essex

PUBLISHED: 16:53 29 October 2009 | UPDATED: 07:26 30 May 2010

Parents join in one of the Dunmow and District NCT Tracks Walks Picture: Daniel Barden

Parents join in one of the Dunmow and District NCT Tracks Walks Picture: Daniel Barden

AN innovative new project has been launched to help new parents develop support networks after the birth of their babies while getting some exercise. The Dunmow and District branch of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) hosts a series of Tracks Walks arou

AN innovative new project has been launched to help new parents develop support networks after the birth of their babies while getting some exercise.

The Dunmow and District branch of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) hosts a series of Tracks Walks around the CM6 area, and promotes the use of baby slings to free new parents to explore the Essex countryside where the terrain is unsuitable for prams.

Branch chairman Louise Painter said: "There are so many benefits for using baby slings. It has been shown to help mothers who are suffering from postnatal depression and it is good for baby's physical and mental development because they see the world from our perspective.

"Babies who are regularly carried have also been shown to cry up to 54 per cent less than other babies, and they are more likely to be more securely bonded to their parents."

The NCT Tracks Walks are held every Thursday morning. Unless the weather is extremely poor they will be continuing through the winter by popular demand.

"Each walk lasts around one-and-a-half to two hours; similar to the amount of time that might be spent at a baby group," said Mrs Painter.

"The walks follow local public footpaths over fields and through woodland ending with a stop for refreshments when the route allows."

"They provide gentle exercise for new mothers recommended as part of treatment plans for postnatal depression and the social contact provided by the walks helps parents to develop support networks of people experiencing the transition to parenthood."

As with all NCT events, parents and carers do not have to be members to join in and Mrs Painter has even managed to source a variety of donated baby slings and carriers so there is no need for parents to purchase their own. Sling hire costs just 50p a session.

Anyone wanting to join in is advised to attend one of the branch's regular coffee and sling mornings to find out more. The next is being held on Friday October 30 from 10am to 12pm. Call Mrs Painter on 01371 821171 to attend.

Visit www.nct.org.uk/dunmow to find out more about Tracks Walks.

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