Classes for you and your baby to enjoy together
Call Active Mum: 087 917 2939



I would like to say a big thank you to all of you who have supported Activemum over the last 5 years.  I have really enjoyed giving the classes and meeting lots of wonderful mums, but its now time to move on to other things.

Lorna is taking over the baby massage classes.  If you would like to get in touch, her number is: 087 740 2236.


Baby Massage Dublin 15

Baby Massage Cavan

Five week course starts Wed 5/7/17  at 10:45 in Castleknock

About Baby Massage Dublin 15

I will teach you strokes that are safe and appropriate for your baby.  You can then enjoy it as a regular activity at home together.  The classes are relaxed and give plenty of opportunity for you to get to know the other local mums in the class.

Hilary is qualified through Baby Massage Ireland and is affiliated with the International Association of Infant Massage, which means that you can claim back up to 100% of the course cost from your health insurance..

Baby Massage is great for:

– Relief from digestive issues (trapped wind, colic etc)
– Relaxation for baby, and therefore for mum as well
– Interaction – baby massage promotes bonding and is a great way of spending quality time with your baby.
– Stimulation – baby massage stimulates the muscular-skeletal system and the lymphatic system (part of the immune system)

baby massage Dublin

baby massage

Baby Massage Dublin Course Details

Time: 10:45am
Date: Wednesday 5/7/17 then 23/8/17
Venue: Castleknock Community Centre,
Laurel Lodge Road, Dublin 15.   Location map

Course length:  5 weeks
Course cost:  €80/ €100 with health insurance (you can claim it back).

Please note that this is the final course so there will be no opportunity to make up a class if you missed one.
Booking:  The class will run subject to minimum numbers so please book in advance.  Call Lorna:  087 740 2236

More information about baby massage.

Meetup for Mums and Babies

meet other mums

Wednesdays at 12am at the Castleknock Community Centre.  Drop in.  All welcome.

 Come and meet other mums for friendship and support.  

You may be the only ones in your circle of friends to have a baby right now.  Perhaps you do not have any family living close by who can offer good practical and emotional support. Maybe you are looking for other like-minded mums to share stories and tips with.  Do you just want to get out of the house and have adult company during your maternity leave?  Did you have a rough start to being a mum, perhaps you or your baby have health issues which are making it difficult to enjoy your maternity leave.  Come and join our friendly, relaxed group.

castleknock community centre

Weekly Meetup for Mums

Time:  12-1:30pm 
Venue:  Castleknock Community Centre, Laurel Lodge Road, Dublin 15

Pop in any week to the coffee shop at the community centre.  The staff are welcoming, and are breast-and bottle feeding-friendly.  The tea is just €1 a pot, and they have good, homemade scones.  There is a changing table in the ladies’.  You can park right outside in the centre car park.

Getting Back to Exercise after Having a Baby: Do’s and Don’ts

You might be raring to get back into marathon running, or just wanting to get off the sofa and do something about your ‘mummy tummy’.  Either way, it is advisable to be sensible and to mind yourself.  You still have increased levels of one of the pregnancy hormones, relaxin in your body up to 6 months post-partum, or longer if you are breastfeeding.  Your ligaments are still looser than normal, and hence you are at increased risk of muscle strains and torn ligaments. Getting back to exercise after having a baby needs a lot of planning and patience too.

do'sDo…start slowly and listen to your body.  Your fitness level may well be at a low base level when you start back.  This is a time to start getting active again, not to set up any goals for personal bests.

don'tsDon’t…do high impact exercise such as running or star jumps until 6 months post-partum, or longer if you are still breastfeeding, because of the increased levels of the hormone relaxin. You don’t want to risk a long term injury such as a torn cruciate ligament through being impatient.  There are other ways to add intensity to your workout.  Try taking a post-natal exercise class to get ideas about how to do this.

do'sDo…use exercise as an opportunity to meet like-minded people.  Join up with other new mums for friendship, support and to keep your fitness goals on track.

don'tsDon’t …over-stretch at the end of a session.  That extra relaxin in your body means you can pull muscles more easily than usual.

do'sDo…choose a class or activity that is truly baby-friendly.  If you have a lot of family support and can work out regularly without your baby, then that’s great – go ahead and join the gym.  Otherwise, be realistic and pick something where your baby can come too, otherwise you will probably end up quitting sooner rather than later.

don'tsDon’t…forget about your pelvic floor.  Try bouncing on the bed or sneezing.  If there is any leakage, you will find it beneficial in the long term to do those pelvic floor exercises.  Doing high impact exercise before your pelvic floor is ready will do it harm, not good.

do'sDo…get your tummy checked for ‘diastasis recti’ – where the outer tummy muscles (rectus abdominus) are separated.  This is fairly common after pregnancy and will resolve with appropriate exercise, but there are lots of common exercises you should avoid.  Don’t increase the separation by doing abdominal ‘crunches’.  Instead, work on strengthening your inner tummy muscles (transverse abdominus, or TvA).

don'tsDon’t…set unrealistic goals for getting fit again.  You may get demoralised through having a low base level of fitness, fewer opportunities to exercise and any post-natal complications.  Why not try something new instead, so you are not able to make direct comparisons with where you were at before.  Try setting goals such as ‘3 sessions of exercise this week’ as opposed to ‘running 10k in under 60 minutes’.

And lastly,

do'sDo…enjoy getting active again!  Revel in the endorphins!  Feel confident in your body!  Feel great about making the effort!  Your body and mind will both thank you for it.

Hilary Hooks

I am a qualified post-natal fitness instructor and feel passionately about helping mums to get active again through safe, appropriate exercise.



Active Mum Sling LIbrary

Come and browse, any Wednesday at 1pm at Castleknock Community Centre.

I can help you find a sling that is comfortable for you and your baby.  Please don’t be put off by having a tried one carrier and deciding it wasn’t comfortable – there are lots of different ones that are well worth trying.

I have my sling library with me every Wednesday at 1pm in the Castleknock Community Centre during the mum meetups.  There’s no pressure to rent, but feel free to come and try one to see how comfortable, convenient and snuggly they can be!

Here’s a list of the slings in the sling library:

Ring slings
Storchenweige (gathered shoulder)
Woven Wraps
Didymos medium woven wrap (size 5)
Storchenweige  woven wrap (size 7)
Wrapsody (woven-stretchy hybrid)
Stretchy Wraps
Je porte mon bebe
Mei Tai
Hop tye (regular size) purple
Hop tye (regular size) black
Neobulle (standard size)
Melkaj (toddler size)
Fraulein Hubsch (half buckle/ half mei tai)
Soft Structured Carriers
Boba 4G

Sling Library Details

€7.50 per 2-week period, per sling.

If you don’t get on with the sling you choose you can return it the following week and choose another for the second week.

Is your opinion worth €25? Calling mums in Cork and Galway

The National Parenting Product Awards are looking for mums with kids aged 3 years and under to help with baby product testing on Wed 17th August at the Westwood Hotel in Galway and on Sat 20th Aug at the Metropole Hotel in Cork City. Each mum will be paid €25 plus an extra €5 if they bring a friend. Please mail us on if you’re interested.

NPPA Cork_Flyer NPPA Galway_Flyer

Enjoying Your Maternity Leave: 10 Top Tips

This is a special time in your life; one that you will always remember.  It is also a challenging time, becoming a mother.  Give yourself the best chance of making lots of happy memories and enjoying your maternity leave with our ten top tips.


1. Accept offers of help.

If family and friends offer to cook you a meal, do an errand or help in the house, say yes.  If you try to be a supermum and do everything on your own you may end up being burnt-out and exhausted.  You have an excuse to sit back and focus on looking after your baby.  Let everyone else do the running around just this once.


2.  Get active again.
The list of benefits is endless.  It will get you out of the house, give you some structure in the week, help you feel better about your post-pregnancy body, help shift the baby weight, help prevent back pain, help get rid of the wobbly mummy tummy, help you feel great …


Walking with the buggy/ sling is great for starters, then build up to something that challenges your body just a little.  Choose an activity which is suitable for post-natal clients.  Your body is still in recovery from the pregnancy and birth, and you are still at risk of muscles strains because of the hormonal changes in your body.  There are baby-friendly fitness classes out there which also have the advantage that you will meet other mums too.


3.  Meet up with other mums.

Chatting to other mums who are at the same stage as you is fantastic.  It gets you out of the house, out of your head, helps to ease anxieties you might have by sharing stories, and you might just make some new friends for life.


Try different social groups to meet like-minded mums depending on what you are into.  Cuidiu parentlink is a great all-round scheme to connect local mums, or try La Leche League or Friends of Breastfeeding if you are breastfeeding, or a sling meet.


4.  Happy baby = happy mum

Look out for tips from other mums on how to soothe your baby.  Every baby is different and what works one month may not work the next, so it’s good to have a ‘toolbox’ of different strategies you can use.  Baby massage is great for helping baby relax.  Try lifting baby up to an open window to experience a breeze and a different view.  Some babies like to be out seeing other mums and experiencing new situations and get easily bored.  Other babies prefer less stimulation and would rather stay quietly at home.


Observe your baby carefully.  Listen to what s/he is telling you and you will start to understand the cues and be able to stop the fussing before it turns into crying.


5. Read ‘What mothers do; especially when it looks like nothing’

Naomi Stadlen helps you to feel good about not ‘being able to get anything done’ .  If you did not keep up with household chores today, it means that you gave your baby the time and attention that s/he needed instead.  This is the mark of quality parenting, not of being disorganised or inefficient.


6.  Plan some home-based entertainments.
There are days when you might want to get out of the house, but your baby has other ideas.  Get in some good books and magazines.  Have them to hand wherever you feed your baby, in case you end up being there for the whole afternoon.  Start a new DVD box set, and watch them only when it’s you and your baby cuddled up on the sofa together.  That way you will look forward to those times rather than feeling frustrated because you would rather be out.

7. Keep baby close.
When your baby is snuggled next you s/he is likely to be happier than spending lots of time in a crib/ rocker.  Bonding is really important during these first months, as there will be fewer opportunities when you go back to work.  Bed-sharing is lovely way to do this – check out the guidelines by James McKenna on how to do this safely (see below).

Baby-wearing (carrying baby in an ergonomic sling/ carrier) is not just a practical alternative to a buggy when you are out, but is also a great way to bond with your baby at home.  I had difficulties breast feeding with my first baby and was very upset that feeding was more of a battle than a bonding experience.  Wearing him close in the sling for a lot of the day helped us to have lots of happy moments together.

8. Listen to advice, but trust your own instincts first.
There is a saying ‘your baby is the teacher, you are the expert, and everyone else is there to give support’.  When you observe and listen carefully to your baby s/he will tell you what they need from you.  You can get great tips and advice from other parents and from books, but you are the expert on your own baby.  If a piece of advice doesn’t resonate with you try saying ‘Thanks for the advice.  I’ll think about it.’; then ditch it.

9. Join or start a ‘Self Renewal Group’
These groups are a based around a personal development book for mothers called ‘The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal:  How to reclaim, rejuvenate and re-balance your life’ by Renee Peterson Trudeau.

I joined a group of 5 mums soon after I had my daughter.  Each month we do another chapter and consider such questions as bringing adventure back into your life, or what your own parents taught you about parenting.  The questions that you answer together in the group are fairly probing and lead to a greater level of openness and sharing stories than you would get by just a casual meet up. I have found it to be a really rewarding experience.

10.  Seek help if you need it.
If you are having a hard time in the first few months, get help.  It might be that you feel your baby has a health issue that is being dismissed by your GP – seek a second opinion.  If you feel your baby is unusually fussy, windy or has colic, try baby massage or cranio-sacral therapy.  If you really want to breastfeed and are finding it difficult, call a private lactation consultant right away.  If you feel depressed or anxious, tell your GP, join some groups/ classes for mums and babies and consider talking to a counsellor.

This is a time in your life you want to look back on with joy.  It is too important to say to yourself ‘maybe tomorrow things will be better’.  Maybe they will, but maybe they won’t.  Take control of the situation, be proactive and get help.  You and your baby deserve it.

Hilary Hooks
Baby Massage Instructor – Post-natal Fitness Instructor – Babywearing Consultant – Dance Teacher.


James McKenna for safe co-sleeping guidelines

Cuidiu for parent link support groups

La Leche League

Friends of Breastfeeding

Active Mum

Mum and Baby Zumba. Drop in, Castleknock, Dublin 15

Classes are on hold for the summer 2016 as our venues have summer camps on.  Please email me to register interest if you would like to join us in September.


Wednesdays 10:45am Castleknock Community Centre

Love Zumba? Love spending time with your baby too? Come and try our post-natal dance fitness class where babies are welcome to come along.

Your baby might like to socialise with other babies on the mat at the side of the room, sleep in his/ her buggy or stay cosy next to you in the sling.


zumba - baby friendly classWhy choose Active Mum?
– Flexibility. The 4-cass passis valid for all mum and baby fitness classes, and is valid for 8 weeks, so you are free to pick and choose your classes for when it suits you both.
– Socialising. I know how important it is for you to meet other mums for friendship and support. Mums are encouraged to stay around after the class for tea and chat in the coffee shop at the community centre.
– Safety. I am a qualified post-natal fitness instructor and zumba instructor. You can be sure that the exercises are safe and effectve. If you have any post-natal health issues (e.g. spd, diastasis recti etc) please let me know.

If you want to use a baby sling/ carrier but don’t have one of your own, you can borrow a sling from the Active Mum sling library.

Mum and Baby Zumba Class Details

Wednesdays at 10:45am
Castleknock Community Centre, Laurel Lodge Road, Dublin 15

First class €5
4 class pass €40
4-class pass €40

Drop in. Please contact Hilary prior to coming for the first time. Email Hilary/ 087 917 2939

Baby Friendly Workout. Drop in Classes in Dublin 15

baby friendly workout

Classes are on hold for the summer 2016 as our venues have summer camps on.  Please email me to register interest if you would like to join us in September.


Our mummy and baby post natal class offers an ideal environment for you to get back in shape whilst still spending time with your baby.

– all fitness abilities welcome
– bring your baby
– meet other mums

Hilary is a fully qualified post-natal fitness instructor so you can feel assured that the exercises are safe and effective.  If you have any post-pregnancy/ birth health issues, just let Hilary know prior to coming for the first time.  Variations in the exercises can be given for diastasis recti, c. section etc.

Baby Friendly Workout – Details

Mondays at 10:30 at Castleknock Community Centre, Laurel Lodge Road, Dublin 15.  Now on.
Thursdays at 10:00 at St. Brigid’s Community CentreChurch Ave, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.  Starts 30/6/16
Class cost:  €5 for first class then €40 for 4 classes (to be used within 2 months).
Booking:  Please contact Hilary prior to coming for the first time.  Email Hilary, call 087 917 2939

Buy now?  PayPal button below.

Baby Friendly Workout 4 Classes €40

More information about baby friendly fitness.

baby friendly workout dublin 15


Active Mum Fitness Classes – on hold

All the fitness classes are on hold for the time being.  Apologies for any inconvenience.

I have been offered an exciting part-time opportunity so I will be cutting down my Active Mum activities to just the baby massage and mum meetup groups.

Thanks to all of you who have come and supported the classes in the past.


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