Pride of the Pine Belt: Hattiesburg program helps new moms - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Pride of the Pine Belt: Hattiesburg program helps new moms


Madalene Daniell's struggle as a new mom years ago lead to the successful Fitness for Two programs at Forrest General Hospital.

The programs offer support for mothers from pregnancy to the toddler years. Daniell says deciding to have a baby is a major decision for a woman. 

"Becoming a family is what occurs when you have your first baby," said Daniell.

Daniell says that time requires support and encouragement for mom and baby, which her Mommy and Me class offers from pre-birth to the age of three.

"One is for mothers who are expecting a baby with their coaches called the Coaches Corner, and then one that's called the Pregnancy Exercise class for moms that are expecting new babies and then there are three different Mommy and Me classes: one for the first year, one for just moving once they get to walking just a little bit and then one for toddlers," said Daniell

The Mommy and Me class started as Daniell's brain child in 1978. This class and the others started from Daniell's own experience as a new mom in a new town.

"When I  got here I had no family here. So, I realized not only did I  not know how to be a mom and how to go through labor and deliver experiences, but also needed a support system because I did not have one here," said Daniell.

Daniell says she had a revelation while teaching at William Carey years ago. She felt there was a need to help women figure out the transition into motherhood. The first step in the process was creating the bond.

"What we try to do is bring the mothers together, the babies together and then the mothers and babies as a team," said Daniell.

The class uses songs, dance, rhyme and interaction for the babies. Then there is a time for the moms to talk, which Daniell says is important for new moms who may experience Postpartum

"Postpartum support is vital for a woman after she has a baby. You can actually have postpartum issues as long as a year Postpartum. It is not something that is over just because you had your baby. So we just found a support environment is a wonderful way to overcome postpartum. Mommy and Me is a lot about that," said Daniell.

For 34 years, Daniell says these classes have made a positive impact for mothers and children. Daniell added many children who were in this class are now in excel programs in the Hattiesburg area.

To learn more about the Fitness for Two programs or to join the programs go to or call 601-288-1303.

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