Pampering for moms-to-be
By Pure Matters
You treat yourself to some gentle exercise a few days a week. You make sure to get enough sleep. And you're devoted to taking your prenatal supplement. What else can you do to treat yourself right during your pregnancy?
Many spas now offer pampering treatments designed especially for moms-to-be, and some -- including Becoming Mom in Mason, Ohio; Mama Spa in New York City; and MaSpa at Ocean Oasis in Santa Monica, California -- are devoted exclusively to new moms and women who are expecting.
Prenatal treatments help you relax, ease backache, and relieve other discomforts, says obstetrician Lisa Masterson, MD, founder of MaSpa. To make sure your indulgence is safe, she and other experts suggest these precautions.
Avoid heat. Saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, and body wraps raise the body's core temperature, which is dangerous to your baby. Say no, too, to any treatment that applies heat to the abdomen or your back/hip area.
Be gentle. Insist on mild products, like unscented grapeseed massage oil or fine sugar for a body scrub. During pregnancy, skin may be especially sensitive, and ingredients such as essential oils can cause itching, burning, and breakouts.
Ask for modified massage. Soothing strokes to your back, shoulders, and legs are safe while lying on your side or seated and leaning forward on cushions. But don't lie flat on your back for prolonged periods after the first trimester. Lying facedown on a special pregnancy table, which has a netted opening in the middle that supports your belly, may be fine early in pregnancy. After five months, however, this position can strain ligaments in your midsection.
Check her skills. Your massage therapist should be certified in prenatal massage and know to avoid pressure points in the lower legs, ankles, and hands, which are thought to stimulate the reproductive organs and bring on labor.
Now it's time for the TLC!
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