The celebrity pregnancy count is high right now, with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kim Kardashian and now Halle Berry all expecting in 2013. Now, we’re sure that the celebs have access to all the best spas and treatments, and Kate won’t be short of excuses for a bit of right Royal pampering, but for us mere mortals, a spa break or pamper day away from it all can be the perfect excuse for a bit of YOU time before baby makes his or her entrance.
According to the experts, spas are perfectly safe in pregnancy, although there are a few things you need to watch out for. The best time to book your spa trip is the second trimester, when hopefully the worst of the morning sickness will be over and you should be glowing with energy. Some spas don’t let you have certain treatments until you’re at least 12 weeks pregnant just in case of potential miscarriage, but once you’re out of the danger zone, there’s nothing nicer than indulging yourself as you prepare for your baby.
When you book, make sure you let the spa staff know you’re pregnant, and how many weeks you’ll be when you arrive.
The thermal suite is best avoided if you’re expecting. All heat treatments, steam, sauna, whirlpools and Jacuzzis aren’t advisable and tanning beds are most definitely out of bounds.
Luckily, you’re still more than OK to treat yourself to a massage and it’s great if you’re starting to FEEL pregnant, with aches and pains and sore joints. It’s also good for your mood, so if you’re feeling a tad hormonal, the endorphins will start flowing with a good massage. Most massages are fine in pregnancy, although you should always make sure that your therapist knows you’re pregnant if it’s not obvious. Some aromatherapy oils are best avoided while you’re pregnant.
If you’re feeling a bit uncomfortable, the therapist will do all she can to make you comfortable – they have extra padding, pillows and special wedges that they can use to help support you if needs be. Some spas have special massage couches with a hole for your bump, too!
Facials are usually fine when you’re pregnant, and a lovely relaxing treat for a mum-to-be. Some expectant mums do find that their skin can be a bit more sensitive during pregnancy though, so if that’s you, make sure you ask the therapist to use gentle products or products specially designed for sensitive skin.
You can also have a manicure and/or pedicure to spruce up your look. Most experts say that occasional use won’t cause a problem, but that the chemicals in nail polish could harm your baby if you're regularly exposed to them. Formaldehyde and toluene can irritate your throat, lungs and eyes, and Toluene is also said to cause problems for unborn babies. So always insist on having manicures and pedicures in well-ventilated areas and don’t overdo it.
Most women tend to avoid having their nails done in the first trimester just in case, or ask for a toluene and formaldehyde free formulation.
Of course, spas in the UK are ready to treat mums-to-be and to make things even easier they have delicious treatments that are specifically designed to relax mum and pamper the bump too! Some packages include a heavenly foot and calf muscle massage to get the circulation going again in those heavy legs; others a pampering moisturising treatment for bump so that you avoid the worst of the stretch marks after the birth. Check out the Top to Toe Mother to be Spa Day at Champneys Springs for starters…