MUMS-TO-BE will be have access to soothing support thanks to a new pregnancy massage clinic in Farnworth.

The new holistic project, set up at Farnworth UCAN centre, is designed to help vulnerable pregnant women relax and prepare for the arrival of their new baby.

Women referred to the free weekly sessions will have access to a massage in the pop-up therapy room as well as extra support from community midwives.

Bolton Community Homes will fund the clinic for six months and the organisation hopes it will encourage expectant mums to use maternity services at an early stage in their pregnancy.

June Winsche, project manager for the new clinic, said: “We did a lot of research into the number of babies born in the Farnworth and Kearsley area and found that in the Farnworth area alone there is a high percentage of women who suffer domestic violence, housing issues, poverty, drug and alcohol-related issues as well as many more broader family issues around child protection.

“This can impact on a women’s desire to bond with her newborn baby and ultimately breast feed so the problems increase or the situation remains the same.

“We’re hoping this new clinic will be a place for women to access healthcare support at an early stage in their pregnancy and also allow them to take a bit of time out for themselves.”

Charlie Norman, chief executive of St Vincent’s Housing Association, said: “We have a massive focus on health and wellbeing at St Vincent’s and I think this is a fantastic project.

“We like to get involved with communities and individuals as much as we can — especially if they are disadvantaged. Hopefully this project will have a really positive impact on the mums and the children.”

Pregnant women are referred through the maternity department at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.