Newborn swimming lessons at Virgin Active

As soon as Lacie had her first set of injections we were in the pool like a shot.
I’ve never been a keen swimmer so it’s important that we get Lacie as comfortable in the water as soon as possible. It’s also important for me to learn how to confidently hold her and play with her in the water, which is why we signed up to the Ducklings Programme at Virgin Active.

The 18-week programme are primarily designed to introduce very young children to the water so I signed up straight away and got my NCT friends to sign up too. There are four of us in the class and we are all friends which is great. It’s lovely seeing them every week and Lacie gets to learn new skills with her friends which is lovely. Hopefully one day they will all go swimming together and play nicely and confidently in the water.

So far we’ve only had two lessons but I’m so much more confident with her already. We’ve been taught how to get in the water safely with a new born, how to hold them so they can swim on their front and back, and we’ve already submerged them. Lacie wasn’t bothered at all as she went under. What a proud mum!!

A few little tips I’ve learnt already is;
* To take the carseat. This means I can get Lacie changed then pop her in the car-seat as I get myself changed too.
I have the Nuna Pipa seat, which I love.  You can read my review here…..

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 17.37.42* I’ve also learnt to take a spare towel. One for Lacie as she gets out the pool and then one to dry her with. I didn’t do this the first time we went and had to use my towel to dry her. I recently brought this poncho, (£11.99; http://www.mothercare.com) which Lacie loves to snuggle up to as soon as she gets out the pool. It has a hood that keeps her head warm and its made with soft cotton fabric that wicks excess water and dries Lacie really quickly. 

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* Lastly I always dress Lacie in a super cool swimming costume. She looks super cute and as she’s the only girl in the class I like her to look extra girlie. I get her swimsuits from Mothercare. Here my three favourites. We will take them on our first family holiday too.

1)Whale Swimsuit; £9
I love the frill detail around the waist and neckline. The turquoise colour is just lovely too!

lacie whale

Baby K Swimsuit and Turban; £15
This cute cozy from the Baby K range has a matching turban, which is very 80’s – she hasn’t worn the turban yet but it will be great on holiday when it comes to protecting her hear from the sun.

Bbay K swim suit

Lastly this Disney Minnie Mouse Swimsuit; £9
is just adorable. I’m sure Lacie is going to be a big fan of Minnie Mouse when she’s older and I just love the frilly sleeves and waist line. It looks so sweet on.

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I tend to wear a Tankini in the pool, which is really easy to get changed in and out of but recently I came across the new Speedo Sculpture range, which smoothes and supports your body in all the right places.
I love the Crystalsun suit (£60; http://www.store.speedo.co.uk) , which gives me flattering and feminine shape, thanks to the bandeau shape neckline, which enhances my tiny bust, an the lower leg, which elongates my short body. The gentle gathers are also perfect for visually disguising any post-pregnancy lumps and bumps. Its not easy getting into the pool after you’ve had a baby, I felt very self-conscious.

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To sign up to baby swimming lessons have a chat to your nearest Virgin Active. They are super helpful and will make sure your little one goes into the right class for the age and ability level.

 

 

 

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Pregnancy Countdown – 32 days to go. What does a pregnant lady wear at Christmas?

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When Christmas arrives – I will be 37 and a half weeks pregnant. Christmas is a time for socialising, dressing up and eating lots BUT I doubt I will be doing any of that.
I’ve warned my husband that I may be a kill joy. I do love my bump but sometimes a night in watching a film on my gym ball sounds far more appealing than being in a crowded pub with people bouncing off your bump!

So here is a breakdown of my pregnant Christmas….

Socialising – Yes. I will also be driver and probably falling asleep by 10pm. I’ll try 🙂

Dressing up – I didn’t think I would be – and joked to my husband that i will either be wearing my sports gear all Christmas or a black bin liner – until I discovered Tiffany Rose – a gorgeous maternity collection, that I came across when looking at pictures of pregnant Michelle Heaton online. Michelle is also pregnant but always looks so glowing  and graceful, and the dress she was wearing was absolutely gorgeous. It fitted in all the right places and showed her bump off beautifully!
I then found the website Tiffany Rose and spent hours looking through their collection and deciding what to order for the big day.
The range, inspired by icons of the 50s and 60s, includes timeless classics, with a touch of vintage or a modern twist. Some of the pieces are very dressy and if you had a wedding to go to or something would be ABSOLUTELY perfect. The truth is I only have four weeks of pregnancy left, with no big events like weddings coming up etc so I went for this gorgeous Grecian Top, that would look nice with skinny jeans or smart trousers and can be dressed up or down. It’s really floaty and elegant and something I would wear pregnant or not! I’m looking forward to wearing on Christmas day with a nice chunky cardigan, skinny jeans and some wedge boots.

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A few other favourite pieces were the DAISY GOWN, which is uber elegant and sophisticated…

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and the EDEN GOWN SHORT, which has a floaty skirt to hide any lower body sins and detachable Midnight Blue satin sash that will fit neatly around your bump should you wish it too – a bit like a bow around an extra special Xmas present.

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At last – I feel so much more positive about my maternity wear wardrobe. I have really struggled with what to wear during my pregnancy and will be recommending Tiffany Rose to all my friends !

So that leads me on to my last Xmas bullet point of;

Eating lots. Will I be eating lots? No probably not.
When you are pregnant your baby takes up LOADS of room inside your body – room that used to belong to your lungs and stomach and digestive system.
Check out this picture below. The left-hand image shows a woman’s body before she gets pregnant, and the right-hand image shows her body carrying a full-term fetus. See how squashed her stomach is? If you eat too much when pregnant you end up feeling totally bloated and can’t move so the best thing to do is eat little and often. I’ll be saving some of my Christmas dinner (and pudding!) for a few hours later that is for sure – doggy bag springs to mind!

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Babymoon Time

This month Health & Fitness Magazine have featured one of my travel write ups on Babymoons – like honeymoons – but for couples who are expecting.

It’s a great time to get some last-minute pampering before the midnight feeds and sleep deprivation kicks in, so please find a PDF of the feature. I’ll be going to Mermaid Maternity Retreat in September and also Turkey in October (I’ll be around 25 weeks and no doubt in some serious need of some R&R), so I’ll let you know my thoughts…

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…Pegnancy is an exciting time, but it can be slightly daunting too, especially if it’s your first. Now, thanks to a new breed of holidays designed for busy, expectant parents, you and your partner can squeeze in one last therapeutic break before your little bundle of joy makes an appearance.

Also known as babymoons, these holidays are designed to give mums-to- be and couples a final bit of indulgence before baby is born. Think massages, pre-natal yoga, birth preparation classes, manicures and pedicures. Whether you want to stay in the UK or travel further afield, the babymoon is designed to pamper you and prepare you for parenthood. Here’s our pick of the best.

Kempinski Hotel, Barbaros Bay, Bodrum, Turkey
Enjoy romantic date nights on the Kempinski Babymoon Package, where you and your partner can spend time soaking up the Turkish sunshine. The seven-night stay includes six different treatments for the expectant mum, including a soothing facial and nurturing pregnancy massage, an olive oil and salt body polish and a 25-minute foot recovery treatment, plus there’s a holistic massage for dad-to-be. You can also immerse yourselves in private yoga sessions, breathing exercise sessions and water aerobics classes.

Perched on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful Barbaros Bay, you can also indulge in romantic meals in one of four restaurants before retiring to your stunning, sea-view room. Gorgeous!

Price: From €1,340 for seven nights for double occupancy.
Contact: kempinski.com

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily
If want to continue your fitness regime with your bump, this three-night holiday at the luxury Verdura Golf & Spa Resort won’t disappoint.

Set on the south coast of Sicily, Verdura boasts two, 18-hole championship golf courses and one nine-hole course; six tennis courts; a full- size football pitch; a 60m infinity swimming pool; a fully-equipped gym, plus running trails that meander through olive and lemon
groves. The package includes a spa treatment of your choice, and a candle-lit three-course meal at the à la carte restaurant, so you
can wind-down after an active day in the Mediterranean sunshine.
Price: Rooms start at £1,023 for three nights. Contact: Visit luxefamilytravel.com or call
020 8144 3939.

Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel and Spa, Keswick
If work and baby preparation is beginning to take its toll, and you’re in need of a bit of ‘you’ time, chill out in the Lake District with the de-stressing Armathwaite Hall Precious Moments Babymoon Spa Break, and let the stunning location and tranquil lake views work their magic.

A two-night stay at this traditional country house hotel will restore your energy and inner calm, thanks to the 60-minute New Life massage and relaxing spa facilities, including an infinity pool, outdoor hot tub, hush tranquility room and stretch classes. And if the weather turns chilly, snuggle up by a cosy log fire. Bliss! Price: £600 per room for two nights. Contact: Visit armathwaite-hall.com or call 01768 776551.

Essential Escapes, Almyra, Cyprus
When you’re pregnant, it is easy to forget about yourself; you’re so busy getting ready for motherhood, you neglect the all-important task of looking after number one. If you need to

get away from it all, and find some time to rejuvenate, take a short trip Cyprus and let this tranquil hotel help you find some balance and a deep sense of inner peace.

The three-night Nurturing Mum-To-Be Package includes a 90-minute massage designed to ease aches and pains, alleviate fluid retention and increase blood circulation;
a Mandarin Vanilla Manicure and Deep Sea Oxygen Facial, plus a soothing foot treatment. Outdoor yoga sessions and as many strolls on

the white sands of Paphos beach as you can possibly manage, are also thrown in. Price: From £1,670 or £1,060 for sole occupancy. Contact: essentialescapes. com or call 020 7284 3344

Mermaid Maternity Retreat, London
Based in London’s Chelsea, this non-medical maternity retreat provides all-round support to pregnant women and their families.

Nutritionists can offer advice on supplements so your growing bump gets off to a healthy start,
mid-wives are on hand to answer any concerns you may have about getting the hang of nappy changing or the potential complications of breast feeding, while holistic therapists including acupuncturists, osteopaths and reflexologists ensure you’re in optimal health throughout your pregnancy.

And if it’s the period after the birth that concerns you, you can stay after you’ve had the baby, too, to support your recovery post-delivery, and provide guidance and advice on settling and bonding with your new baby. Price: From £595 per night.
Contact: mermaid.co.uk or call 020 7199 3220.

Whatley Manor, Malmesbury, Cotswolds
If your pregnancy’s too advanced for plane travel, or you’d rather stay closer to home, head to Whatley Manor. This luxury hotel tucked away in the rolling Cotswolds offers a Half-Day Mother-To-Be Spa Experience, where you can enjoy extensive spa facilities along with a 60-minute Ila pregnancy treatment. There’s a hydrotherapy pool, tepidarium, relaxing wave sensory room and salt scrub showers.

If you have a bit more time, make a weekend of it and stay a few nights to make the most
of the cinema, beautifully manicured gardens and two-Michelin-starred restaurant, The Dining Room. A real treat!

Price: £105 for Mother-To-Be Half Day Spa Experience and from £305 per room B&B. Contact: whatleymanor.com or call 01666 822888.

 

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