Preparing for the arrival of a new baby can be a hectic experience. Diaries can become busy with antenatal appointments, homes can become full of things you’ve bought for the little one, and all the while shopping lists of things you still need to buy seem only to grow.

It can be easy to forget the life you led prior to pregnancy and it’s easy for spending time with your partner to become an overlooked luxury at a time when, especially if you’re expecting your first child, you may well want to maximise the time you spend together as a couple.

So when I learned, as I carried my expanding baby bump around the office, that North Lakes Hotel and Spa was advertising babymoons to allow expectant parents to unwind and relax away from the hubbub of parenting preparations, I jumped at the chance to try it out. And how right I was to do it.

Taking a break from the usual Friday routine of finishing work and collapsing on the sofa, surrounded by stacks of baby things, my husband and I headed to Penrith and checked in for our one-night stay. Let’s call it a mini break with maxi impact.

After admiring our spacious and comfortable room, including the nice touch of a little sample of local fudge, we donned our robes and slippers and headed for the spa. For me it was time for a long-overdue swim, and the beautifully warm pool was a lovely place to enjoy a few leisurely lengths before dinner. For the expectant father (who has as much need to chill as the one with the expanding waistline) there was also the chance to try out the sauna, steam room and indoor whirlpool.

Then, having worked up an appetite from swimming, it was off to the Fyr restaurant for a relaxed and tasty three-course meal. With plenty to choose from and no hint of a rush, we spent a gentle hour and a half savouring our array of delicious food. The only effort was deciding which of the many mouth-watering dishes to opt for. Being able to watch food being prepared on the open-fire grill was an added bonus.

And then, with an enjoyable evening of gentle exercise and fine dining under our possibly-slightly-expanded belts, we retired to our room to spend the night in our comfortable surroundings, ready to make the most of day two.

In the morning, we began the day with a generous helping of breakfast. In line with the previous night’s visit to the restaurant, our only challenge was deciding which food to select from the plentiful offerings of cereal, pastries, yoghurt, fresh fruit, cold meats, cheese and cooked breakfast.

And, once we were suitably sustained, we headed again to the spa, in my case to the treatment rooms.

The hotel’s Journey to New Beginnings spa day for expectant mums features two hours of tailor-made treatments, from a pre-natal massage, to a facial and a nail tidy and varnish, aimed at leaving mums-to-be feeling radiant all over.

There’s certainly a lot to be said for taking some time out for a bit of pampering. At a time when it’s easy to feel like your body is no longer your own and stretch marks and swollen ankles may one day take over your life, it’s good to give yourself some time and space and let someone focus on pampering you, all for you. The welcome relaxation and chill-out space was a far cry from shopping lists, nursery wallpaper samples and trawling through Facebook Marketplace for all the bits and pieces you need to buy.

And, between treatments, the only choice you need to make is about how much of your time you spend lying on the relaxation bed in the treatment area and how much you spend in the pool.

Of course, no spa day would be complete without lunch, and this time it’s the spa day menu that provides the choice of two-course meals.

And if dad-to-be fancies his own spa day experience, there’s always the option for him to book in for treatments and join you for lunch.

There’s no question that the weeks before the arrival of a new baby are precious and can fly by in a whirlwind. North Lakes Hotel and Spa’s babymoon option, which combines a one-night dinner, bed and breakfast stay with the Journey to New Beginnings mum-to-be spa day, is a great way to take some well-earned and much-needed time out, enjoy some pampering and remember that you are still a couple, not just expectant parents.

And with its convenient location at Junction 40 of the M6, it’s easy to get to and has the reassurance for those close to their due dates of being within easy reach of a hospital.

With the arrival of a new baby usually impacting on household budgets, this could be a final indulgence before the day of the big arrival beckons. Or perhaps you’re an expectant grandparent who wants to treat the parents-to-be. This mini break is certainly a treat, and one I’m sure any mums and dads-to-be will remember and thank you for for a long time to come.