Since I gave birth in July, life has been pretty busy. When you’re your own boss, there isn’t such thing as maternity leave and each day with a newborn is a steep albeit very rewarding learning curve. People say nap when the baby naps but that theory goes out the window as a working mother; a term that feels all grown up as I write it.

So when I was invited to review the treatments at Mermaid Maternity Retreat which is located on the King’s Road, just opposite the Town Hall, I leapt at the chance. I had been invited to their press day a couple of months back but that was also the day when baby boy decided to come into the world. The irony of the retreat’s opening on the King’s Road and baby boy’s arrival at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital wasn’t lost on me. It all seemed like perfect timing! And how zeitgeist with the royal birth and a few other celebrity announcements.

On the page, the Mermaid Maternity Retreat seems like a good idea. But in reality it is a godsend. The concept for this centre is to help new mothers in their first few months with their baby. Services include picking up the mother from hospital and taking her with baby as well as partner to the retreat. The retreat offers rooms for mothers to stay in with their babies where there is round-the-clock expert care on hand. Imagine a health spa for new mothers. Sounds blissful, doesn’t it?

Mermaid Maternity Retreat

There are also drop-in services at the retreat: from beauty treatments to post-natal (as well as pre-natal) workshops on offer, which I am planning to write more about in future posts. But for now, I’ll focus on the post-natal massage which I can confidently say was one of the best massages I’ve ever had.

The purpose of the post-natal massage is to help the body along in its post-natal recovery, mostly in the name of drainage. Needless to say during pregnancy and birth, my body took quite a battering and now it needs a little assistance to get working like it used to. But aside from the technical benefits, this massage was also pure magic when it came to relaxation. Priscilla was amazing! By the time I walked out of the retreat I actually felt like the last several months hadn’t happened. I felt that good, as I wheeled baby boy in his pram along the King’s Road. I felt like I had gone on holiday and was now arriving back.

It also helped that during my massage, baby boy was left in the expert hands of the Baby Room where a wonderful midwife seemed to have cast her spell on him. I had turned up to the retreat with a grisly and hungry baby who probably didn’t fancy being parked elsewhere whilst his mummy went off for some pampering, or that’s how I saw it when I reluctantly left him behind. But when I returned to pick him up, I found a very content baby in his cot. He looked so happy that I had to ask the midwife, ‘what did you do to him?’

It was at that point that I completely understood Mermaid Maternity Retreat. Whilst baby boy comes first in all that I now do, what I was reminded of is that mummy has to look after herself too. And guess what? The world isn’t going to fall apart if mummy takes an hour out of her day for some pampering. In other words, that old adage ‘a happy mummy is a happy baby’ can be true.

I’ll be returning to the retreat a few more times over the next month when I will be reviewing the retreat’s nutrition, exercise and routine workshops, because not only does this mummy want to get back to feeling yummy but as I’ve discovered, the key to a healthy work/life balance is routine.

See Mermaid Maternity Retreat’s website for more information on their services.

Recently, I have been trying to figure out a new direction for my blog – given that my lifestyle is about to undergo major changes when my little-bubba-to-be arrives into this world.

Of course, when he arrives it doesn’t mean I’m going to give up drinking cocktails. No way. But I won’t just be thinking of myself anymore. I’ll have something, a little someone who I will also be looking after. Then there is my new company, which I launched earlier this year and which technically makes me a bit of a business woman. And there is also Chelsea, where I grew up and still live: it should go without saying that I will still be shopping and living, just like any other Chelsea Girl in the area because life doesn’t stop when you become a mother.

Or does it? …

JugglerThis morning I saw this article on my Twitter feed, which mentions how Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-porter, was pregnant when she launched her now multi-million pound company, having set it up in a small flat in Chelsea. I found this inspiring because it reminded me of the different reactions I have been receiving since finding out I was pregnant. They range from the positive: winning a new client to the absurd: being told by a company that they wanted to work with me as soon as possible but as soon as I disclosed that I was pregnant, not hearing from them ever again. On a personal level, some folks have been telling me how difficult it will be to have a baby whilst other friends have been over-enthused, to make up for the pragmatic voices.

So for the last few months I’ve wondered, can a woman really balance being a mother with having a life and running her own business? And for now, I’ve decided that the answer is yes. I’m not looking to have it all but I am looking to have a healthy work/life balance. And after meeting a very inspiring couture designer recently, which I will write about in time, I know this is possible. So going back to my initial point, I have included two new sections to my blog: career and motherhood, which I hope you enjoy if they are relevant to you.