A mama-to-be retreat like no other

Effie & Ross + The Lovely Wellness Company

When Caffeine and Alcohol are on the bench and Gaviscon and Carrots are the new players, something just has to give in terms of basic ‘muma-to-be’ enjoyment.

By week 25 it’s no surprise that if still attempting to wear your usual clothes, it WILL make you look like Barney from the Simpsons, and bump has now put a total eclipse over everything below (how you doing down there vagina?).

These reflections are also alongside being in love with your new body, the idea of your little human growing inside of you and the fact that each day and with every little kick you are reminded just why acid reflux and back ache are so so worth it.

But still, mama-to-be time is needed and I found the most perfect little sanctuary in Twickenham for the ultimate relaxing and reinvigorating day.

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Hosted as a wonderful collaboration by Kate and Ash at Ash’s gorgeous home, these two ladies both have a plethora of knowledge, empowerment and mindfulness to share. I felt relaxed from the moment I stepped foot inside the most beautiful space (pictured above).

The day began with a fresh cup of tea and a mingle with other lovely mum-to-be’s, it was so refreshing to meet fellow mammas in London!

Ash then led us through a wonderful pregnancy Yoga sequence carefully created to reflect our abilities and the big bump some of us have! I can’t say I looked very sophisticated doing some of the poses but boy did they feel good. By the end of the yoga I was stretched out and relaxed to the point where every movement I made afterwards didn’t come with a grumble or moan like usual, what a win! This was one of my favourite parts of the day and something that I have found invaluable since, the breathing techniques will be so helpful during labour and practicing the moves at home do the world of good for any pregnancy aches and niggles. I would highly recommend any Mama-to-be’s or in-fact anyone to get down to your local yoga studio as it is a huge mood booster, endorphin creator and it is something that is very adaptable for each pregnancy stage and ones personal abilities.

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I actually stumbled across this retreat on instagram when I began my Hypnobirthing journey, now for those of you who have no idea what this is (I didn’t until I was pregnant) it is a game changer. Hypnobirthing teaches a woman to understand that she has everything she needs within herself to give birth simply by re-programming any negative connotations of child birth that she may have picked up during her life through the media or stories of friends/relatives experiences. Without going into too much detail, a mother-to-be learns that giving birth is a normal physiological process; much like breathing and any other activity that us as humans naturally do to function and live…without us even realising we do them day in, day out. During this learning you are also equipped with plenty of tools to encourage a calm and natural birth; breathing & relaxation techniques, hypnosis methods and affirmations; all of which help to release any fears and prepare a mama and her baby to do their normal, natural thing when the time comes. Now that I’ve hopefully given you a brief snapshot into what Hypnobirthing is, lets meet Kate- of @effie_and_ross. Kate is a wonderful breath of fresh air, a calming voice, and an Antenatal & Hypnobirthing teacher too! I didn’t do my classes with Kate, however during this retreat we were lucky enough to have an hour of her time where she shared many more trinkets to prep all of us mama-to-be’s for the day our little one is ready to meet us. I won’t give too much away, but a valuable memento to take away from this part of the day was our very own hand-written affirmation cards-I just love them they are little empowering words of wisdom to remind us that ‘we’ve got this’. (A little snapshot of Kate’s instagram page which I always find inspiring).

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Although vital, the next part of the retreat was less relaxing but actually something that I believe every parent should do- Infant First Aid. Ugh guys I know, no parent wants to imagine for a second that they may need to provide life saving aid to their child, but isn’t it something we should all know how to do should the worst happen? Yes this part was sooooo unrelaxing but thankfully we were introduced to an amazing and caring Paediatric nurse who is responsible for saving children’s lives on a daily basis, trust me her warm presence made this moment easy to take in and really engaged us. We were walked through different scenarios and taught how to provide life saving help to an infant should they have stopped breathing or have choked. Just learning how to deal with any of these occurrences left my shoulders feeling a little less heavy. I hope myself or any mama never has to use it but it is invaluable knowledge and I urge you to look into an infant first aid course before your little one arrives.

With a bunch of hungry mamas and their grumbling bumps, it was time for tea and cakes! We all gathered around a table in the dreamiest kitchen to indulge in gorgeous home baked blueberry muffins by Ash herself, and also plenty of healthy treats from The Pregnancy Food Company- Avocado brownies, energy balls and ginger biscuits to name a few. Then as if by magic and through the Larder cupboard (which totally confused me) in walks another Kate, this time here to show us the relaxing world of essential oils. We spent the next hour sipping tea, smelling and having natural oils rubbed on us and learning the wonders they can do not only during pregnancy but for so many moments in life! Lavender for example is full of benefits; a natural sleep aid, reduces inflammation, headaches, nausea, and even acne! We must have tested over 10 essential oils by DoTerra, all made to be the purest form and I cant stress how important that part is. I’m going to be working with Kate to make some delicious recipes using these oils as they have great benefits in many forms- digesting, smelling or applying to the skin. So stay tuned if you love anything natural, to help ease or relieve any of life’s little problems.

Okay so I am totally aware that I am rambling on- and although that may be because I can quite simply talk for England, truly down to this retreat being one of the best things I have ever done! I’ve not included everything because I’m sure many of you will be interested in doing one yourself or even gifting it to your loved one for a birthday or even Valentine’s Day treat. So I’ll wrap it up and say that even the gift bag we all took away at the end was beautifully thought out, (and spoiler alert included a stunning scented candle from the incredible Hyp Candle company who use only pure wax and essential oils). EEEEK.

So, if you’re expecting or know a mama-to-be send them over to @Effie_and_Ross on instagram for more information on either the Hypnobirthing course or the one day retreats- it will quite possibly be the best gift or recommendation you could ever offer a parent to be xxxx

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