by ANTONY CLAY
HAVING a baby proved a life changer for one Rotherham woman – in more ways than one.
Not only did she have the sudden challenge of nappies, feeding and shifts in the everyday routine of life, she also got the idea of running a new support group.
Danielle Cliff, of Parkgate, decided that tackling the needs of a young child were so inspirational to her that she wanted to support other mums in the same situation.
So she set up The Mindful Mum Club which offers advice and practical help to make life that bit better for mothers and their children.
She says that she has learnt so much about the highs and lows of looking after a baby that she believes it is important to spread the word.
There is now an active website, Instagram and Facebook page dedicated to The Mindful Mum Club, as well as regular walks, a weekly Cuppa Club and now yoga and massage sessions for the bairns.
All in all, things are looking up for Danielle who is relishing the challenge of motherhood and running the group.
“I worked in a secondary school for six years and left in January,” said Danielle.
“I wanted to do something different now that I had my little girl.
“I struggled to deal with the changing lifestyle.
“It was very scary. I kind of had to push myself.
“After I had my little girl I went back to school part-time but I had lost the passion for it. I thought what else can I do with my life?”
What Danielle did was qualify in practising baby yoga and massage and set about learning how she could put her new-found skills to good use.
The result was The Mindful Mum Club which she hopes to develop even further.
She found unexpected strains and stresses in suddenly having to look after a baby and realised that other mums would be in the same position, sometimes with less support than she had.
She wanted to use her baby experiences with daughter Iris to help others.
“Iris is responsible for it,” joked Danielle when explaining why the Mindful Mum Club got off the ground.
Danielle said that many new mums can feel isolated. They are perhaps at home all day after previously being at work or with an active social life.
They suddenly have to deal with a helpless human being who relies on them. They lose sleep. A newborn baby is not an easy thing to have to cope with and it can take a toll on even experienced mums, let alone first-time ones.
“Postnatal depression and anxiety and isolation are big problems,” said Danielle.
“I think depression is something that a lot of mums don’t talk about. They are worried that people will think they are not a good mum.
“It’s important we accept that having a baby is a challenge. People should not be scared to talk about it.
“Before all this I was scared of babies.”
Danielle said that by attending The Mindful Mum Club sessions she hoped that mums who feel isolated will find that support is out there, as well as important advice and friendship.
The Mindful Mum Club runs massage and yoga sessions at St Thomas’ Church Hall in Kimberworth on Monday mornings between 10am and 11am and then 11am to noon.
There is a yoga session at the Body Planners Gym in Chapeltown on Wednesdays from 1pm to 2pm.
Free Well Being Walks take place on Thursdays at 10.30am when participants walk round Greasbrough Dam. Attendees meet at the gate on the top road close to The Milton pub.
Cuppa Club takes place from 11am to 1pm on Tuesdays at Lollipop Tots at the Old Town Hall, Frederick Street in Rotherham.
People can book for any classes or get further information on The Mindful Mum Club on Facebook and Instagram, as well as the website at https://themindfulmumclub.co.uk.
Danielle said that interest in The Mindful Mum Club and its plethora of events has been good and she has high hopes for developing her idea in the future.
“If it all takes off and the classes and workshops, this will be my job,” said Danielle.
“It’s my dream.
“It’s been positive so I hope it’s going to continue to grow.
“I would love to have my own premises and a little nurture hub to provide classes and workshops.”
Danielle said that mums are taught how to massage their babies at the Kimberworth and Chapeltown sessions which helps both mother and child.
She said that massage not only provides important close skin to skin contact between mum and child, it also helps the youngster’s digestion, circulation and much else.
“It’s brilliant for both of them,” said Danielle.
Classes cost £7.50 per session or £40 for six.
Danielle said that dads have been involved too and have attended sessions, particularly the Cuppa Club get-togethers.
“I would like to do more sessions where dads can come along too,” said Danielle.
The yoga and massage sessions also incorporate what Danielle describes as “wellbeing time for mum”.
She said that she has been to classes in the past which focused on the baby alone, whereas Danielle feels it is vital for classes to be a time where mums can socialise and learn from each other.
She said: “I have been to classes where mums are ignored so I wanted to help the mums too.”
Danielle is looking ahead and plans to develop The Mindful Mum Club even further.
Indeed, she will be running a toddler yoga session at Lollipop Tots on Tuesday afternoons from October. This class will be for children aged one to four and will be priced at £5 per child.
Being a new mum has certainly been an experience for Danielle. She may have taken an unusual track but she wants it to be a journey which will help others too.