Pregnant women could soon be swimming at South Gloucestershire Leisure Centres for free.

A campaign has been launched after an NHS England report detailed that parents should aim for around 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity during pregnancy.

MP for Thornbury and Yate Luke Hall joined the campaign and has told the Gazette that he has written to the Leader of South Gloucestershire Council in order to try and get free sessions for expectant mothers.

The provision of free swimming would be made available to pregnant women living in the local area, following research which demonstrates the huge benefits.

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.

Mr Hall met with mothers at Yate Leisure Centre to discuss the campaign and express his hope that South Gloucestershire Council will deliver free swimming to support pregnant mothers.

“The council has been proactive in supporting families and healthy lifestyles,” Mr Hall said.

“I recognise more can be done to help pregnant women in our community.

“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.”

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