Women must give up many things during the long nine months of pregnancy, but going to the spa is not one of them. In fact, some spas are designed specifically for new and expecting mothers.
Keep reading to learn which spa treatments are available during and after pregnancy and which treatments you should avoid during pregnancy.
What types of maternity spa treatments are popular with pregnant ladies and what are their benefits?
Manicures, pedicures, massages, and facials are among the most popular treatments enjoyed by pregnant women. That being said, the ideal (and safest) time to visit the spa is during the second trimester.
Morning sickness will (hopefully) be gone by this time, and you’ll have more energy now than during the final trimester.
Note: Some maternity programs and treatments are offered only to expecting mothers who are at least 12 weeks pregnant and exclude women who have reached the 32-week mark.
A massage can be just what you need to soothe stiff shoulders, an aching back, and sore hips. Seek out a spa that offers maternity massage to ensure that your therapist is knowledgeable about the ways in which massage can affect your body during pregnancy.
If pregnancy hormones are making you breakout like a teenager, you might want to consider a relaxing and rejuvenating facial. Again, make sure the therapist knows you are pregnant so he/she avoids chemicals like retinoid.
Manicures & Pedicures
Every mom-to-be deserves beautiful fingers and toes! Manicures and pedicures are relaxing treatments that will enhance your mood, and some even come packaged with a short massage and other options.
Double check with the technician to make sure he/she isn’t using nail polish that contains formaldehyde or toluene.
A maternity manicure or pedicure isn’t necessarily different than the traditional process, but your best bet is to visit a spa that specializes in maternity treatments.
Such spas are known for providing the extra TLC expecting mothers need. A perfect example is the 50-minute “Soothing Bliss Pedicure” offered by The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Florida. This $65 pedicure is designed for women struggling with hormone changes – and it’s much more than your normal pedicure.
The treatment is said to promote circulation and increase energy while reducing swelling. The pedicure includes a short massage along with exfoliation and a relaxing mask.
Some treatments can be harmful or painful during pregnancy. Prenatal mothers should avoid the following:
- Abrasive facial treatments like microdermabrasion
- Chemical peels
- Hot stones during massage
- Aromatherapy (some essential oils can be harmful)
- Wrinkle treatments including vitamin A, vitamin K, or BHA
- Hot tubs, saunas, or anything that increases your body temperature
- Body wraps
- Tanning (including spray tans)
Pregnancy causes many changes in a woman’s body – and most of them are uncomfortable. A maternity massage can help with the following issues:
- Muscle/joint pain
- Nerve pain
- Leg cramps
- Gas and constipation
- Congestion headaches
- Stress and anxiety
- Round ligament pain
For comfort and safety, most pregnancy massages are performed with the woman lying on her side. Special features include:
- More attention on the feet and legs, which tend to be sore during pregnancy
- Special attention on the face to decrease puffiness under the eyes
- Specific scents to relieve headaches and reduce congestion
Spas that cater to pregnant women typically offer postpartum massage as well. This is a great way to indulge yourself after the trials of childbirth and to bring your abdomen and body back into balance, so to speak.
A postpartum massage is focused on the healing and restoration of your body and mind – and you may just find it to be far more than a typical spa experience!
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), postpartum massage is a holistic approach to help women adjust to motherhood. The benefits of postpartum massage include:
- Better sleep
- Pain relief
- Decreased swelling
- Improved circulation
- Reduction in stress hormones
More advanced postpartum massage can speed C-section recovery and help return your body to a pre-pregnancy state. Specific techniques used in postpartum massage include myofascial release and craniosacral therapy.
During pregnancy, a woman’s internal fluid volume increases by as much as 50%. Postpartum massage can help rebalance body fluids; more specifically, massage increases lymphatic drainage, which leads to the elimination of excess waste and fluids.
After the ability to give birth, breastfeeding is one of a woman’s most precious gifts. If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, massage can help. Massage relaxes the body and increases circulation, which leads to increased milk production.
Studies show that massage therapy can actually increase a woman’s levels of prolactin – a lactation hormone.
Did you know that over 60% of new mothers experience some form of postpartum depression? These feelings are the result of new responsibilities, hormone changes, and frustrations with adjustment. Massage combined with emotional support can do wonders during this tough transition.
Actual postpartum depression is a serious condition that affects between 10% and 15% of new mothers.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make skin irritated and sensitive. Some women experience acne breakouts; others notice changes in pigmentation.
Spas that offer facials for mothers-to-be use products that are safe for you and your baby.
A maternity facial is designed to relax, refresh, revitalize, hydrate, and renew – and of course to make your skin look its very best. Characteristics of a maternity facial include:
- Face/neck/shoulder massage for extra pampering
- Stream to open pores
- Deep cleansing to alleviate impurities and balance skin pH
- Gentle lymphatic stimulation to release toxins
- Soothing mask to rebalance the skin
Some spas also offer pre- and postnatal fitness classes. For example, Soho Sanctuary in New York offers the following programs for women during their second trimester and after delivery: Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Soho Yoga, Personal Power, and Ballet Body.
Treating your achy body to a massage, facial, manicure, or pedicure can be just the thing to lift your spirits during pregnancy. These treatments can also help restore your body and mind after delivery.
Click here to learn more about how you can achieve younger, healthier skin without a trip to the spa.