Mums-to-be are constantly told to relax and take it easy, and, let’s face it, there’s no better way to chill out than by visiting a spa when pregnant! Just because you are with baby, a spa is most definitely not off-limits and is a great way to enjoy some valuable me-time.
However, it’s important to choose the right spa treatments when pregnant and to take precautions to ensure both you and your bump are comfortable and safe. The best spas even offer specialist spa treatments for pregnant ladies, so you can enjoy some much-deserved pampering.
We have put together a useful guide on how to best enjoy spa treatments when pregnant, including tips on treatments you should avoid, advice on when to visit and ideas of what is included in the best prenatal spa packages.
“I love it. It makes me feel like a woman. It makes me feel that all the things about my body are suddenly there for a reason.” - Angelina Jolie
During pregnancy, it’s vital that you take time out to look after yourself, which in turn will nurture your unborn baby. It’s common for expectant mothers to experience all kinds of aches and pains, so soothing away any stress and tension at a prenatal spa day can help to safeguard your and your baby’s wellbeing.
So, when should you indulge in some time at the spa?
Visiting a spa when pregnant is best during your second trimester and here’s why:
It is important that you inform the spa how far along you are in your pregnancy. Some treatments are not available to women who are less than 12 weeks or more than 32 weeks pregnant. So, the spa needs to personalise your prenatal spa day according to your needs. You might also like to opt for a spa that offers couples spa treatments, so you can share the pampering session with your partner to help you both relax before you welcome your new arrival.
“Some days I feel like everyone in my world has plugged themselves into my kidneys. I'm so tired.” – Gwyneth Paltrow
Just because you’re sporting a baby bump doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel great! So, by all means, enjoy a manicure or pedicure. However, there are some precautions you should take when it comes to nail varnishes.
In general, you should avoid varnishes that contain toluene, phthalates and formaldehyde. While these substances could potentially pose a danger to you and your baby, the amount present in nail varnish is extremely unlikely to cause any harm. However, using polish that is free from these toxins is a safety precaution that many pregnant women and spas choose to take. Some top varnish brands, such as OPI and Zoya, offer products that are considered safe for pregnant women.
It is also important to ensure the treatment room is well ventilated, so speak to the nail technician before your appointment to ask about the setup of the room during your prenatal spa day.
If you are still concerned about exposing your baby to any type of nail varnish, you can simply have your nails cleaned, tidied and re-shaped.
A massage can be great for easing aches and pains, as well as reducing stress. For pregnant women, a specialist prenatal massage can also help to promote restful sleep and alleviate back and neck pain. However, there are some things to bear in mind:
While a prenatal massage offers lots of benefits, again, it is important to let your massage therapist know how far along you are in your pregnancy. Prenatal massage is a specialist area and for the health and safety of you and your baby, you need to ensure your therapist is suitably trained to offer this type of treatment. This includes knowing how best to position you during the massage and what aromatherapy oils are safe to use on pregnant women. Some spas even have massage tables designed for pregnant women.
“People always say that pregnant women have a glow. And I say it’s because you’re sweating to death.” - Jessica Simpson
Can you go in a hot tub when pregnant? The short answer is ‘no’.
Unfortunately, this is one part of the spa experience that is strictly off-limits to pregnant women. In fact, anything that causes your body to get too hot, such as the sauna, hot tub or Jacuzzi, should not be used at any stage during your pregnancy. This is due to the risk of overheating, which can be harmful to you and your baby.
However, taking a soak in a warm bath can be extremely relaxing. This is perfectly safe and many modern spas have hydrotherapy pools that are ideal for pregnant women. You can also enjoy a tepidarium or laconicum (warm rooms and beds) that don’t pose a danger. It is important to check that the air/water temperature is 35°C or below. If you are exercising in water, ensure the temperature does not exceed 32°C.
Just remember that getting in a sauna, Jacuzzi or hot tub when pregnant are among the spa indulgencies that should be avoided.
“Being pregnant is kind of like a sedative… everything’s just chill.” - Jessica Alba
When you take good care of yourself during pregnancy, this nurturing goodness will filter through to your baby. Fortunately, there are lots of wonderful spa treatments that you can enjoy while pregnant.
As there are no guarantees about how your body will react to pregnancy, it is hard to recommend prenatal spa packages that will suit everyone. For example, some women may find a facial beneficial to nourish dry skin, while those with swollen ankles might prefer a soothing leg massage to reduce swelling.
Below are a few ideas of the different types of therapies that are safe and popular choices for prenatal spa breaks:
If your treatment includes any reflexology therapy, it’s vital the therapist knows you are pregnant as they will need to avoid certain pressure points on your ankles and wrists which can cause you to cramp.
You can lie on your stomach to get a specialist pregnancy treatment. However, many women find this position uncomfortable, so work with your therapist to establish the safest and most comfortable position for you.
If you are 20+ weeks into your pregnancy, your blood pressure can drop if you lie on your back for long periods of time, so it is advisable to lie on your side. The therapist will support your new shape with pillows.
Avoid the hot tub, steam room, Jacuzzi, tanning bed, and sauna. You should also avoid any treatments that use contraindicated aromatherapy oils. These include basil, cedarwood, peppermint and rosemary.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure you inform your therapist how far along you are in your pregnancy before you commence any treatment. This will allow them to create a personalised prenatal spa package that ensures safety and comfort for both you and your baby.