Having a baby wreaks havoc on your mind, body, and relationship. So, it's no surprise that new parents will shell out top dollar for sleep coaches, lactation consultants, and any other newborn experts to help make the transition to parenthood easier. That’s how Clio Wood felt when she struggled with becoming a first-time mom and was desperate for a getaway where she could reconnect with her body and mind. So, she created one.
Enter &Breathe: a post-natal retreat that aims to relieve some of the tension and chaos of life with a newborn while providing an entire post-baby reboot for the whole family, baby included.
“There weren't any retreats (there still aren't) where you could take your baby along, and your other half too,” she said. “For me, this is a family experience because you are all going through changes and you need to be happy as a unit to thrive. Parents are the building blocks for a family and getting the right foundations for your it’s crucial.”
Taking place in Limousin, France—at the owners’ eight-bedroom, 18th-century manor house—and in Essaouira, Morocco, the retreat welcomes families of three with a baby up to 18 months old and focuses on a few main topics: fitness, food, identity, relaxation, and support.
Meals, twice daily fitness classes for mom, proper form and strength/fitness class for dads, personal training sessions and a massage for both parents, group classes on learning how to eat healthy with limited time, meditation sessions, and of course, childcare are all included.
“We are the only fitness retreat where you can attend as a family,” said Wood. “However, we also bring together a focus on fitness, food, and feeling good about yourself, with an emphasis not on losing weight or your 'baby belly,' but on good form and functional fitness to build strength and feel good. It’s a chance for you to re-set and feel fitter, stronger, healthier, and happier, which can only lead to good things for your family.”
Each location is built around a central house, with smaller lodges or wings, so families can experience both the support of the community and get the privacy they need to focus on their goals. Each family will walk away with a personalized fitness plan, recipe cards, and shopping list inspiration, and a wellbeing reading list.
“I think what's most important is the chance to connect with yourselves in a setting away from your home environment,” said Wood. “Often, it's hard to break old habits. We provide a trusted place where new moms and dads know they will get the quality of teaching they need.”
The retreats became so popular abroad, Wood started receiving a lot of mail from US-based mothers who wanted to attend but couldn't travel to Europe. So, &Breathe launched its first retreat in September in Texas and already has one planned for May. “The response has blown us away,” said Wood. “It's really shown that new (and not-so-new) parents need the same support all over the world.”
In addition, they’re now hosting one-day retreats at the Four Seasons Hampshire in England and will even create a bespoke getaway for families who want more individualized attention and privacy. The cost for the post-baby reboot? Prices for the classic week-long retreat start at £2500 ($3,200) for a family of three including two adults and a baby under 18 months sharing one bedroom, not including flights. A private one will set you back £8000 to £12,000 ($10,200 to $15,400) per family, and a day getaway is £495 ($630) per mom and baby.
“Ultimately, we want to provide a safe, fun, and happy space for you to come up for air,” concluded Wood. “After all, if you're not taking care of yourself, how can you take care of your family well?”