Cowley Manor is a stunning Hotel and Spa based in the beautiful Cotswolds countryside. Last week saw the award winning C-Side spa launch a new treatment menu designed specifically for pregnancy and the post-natal period and I was kindly invited to the launch to experience the treatments for myself.
Pregnancy for me was a pivotal time, it was when I was pregnant with my first son that I really started paying attention to my lifestyle, from how much waste we created to the ingredients in my beauty products. It was the driving force behind this blog and yet during my second pregnancy I did feel some frustration at how pregnant women tend to be largely ignored in the industry. Not only is there a lot of conflicting advice and information, but when it comes to treatments there is often only one or two treatments that can be adapted to pregnancy. I find this surprising, given that pregnancy is a time when we really need to pamper and take care of ourselves.
Cowley Manor as a hotel is extremely family friendly, so they wanted to develop a comprehensive treatment menu for pregnancy and after birth. To create the treatments they approached Kirstie Sherriff, founder of the award winning organic beauty range Pinks Boutique, as well as a therapist with over twenty years experience in the industry including running her own training schools. If you are a regular reader of this blog you will be familiar with Pinks Boutique, it is a gorgeous line, certified organic by the Soil Association, completely vegan and extremely nourishing but gentle, making it perfect for use during pregnancy.
The award winning Pinks Boutique range displayed at the C-Side spa Cowley Manor
The Pregnancy and postnatal treatment menu has all the treatments that you would expect to experience at a Spa, but they have all been adapted specifically for pregnancy. Not only that but the treatment menu tells you exactly which trimester of pregnancy the treatment suits best, some are great for all, some work on challenges that tend to happen later in pregnancy for example there is a lighter legs treatment, targeting swelling in the feet and ankles.
Even though I am not currently pregnant, I was kindly treated to a massage and I was very impressed. It is the attention to detail where these treatments really are above and beyond anything I have experienced before. After filling in a detailed consultation form (specifically designed to be used throughout you pregnancy), I was invited to enter the treatment room. My therapist then kindly gave me a choice of the two ranges used in the Pinks Boutique treatments, the thinking behind this is that sense of smell is heightened during pregnancy and using a range that is appealing is very important. I chose the Sweet Orange scent, a firm favourite of mine for years.
The pregnancy massage starts on a balance ball sitting up. This gives you time to relax and ease in to the treatment before having to tackle getting on the bed, which can be challenge with a big bump. At one point in the treatment the therapist encourages you to put your hands on your bump, which I think is a lovely way to bond with baby. It is my experience that babies respond well to mum being happy and relaxed, so this feels like a lovely way for them to be involved.
As a strong advocate for using organic beauty products, having treatments with Pinks Boutique products versus conventional treatments was total bliss. Packed with beneficial botanicals and no fillers, I am a firm believer that using plant oils daily on my bump saved me from stretch marks in my second pregnancy. In some of the treatments the therapists will talk you about how to carry on the pampering routines daily at home, which I think is great.
The organic pregnancy booklet written by Kirstie to accompany the treatments is a fantastic way to inform and discuss issues. It talks you through everything you need to know, from what products to use (for you and baby), to subjects I am passionate about such as cloth nappies!
The Cowley Manor located in the beautiful Cotswolds countryside
C Side Spa – Cowley Manor, featuring an indoor and outdoor pool
I really enjoyed my day at C Side spa, the staff were friendly, the food was delicious and I was impressed with the treatments on offer. It is truly wonderful to see the effectiveness of organic beauty acknowledged and embraced.
For those of you who aren’t local or able to travel to Cowley Manor, but that are interested in organic beauty, I asked Kirstie for her top three Pinks Boutique product recommendations, these three relate to pregnancy, but the range is wonderful for all. In fact I still use it:
Rose Face and Body Balm* – This is a great multi-tasker, Kirstie says: “This is my favourite bump balm, beautiful to spread and full of fab omega fatty acids. The added bonus of this is that you can use it as your evening face night balm if your skin is feeling dehydrated, this will occur, especially later in your trimesters”.
Sweet Orange and Neroli Body Oil* or Rose and Jojoba Body Oil* – Perfect for daily use as a replacement for conventional stretchmark treatments such as Bio- Oil. Kirstie Says “Mineral oil free and instead uses cold pressed organic seed oils to help quell an itching, tight bump and keep the skin supple”. The body oils are one of my personal favourites from the range, so beautiful and really effective. The are not heavy and feel silky and light on the skin.
Rosehip Face and Body Scrub* – Pregnancy is not the time for aggressive scrubs or treatments, regular, gentle exfoliation is best for face and body. Kirstie says “An ultra gentle polish to use over your bump (and face) ensuring you are only putting your balm and oils into the newest revealed skin cells. It is so gentle you can use it daily in the shower or bath before applying balm or oil”.
Find out more about the award winning C-Side Spa here.