First off, Félicitations! You’re pregnant in Paris.
Whether you’re here on a Baby Moon, or living part of your Pregnancy out in Paris, you won’t go wrong with these useful tips and addresses.
It took me nearly 8 months with a Brioche (bun) in the oven, pacing the streets of central Paris, scouring the internet and taking welcome advice from other Jeunes Mamans to collect all the info.
Despite steep spiral staircases and tempting apéro treats – think entire Planches of charcuterie and unpasteurised cheese, which of course you can’t touch for fear of listeria..
Despite all this cheesy temptation, I would still argue that Paris is a great place to be pregnant.
I’ll skim over this one, as it depends largely on whether you’re a resident or not.
Pregnancies are closely followed and monitored in France. Due to Paris’ vast population, you’ll be sure to find a Laboratoires d’analyses médicales near you.
First stop the General Doctor or Généraliste.
Word of warning: some doctor’s offices are more modern than others. To be honest it really depends what you’re up for and how much time you have in the rest of your day.
The main differences are whether they can swiftly scan your healthcare card, Carte Vitale, and take payment by card. Otherwise, you’ll need to remember your checkbook or there’ll be a trip to the cash point in it. Oh, and some brown paper ‘feuilles de soins’ to fill in and send off at the Post Office.
Some Doctor’s practices are in rather grand old buildings, you sweep up carpeted staircases and waltz into a smart living room with a fireplace and nice magazines to await your appointment. The only thing that is a little strange if you’re not used to this, is that you can definitely see, in the layout the residential apartment that once was.
I have always loved the efficiency of the new modern medical centres. My nearest Ipso Santé is located right next to the Musée des Arts et Métiers – incidentally visit this beautiful museum while in the area if you get the chance.
There’s also a hip café brasserie on the corner, decorated with a vintage car, serving good salads, juices, lunch, teas and coffee –
Café des Arts et Métiers.
51 Rue de Turbigo
Ipso Santé have another health centre address in the 11th at Nation.
Wildly organised, I love this centre where you can get an appointment in a couple of minutes online, the phone line is reliably manned and they keep your digital records on file and send you helpful PDFs for advice and prescriptions.
Once kitted out with any prescriptions you might need, off you go to your nearest Labo to be treated like a Pin Cushion!
This blood work will initially confirm the pregnancy and then check you’re staying free of nasties such as toxoplasmosis and that your red blood cells and iron levels are healthy and buoyant.
Next stop the Pharmacie…
You can go into any Pharmacie and be confident that they’ll do their best to deliver your prescription and give you great free advice.
This can be especially important during pregnancy. In the early days you may, unfortunately find that you’re looking for solutions for les nausées de grossesse.
Morning Sickness, or literally all day sickness, can take the sheen off your enjoyment of Paris and must be nipped in the bud if possible.
Your, probably, sympathetic Pharmacienne can prescribe you ginger tablets and acupressure wristbands. A Pharmacie Homéopathique might be especially likely to have these alternative remedies.
They’ll help with digestion problems, flight socks and back pain, if you get it, later on in pregnancy too.
So, your health is being taken care of and let’s imagine you’re out of the (sometimes) really grim first trimester.
Bliss Stories is my greatest discovery as far as Parisian parenting podcasts go. It’s Francophone, incredibly frank and aims to demystify and take the guilt out of different maternal experiences.
The interviews are intimate and give the sort of real invaluable information on pregnancy, birth and motherhood that you wouldn’t find elsewhere.
Join me in supporting Bliss Stories and listen here.
In your second trimester, you might want to hit the shops and pick up bump flattering new outfits.
Every woman is different, you may barely look pregnant at four or five months, or your bump might make an earlier appearance.
The first thing you’ll be unable to wear is likely skinny jeans and anything with a tight waistband with little give. If you’re pregnant in the Winter or Autumn, this is a key investment, you may even need a couple of paris, one for now, one for later.
Paris as a shopping destination is no secret. Pregnant, the addresses get scarcer and more precise, but a whole new world of possibilities opens up.
The ”marque chérie” of pregnant fashionistas and celebrities, famously the Duchess of Kent and a hoard of Hollywood actresses.
It’s easy to see why Séraphine has such starry appeal. The brand are innovators in maternity fashion creating chic on-trend ensembles that you would want to wear even if you weren’t pregnant.
The company was received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2015 following a year of 35 percent growth in 2014. In 2018 Seraphine won gold in the ‘Best Maternity Wear’ category at the Absolutely Mama Awards.
In Paris you can find them at:
BOUTIQUE SERAPHINE PARIS 6
4 place Saint-Sulpice
Tel : 01 43 26 17 26
BOUTIQUE SERAPHINE PARIS 16
84 avenue Victor Hugo
Tel : 09 81 90 07 23
I would particularly recommend Séraphine for ‘occasion wear’. It’s likely that at some point in your pregnancy you might have to attend a wedding or a fancy dinner.
This is the address you need for all levels of formal occasion.
Envie de Fraise
This Parisian Pregnancy boutique hasn’t enjoyed international acclaim like Séraphine, but that’s actually quite a good thing.
Firstly, if you’re just visiting Paris, once you head home elsewhere it is unlikely you’ll see other expectant mothers in the same outfit as yours. It will stay completely original 100% your own.
If you receive compliments on it you can proudly share that it comes from a little boutique in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris.
There is a funny story behind the name: During pregnancy, certain classic cravings are infamous. Les envies de grossesse are how these cravings are expressed in French. Hence ‘Envie de Fraise’, the boutique’s name, is a cute pregnancy pun.
I find the shop do a strong line in swimsuits and summer dresses, but perhaps that’s simply because I was shopping there in June.
You can find them practically located for those of you who work in central, just behind Sentier.
Envie de Fraise
101 Rue Réaumur, 75002 Paris
My top tip for places to hit up after browsing and buying, (lots of standing up time – pregnant kryptonite), would be Montorgueil.
This area, specifically la rue Montorgueil has little cafés and salons de thé as far as the eye can see.
You’re a better woman than I am if you can pass by Odette (located at the bottom of la rue Montorgueil) pregnant and hungry without snapping up a petit chou, or two!
This is perhaps my favourite of all the tips and topics.
Pregnant, you become so acutely aware of your body: Fatigue and changing physical capacities, suddenly unable to lug about heavy things, or spring about too quickly without twinging ligament pain telling you that you’re overdoing things.
In this incredible changing body, what could be nicer than pampering and physical relief.
Please Note – this is very general advice for Low Risk Pregnancies. If that’s not you, check in with your health care provider before booking a massage or heading to the Spa.
If this sounds good to you then read on.
You’re going to want a massage therapist who specialises in Pregnancy Massage at any stage in your pregnancy. Most masseurs would rather not take the risk of working with women in their first trimester, when miscarriages occur more frequently.
There will also be a few modifications, as you’ll likely be more comfortable in a semi-lateral position than flat forward on your tummy.
Mamans & Merveilles
This fresh offering is a Spa dedicated to Mama and her family’s well being.
Located in a chic part of central Paris, behind the Gare Saint Lazare and near stroller central, otherwise known as the Batignolles neighbourhood.
The clientele is pretty much exclusively young Parisian mamans.
38, rue de Moscou
Métro : Rome
Here are some of their inspired Mama massages:
Massage 9 lunes, 50 min, 95 euros.
From the 2nd Trimester providing no medical reason to avoid massage.
Massage Belles gambettes: 40 min, 50 euros.
Massage Oh! Mama 4 hand massage: 40 min, 135 euros.
Baby showers and birthday parties for little girls can be organised on demand.
+33 (0)9 86 09 27 27
Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10h – 19h.
Yoga is probably one of the most practical ways in which you can minimise any pregnancy discomforts, even into the third trimester and the last weeks of pregnancy.
If you benefit from a regular yoga practice back home, it may seem like a great shame to forgo this on holiday.
Luckily I have some great Parisian Pre-Natal Yoga addresses for you.
Sharon Bales Yoga
Sharon teaches her soothing yoga classes from her home studio, located in the Opéra district on the Rue Sainte Anne.
This is convenient if like me you have cravings for noodles during pregnancy, as you’re in the heart of the Asian street food capital of Paris, with more Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants than you could possibly know what to do with.
If you’re up for a light cardio warm up, take the stairs, if not there’s a lift for you to use.
Sharon draws on teachings from her many trainings, but especially the Woman’s Yoga and Fertility yoga of Uma Dinsmore Tuli and her knowledge of pregnancy and birth as a Hypnobirthing practitioner.
The intimate nature of the classes means you’ll feel cared for, relaxed and probably have a chat with a couple of other mums. Class sizes are kept small. There is a lovely restorative element to Sharon’s classes which end with a Savasana supported by bolsters and scented bean bag eye pillows.
Here’s the website for details and reservations via phone or email.
Institut de Gasquet
This Yoga and training centre is located in the heart of Montparnasse. It encourages future mothers to this carefully about their posture and perineum to preserve and protect as best as possible during pregnancy.
Bernadette de Gasquet, the founder, is a yoga teacher who then went on to train as a doctor, writing her final thesis on the perineum, of which she is a widely renowned expert.
The Yoga classes have an element of Osteopathy or Physiotherapy to them. Props are used, bricks, bands, maternity cushions and the swiss ball.
Whilst you won’t be getting your Pranayama or Kriyas here, these precise muscular manipulations might just help with sciatic problems, alignment and not throwing your back out whilst going about your daily pregnant life.
Classes and books available in French on the website.
Finally, don’t forget to enjoy your time pregnant in Paris.
Yes, there’s a tonne of stuff to get done. Your body changing daily isn’t exactly helping matters. The admin and steep learning curve are a lot to keep abreast with.
But this is a special time, so make sure you fit plenty of time with your partner into the mix. Soon every time you fancy a few baby free hours to yourselves you’ll need to book a sitter.
Hence my last section is all about…
The Cambridge Public House is a hip young Pub-themed cocktail bar in the heart of the 3rd neighbourhood.
So far, doesn’t sound like the ideal preggo night out yet, right?
Well, I was thrilled to learn the other night that their menu of artisan cocktails includes three delicious mocktails: Stay Free, Agua de Jamaica and Wanna Do it ?
Bypass the Perrier and enjoy!
Hotel Villa Madame
The perfect place to treat yourself on a last pre-baby getaway.