Being pregnant does not mean that a woman has to give up all that she enjoyed before; it just means that some things will have to be modified. This important part of her life where her pre-pregnancy stage is placed on hold while the baby is developing inside her womb becomes an integral part of the types of spa services she is able to receive.
1. When a woman is pregnant, her blood volume increases up to 50 percent. The extra blood is detrimental to the development of the baby as it provides the nutrients the baby needs. The increase in blood volume may cause edema in certain areas of the body. A woman's face may experience a swelling of the nose, cheeks, neck, arms, hands, around the abdomen, and legs. Along with the edema comes discomfort in the bones and the muscle fibers. Nerves become more compressed, thus sending shooting pains or tingling sensations throughout the body.
2. Prenatal services tend to the pregnant women and their unborn babies. Prenatal massage, prenatal body treatments, and prenatal facials all cater to the needs of a client who is a mother-to-be. It is important for a woman to care for her skin, body and mind while pregnant and that is why professionals should be there to assist her in these areas during her gestation period.
3. Prenatal massages can be beneficial to expectant mothers. In a prenatal massage, there are two variances for the expectant mother while prone, the pregnancy bolster or sideline. With the pregnancy bolster, the mother-to-be is able to lie on her abdomen while completely being prone. The pregnancy bolster has a cutout area for the breast and another cutout area for the abdomen where the baby is nestled inside a lot of cushion surrounding it. Lying completely prone allows the woman to experience a rest from her back just for a short time while her back and legs are massaged. If she is too far along, the pregnancy bolster may not be able to provide the comfort level an expectant mother would like due to shortness of breath and/or the incapability to fit into the bolster cutout areas.
4. Sideline massage is an alternative for the pregnant woman. During a sideline massage, the expectant mother lies on either her left or right side. Most of the time women choose the left side because of the femoral artery being located on the left side of the body. The head and legs are bolstered by pillows and if more bolstering is required in other areas of the body, more pillows are added for the comfort level of the pregnant woman. The client is able to receive a massage on her back and legs as well with a little adjustment and re-bolstering to accommodate the therapist for proper body positioning for massaging.
5. Being that blood volume does increase during pregnancy, the legs should be treated with a lymphatic massage technique. Lymphatic massage is helpful for drainage by applying a nickel-weighted pressure to the legs and pumping and stroking towards the heart. It will allow the blood to drain back to the heart and help decrease the edema in the legs. This technique is also a preventative measure for blood clots. The increase in blood in the woman's body could possibly cause blood clotting, thus during a massage, all preventative measures are taken so that no blood clots are released from the body.
6. There are also certain areas on the body to be mindful of when receiving a prenatal massage – around the ankles, between the shoulders, the inner part of the thighs, underarms, and the top center part of the shoulders. This does not mean that those areas cannot be touched; it just means that during the massage those specific areas are not directly pressed on
7. While the mother is getting a massage, so can the baby. During a prenatal massage, the abdomen is massaged and the therapist is able to massage the area where the baby is resting. Most babies’ personalities come to life during a prenatal massage. Some will move to where the therapist’s hands are and some will shy away, whereas other babies will start kicking and moving their arms more. The expectant mother enjoys this part of the massage as well because of the interaction she is experiencing with her baby internally.and overstimulated.
8. Along with the wear and tear on the muscles of expectant mothers, the skin compiles some wear and tear as well. This is where body treatments can help counteract all the change that is occurring. Every pregnant woman's body varies in changes during their pregnancy; some may have excessively dry skin, whereas others may have excessively oily skin. Whatever type of condition the skin is experiencing, a body scrub can be a great addition to a massage. If done correctly, not overstimulating, scrubs help to slough off that top layer of dead skin that accumulates with time.
9. Sugar scrubs are the best type of body scrub for an expectant mother because they offer two forms of exfoliation: chemical and mechanical. The actual physical sugar crystal form will provide the right texture to rid dead skin cells and the chemical portion of the sugar will be able to get between the cracks of the crystals and eat away the dead skin. Applying the scrub and moving towards the heart with gentle strokes will give the mother-to-be a delightful body treatment experience.
10. A prenatal facial can sometimes feel like the best topping on the cake. Prenatal facials are a must for a mother-to-be because the pregnancy hormones have altered the skin on the face. Acne may become present and persistent, causing not only a low self-esteem for the expectant mother but also scarring if not treated properly. Melasma, which causes patchy brown discoloration on the skin, mainly in the T-zone, may form. The texture and tone of the skin may change during pregnancy and using the right products will help create more uniformity for the skin. Receiving a prenatal facial by a professional aesthetician will help the self-esteem of the expectant mother, as well as be an informative guide for her during her pregnancy.
An expectant mother has a segment in her life span where restrictions apply, but with the right professionals, those restrictions can be tweaked. Prenatal massage, prenatal body treatments, and prenatal facials are the perfect tweaks for providing services to a mom-to-be.
Amra Lear, L.E., L.M.T. has worked in the spa industry for 18 years. Within that time, Lear has trained under the founders of streamline modalities, such as dermal needling, Ashiatsu, Shiatsu, Mother Massage, Kabbalah Somatic Technique, Mana Lomi and Table Thai. She has a wide range of principles she incorporates into her practice stemming from both Eastern and Western therapies and theories. Lear has a blog, www.skinification.com, where she will transition to educating the public in the knowledge she has obtained over the years of being in the field of health and beauty.