Mermaid Maternity: A luxurious yummy mummy retreat
Based in the heart of the King’s Road opposite the Chelsea Old Town Hall, Mermaid Maternity Retreat is the perfect haven for yummy mummies to be and brand new yummy mummies. Once inside you are instantly away from the hustle and bustle of the King’s Road and enveloped in a calm and serene environment perfectly evoked by the decor. White and turquoise are the key hues evoking the tranquillity and calmness of the sea. All very welcome in this precious time during a mother’s life, which can only be described as a whirlwind!
Before I became pregnant I had best friends, sisters, colleagues who had seemingly breezed through the plethora of pre-parental advice, guidelines on what you can/ should do, eat, think! Along with the emotions of overwhelming happiness at discovering I was pregnant, I was also overwhelmed by this whole new world which was opening up in front of me. A world which I honestly didn’t know existed. The books, the apps, the friendly well wishes and advice pushers… it was endless and of course I wanted what was best for my baby to be, how lovely then to discover Mermaid.
I believe in well-being at every stage of our lives, but now I had an extra reason to look after myself and Mermaid offer well-being support and services specifically for pregnant women and new mothers.
“We aim to bridge the gap between hospital and home, by giving you the skills and nurturing to help you embrace your new responsibility with confidence”. Says Nick Balfour, founder of Mermaid, and father of 4 girls.
With experts on hand to guide you in terms of nutrition, baby feeding, ante-natal and post-natal care, workshops as well as a members area where mums-to-be and new mums meet, I had to check it out.
Here are the highlights…
Having stayed away from pregnancy massage on recent spa trips I felt this was the right place to try this treatment in the full knowledge that pregnancy is their speciality. With Priscilla I felt 100% that I was in the hands of a professional I could trust. Not only did she have the qualifications and experience but you could tell she also cared about women in pregnancy, as if it was her calling to help women through this time of their lives.
Getting to know her clients during pregnancy also led Priscilla on to become a Doula (a Greek word meaning “woman servant or caregiver”. It now refers to an experienced woman who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth). The massage itself uses a lot of lymphatic drainage massage which is particular helpful at this time due to the build-up of fluid retention, many women suffer from swollen ankles for example. The massage is done with you lying on your side with the aid of cushions to make you comfortable and afterwards not only was I relaxed but also energised. At 24 weeks pregnant I had just started noticing the extra weight and my legs were getting heavy and restless and the massage really helped with this for me in particular.
I have been reading how good Reflexology is for you in pregnancy and was keen to try this out at Mermaid. As such I’ve become interested in Chinese medicine and how the parts of the foot relate to parts of your body. For instance, if you suffer from headaches you could try manipulating your big toe. Lena, my therapist who is also an early years specialist, explained that reflexology helped to flush out toxins from the body and that in particular with pregnancy worked on the emotional, hormonal and physiological imbalances of the body. The movements and technique, particularly between the toes, felt sublime and it wasn’t long before I drifted off before waking to the low tones of a baby crying. In my disorientated state I suddenly worried how long I’d been asleep!
The environment at Mermaid is clinical and has a professional ambience, assuring you that you’re in trained, medical hands (you don’t find incense burning, candles or plinky-plonky music here). The team all share a warmth and love of what they do – helping women on their incredible journeys.
Staying at Mermaid
Of course one of the most unique offerings at Mermaid is that once you have had your baby you can book in to stay in one of their rooms with midwives and professionals on hand to really help you adjust in those very early days or weeks. The rooms are stunning and with excellent nutritional food and breast-feeding help, it can be the perfect home-from-home for you and your partner.
Membership: £30 per month; All inclusive room rates from: £595 per night; Visit www.mermaid.co.uk for more details