Forget the credit crunch – nothing should get in the way of celebrating your pregnancy. Take inspiration from the stars and do it in style
The celeb way
The Bliss Spa in Kensington, London was a regular pit stop for yummy mummy Louise Redknapp when she was pregnant with second baby, Beau. And not just for a quick mani and pedi either. We’re talking day-long luxe with a gaggle of gal pals, starting with massages, followed by lunch. “I find the only way to get some quality ‘r&r’ is to set aside an entire day,” she says. We wish…
Luckily, the Bliss Spa offers an alternative: home treatments via the Bliss Spa range (www.blisslondon.co.uk). Go the whole hog with the Bliss Head to Toe Spa in a Box, £167, and you could throw yourself your very own pregnancy pamper party for friends at home. Or instead add a little luxe to your everyday routine by investing in a tube of (admittedly eye-wateringly expensive) stretch mark cream, StriVectin-SD Intensive Concentrate (£135/125ml). The good news is it’s supposed to work wonders on crow’s feet too, so it’ll never go to waste!
The celeb way
Mel C recently revealed that she was sharing the services of Malcolm Gillard, the consultant obstetrician at the private Portland Hospital who also delivered all the other Spice Girls’ babies, after having been introduced to him at Geri Halliwell’s daughter’s christening. Your way
If a £12,000 Portland Hospital birth and £350 antenatal classes are firmly out of your reach, never fear. Celeb-style bespoke maternity services can be yours at a mere fraction of the price. New service The Prenatal Company (www.theprenatalcompany.co.uk) will help you draw up a bespoke birth plan for just £150, meeting you at a time and place that’s convenient for you.
Before baby Sunday Rose was born, Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban whiled away a romantic ‘babymoon’ on Bora Bora, enjoying the unbridled luxury of a £10,000-a-night stay in a villa at the St Regis Hotel… and hiking in the French Polynesian mountains!
Fancy something a bit more sedate – and affordable? For £500 per person, Baby Gurus (www.thebaby gurus.com) offers babymoon weekends at five-star locations around the UK, such as Gleneagles, with antenatal classes thrown in.If city chic’s more your thing, London’s Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel offers a babymoon for two with spa treatments and a ‘cravings bag’ packed with snacks for £379. (see www.marriott.co.uk). And remember, any break pre-baby is a babymoon, and late deals are often best value. (For example, www.lastminute.com was offering nights at the fabulously glam Cowley Manor – whose C-Spa is regularly frequented by Kate Moss – for just £210 for two.) It really doesn’t have to be complicated…
Prior to the arrival of baby number two, son Zuma, Gwen Stefani and hubbie Gavin Rossdale threw a star-studded baby shower for fellow A-list friends at their LA home, complete with a reported £10,000 spread. This included chocolate brownies monogrammed with their initials – in gold leaf.
Baby showers aren’t the preserve of crazy American superstars. In terms of stocking up on baby gear that you actually want and need (as opposed to the usual gamut of too-small babygrows and identikit teddy bears) there’s a lot to be said for throwing a baby shower with a gift list and saying a proper, “see you in six months when I’ve caught up on my sleep!’’ to your friends. Not sure how? Baby shower party packs, from £20 at www.babyshowerhost.co.uk, give you maximum party impact for very little effort, including paper plates, table confetti and even games to play. When it comes to those baby shower gift lists, you can take the independent route with www.babylist.co.uk, or turn to trusty John Lewis’ nursery gift list service (www.johnlewisnurserylist.com).
“I’ve had about 10 scans!” boasted new mum Billie Piper while pregnant with baby Winston, admitting that relinquishing ‘control’ over her bump was tricky. Sounds like quite a nice idea… till you do the maths. In most healthy pregnancies, two scans is your limit on the NHS, and with private scans starting at £100 – reaching as much as £200 for an all-singing, all-dancing 4D scan – you could be left with a bill for nearly £1,000.
If, like Billie, you’re having issues with ‘control’, treating yourself to an extra scan (that’s one, as opposed to 10!) can be reassuring. For £195, www.4d-ultrasoundscan.co.uk offers 4D scans with centres throughout the UK. Or why not take the budget reassurance option and invest in a handheld fetal doppler, £63.50, from www.mumstheword.com.
“One of my ultimate luxuries is having my hair brushed or my head massaged, so whenever I needed some pregnancy pampering I’d go straight to the hairdressers for a facial with a head and shoulder massage – non-aromatherapy, of course. It never failed to relax me and make me feel pampered.”
Nola Whiting, 30, from Buckinghamshire, mum to Amelie, 2, and Heather, 1
“When I was pregnant with Zoe, I joined the poshest gym I could find. Everyone was so impressed, thinking I was doing it to keep fit. Nothing could be further from the truth – I just liked the idea of lounging around the swanky swimming pool.”
Melanie Kidd, 31, from Edinburgh, mum to Emily, 4, Zoe, 2, and Jack, 6 months
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk