Many spa menus today offer some form of a prenatal massage—and, according to Lakshmanan, it’s really no surprise why. “There are a lot of changes going on in a woman’s body as a result of pregnancy, including psychological, physiological, spiritual and social changes.”
There are fewer places in the world that are as quiet as the peaceful pocket that is The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. The spa’s well-appointed (and ever-growing) menu makes it difficult to decide which treatment to get; for mothers-to-be there are the signature Grove Park Maternity Massage and Mothers-to-Be Wrap, both of which help alleviate leg, hip and lower back pressure caused by the body’s normal adjustments to pregnancy.
Inspired by the Mayan ceremony of the new moon that revolves around “Ixchel” Goddess of Moon and Fertility, the two-hour New Moon Treatment at Rosewood Mayakoba Riviera Maya is designed for mothers-to-be looking for relaxation rooted in ancient ritual. The multistep treatment begins with a rose infusion bath to relax the senses, followed by a full-body cleansing of apricot and honey to sooth the skin, capping off with a customized prenatal massage using essential creams of yogurt. At the end of the treatment, the mom-to-be is given a pendant crafted in silver with the Mayan horoscope sign of the new baby.
Mothers-to-be (and their mates) flock to the California coast’s Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur for some solace the months before delivery. The inn is best known for its cliffside views, but the ever-popular Baby Moon Ritual comes in at a close second. The ritual includes a revitalizing footbath for fatigued feet, a prenatal massage and the application of a signature blend of shea butter and essential oils formulated for the comfort of the expectant mother.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
IT PROVIDES POSITIVE BENEFITS
Beyond physical effects, a prenatal massage provides emotional support. “Massage can improve overall prenatal health,” says Myrna Beardshear, director of spa and wellness at Red Mountain Resort in Ivins, UT. “Studies indicate that it can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression and relieve muscle aches.”
IT TARGETS PREGNANCY PROBLEMS
A typical session performed by a practitioner specializing in pre- and perinatal massage therapy can address physical challenges: edema, postural changes and pain in the lower back, pelvis or hips.
YOUR THERAPIST IS KEY
According to Beardshear, mothers-to-be should always ask if the therapist is qualified to do this massage. “I also recommend that you ask specifically for a pregnancy massage and let the therapist know what trimester you are in.”
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