From indulgent mani-pedis to semi-permanent make-up, we round up the best beauty treatments for mums and mums-to-be.
If there’s one group of people deserving a good old pamper it’s mums, right? Whether you’re an expectant mother or a busy parent to a growing family, we’ve made it our mission to find you the best beauty treatments to have you looking and feeling your best.
What Beauty Treatments are Safe During Pregnancy?
While mums-to-be may be the most in need of some TLC, finding the right beauty treatment when pregnant can be tricky. It’s not always clear which beauty, spa or cosmetic treatments are safe to have during pregnancy.
Before any treatment, most spas will require you to fill out a form stating any medical concerns and to stipulate whether or not you are pregnant. They should then inform you whether your intended treatment is safe to have (and hopefully suggest some alternatives if not).
As a rule, you should avoid any heat treatments while pregnant – such as the sauna, hot tubs, steam rooms and body wraps – as your body temperature should not be increased.
But, worry not, as you can still indulge in some R&R and enjoy treatments such as manicures, pedicures, most facials (check to see which products are safe for you and baby) and pregnancy massages. However, before booking your spa retreat, it’s always worth checking which pregnancy treatments are suitable during the first trimester and getting the go-ahead from your GP.
Best Beauty Treatments for Mums
From nail spas to blow dry bars, pregnancy massages to postnatal treatments, we’ve tried out the best of the bunch all in the name of self-care.
EMSculpt Neo & Emsella at Dr MediSpa, London
[In-depth review written by Danielle Wilkins]
For tired and busy mothers whose bodies are still recovering from pregnancy and birth, the
right treatment can be priceless; a vital energy reset and a great way to help you feel like
you again. Cue EMSculpt Neo, an FDA-approved non-invasive body contouring procedure,
and Emsella, a dedicated therapy designed to power up your pelvic floor, both of which can
be undertaken separately or in tandem for the ultimate core-strengthening treatment.
First things first, it’s important to note that EMSculpt Neo isn’t designed to be a quick-fix or
a weight-loss treatment. The clever, shape-shifting technology is designed to work in
conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and you’ll see best results when you combine it with
gentle postpartum exercise, such as Pilates, and a nourishing diet. Combined with Emsella,
this treatment is about strengthening your core and those weakened abdominals post-birth. The muscle definition and fat loss that come with it are a bonus. Though a rather welcome one, at that.
I signed up to the recommended four hour-long treatments – 30 minutes of EMSculpt Neo
followed by 30 minutes of Emsella – over the course of four weeks. The award-winning
DrMediaSpa clinic in London’s Knightsbridge is unassuming on the outside, but inside it
looks more like a fashion showroom than a clinic with its pristine glass, deliciously scented
candles, and contemporary artwork on the walls. The staff are welcoming, reassuring, and
knowledgeable, and I felt in safe hands the moment I walked in.
EMSculpt works by combining high-intensity electromagnetic energy with radiofrequency
stimulation to deplete fat cells and build up muscle mass. It can be used to target various
areas of the body, including the buttocks, arms, and legs, but having given birth to my
second baby three months ago (and been given the all-clear in my six-week check), I chose to focus on my weakened abdominals.
A large pad was placed on my stomach and secured with an elasticated belt. It’s warm and
soothing – kind of like you’re about to experience a hot stone massage. The electromagnetic fields then trigger thousands of muscle contractions – I can only describe it as a super-intense pummelling that’s perhaps a little uncomfortable at first, but doesn’t hurt, and you soon get used to the intensity as it’s built up gradually.
Dare I say it, I even began to find the sensation quite relaxing. The muscle contractions in each 30-minute treatment are equivalent to 24,000 crunches. Yep, you read that right. I could tell the muscles were “crunching” because my legs would lift and jerk involuntarily with every contraction, but the technology prevents the build-up of lactic acid, so it doesn’t feel like you’ve done 24,000 crunches (no DOMS here, thanks) while the radiofrequency heats up the underlying fat cells, so they get flushed out naturally.
Directly after each treatment my skin looked a little pink from the heat, but that faded
within the hour and there is zero downtime. After the recommended four treatments, you’ll
be invited back for an “after” photo in three months, where you can discuss any further
maintenance with your therapist.
Emsella works in a similar way, whereby electromagnetic energy engages the pelvic floor
muscles by causing them to contract rapidly – essentially doing 30-minutes’ worth of Kegel
exercises for you. The machine itself is a vibrating chair that you sit on fully clothed. The
intensity can be dialled up and down, though even at full pelt it wasn’t too uncomfortable –
much like an intense vibrating or flicking against the perineum that feels neither sexual nor
Though I’d been trying to work on my pelvic floor exercises pre- and post-birth, I still found it difficult to find the time and motivation with a new baby. Sitting with a magazine (no phones allowed thanks to the electromagnetic energy) for 30 minutes forced me to have both the downtime I needed and get my PF exercises in – it was a win-win.
A few weeks after my fourth session of EMSculpt Neo, and the results are subtle but they’re
definitely there; I can now fit into a pair of shorts that I couldn’t do up a month ago, my
stomach feels flatter and less bloated, and dare I say it, there’s even a hint of an ab in the
right light. And as for my pelvic floor? It’s never been better. Thanks to Emsella, I’m more
aware of my PF muscles than ever before. It’s been an education – and fun!
EMSculpt Neo prices start at £1,000; Emsella starts at £2,000 for a course of six sessions. Book here.
Paradiso Manicure at House Cats, London
If it’s a bit of TLC you’re after, you can’t go far wrong with a good old-fashioned mani-pedi. House Cats London offer a range of indulgent manicure and pedicure treatments, but it was the Paradiso Manicure that grabbed our intention.
The treatment is designed to improve the condition of your nails and aid relaxation, so perfect for busy mums who’ve been picking up after the children all day.
The Paradiso Manicure is a purely indulgent experience. The treatment begins with a shape up and cuticle care before you’re treated to a sea-salt and oil exfoliation scrub, to remove any dead skin cells. Next up is a super relaxing and tension-melting hand and lower arm massage. Setting the Paradiso a step above the rest of the mani-pedi’s on the menu, you’re then given a deep conditioning treatment with heated mitts to soften and revitalise your skin. The manicure is finished with OPI polish on your choice.
If all that wasn’t enough, you can also enjoy all this with a lovely glass of prosecco or a cocktail of your choice. Just for that element of indulgence. For new mums or mums-to-be there’s also a wide range of teas, coffees or soft drinks.
The Paradiso Manicure is £45 for a 45-minute treatment. Book here.
Lash Extensions at Blush + Blow, London
Semi-permanent eyelash extensions are a great way to boost your beauty style and leavign you feeling great. For mums on the go, it can save time as you won’t need to worry about applying mascara or false lashes.
Lash extensions are largely considered to be safe to have while pregnant. However, it’s argued the glue used during the process can contain a form of Accutane, which may prove harmful in strong concentration. Some salons offer a pregnancy-friendly alternative, but as long as the room is well ventilated – and as the glue does not touch your skin in the process – lash extensions are generally considered safe.
We ventured to the celeb-fave Blush+Blow London salon in Parson’s Green to try out their Semi-permanent Lash Extensions. And we were not disappointed.
We immediately felt as though we were in for a treat as soon as we stepped into the Instagram-worthy salon. Soon, the lash technician came to take us down to the treatment room, which was just as luxurious as the salon upstairs.
We opted for a full set of semi-permanent lashes, but still wanted a slightly natural look. Thanks to the calming music and the lash technician’s delicate touch, we soon drifted off. After about an hour and a half (some treatments can take longer depending on the desired lash effect), we snapped back to reality with a beautiful set of full, natural looking lashes.
Prices for a half set semi-permanent lashes start at £90, full sets cost £130 and fuller Russian lashes are £150. Book here.
Botox Brow Lift at Cadagon Clinic, Chelsea
NB: This treatment is not suitable for pregnant women.
Botox, or botulinum toxin type A if we’re getting technical, has been a big hit on the beauty scene for almost two decades. First approved for cosmetic use in 2002, Botox is favoured by women (and men) as an anti-aging treatment to reduce the signs of wrinkles. Botox is injected into targeted areas, most often the forehead and frown lines. However, in recent years, Botox has been used to enhance certain facial features, to create a more youthful look. One treatment rising in popularity is a non-surgical brow lift, or ‘browtox’. So, we ventured over to the Cadogan Clinic in Chelsea to try out Botox for a subtle brow lift.
After an informative and reassuring consultation with Dr Severine Leonet, Aesthetic Doctor at Cadogan Clinic, we agreed on the amount of Botox to use to achieve my desired results. Dr Leonet then went on to mark out the points along my brows before using a series of tiny injections to apply the Botox.
Much to my surprise, the process was relatively painless and within minutes Dr Leonet had finished my treatment. There is no recovery period needed after Botox, leaving you free to go about your usual routine, however, the results are not visible straight away. The treated areas will initially soften three to five days period following the procedure and their appearance will further improve over the next two weeks.
While some people have been known to experience side-effects (soreness and headaches) or bruising following Botox, thanks to Dr Leonet’s skill as an aesthetic doctor, I left the practice mark-free and eager to see my results.
Two weeks later, my skin is visibly smoother and the subtle brow lift I had wanted to achieve is a resounding success. I could not be happier with the results.
British Blowdry at Edward James Salon, Balham
We all know time is short when you’re a busy mum. Taking time to towel dry, let alone blowdry, straighten or style your hair can seem like a forbidden luxury. So a treatment that guarantees months of fuss-free, well-groomed hair sounds pretty ideal, right?
Call up a babysitter, corner your other half, or even drag your kids along with you and book in for a British Blowdry at Edward James London. A twist on the Brazilian Blowdry, Edward James’ signature British Blowdry is a semi-permanent smoothing treatment. Designed for British hair, it suits finer hair without stripping it from its important natural moisture.
We ventured to Balham, to the third salon from celebrity hairdresser Edward James, to try it out. As soon as I stepped into the chic, design-led salon I knew me and my hair would be in for a treat.
After an initial consultation (and a welcomed glass of bubbles) with salon director Lauren, we head downstairs to the equally sleek and ambient treatment room to try out the British Blowdry.
An ammonia free glossing oil is applied to add shine and moisture followed by Edward’s formula – a smoothing keratin protein which is applied to the frizziest part of the hair with a paint brush.
The treatment is designed to strengthen and smooth making hair feel more moisturised and manageable – it’s ideal for hair that reacts to humidity along with coloured hair.
After leaving the treatment set and soaking up more of the relaxing vibes in the salon for a further 45 minutes. Laura finished the process using straightening irons to seal the treatment.
Natural Hair Colouring at Gennaro Dell’Aquila, Notting Hill
On a mission to banish chemicals from colouring, Gennaro Dell’Aquila‘s London-based salons (Notting Hill and Wimbledon) offer up a vast menu of 100% natural treatments. With 20 signature blends using only natural and organic herbs, roots and flowers the dyes and treatments give a whole new meaning to the words natural beauty.
I tried out the Olaplex treatment, before testing the natural dyes for a root touch up. During the treatments, Gennaro carefully explained the benefits of chemical-free colouring and talked us through each ingredient. As the products are natural, paraben and carcinogen free, they’re safe to use during pregnancy.
Having previously been sceptical about the prospect of ‘all-natural’ hair dyes, we were certainly proved wrong. Not only did I leave the salon with silky soft, well-conditioned hair thanks to the nourishing Olaplex treatment, but smug in the knowledge we’d given our hair a break from damaging dyes. It looked pretty good too!
Prices for Olaplex start at £45, Highlights start at £80 for short hair and £100 for long hair.
Microblading at Sian Dellar, London
NB: It is not advised to have this treatment when pregnant.
Thanks to the likes of Cara Delevingne and the ever-growing Kardashian Klan, our eyebrows are having a moment. A strong brow can make or break a beauty look, right?
We all have our own particular style when it comes to the brows, but tweaking and filling them in can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Even more so when your morning routine is hijacked by kids and their various demands.
However, time-short mums and parents on the go can now rejoice (and keep their brows in check) thanks to a treatment known as microblading. I ventured out to Sian Dellar‘s clinic at 1 Harley Street to give it a try.
Microblading is a form of semi-permanent makeup, which uses a fine blade to deposit pigment into the epidermis (the top layer of skin). This creates a natural, crisp look with fine, hair-like strokes. Sian uses pigments formulated to match your original eyebrow colour, meaning they blend perfectly and enhance your own natural brows.
The microblading treatment can last up to two hours, depending on how sparse your natural brows are and the fullness of your desired look. Sian applied a numbing cream to my brows before the treatment, however, the process is not entirely painless. You will feel a scratching sensation as the pigment is applied with a fine blade. But trust me when I say the short period of discomfort is worth it. Sian is a master of microblading and I couldn’t be happier with the finished results.
Following a top-up around six weeks after the initial treatment, results can last anywhere between 12 – 24 months. However, a touch up once a year is recommended to retain your ideal shape and colour.
Pregnancy Massage at Agua Spa, London
As part of their maternity menu, the Agua Spa at Sea Containers (formerly the Mondrian London) offers a dedicated pregnancy massage.
We sent journalist and podcaster Rhiannon Evans to try out the Maternity Booster Package (a specially formulated massage and facial for pregnant women between 13 and 36 weeks).
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