Gone virtual: St Albans practitioner offers online pregnancy and post-natal services to combat loneliness

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 October 2020

Grace Lillywhite of Centred Mums, specialises in pilates and wellbeing in St Albans. Picture: Nicola Hayes

Grace Lillywhite of Centred Mums, specialises in pilates and wellbeing in St Albans. Picture: Nicola Hayes

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A St Albans practitioner has become a lifeline for mums to be in the district.

Grace Lillywhite of Centred Mums, specialises in pilates and wellbeing in St Albans. Picture: Nicola HayesGrace Lillywhite of Centred Mums, specialises in pilates and wellbeing in St Albans. Picture: Nicola Hayes

Grace Lillywhite has taken her business, Centred Mums – a pregnancy and postnatal pilates and holistic health business – online, meaning her expectant and new mums feel less detached and isolated due to current coronavirus restrictions.

Her small businesses, like many others, was hit hard when lockdown hit back in March, and Grace had to get creative to keep her classes running.

Within a couple of weeks of the announcement, she had moved her entire business online, with eight live classes taking place on Zoom. Grace also created a back catalogue of pre-recorded content to make up for the fact that her clients weren’t getting their usual hands on, in person classes.

Knowing that lockdown could make many expectant mums feel isolated and lonely, Grace organised a weekly live Zoom call with local women’s health experts such as women’s health physios, osteopaths, counsellors, nutritionists, and lactation consultants.

Grace Lillywhite of Centred Mums, specialises in pilates and wellbeing in St Albans. Picture: Nicola HayesGrace Lillywhite of Centred Mums, specialises in pilates and wellbeing in St Albans. Picture: Nicola Hayes

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“After finding out that pregnant women were considered high risk, I knew I had to completely change the way my business operates,” Grace said. “Having never used Zoom before I went online, I bought Zoom Pro and within less than two hours, was teaching my first online pilates class!”

Embracing the change, Grace explained that she had been reluctant to experiment with online services in the past: “I have been told over the last few years that I needed to start having online content but I really resisted this to start with.

“So much of what I do is about the human connection – tactile cues, touching, giving feedback and building relationships with the women I teach – I just couldn’t imagine it working online. Then coronavirus happened and it became a necessity.

“So many of my clients love the new offering because it allows them the flexibility to work around the new family routines we all find ourselves in. They don’t need to sort childcare or rush back from work!”

Despite the pandemic, Grace is on a mission to help better educate expectant mums about the importance of looking after your body during and after pregnancy.

She offers online and in person group and 1-2-1 classes and has just created three online programmes supporting women in high impact exercise.

For more information on Centred Mums, visit their website.


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