For my birthday last year, Robin bought me a voucher for a full body maternity massage at Cowshed- specifically, the Udderly Gorgeous Full Body massage. I decided to save it for when I really needed it, which turns out, is right about now! Seven months of pregnancy has given me a basketball belly and an achy back and I couldn’t think of anything nicer than an hour inside a dimly lit spa room. So I booked myself in at the Carnaby Street store and that’s where I found myself on a Monday afternoon.
Cowshed Carnaby Street
Ducking off to the left of Carnaby Street and onto Foubert’s Place, slightly away from the crowds, I entered the Cowshed store 15 minutes before my appointment. I was then checked in and seated around a big farm house style table with lemon and cucumber water- so far, so very spa like. Except, shoppers come and go around you to buy the famous Cowshed lotions and potions.
I sipped on my lemon water and attempted to de-stress, despite my bladder screaming at me and a baby that decided to learn the Macarena at that very moment in my womb. Shortly afterwards, my beauty therapist came to get me and brought me downstairs to the underbelly of this particular Cowshed location. My room was dimly lit, a robe was hanging up waiting for me to slip into, and in the corner of my eye, a tub of warm bubbly water to soak my feet was ready too.
I undressed down to my knickers (I figured there would be no paper pants for a basketball belly here) and into my fluffy robe.
Maternity massages differ from your regular massages as pregnant women are always advised to sleep or lie on their side (which probably doesn’t help with the backache!) So rather than lying back or on your front on a massage table, you’ll be manoeuvred into baby friendly positions instead.
Once my feet had soaked for a few minutes in the warm sudsy water, my feet were dried off and I was helped onto a stool facing the massage table. On the table was a large V shaped pillow- so you lean on the pillow with your arms and head, whilst the rest of you is seated comfortably on the stool as the masseuse gently prods you like a piece of focaccia dough. It’s lovely.
I was so comfortable. And it’s been months since I’ve been comfortable- the relief! I’d have bought that pillow on the spot right there and then because for the next few minutes I remembered what it was like to get comfy and drift off without grunting from side to side like a turtle stuck on their back.
The therapist gently massaged and soothed my aching back with warm oil- as we chatted, she told me about her own pregnancy experience, so she really knew which spots to work on to help those aches and pains (for me, my lower back has been a constant sore spot!)
Too soon afterwards, I was helped onto the massage table that had been adjusted to support my back and legs specially. My feet, legs, arms and shoulders were worked on, and even my scalp had a little bit of soothing massage applied to it.
I was really looked after- regularly asked if I’d like to take a sip of water- and helped up and down from the massage table. I’ve had many massages before, but this was the first one where I felt considered if that makes sense.
I’ve only ever had spa treatments or massages at hotels when I’m on a holiday break, so going from a massage and back into my clothes was a little bit strange to me. I had to carefully towel myself down so I wouldn’t slick oil everywhere on the way home (although on the tube home, I found a nice dollop of it behind my ear)
I wouldn’t even class this as a treat for mums-to-be- it’s practically medicinal!
I found it so helpful towards the aches and pains the last 7 months have accumulated in my body. I went to sleep last night for the first time without an ache in my back and slept much better than usual. In fact, I’m thinking about booking myself back in for a repeat treatment before baby arrives!
There are Cowshed locations all over London, I just happened to pick the Carnaby Street location. You can book online or call the shop directly- to be sure, tell them that you are pregnant and how far along you are when calling.