What we’ve been up to this week 13 March

  
Strong coffee and spring flowers at The Orchard in Radyr

  
Went to see Into the Woods at my old high school in Whitchurch. It was an excellent production as always. I came out wishing I could sing….

  
Lunch at The Fig Tree in Penarth. Read more here.

  
Had a blissful facial at Enerchi in Radyr. You can read all about it here

J has had a couple of parties this weekend, one was at Parc Play, which is probably my favourite play centre in Cardiff. (I can’t really bear the rest of them, but they’re a good way to run off energy when the weather’s bad). 

I also took him to have his hair cut on Saturday at Funky Chickens. He still really hates having his hair cut and often cries and ducks away from the scissors but the hairdressers there are so patient and kind. Even when he’s having a tantrum. Personally I needed a large glass of Shiraz by the time we’d walked out of there….

  
We’ve also been loving the spring sunshine in Cardiff. Long may it continue! (Yes my almost five-year-old still demands to use the baby swings at the park……)

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Mum-to-be massage at Ener-chi, Radyr

I’ve recently had my second baby, a lovely baby girl. Hooray! Pass me the coffee. 

Life with a newborn is already inspiring a number of baby-related posts, but before I get there, I need to post about a couple of pregnancy-related activities I enjoyed or found useful in the last nine months or so.
Now, if you’ve ever had a baby, or know someone who has, you’ll be aware that pregnancy can take a real toll on your body. I’m talking swollen ankles, bad back and numerous other ailments too horrible to mention. Based on my previous pregnancy I knew I’d be tired and achy as I approached my due date, so when I was asked what I’d like for my birthday earlier this year, I asked for a ‘mum-to-be massage’.

During my first pregnancy with my son I had a massage at the Laguna Spa at the Park Plaza which was blissful and made me feel lovely and pampered. But this time I was given a voucher for the Mum-to-be treatment at Ener-chi in Radyr.  

The mum-to-be massage is an hour long treatment, which Enerchi says will be tailored to your individual needs.

The therapist sat me down and asked details about my pregnancy and how I was feeling. I explained that I had some pain in my left hip (I didn’t know that this was the start of PGP – pelvic girdle pain – more on that later!). The therapist explained that she wouldn’t be comfortable putting too much pressure  on my hips but that she would do some reflexology on the area of my foot relating to my hips, which felt lovely and did seem to ease the pain. 

The therapist also explained that most of the massage would take place with me lying on my left side (it’s not safe for pregnant women to spend a long time on their back). In this position she was able to massage my back, neck, shoulders, arms and head, before she moved me onto my back, propping my legs up with a cushion and massaged my legs before moving on to the reflexology. All in all it was a blissful experience and I practically floated out of there! In fact, I was so relaxed I immediately went home and slept for an hour.

 

I must have gone on about how lovely this massage was quite a bit, as my work colleagues purchased me another one as my leaving gift. So two days before being admitted to hospital to be induced, I went back! The therapist was different this time, as was the treatment, but no less relaxing. My hip pain had gone by this point (thanks to a wonderful physiotherapist- details later) so I simply asked for a nice relaxing massage. This time I spent the whole massage on my left side, again being massaged on my back, shoulders and arms. I did ask not to have a head massage this time as I was going out afterwards so didn’t want oily hair! The therapist also used hot stones this time, which I really love and made a nice change from the previous massage. 

As I mentioned, it’s worth noting that around the 30 week mark of my pregnancy, I started to experience a lot of pain in my hips and was diagnosed with PGP. This gradually got worse, to the point where even driving the car was agony and I needed a trained physiotherapist, rather than a treatment massage. I was referred to the NHS but warned there would be a long wait. Thanks to a recommendation on Twitter, I booked an appointment with Nicola Ruth, a qualified physiotherapist based on Cathedral Road. This was a serious solution to a medical problem and NOT the relaxing experience found at Ener-chi, in fact the massage bought tears to my eyes, but Nicola worked right into my painful hips (at one point using her elbow- eek!) Making a huge difference to the condition. I walked out smiling, rather than wincing and hobbling and would really recommend visiting Nicola if you’re suffering from more serious pregnancy-related pain. 

So there we are, a tale of two very different pregnancy massages, both of which made a real difference to me and I wholeheartedly recommend. 

Mum to be massage, £40, Enerchi Radyr

ener-chi.co.uk

Pregnancy massage, £40, Nicola Ruth Pregnancy and postnatal massage

Nicruth.co.uk

All treatments were paid for in full and neither Enerchi or Nicola Ruth knew I’d be blogging about them.