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I’m now in a HAPPY place

Samina, 42, is mum to three daughters under the age of five, aged four, two and six months. Not surprisingly, she felt completely overwhelmed when pregnant with her third child while trying to cope with the demands of her two younger daughters. Thanks to attending the Better Start Bradford HAPPY course, she is certainly in a happier place.

Samina’s Story

When I was pregnant with my third baby, I was contacted by the HAPPY team to see if I would be interested in attending their HAPPY programme covering many aspects of taking care of yourself and your baby.

I was feeling very stressed, anxious and tired!

Although I was in good health when pregnant with my baby, I also had two toddlers to take care of and I was feeling very stressed, anxious and tired. I also felt very overwhelmed when my daughters started crying as they would both set each other off and I would often end up getting angry, which just made the situation worse.

I was able to explain in the sessions how I felt and what I needed help with. The HAPPY team were able to provide advice that felt personalised for my circumstances, alongside all the useful guidance and information in each session. I also realised that I wasn’t on my own in feeling the way that I was.

Thanks to the HAPPY strategies, I no longer felt overwhelmed

The sessions were always so positive and provided each of us with the confidence to carry out the coping strategies in our own homes. My children would still cry and have tantrums, but thanks to the strategies that I had learned on the HAPPY course, I no longer felt overwhelmed. I now deal with them as little individuals and I can calm the situation down very quickly using the HAPPY strategies.

I found all the advice around keeping healthy very useful, especially batch cooking lots of different healthy dishes and then freezing them to help make mealtimes easier – our favourite family meal is definitely fish pie. I also make sure that we get outdoors more and get plenty of fresh air as we learned all about how being outside is so good for our mental health and well-being, as well as good exercise.

The HAPPY team were wonderful, I felt they really supported me.

I would recommend the HAPPY project to other mums, the HAPPY team were wonderful, I felt they really supported me, and I would certainly come away from each session feeling very fresh and very happy.

What the HAPPY team says:

Sonam Bhalla, the HAPPY team manager, said: “Samina developed her confidence throughout attending the programme. She was able to make real changes to her lifestyle. This included exercising more, making healthier meals, and sharing her ideas with the group each week. It was wonderful to see Samina and her baby bond throughout the postnatal sessions using the techniques we taught throughout the programme.”


As a result of COVID-19, the HAPPY (Healthy and Active Parenting Programme for early Years) course is currently being delivered online over six weeks.

The HAPPY online antenatal programme is a free and friendly six-week programme for pregnant women (between 22 and 32 weeks’ pregnant) living in the Better Start Bradford area.

The sessions are a relaxed way to think about your transition to parenthood and particularly any challenges around healthy lifestyles.

With so much uncertainty at the moment due to COVID-19, they are also a great way to meet other women who are likely to be experiencing many of the same hopes and fears as you. At the end of the six weeks you’ll receive a free gift!

To find out more about the HAPPY course visit our dedicated webpage for the HAPPY project. You can also watch this video with an overview of why HAPPY will benefit you before your baby is born.

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