NHM Readers recommend Maternity Clothes

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where is the best place you can buy maternity clothes in Basingstoke.

I suggested Mothercare and H&M but apparently H&M only have very small sizes in stock at the moment.

(Thank you very much to everyone who responded and to Shona for putting this post together!!!!)

This is what they came back with, in no particular order!

NHM Readers Recommend Places in Basingstoke to buy maternity clothes

Debenhams

Flick said: Debenhams have some in their red herring maternity range.

Wendy said: Debenhams have a maternity department too.

Naomi said: Debenhams – some really nice bits.

Debenhams Maternity

New Look

Flick said: New Look have a small section downstairs.

Kimberley said: New look used to have a few bits.

Lucy said: New Look for top half,  it’s downstairs right corner.

Emma recommended New Look.

Charlotte recommended New Look.

Jane recommended New Look.

Hayley recommended New Look.

New Look Maternity

Next

Diana said: I found Next Directory were the best I ever found in any high street store. Really hit the bill.
Wendy said: I used to get most of mine in Next.
Jane recommended Next.
Next Maternity

Matalan

Kimberley said: Matalan have maternity online. You get free delivery to store.
Lucy said: Matalan for over the bump leggings. I did click and collect so could try on in store and return if it didn’t fit.

Matalan Maternity

Dorothy Perkins

Emma said: Dorothy Perkins online – free returns.
Hayley recommended Dorothy Perkins.

Dorothy Perkins Maternity

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Review 2017: Thrive Massage Therapy

 

A few months ago I noticed a sign on the side of a car about a local massage business and thought, ooh, I really must check that out. About two weeks later Nicola messaged me asking if I would like to review her massage business – Thrive Massage Therapy. Turns out it was her!!  I thought for less than a second before accepting her lovely offer!

Initially Nicola had a Guest post on NorthHanstMum because I wasn’t available for the first month after she contacted me. These days I’m really busy in the evening as well as the day times and Nicola was very accommodating of my schedule. Nicola takes bookings via her website, phone, text or email. We arranged a date and she sent me instructions of how to get to hers.

I found Nicola’s house really easily, she has a Thrive Massage picture in the window and her house number sign is lit up, so it’s obvious which is her house.

My first impressions were, WOW! How TIDY is her downstairs! lol. Nicola welcomed me and led me into her massage room. I was (and still am!) sooo impressed!!! Her massage room is AMAZING! It’s a purpose built room, built just for Nicola’s massage business. It’s the space that would be a garage so it’s quite large and she has lots of lovely storage and a large massage couch with lots of space around it. I’ve had massages at many other places over the years and the rooms are always TINY, many with not enough space for the masseuse to comfortably walk around. Nicola’s massage room has lots of space and such a lovely ambience. She even has the plug sockets built in so that they are under her massage table, so she doesn’t have to walk over cables!

One of the things I was most impressed with is all of the marketing that Nicola has, it’s so professional. It’s obvious that a LOT of thought has gone into Nicola’s business and how she markets her services. Even the towels she uses match her theme colour!!!! These little details are so important and really helped me to feel like I was dealing with someone who really cares about her business.

I also really liked that all of her qualification certificates are up on one wall, behind the door, which gave me a nice warm feeling that she knows what she’s doing!!!

The massage room is very welcoming and exactly what you would want in a massage room.

The Massage

We had a chat before the massage started, so Nicola could check whether I had any health issues that she needed to be aware of. The room was soo relaxing, I nearly fell asleep then! Dimmed lights, candles, lovely smells and music that’s actually soothing during a massage.
The room was the perfect heat too.

I had a massage a few years ago, at a local spa, where the massuese was pregnant so she had a dehumidifier in the room which kept the heat down to 17 degrees ( I knew this because I could see the red screen telling me it was 17 degrees all through my massage). As she was heavily pregnant I didn’t feel I could ask her to turn the heat up but I was FREEZING which ruined the whole experience. Nicola’s room temperature is just perfect.

Nicola’s massage couch can be heated, which was wonderful. The towels were lovely and soft and I could have happily gone to sleep there with or without a massage! lol.

Ok, so I know I’m always positive on reviews but the massage with Nicola was AMAZING!!! Definitely one of the best massages I’ve ever had. I was convinced that she used hot stones, but it’s just her hands and arms that she uses. It never felt like she was going through the motions either. I’ve had massages before where the masseuse clearly doesn’t want to be there and it feels like they are doing the “dot to dot” massage on your back. Nicola’s style wasn’t like this at all. It was very fluid and didn’t feel stilted.

Before the hour long massage started Nicola had asked me if there were any specific areas that I wanted her to focus on. I’ve had persistent shoulder pain for the past 6 months and despite having physio and acupuncture it’s still not properly fixed. I was a little apprehensive that she would “go to town” on my shoulder, like I’ve had other masseuse’s do and has meant that I’ve been in agony for weeks after. Nicola used EXACTLY the right pressure. Sometimes when you come out of a massage you feel a bit bruised and battered but I felt exactly as I wanted to feel when the massage was finished. She even found bits of me that I didn’t know were tense!! I came out of my massage feeling really relaxed and “flexible”.

One of my favourite bits was at the end of the massage. Nicola has an tea caddy filled with lots and lots of herbal teas and she lets you take one home with you. Such a lovely and thoughtful idea. Nicola also reminded me to drink lots of water and take it easy for the rest of the evening. She also gave me an aftercare leaflet with advice about what to do after a massage to make the most of it and a stamped addressed envelope which had a feedback form in, which if I completed and sent back to Nicola, meant that I would be entered in to her draw to win a free massage!!!

Rating out of 5

Definitely 5 out of 5!!

I felt really pampered and it’s definitely one of the best massages I’ve ever had. My skin felt amazing afterwards and my shoulder has felt much better since my massage with Nicola.

I used to get my massages done at my local spa/gym but having had two massages with Nicola (I went back as a paying customer and my massage was just as good!), I won’t be going back to the spa at the gym. The quality of service that you get from Nicola is far above what you get from an impersonal service like a massage at a gym.

I HIGHLY recommend Nicola’s personally tailored massages.  Thrive Massage: www.thrivemassage.co.uk

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Thrive Message therapy. My massage was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.
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Mothercare Expectant Parents Evening’s – June 2017

These are lovely events and definitely worth attending if you are expecting any time soon as they offer 10% off anything you purchase that evening.

The team are available to help with personal shopping and have all staff in to ensure a nice easy shopping experience.

There will also be lots of stalls and you will be given a goody bag at the event.

It’s invite only but you just need to call the store on 01256 363737 to book your place.

You can find links to previous Mothercare Expectant Parents evening to see what it’s all about:

Mothercare Expectant Parents Evening: June 2016

Mothercare Expectant’s Parents Evening – Autumn 2015

Event: Mothercare expectant parent evening, Basingstoke – Thursday 26th February 2015

Expectant Parent’s Event at Mothercare Basingstoke – 9th October 2014

Event: Expectant Parents evening at Mothercare – June 2014

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Buggyfit Odiham and Hook

Buggyfit is an outdoor exercise class for Mum’s. Designed to get Mum’s out and exercising safely, and the plus side is that babies come too.

Classes enable Mum’s to rebuild their pelvic floor, their core, stamina and tone their body, whilst also stocking up on that all important vitamin D!

Classes involve using a variety of different circuits and exercises.

There is always lots of laughter, and chance to make friends, it doesn’t matter if baby cries, we change what we are doing and the instructor helps to keep them entertained.

Classes run –

Monday 1.15pm

Wednesday 9.45am

We meet outside The Hive Community centre on Kersley Crescent, Odiham (RG29 1QH). This is the first building on the right.

For more details get in touch with Anna on 07920 405512, or email buggyfit.odiham@ugrace.co.uk.

You can also look us up on twitter and Facebook. More info available here – http://ucgrace.co.uk/buggyfit.html.

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The next “Baby and Me” classes – June 2017

“Thrilled to let u all know another course has been agreed…highly recommended for any mums with young babies. Feedback has been brilliant from previous course and looks fab”!

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NHM Readers recommend pottery painting with children

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where can you do pottery painting with children in the local area. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded and to Shona for putting this post together!!)

This is what they came back with, in no particular order!

NHM Readers Recommend Pottery Painting Venues to take children

The Ceramics Cafe  

Unit 2, Coronation Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4HA

Only open on Saturdays between 10am and 5.30pm

Pots2Paint

Units 9&10, Viables Craft Centre, The Harrow Way, Basingstoke, RG22 4BJ

Open Tuesday to Saturday between 10.30am and 5.30pm

Pots to Doodle Do

The Old Village Shop, Church Lane, Cliddesden, Basingstoke, RG25 2JQ

Open during term time Thursday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. During school holidays, open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm

Just Ceramics

Unit 3, The Old Stables, Oakhanger Farm Business Park, Oakhanger, GU35 9JA

Open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday’s 11am – 4pm.

Playdays

2 Stewart Road, Basingstoke, RG24 8NF

Playdays offer pottery parties and also regularly do pottery painting and play sessions for occasions such as Easter, Mother’s Day etc.

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Baby & Me Course – PND

“Baby and Me” FREE course. Open to parents with baby/babies under 1 ideally, although open to being flexible on this.

This is really for anyone who perhaps is struggling with their emotional health. You don’t need a PND diagnosis, we all know lots of people are un-diagnosed. This is also open for anyone who is generally just finding things difficult.

This is FREE currently (donations for refreshments appreciated).

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Pregnancy Yoga Course

Calling all “Mums to be”!

Expecting a happy event – make it even happier with Pregnancy Yoga. My special brand of pregnancy yoga returns  with a small group focus.

Safely exercise and stretch with your baby to help their development and yours,  relax and connect with your growing child and learn breathing and relaxation techniques for a more comfortable labour.

New six week pregnancy yoga course on Saturdays 10-11am starting on 18th March – just a couple of spaces left.

Contact me if you are interested yogawithgloria@gmail.com or see website for details http://www.yogawithgloria.co.uk/pregnancy-yoga

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“Tots Play – Every Class Your Child Needs In One!”

Hi, my name is Michelle and I am the owner of Tots Play Basingstoke and Hook. Whilst on maternity leave with my second baby I was faced with the dilemma that all mums go through when having to decide what they are going to do about work, did I want to go back or not, what was I going to do if I didn’t go back etc. After weighing up my options I decided to start my own business, and after lots of research I decided that buying into the franchise and bringing Tots Play to my area was the way to go! When I saw the Tots Play programme I was immediately impressed and it struck me as the type of class that I would have loved to take my children to, so I made my investment, completed my training and Tots Play Basingstoke and Hook was born in June 2015!

Tots Play provides unique, multi activity play classes for babies and toddlers, from birth up to around 3 years as well as a nursery programme and birthday party entertainment for up to 5 years old. Classes contain a mix of yoga, massage, signing, music and sensory play, to aid development with fun!

I was delighted to launch Tots Play at Sherfield Park Community Centre in June 2015 and since then I have been running 3 different classes aimed at different age groups, every Monday morning at the Community Centre. I also run classes on a Thursday afternoon at Christ Church, Chineham.

The three different classes are as follows:

Baby Development Course – suitable from birth – Short course where you will learn fun ways to play, interact and communicate with your new baby, including massage, yoga, music, sign language, and lots more. A great place to meet new mums.

Discovery Tots – From 8 weeks – Stimulate, delight, and boost the development of all baby’s senses at this fun, interactive class with yoga based movement, music, sensory play, sign language and more.

Social Tots – From 8 months – Older babies and toddlers will love to join in with a wide range of physical, musical, sensory and social play activities, learning and fun – all in one!

The Baby Development Course is a 6 week course with the next ones starting w/c February 27th (limited spaces remaining for these course so please complete the booking form at www.totsplay.co.uk/basingstoke to reserve your place) The course costs £60, and this fee includes a full colour workbook, CD of the music used in class and a bottle of massage oil so that you can practice everything you learn at home.

The ongoing classes (Discovery and Social Tots) run throughout term time and can be joined at any time during the term. For those new to Tots Play I offer three classes as a trial period for the discounted price of just £15 for the three sessions.

Take a look at the timetable to see when and where the classes are running:

Day Time Class Age Range Venue
Monday 9:50 – 10:30am Social Tots 8 months – 3yrs Sherfield Park Community Centre, Sherfield Park, RG27 0FP
10:40 – 11:20am Discovery Tots 8 wks – active crawling
11:30 – 12:20pm Baby Development 6wk course Birth – 6 months
Thursday 12:10 – 1:00pm Baby Development 6wk course Birth – 6 months Christ Church, Reading Road, Chineham

RG24 8LT

1:20 – 2:00pm Discovery Tots 8 wks – active crawling

In addition to the weekly classes I also provide Tots Play parties to help you celebrate your child’s birthday or any other family occasions, and I also sell some of the resources that we use in class so you can continue the fun at home, ie foil blankets, flashing balls, scarves etc.

Please take a look at the website, www.totsplay.co.uk/basingstoke or Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/totsplaybasingstoke or get in touch with me, michelle@totsplay.co.uk for more information or to book.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, I hope to see you soon!

Michelle 🙂

I will leave you with some customer testimonials:

“I’ve been taking my daughter to this class since she was 13 weeks and she loves it! With a fab combination of sensory, yoga and signing I’ve seen her development really come on, she loves the interaction with the other babies and all the singing and actions to the songs, she smiles all the way through!! And I come away with a very sleepy baby! A fantastic class with a great price and Michelle is fantastic, super friendly and remembers what my daughter enjoys every class. I’ve signed up for the whole term, the summer sessions and will definitely sign up for the next term!! Would definitely recommend!”  – Karen and Maya

“I took my daughter Freya to a taster session of this class and she loved it so much we have carried on going ever since. She loves the singing and exploring the sensory play (particularly the pool full of jelly!) – I would recommend this class to others” – Kate and Freya

“Our little boy loved his baby development classes. Michelle was really friendly and very clear with what we needed to do! Looking forward to the next term” – Keri and Jensen

“Florence isn’t a very confident child and can take a while to warm up, but she’s really got into Tots Play. Michelle is brilliant and Flo loves her, there’s singing and dancing and sensory play bits and Florence loves all of it. I enjoy the fact that it’s really involved and the children really focus on what they are doing, and I don’t have to deal with the mess at home! Michelle makes everyone feel welcome and is really good at looking after the new people. Florence gets excited when she knows we’re going, she really enjoys it.” – Rosie & Florence

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NHM Readers Recommend Newborn Classes to Meet other Mums

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook for their suggestions on classes to go to with a newborn to meet other mums. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded and thank you to Shona for putting this post together!!) 

These were the responses I received.

NHM Readers Recommend Newborn Classes to Meet other Mums

NCT Early Days

Becky said: Doesn’t necessarily count as a ‘class’ perhaps, but I found the NCT Early Days course really useful for meeting Mums with other newborns

Fiona said: I would echo this. I met a great group of mums on the course and we still meet now 3 years on

Corissa said: Absolutely NCT Early Days. Our group are still close friends almost two years after we met.

Naomi also recommends NCT Early Days.

Alexandra said: NCT courses for new mums such as early days, baby massage etc just because the groups are smaller and more intimate.

Diana also recommends NCT Early Days

Information on NCT Early Days: This is a group that meets in a supportive, relaxed and friendly atmosphere to openly talk about life as a mum. You can discuss challenges, tips and the reality over the expectations you had/have. You will meet other parents, make friends and gain support and tips. Courses run over 4-6 weekly sessions for new mums. They are aimed at new mums with babies under 6months. There is a fee for this course – enquire and book via link below.

NCT Early Days

Baby Sensory

Lucy, Sarah, Diana, Verity and Caroline recommend Baby Sensory.

Information on Baby Sensory: These are nationwide so have a look online for your local session as there are quite a few in Basingstoke. They offer a musical world of sensory experiences for both parents and children. There are light shows, bells, bubbles, puppets and signing to name but a few of the activities. The class is split into three phases so there is a free play session in the middle where you can play with the toys and activities set out and sit and talk to other mums and dads. Sessions run term time only and the course is £70 per term you wish to take up.

Baby Sensory

NCT Mother and Baby Yoga

Claire said: NCT Yoga with baby, met some lovely mummies there.

Information on NCT Mother and Baby Yoga: These sessions are designed to ease yourself back into exercise after birth. Yoga helps to stretch, strengthen and tone your body. You must have had your 6/8 week check with your doctor prior to starting. There is a fee for this course – enquire and book via link below.

NCT Mother and Baby Yoga

Fitmama at Studio 41

Wendy recommends the Post Natal Class at Studio 41.

Information on Fitmama: These sessions are known for giving women a safe return into fitness following birth through pelvic floor and core repair, nutritional coaching and support for sleep deprivation. Courses can be started as early as 3-4 weeks depending on delivery type and recover. Baby can go with you too! The charge for this course is £50.

Fitmama

Newborn to Parenting at the Hurst

Samantha said: Newborn to Parenting at the Hurst was brilliant. Definitely recommend it.

Information on Newborn to Parenting: This is a 6 week course aimed at helping parents to find their feet in the early weeks and months. Contact the centre for more details at the link below.

Newborn to Parenting

Caterpillar Music in Chineham

Jaz and Verity recommend Caterpillar music in Chineham.

Information on Caterpillar Music: These are music sessions on weekly which include themes, colourful instruments and puppets. Check out your nearest class and timetable by checking the link below.

Caterpillar Music

NorthHantsMum has also found these groups/classes you may be interested in looking into:

NCT Coffee groups

Basingstoke NCT runs coffee groups that meet regularly to support parents-to be and parents. Anyone is welcome, you don’t have to be a member of NCT and is open from pregnancy right up to pre-school age. Opportunities to meet other people and talk to them about their experiences and make new friends.

No fee to attend, there is a collection towards the work the NCT do.

NCT Coffee Groups

Little Tots Poppins

This is an Art and Messy session followed by Music and Movement.You don’t register, just pop in. The sessions are run on Thursday mornings from 9.30am to 11am and costs £3 per session. The sessions are term time only.

Little Tots Stoney Heath, White Lion Court, Hollybush Farm, Stoney Heath, Ramsdell, Tadley, RG26 5SL. 01256851398

Poppins

Little Munchkins Baby

These are Baby Massage and Baby Yoga classes which help you to feel relaxed, happy and confident with your baby. Baby massage helps build bonds and will help you become more in tune and confident with your baby’s needs. The course is taught in 5 weekly session (1 hour long each session). Suitable from birth. It runs on a Tuesday from 11am to 12pm at Tadley Community Centre.

Little Munchkins Baby

Tots Play

This is a 6 week course suitable from birth to 6 months. You learn fun ways to play and communicate with your baby using massage, music, signing and is also a great way to meet other mums. The class runs from 11.20am to 12.20pm and you must book in advance.

Tots Play

Barn Tots

This is a friendly play session from birth to pre-school. They meet at Viables Community Centre on Tuesdays from 10am to 12pm and Thursdays from 9.45am to 11.45am. It is term time only. There are different toys each week and a great soft play area for babies. There is singing and storytime and music and movement too. It costs £2 per session and includes refreshments for adults and a cold drink, fruit and biscuits for the children.

Barn Tots

Active Mums

This is an hour long class which starts with a warm up walk which moves up to a power walk. There are exercises throughout the class to strengthen and tone. The route is suitable for any buggy and it’s a great session to get some exercise and meet other mums. The classes run at 11am on a Monday and Wednesday at Basing Wood. It is all year round and no booking is required. 1 session is £4 or you can book 10 sessions online for £35.

Active Mums

Also check out:

Children’s Centres – Cluster A

Children’s Centres – Cluster B

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