The Stomach Toning Treatment Loved by Celebs

EmsculptNeo is a core restore treatment loved by Drew Barrymore, JLo, Megan Fox, Olivia Culpo, and Millie Mackintosh. But does it actually work? The Mum Club’s Editor, Lydia House went to Dr. MediSpa in Knightsbridge to try it out.

A machine that tones your tummy

“I wanted to hate this treatment. I’m so sceptical of workout gadgets that cost a fortune and promise the earth. And with so many slim celebs showing off their already-toned stomachs using this machine, the whole thing felt like a PR stunt. But after two babies, two c-sections, diastasis recti and a core that felt like it had completely melted, I was willing to try anything.”

“Could a half an hour session really emulate the effect of 24,000 sit-ups and give me a toned tummy?”

How does it work?

“I arrived at DrMediSpa and was taken to a comfy bed as a large plated device was strapped to my stomach. The machine uses electromagnetic energy to stimulate the muscles and build muscle mass. The therapist explained that she would start it on a low frequency and increase it gradually. The sensation feels similar to early to mid contractions you feel in labour, but weirdly, you get used to it. What I wasn’t fond of was the tapping, which feels like a tiny hammer hitting your skin. This is used to elevate muscle strain and remove any downtime. While this is all happening, the machine also emits radiofrequency to deplete fat cells and aid fat loss.”

Celebrities that have had Emsculpt Neo

There’s a big list! Many of the Selling Sunset cast, as well as Millie Mackintosh, Olivia Culpo, Victoria Secrets models and big A-listers like J-Lo and Megan Fox. And Drew Barrymore has openly said how she used it to regain muscle mass after she had kids and it has been reported that Kim Kardashian also used EmsculptNeo to tone her stomach after her pregnancy.

The results…

“As the therapist removed the straps and machine, I looked at my stomach – which was very much the same! And a bit nonplussed by it all I headed home. After my train journey home I got in the car to get the kids from nursery and noticed I could tense my stomach – a sensation I hadn’t felt for years.
Fast forward to my final session, and the sensation had become harder to take, which is normal, and a good sign, as it shows you’re more connected to those muscles. My stomach certainly isn’t flat. I still have a shelf above my scar and a fair amount of fat, but I can kind of see my muscles when I look in the mirror, and my overall core strength has increased exponentially. I still have separation, but it’s reduced, and the best bit is my body feels like it’s repairing and that I’ve given it a kick start in the right direction.
I now feel that I could regain the strength I had before babies and there was a point (not that long ago) that I thought this would ever be possible.”

What about fat loss?

“Emsculpt advises that you follow a healthy lifestyle to get the best results, “Remember, no wine – just gin!” my therapist yelled at me as I left to meet a friend for her birthday night out.
And I did follow the rules a little. I stepped up my spin classes and tried harder to be healthy. But I also had two unfortunately timed holidays throughout my four treatments, and our house was hit with a stomach bug and flu. So, I’ll admit a fair amount of comfort foods and cocktails were consumed during the process.
So, have I noticed fat loss? Maybe a little. But to be honest, I haven’t tracked it. That’s not why I signed up. I want to enjoy my life and its indulgences, this was always more about regaining strength and mobility than losing weight.”

Would you recommend it?

“Drew Barrymore said that the reason she tried EmsculptNeo was that “as a mother, she couldn’t put her body back together after kids and that her core was like a fish tank”. And that’s exactly how I felt.” “I would absolutely recommend this treatment, but I’d suggest doing it when you can commit to a healthy lifestyle.” “It’s also very costly, so I must warn that this is not a way to get instant abs unless your stomach is already toned. This is a helping hand.” “Reviewing this treatment served as an excellent reminder that we should not compare ourselves to others, especially those who live a very fortunate lifestyle, like celebs. No one’s body or situation is the same.” “Exercise takes time, dedication and effort, and I imagine if I’d put in a lot of hard work, I would have eventually gotten to this point.”
“However, it was lovely to take a shortcut!”

Charlotte Stirling-Reed’s Baked Banana Bars

“I LOVE an on-the-go brekkie idea and these porridge bars have been SUCH a hit with my kids. They work great as a snack as well, and are very easy to put together. They take a little time on the cooking front, but next to no time to prep, and are well worth it. They freeze well so are perfect for batch-cooking, and you can vary what you make them with according to what you have in your fridge.”


100g porridge oats
180ml milk of choice
2 large, very ripe bananas (around 200g in total)
85g sultanas (or raisins, chopped dates, chopped dried apricots)
1/2 tsp mixed spice (or ground cinnamon or nutmeg)
3 tbsp mixed seeds (ground for babies/toddlers


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan and line a 20cm square shallow baking tin with non-stick baking paper.
Mix all the ingredients together (except the seeds), then mash it well with a fork to completely break up the bananas. Once everything is well mixed, scoop it into the baking tin and level the top. Sprinkle the mixed seeds on top (leave off or grind if serving to babies and young children).
2. Bake for 50–55 minutes, until the top is golden and crisp. Once cooked, remove from the tin using the baking paper and leave to cool on a rack until either warm or cooled to room temperature.
3. Slice into 24 small squares, or 12 larger bars to serve. The bars will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or can be wrapped in cling film/beeswax and frozen individually, then defrosted on the counter overnight ready for the morning.
You can also reheat them uncovered in a microwave for 30 seconds if you’d like them warm.

What’s the Best Age to Become a Parent?

If there’s a perfect time to have a baby, we’re still waiting for the memo. 

However, the most popular age bracket to get knocked up is now 30-34, with the average first-time mum being 30 years old. 

And if you’re over 40, the conception rate is at a record high!

So could later really be better? 

Your Late Teens/ Twenties

The Pros
Just Call Us Fertile Myrtle

Since fertility declines with age, you have a higher chance of conceiving naturally the younger you are (bar any pre-existing issues). An estimated 25 percent of women between 19 and 25 get pregnant within the first month of trying.

You’ll Have the Gift of Time

With any luck, you’ll enjoy your kids (and their kids) for decades to come.

The Cons
The Financial Hit is Harder

At this age, you’re probably still finding your financial feet. Prams and nappies don’t come cheap, so if you’re dealing with student debt or working to get on the property ladder, it might not be ideal timing.

You Haven’t Found Your Village Yet

A solid support system is hugely important when bringing up a family. Chances are your mates are still making inappropriate life choices and partying 24/7. Which means they might not be that empathetic with your struggles. *They might be up at 3am, though!

Your Mid-to-Late Twenties

The Pros
You’ve Still Got the Energy

It wasn’t that long ago that you were stumbling out of the club at 5am and pulling all-nighters to finish your dissertation. Night feeds might not feel so bad.

You’ve Got Time for a Second Wind When the Kids Leave Home

An empty nest by your late forties, and you’re free to live your best life. Ibiza, here you come!

The Cons
Your Career is Just About to Take Off

Just as you find your dream job, you’re about to step away for a year of mat leave. It shouldn’t matter, but (let’s face it) it sometimes it does.


The Pros
You Know Who You Are

You’ve survived the crippling insecurity years and finally feel happy in your skin. You’ve got this.

The Party Feels Tired

You’ve travelled and tried every sharing cocktail out there. And you’re a little over drinking out of inanimate objects (for a bit, anyway).

The Cons
It Could Be Harder To Conceive

Mother Nature is glorious, but she can also be a bit of a bitch. While your career and confidence are in full bloom, your fertility takes a hit.


The Pros
You’ll Have High Achieving Kids

A recent study in the US suggested offspring of ‘advantaged maternal age mothers’ had better educational outcomes, including higher test scores and better graduation rates.

You’ll Have More Patience (hopefully!)

With life experience comes an understanding that sometimes things are outside of your control. If anyone can sit back and ride out the tantrums, it’s you.

The Cons
Pregnancy and Birth Can be Riskier

Women over the age of 35 are typically at a higher risk of health issues.

There’s no single right time to have a baby that works for everyone. Whenever you decide to try for children is entirely up to you and it’ll all work out in the mix.

Sophie, TMC Tandridge’s Tuna, Spinach & Cheese Twists

TMC’s Tandridge Host, Sophie, shares her favourite way to sneak veg into a snack.

“I make these for my children as an on the go snack or serve with veg for dinner and they absolutely love them.”


1 can of tuna in spring water (drained)
60g grated cheddar cheese
3 blocks of frozen chopped spinach
60g cream cheese
1 x 375g sheet of pre rolled puff pastry
1 egg

“They can be kept in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for 2 months.”

How to make them:

  • Defrost the spinach in boiling water or in your microwave (avoid cooking).
  • Using a tea towel or kitchen roll squeeze out all excess moisture from the spinach.
  • Drain the tuna, and in a large bowl combine this with the grated cheese, cream cheese and spinach until well mixed together.
  • Unroll the premade puff pastry onto a chopping board with the longest side of rectangle facing towards you.
  • Cover the lower half of the pastry sheet with the tuna mixture leaving a small boarder round the edges to seal. fold the top section of the pastry towards you and completely over the filling and press down the outer edges with your fingers.
  • Cut into 12 – 14 strips, then gently lift each strip, holding onto the folded edge and twist the pastry several times until a spiral is formed. Then place on to a lined baking tray.
  • Whisk the egg in a bowl and add a generous egg wash to each twist.
  • Cook in the oven at 180 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes until they are golden and flakey!

Self-Care Myths That Really Need To Do One

Basic Personal Needs = Self Care

Instagrammable bubble baths don’t count as #selfcare if you’re being constantly waterboarded by a toddler. Other basic human rights include peeing alone, drinking a hot cup of tea and/or sitting down to eat.

Being Tired is Just Part of Being a Parent

We might have signed up for sleepless nights and early mornings; but actual exhaustion is no joke. Rope in as much help as you can and feel no shame about shipping them off to Grandma’s for the night so you can get full 8 hours.

Self Care Costs Money

Don’t get us wrong; we love a good 90 minute hot stone massage as much as the next person, but you don’t need to splash out on a spa day to fill your proverbial cup. Activewear is not essential (but elasticated pants are 100% required).

We Have to Earn the Right to Practice Self-Care

It’s easy for Mums to feel like we have to constantly justify ourselves especially if you’re on Maternity Leave ‘with nothing to do all day’ (LOL). Keeping a tiny human alive requires 100% of your energy and focus

There’s a Right or Wrong Way

The definition of self-care is ‘the practice of consciously doing things that preserve or improve your mental or physical health’. For some people that might be running 10k or practicing yoga; for others it might be binge watching Netflix and consuming an entire Easter Egg. No judgement.

Self Care Has To Be Complicated

You don’t need to meditate for 4 hours or cover yourself in organic Indonesian yak butter to practice self care. Some days, it can be about taking the time to apply some make up (if you like), or putting on a t-shirt not covered in baby vom.

Self Care Means Being Alone

Sometimes lying in a dark room alone is absolutely what we need; and sometimes seeking out friends and the company of others fills our soul. There’s nothing a coffee, cake and a chat with a good mate can’t fix.

Self Care Is Only For Women

Boys need me-time too (that’s why they spend 3 hours a day sat on the loo).

How to Help Your Child Prepare for School

Best Selling Author Daisy Upton, aka Five-Minute Mum, shares her top tips on helping your children get ready for school.

It’s a Big Deal for You and for Them

“The cliché is true: one minute, you’re on high alert to catch milky burps, then you blink, and you’ve got a four-year-old trying on a school jumper. As an ex-teaching assistant and mum of two, I have been on both sides of the school gates. But even preparing my little ones for starting school felt quite daunting and like a big deal. But that’s because it is. For them and us! I’ve written about the things we’d done to prepare – and, in all honesty, it probably didn’t include much of what you might expect. Teachers expect children to start school not knowing anything and will teach letters and counting right from the beginning. Instead, the skills they need are pretty basic and listed below, along with some of my tips to help develop them.”

Things That Will Help Them Start School

To Get Dressed Independently

“For shoes, cut a sticker in half and pop one half inside each of their school shoes to help them match up left and right. Let them regularly have a go at doing their coat themselves. Try not to zip it up for them. If their little fingers find it tricky, play with play dough at home to build hand strength.”

Asking to Go and Going to the Toilet

“In the months leading up to your child starting school, I recommend having regular five-minute chats with them about it. During one of those chats, explain that in school, they will need to ask a grown-up to use the toilet. They’ll have to remember to wash their hands on their own too. We sing, ‘Wash wash wash your hands, scrub them nice and clean, in and out and round and round, make those handies gleam!’ To the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat.”

Asking for Help in General

“This is quite a hard skill to teach. However, in any of the games we play, whenever my little ones get frustrated at not being able to do something, I always calmly remind them that they can ask for help and often mention that at school, the adults will do the same. In my Starting School book, there are example conversations to show the children what asking for help looks like and why it is always OK.”

Recognising Their Name

“They don’t need to be able to write it, although it’s terrific if they can, but being able to spot the letters in their name is helpful. There are games for this on my website, A nice way to start is by playing ordering games, whereby you mix up the letter order of their name and see if they can put it right again.”

Learning to Make Friends

“My Starting School book has a page to help show the children how to make friends. We often think children intuitively have this skill, but sometimes they need a little extra support. Talk to them about how to ask someone’s name and how often knowing that is a great first step to get-ting to know someone.”

Getting Them Excited About It
Getting Them Excited About It

Share Daisy’s gentle, funny guide with your child to support them – and you! – with uniforms, meeting their first teacher, getting to school on the first day, making new friends, finding their way around, having fun at playtime, asking for help, packing their bag, learning about letters and numbers, going to assemblies, getting changed for PE, and much more.
And, of course, this book includes lots of five-minute games and activities designed by Daisy to help your child feel confident and excited about taking the big step to big school.

Buy now

Coping With Anxiety

“It is natural for children to feel anxious or daunted about starting school. Here are some ways to help.”


“Draw a small heart on the palm of your child’s wrist, then draw a matching one on your own. Ex-plain that any time your child feels worried, they can press the special heart on their hand, and it will send a cuddle to you – and you will send one back! Practice doing this while you’re sitting to-gether, then remember to draw a heart on their wrist the first day.”


“Every few days, take five minutes to have a quiet moment with your child. Remove any distrac-tions, and just have a little chat about school. Mention their favourite things and ask them how they feel about school. Tell them what you enjoyed most when you went to school.”


“Practice the walk or drive there together before school begins. If you walk, point out the things you see so that they start to feel familiar. Take a little treat for the journey home again, so it feels like a positive experience.”

Try Not to Worry

“This year is called RECEPTION for a reason. It’s a welcome year. It’s a ‘let’s get settled into this new way of life’ year. Everyone needs to find their feet, including you, the grown-ups. So go easy on yourselves and your little people. It’s really just the beginning of the next big adventure.”

Frankie Gaff’s Super Green Veggie Pasta 

“This is SO delicious. Perfect for adults and babies. You can mix it up with any green veg you like, spinach, kale, and peas all work.”


Unsalted butter
3 leeks
2 courgettes
4 cloves of garlic
150ml Low salt vegetable stock (use normal if for adults)
250ml Single cream
Cheddar cheese (as much or as little as you like)

“If you need to sell it up to a fussy eater you can nickname it ‘Dino Pasta’.”


Dice up the veg and add to a pan with the unsalted butter.
Once softened add the garlic.
Once everything is super soft, add to a blender with the stock and blend. (*Let it cool if your blender doesn’t blend hot substances).
Pop your pasta on.
Add the mix back to the pan and blend in the single cream and cheese.
Once your pasta is cooked, mix it with the sauce and enjoy.

* “This makes about 2 adult portions + 3 kids portions. I freeze any left overs to use for my son Theo.”
* “When making for adults, I’d add a little more garlic and season with salt.”

Watch the video now