A MOTHER-OF-TWO who believes dieting and fitness advertising aimed at mums contribute to postnatal depression and anxiety has launched her own postnatal classes.

Carlene Whitehead, 31, launched the new classes in Witney yesterday after she grew tired of mums feeling ‘the pressure of having to get their old self back, to drop a dress size, or to fit into their skinny jeans’.

Mrs Whitehead believes the pressure is particularly intense in January, as ‘new year, new you’ articles fill magazines focusing on looking good.

Mrs Whitehead added that January could be a particularly hard time for mums – particularly for the one in 10 who experience postnatal depression after child birth – as they have exerted themselves over the festive season making sure the family has a lovely Christmas.

She said her classes are different from normal fitness sessions that pile on the pressure by focusing on weight loss and targeting mums.

The classes will also be run alongside playgroup sessions, allowing mums to bring their babies and toddlers to the class.

Mrs Whitehead said she grappled with her mental health after giving birth. She said: “I was okay the first time, but it was a struggle the second time. I felt quite lonely, and it was difficult trying to get out of the house”.

The sessions launched yesterday by Mrs Whitehead will also run in Chipping Norton and Fairford and she is offering the chance for two mothers with postnatal depression to attend free for six weeks.

She bought the Oxfordshire franchise to OneFitMama classes after attending courses in Swindon.

l For full details, including dates and times, visit onefitmama.co.uk/oxfordshire