Twice a week, at the NCIE Fitness gym, you’ll see bubs kicking back in prams which are parked among kettle-bells, weights, exercise machines and punching bags, whilst mums sweat it out with their training group.

The training group is part of the Malabar Community Midwifery Link Service that gets Aboriginal women exercising together after they’ve had a baby.

Known as the ‘Malabar Midwives’, the program helps keep the women healthy and connected in order to help combat isolation and post-natal depression.

Trudy Allende, the Aboriginal Health Education Officer for the group, works with the mums and bubs in pre and post-natal support; including assistance with appointments, dealing with FACS, and with general health education and promotion.

She also trains each week with the group.

As a long-time member of NCIE Fitness it was an easy decision for her to land on where the group would get the best training.

Trudy stated that “being Aboriginal, it’s my comfort zone [to be at the NCIE gym]. There’s no intimidation, you don’t feel like you have to look a certain way to come into the gym, which is awesome”. She went to say that trainer, Hamilton Hughes “knows how to work with all the different levels of women we have in the group; some really fit women, some that are just coming back, and women who have had babies six or seven years ago and have never done anything.”

‘Malabar Midwives’ is based at The Royal Hospital for Women located in Randwick, Sydney.

The Malabar Community Midwifery Link Service solely relies on generous donations in order to continue to support its initiatives, such as the ‘Malabar Midwives’.

Trudy mentioned that “this lot of funding was provided by South Sydney Juniors and it’ll keep us going through the next few school terms but I’m always doing what I can to keep this program going [as] the program really makes a difference”.

“We have had women who have been isolated or who have had post-natal depression, just getting together laughing, having fun and exercising. I mean nothing is better for your mind then having a good run around with your friends.

“We are working hard but at the same time it’s fun, it’s about atmosphere of women getting together and empowering each other.”