What better excuse than expecting to take time out to relax and recharge? We round up the massage techniques that are perfect for pregnancy and post-birth
Focusing on the hands and feet to soothe aches and pains around the body, reflexology can help relieve many common pregnancy ailments, such as: fluid retention, back pain, heartburn, fatigue and even morning sickness. It’s easy to see why Elle MacPherson, Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow reportedly turned to reflexology while expecting.
WHERE TO GO: Pregnancy Reflexology with Jo Simons, £50 for 60 minutes (£60 for home visits), 35 Sunnyside Road, London, W5 5HU, +44 (0)7798 924636
NEED TO KNOW: Hold off booking an appointment until your second trimester as reflexology isn’t recommended in the first twelve weeks. Always look for massage therapists who are trained in prenatal treatments – they will know and understand comfortable positions and what is safe for you and bump.
Aromatherapy uses natural essential oils, extracted from plants, trees and flowers, to help soothe aches and pains. Not only will Aromatherapy Associates’ Pregnancy Massage leave you smelling divine, it also includes a relaxing and rejuvenating full scalp and facial massage for an all-over body treatment.
WHERE TO GO: Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Rose Pregnancy Massage, £60 for 50 minutes, 5 Montpelier Street, London, SW7 1EX, + 44 (0)20 7838 1117
NEED TO KNOW: Like reflexology, it’s best to book aromatherapy massages after your first trimester. Some essential oils should be avoided while expecting (rose, lavender and chamomile are pregnancy-friendly). If you are in any doubt, consult your doctor or medical professional before treatment.
Martine de Richeville uses a specialised massage technique to relieve you of aches and pains while contouring your body, to create a tight and youthful appearance. The remodelage massage naturally drains your lymph nodes and works wonders on problem areas. This massage is particularly recommended for women experiencing the hormonal changes of pregnancy.
WHERE TO GO: Martine de Richeville, £POA for 60 minutes, 20 Avenue Bosquet, 75007, Paris, +33 (0)1 44 94 09 38 (Also available in London, Brussels and Geneva)
NEED TO KNOW: This massage is great for back pain and fluid retention. As with any treatment, if you are in pain or need to visit the bathroom don’t be afraid to tell the therapist.
Be pampered top-to-toe with Mama Mio’s Maternity Massage. Expect a treatment tailored for pre-natal women which includes a relaxing neck, scalp and full back massage. Focusing on your bump, this massage uses The Tummy Rub Oil and The Tummy Rub Butter to target and protect against stretch marks.
WHERE TO GO: Mama Mio Maternity Massage, £80.00 for 50 minutes, Urban Retreat, Fifth Floor, Harrods, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7XL, +44 (0)207 893 8333
NEED TO KNOW: Why not invest in Mama Mio’s products and continue to pamper yourself throughout your pregnancy?
After your body has been put through one of natures most challenging events it needs some TLC. Enter Space NK’s Postnatal Massage. Designed to target an aching back, excess fluid retention and stretch marks, this massage is a must for new mothers.
WHERE TO GO: The SpaNK Postnatal Massage, £110 for 90 minutes, 127 – 131 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London, W2 4UP, +44 (0)20 87402085
NEED TO KNOW: It’s best to book a lengthy post-natal treatment only when you feel comfortable leaving your little one behind so that you can completely relax. Make sure you receive the all-clear from your doctor first and if you have had a caesarean section, tell the therapist as they can tailor the treatment to help with recovery too.
The benefits of massaging your baby are endless. Not only does it promote bonding and attachment but it can also help relieve the discomfort of teething, colic and gas – helping your little one to sleep through the night.
WHERE TO GO: To learn how to massage your baby visit a local baby centre – most offer group classes.
NEED TO KNOW: Baby massage is suitable for babies from 6 weeks to sitting. Classes get busy so arrive early and bring a towel or blanket.
Words by Kate Curran