I first met Lucy when she came to a Positive Birth Movement meeting last year. She was pregnant with her first baby and I was blown away by her beautiful personality, air of positivity and passion for work, motherhood and life. Lucy runs the successful Reigate Dance Studio, offering a selection of dance and fitness classes for children and adults. This week, Mama Meets talks to Lucy about pregnancy, motherhood, business, fitness and everything in between!  

You're mum to 11 month old Teddy. Tell us about your pregnancy and birth experience?

I really loved being pregnant, I had a very smooth and health pregnancy so I was lucky as i know it’s not always enjoyable for everyone! I practised a lot of relaxation during pregnancy in the build up to birth, and I think my Yoga training helped a lot with that.

 My birth experience was the most surreal and powerful experience I have ever gone through! I was overdue by one week and went into labour at home. My contractions were intense and frequent from the get-go, and stayed like that the whole way through my labour. I wish I had known that this was going to be the case, as I would have relaxed a lot more I think. I had a 10-hour labour at East Surrey hospital, and the midwives were great. Teddy was born naturally at 


, a week before Christmas. My husband was by my side the whole time and he can recall every single stage and moment of my labour, whereas I can’t recall a lot of it as you’re so zoned into yourself. When Teddy was born he went straight onto my chest where he stayed for an hour of skin-to-skin, which I had requested. He started feeding straight away which was so amazing. Thinking about those moments makes me very emotional - It’s an incredible thing to experience.



What's it like being a Mama?

For me, it’s been the most amazing thing I have ever done. It has been tough too and I don’t think any mother can say otherwise, but the tough nights are a minor moment in comparison to everything else that motherhood brings you. I’ve always wanted to be a mum so now it's here I am grateful every day. I love it.

Why did you decide to set up Reigate Dance Studio?

I danced throughout all of my childhood and always dreamed of having my own school. I knew from a young age what I wanted to do, so my adult years were all about ensuring that it happened. I worked hard at completing teaching qualifications where needed and had a lot of support and guidance from my family and friends. It all finally came together two years ago and I am delighted with it’s success so far.

Practising some yoga...

Practising some yoga...

How do you balance being a Mama whilst running a business?

It’s a real balancing act that I am still learning how to master!! The most important thing for me is to ensure I don’t miss out on any precious time with Teddy while he is so young.  But the business is also my baby in a way, and I really love it. I have so many loyal clients who have been so incredibly supportive of my decision to start a family. You have to be strict with yourself-  switch off the computer and the phone at the end of the day - my husband also has his own business and we work a lot, so we have decided to put our phones out of the room in the evenings now, to ensure we spend time together away from work! When you’re out with your baby or as a family, then cherish that day or moment and let go of work for that hour or day. I try to ensure I do something with Teddy each day that’s just us - going out to a baby group or even just playing with his building blocks at home, and I have set days where Teddy is being looked after by my Mum, and I dedicate those hours to work. I try not to mix the two if I can help it.

What are your top three Mama-can't-live-withouts?

Firstly, I highly recommend baby-wearing, so my first must-have is a wrap or sling. Those first weeks and months are incredible and the cuddles do end, so keep them close while you can! Skin to skin is so amazing and the bonding is really important too. My second must-have is Metanium nappy-rash cream - I swear by it! It cures it so fast and lasts forever! I also can’t live without my other mummy friends- it’s so important to have your network of mamas around you, supporting one another and lifting each other up on those sleep-deprived days. There needs to be more sisterhood between new mamas and I feel really grateful to have met the wonderful people I have, through having Teddy.



You're in amazing shape - how did you stay fit and healthy during pregnancy and after having Teddy?

Thank you! I think that once you’ve had a baby, your body will never be exactly the same as it was, so you have to learn to accept the change. I continued exercising throughout the whole of my pregnancy, into week 41. I think it did me the world of good when it came to getting back in shape, but it’s also fantastic for your wellbeing and for your baby, as long as your midwife is happy for you to. I tried to be really conscious of my diet while pregnant to ensure my baby was getting all the nutrients it could! Loads of fresh fruit and vegetables, lots of greens - I had spinach and kale every day and made super-food sweet treats to try and quash my sugar cravings!!

Since having Teddy i have just tried to stick to a healthy-way of eating, plus drinking pints and pints of water is a must-do, for everyone! I went back to light exercise as soon as I got the go-ahead from my health visitors too which enabled me to have some ‘me-time’, and build up my fitness levels gently.

I think it’s really good to keep in mind that your body is an amazing thing - it’s just grown a human!! So give it the respect it deserves. Rest when you need to and eat well. It takes a good 9 months to a year for your body to repair after having a baby, so although it’s great to exercise and take care of yourself, don’t expect too much. Think about what your body has just done for you, it needs a break sometimes too!

Where are your favourite places to hang out with Teddy?

We go for a walk around Reigate Priory park almost every day, it’s so beautiful! I love taking him swimming too, it’s so much fun and he really loves it. There are so many baby groups around us too, we’re really lucky to have so much available and they’re great for meeting new people and getting out of the house on those nightmare days!

What is the best advice you'd give to a Mama wanting to start her own business?

Go for it! But also, make sure it’s something you really love. You need to have the passion for it as it takes a lot of work and dedication. Having said that, being your own boss when you have a new baby is really great - you can work around your schedule, work from home if you want and move things around so you don’t miss out on time with your family. i really love that my business allows me to have time with Teddy during the day and I don’t have to work in an office environment while he is at this really fun and cute age. It’s hard work, but I think it’s worth it for being your own boss and being responsible for your success. The most important thing is - don’t put too much pressure on yourself! There is always time to grow your business over the years, but these baby-days are extremely special.



To learn more about the classes available at Reigate Dance Studio click here.

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