Chemmy Alcott, the BBC presenter and former British Olympic skier, talks pregnancy, date nights and highs of new motherhood
How has life been over the last year since the birth of your son?
It’s been completely amazing. And I have so much respect for other mothers now! With the help of Dougie [Chemmy’s husband and British champion skier, Dougie Crawford] and my brilliant family, I was able to go back to work 10 days after having Locki – so I didn’t exactly make it easy for myself – but it’s been magical all the same.
So does it feel like things have changed much for you?
It was important for me to remain individual and not lose my identity – I am who I am because of my passion and I wanted to still feel like myself. We spend a lot of time in the mountains, and travelling for work, and I’m lucky that Locki has been able to travel with me this last year, although I know as he gets older and becomes more mobile that’s going to be harder to do!
Did you enjoy being pregnant?
I loved being pregnant! Looking back, I’d spent the best part of 20 years in the gym but I never felt more proud of my body than when I had a bump. I miss having it! I was very fortunate in that I had a fairly easy pregnancy – I only had a few aches and pains towards the end.
Did you have any cravings?
I went completely off sugar – all my cravings were for savoury things. Salt and vinegar crisps and cheese were my favourites. It’s funny, now Locki loves those things too – I try not to give him too much salt, but he would definitely go for the cheese if it were in reach!
Where do you like to shop for Locki?
I love Swedish brand Newbie – it’s really reasonably priced and the fabrics are so soft. Sometimes Locki suffers with his sensitive skin, but he’s comfortable in Newbie clothing. That said, H&M and River Island also do an amazing selection of really cool items for kids, and another Swedish brand I love is Polarn O. Pyret. I also like My First Years for personalised pieces and gifts.
What other essentials have helped you through new motherhood?
Locki suffered with nappy rash in the early days, and I found that the only thing that helped was A&D Ointment, which a Tasmanian friend introduced me to. It’s like the [Elizabeth Arden] Eight Hour Cream for babies! And of course, the prams we’ve had have been a huge necessity. I started off with the Mountain Buggy and then moved on to the Diono Quantum – there is so much room for extras and it’s really cosy for Locki.
Where do you live in London?
We live south west. I didn’t realise just how mum-friendly it was until we had Locki, but I love it. It’s got a great mix of parks and shops, while being close to the city. If Dougie and I aren’t working away, we tend to try and stay local at weekends.
What do you enjoy doing if you manage to carve out some time for yourself?
I’m partial to a Thai massage – although it has to be a really deep-tissue massage! But to be honest, I don’t really take much time for myself these days. Because I love what I do so much, I feel like work time is ‘my’ time.
Where do you and Dougie like to head for date night?
We love eating and sport, so we might play a game of tennis or go for a curry. I love dancing too, but I usually do that with my girlfriends. If it’s a daytime date, Dougie and I will grab our paddleboards and go stand-up boarding down the Thames.
You’re in the process of covering the Winter Olympics right now. What else do you have coming up this year?
It’s an exciting but crazy hectic year for our family. Dougie and I have our own adult and junior ski coaching camps, CDC – which stands for Carpe Diem Coaching (something my mother, who passed away in 2006, used to say to me every day), which we will be travelling a lot for. We originally set it up to develop young people through sport. It’s not just about helping create champions; it’s about teaching the value of sport and life skills you learn from following your dreams. We’ve travelled all over the world with our team, from New Zealand to Dubai to all over Europe. Then later in the year we will head off to the southern hemisphere in our summer to ski in their winter.