Here's where to go for all of your pregnancy-friendly treatments in London
We've rounded up London's top pregnancy-friendly pampering destinations, from massage therapists to women's health physios.
While a babymoon getaway pre-baby is a great idea to relax and reconnect with your partner, we're also firm believers that you should treat yourself to things you love during the pregnancy: ache-relieving massages, lovely pedicures (even if you can no longer see your toes, you can delight in knowing they'll be happy painted a vibrant coral hue), your weekly workouts (a women's physio will be your best friend through pregnancy and beyond). Here are our top picks of where to go for all of your pregnancy treatment needs in London.
Ross J Barr is the acupuncturist to know
Many swear by acupuncture as a fertility-booster, but it's also very effective in pregnancy - just ask Meghan Markle, who sought out London's Ross J Barr during her final trimester. Acupuncture not only helps to relax, ease stress and stay mindful in pregnancy, but it's also beneficial for improving circulation and helping promote blood flow to the uterus so the body can prepare for birth. Acupuncture can also work as an effective pain reliever to ease lower back and pelvic soreness, and studies have found that acupuncture in the wrist can help with pregnancy-related headaches, nausea and morning sickness.
Jemma Leighton's Stilettos to Strollers offers doula support, hypnobirthing help and more
Doula & hypnobirthing help
There are lots of different ways to have a baby - and while you won't know how your labour will turn out, you can arm yourself with information and support to help you along the way. The positive birth movement aims to dispel the negativity surrounding modern childbirth and to encourage empowerment and positivity over fear and is the impetus behind Jemma Leighton's comprehensive Stilettos to Strollers service. She offers doula support through pregnancy and labour and teaches hypnobirthing courses (think of hypnobirthing as a more in-depth education as to what's going on with your body in labour, and how to support it with relaxation and breathing techniques). Jemma also hosts Birth Trauma Rewind sessions to help women recover from a labour that wasn't quite what they expected.
Laura Artero at Happy Birthing
Hypnotherapist and pregnancy yoga instructor Laura Artero teaches antenatal hypnotherapy classes at Happy Birthing, as well as offering hypnotherapy sessions if you need to turn your baby, get labour going or ditch any fears surrounding childbirth.
Gently Does It at Pfeffer Sal
In our experience, the best way to guarantee that pregnancy glow is with a soothing, chemical-free facial. Enter facial specialists Pfeffer Sal: the salon's Gently Does It facial uses live probiotics and cellular activators to rehydrate skin, boost collagen production, soothe and nourish - and was created by founder Andrea Pfeffer during her pregnancy. It's specifically formulated for sensitive skin, so is effective at targeting redness and decreasing cell inflammation. Sit back, relax and enjoy the glow.
Cowshed Carnaby Street offers pregnancy-safe manis, pedis, massages and more
Mani & Pedi
We're just like Elle Woods: a mani-pedi is our go-to when we need to to brighten up our day. Cowshed is our favourite destination for pregnancy-friendly manis and pedis - with those comfy chairs and gorgeous furnishings, it doesn't get any more relaxing. Plus, there are pregnancy-safe massages, leg treatments and facials, and a bevy of Udderly Gorgeous products to stock up on.
When you're feeling too pregnant to leave the house, don't fret: Ruuby will send you a beauty therapist straight to your home (to pluck, wax, tan and style you to perfection).
Relax with Aromatherapy Associates' Ultimate Pregnancy Massage
The whole experience of going to a gorgeous spa setting and taking an afternoon out for yourself with a massage and can do wonders for a tired body and soul, especially as your bump gets bigger and you're feeling less exhilarated and more exhausted. Aromatherapy Associates' Ultimate Pregnancy Massage is a pressure point massage to relax tight shoulders and tired legs, as well as revitalise your head and face, plus you can choose from a selection of three essential oils depending on what you're looking to achieve. You'll want to get familiar with essential oils as they can help at various stages of pregnancy, labour and afterwards - in fact, lavender and lemon oils are offered to women labouring on Home from Home units, as complementary pain relief, at certain London hospitals.
The Elvie trainer is designed to help boost pelvic floor health
Women's health stuff
Two words you never thought about before pregnancy that you will spend WAY too much time discussing afterwards? Pelvic Floor. This is why getting a women's health physio on your radar is essential: they can help with everything from pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy to pelvic floor weakness or prolapse after birth (we can't recommend the physio-trainers at Four Sides London enough, who also teach reformer and mat Pilates and strength and conditioning classes in pregnancy and post-baby). Or, you can always buy an Elvie for £119 at JoJo Maman Bébé: this pelvic floor trainer works with an app to help activate and strengthen those pelvic floor muscles. The NHS even has its own pelvic floor app, Squeezy. You'll thank us for this advice one day.
Pure Package sends nutritious and tasty pregnancy-friendly meals to your door
It hasn't escaped us that pregnancy is the time we'd most benefit from healthy, nutritious meals - and the time we most feel like lazing on the sofa and calling that multi-pack of Doritos lunch. Thankfully, services like Pure Package's Pre & Post Natal Programme will have you munching on beef pesto and watercress salad and pumpkin and coconut curry with brown rice and broccoli - delivered to your home. For any immediate cravings, Amazon Fresh has everything you could want and, crucially, will deliver it same-day.