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Whether you’re pregnant or have a new baby, take time out to give body – and soul – some serious TLC says Jane Anderson.

Mother-and-baby retreat
Mamaheaven, Penrhos Court, UK

“When my second son Solomon was two months old, I was fortunate enough to attend a Mamaheaven yoga retreat with my friend Tilly and her six-week-old daughter Lola,” says Rachel Marsh. “We arrived at Penrhos Court, near Kington in Herefordshire, to discover a lovingly restored 12th-century farmhouse full of delicious foodie smells and welcoming log fires.

“Once we’d settled in to our rooms – and delved into amazing goodie bags of Dr Hauschka skincare and gorgeous Spiezia baby products – we were shown around the crèche. Leaving my baby for the first time since his birth was untraumatic and I felt complete trust in the childminders. If Solomon needed feeding he was brought to me in class, then quietly whisked away to be winded and rocked to sleep.

“During the weekend we squeezed in three yoga classes and one mother-and-baby session. Our teacher, Erika Tourell, was truly accomplished with an extensive knowledge of healing therapies, not to mention many wise insights into the experience of motherhood. Masseuse Petra Moxley gently realigned my pelvis and concentrated on working at the tension out of my back, neck and shoulders. That night both Solomon and I slept like babies!

“Chef and nutritionist Daphne Lambert has been running Penrhos with her family for past 25 years. Her restaurant was the first to receive Soil Association certification in 1997, and uses only the freshest ingredients, simply prepared to maintain maximum nutritional value. Her talk on nutrition inspired me to rethink some of my own cooking methods – and her chocolate hemp cake is mama-heaven itself!

“Our three-day retreat gave Solomon and me the time and space to really bond, a luxury not usually afforded to the second child, and I left Penrhos with body and mind truly nurtured.”

Mamaheaven takes place on 11-13 August and 6-8 October 2006, and costs £475 for mother and baby.
Tel: 01273 671762; www.mamaheaven.org.
Penrhos Court, Tel 01544 230720; www.penrhos.co.uk

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