If there’s one thing I’ve found about becoming pregnant as an ‘older’ Mum (13 years after my firstborn arrived), it’s that there’s a very big difference physically.
Each age and stage has been harder than before – sickness, body aches and tiredness all feel much more overwhelming.
So, when the lovely Hellen at The Orchid Retreat Spa in Barnet heard how much I was struggling and invited me in to try her ‘Mum-2-Be Radiance Treatment’, I jumped at the chance.
The treatment is a top-to-toe treatment taking 1hr 15 minutes. On my arrival at the spa, I was greeted warmly by my therapist, Sajel, who talked me through the process we’d be following and explained what I needed to do to prepare.
Like all heavily pregnant women, I’m heavy and awkward and my body makes me feel uncomfortable. Sajel took particular care to explain how to get into position on the bed (propped up on a full body cushion) and was very solicitous in helping me understand how to preserve my modesty.
We discussed the products used. Pregnant women are limited in which essential oils are ok, but this treatment was carried out using Decleor Aromessence and Zesty Butter, both of which use Neroli as a base and work beautifully to support hard-working pregnant skins.
Sajel started at my back. It’s not comfortable or safe to lie on your tummy when preggers, so I was on my side over the full-body cushion. My lower back has been killing me so we paid particular attention to that but the pressure was never uncomfortable and she was so careful to check in with me regularly.
We then moved to my legs. Sajel eased the ache in my calves and thighs and then went to do my feet. I normally HATE this – I feel so self-conscious about them but she surprised me by draping a hot towel over them first. This little attention-to-detail made me feel much more relaxed. It’s funny how something little can make such a difference but it really did.
Next stage is optional. You can have a tummy masque put on, designed to tone and treat stretch marks but lots of women are not comfortable with this, so it is entirely optional. I had the treatment and it was lovely – honestly the best bit!
I think a lot of this was knowing that Sajel was so respectful of where my boundaries might be here and showed a real understanding of how pregnant women are treated like public specimens very often – it was nice to simply be asked!
While the Masque takes, Sajel moved to my face and shoulders for a facial treatment designed to balance the hormonal shifts we get when pregnant. Again, I was propped up for this and it was lovely.
The final stages are the deeply cleansing removal of the balms and masques. This is gently exfoliating and soothing – nothing brisk or harsh at all. I was stunned therefore when Sajel handed me a mirror after my treatment to show my skin glowing. I actually look like pregnant women are supposed to (as opposed to knackered and dull which appears to be my default).
I cannot state highly enough how much I appreciated the time and effort that went into making me feel better. It’s very reasonably priced as well at £60 and definitely made a lasting difference to how I felt (as noticed when I didn’t shout at my kids and husband at all for the next few days – hurrah)!