Alongside ‘the glow’ that everyone refers to during pregnancy, comes back pain, swelling, and emotional highs and lows. So, if there’s ever a time to indulge in a bit of pampering and self-care, it’s when you’re pregnant.
After you are safely passed your first trimester, it’s important to select a venue with specialised therapists who are familiar with pregnancy massages, understanding the requirement to avoid certain pressure points, beds that allow you to sit slightly higher or accommodate you lying on your sides, as well as use of the right kind of oils. For a pregnancy-safe massage – be it for yourself or to treat an expectant friend – we’ve rounded up some of our favourite places to visit that know what’s best for mama-to-be.
Consider this your guide to the top spots for true relaxation in your second and third trimesters before baby arrives.
The Lanesborough Club & Spa
With its enviable location, straddling prestigious Knightsbridge, Belgravia, and Mayfair, The Lanesborough Club & Spa has long been considered one of the world’s most luxurious hotels. But it’s The Lanesborough’s spa that has us all a flutter. Book in for their Rosy Pregnancy Massage. This body massage, specifically designed for expecting mothers, nourishes and nurtures, and will leave you feeling perfectly rosy. While you lie on one side, the therapist will use heated poultices and gently roll them over pressure points on your body for a warming and stimulating massage. Specific movements will be used to drain fluid with water retention often becoming something to address later in pregnancy. This is followed by a salt scrub and application of nourishing oils to give the appearance of fresher-looking limbs. We say opt for 90 minutes, it’s just the right amount of time to let you relax… completely!
For city workers needing to rest their weary feet, this is an ideal escape. Relish in a pre-natal full body massage to help improve circulation, reduce tension, and soothe aches and pains. They perfectly cater for your massage with adjustments to the bed to make you feel comfortable, with a long pillow to wrap your leg around as you lay on your side, and safe natural oils to massage you into total relaxation. Pre and post massage, do not leave without a dip in the 18.5 metre infinity pool, an utterly calming experience as you watch city workers dash about town through the floor to ceiling glass windows. As far as zen-like indulgence goes, Pan Pacific is a genuinely serene haven, in an impeccably-crafted space which offers one of London’s most carefully-considered and comprehensive luxury spa experiences.
Neal's Yard Remedies
During pregnancy your body goes through significant physical changes which affect the emotional, hormonal, and physiological balance of your body. It is believed that reflexology helps balance the hormonal and emotional rollercoaster that pregnancy creates, easing anxiety symptoms. Alongside the emotional benefits, it can also help with many of the physical effects of pregnancy, such as morning sickness, digestive problems, heartburn, anaemia, and general aches and pains. Reflexology is a must-try if you’re expecting. The brilliant therapists at Neal’s Yard expertly apply pressure to a range of points – hands, face, and feet – which correspond with specific organs, glands, tissues, and muscles in your body, and encourage energy to flow freely throughout your body. It’s a brilliant way to bring back a sense of balance and wellbeing, while also being incredibly relaxing, too.
Bamford Wellness Spa
The Bamford Wellness Spa in South Kensington is just as wonderful as its renowned Cotswolds outpost. A holistic space designed to recharge, restore and nourish body, mind and spirit, successfully bringing the calm sanctuary of the countryside to an urban setting, allowing you a sense of calm in the centre of London. Alongside a series of wellness classes, their treatment menu features a dedicated 60-minute pregnancy massage, primarily focused on relieving tension and tightness in the neck and back, but also covering the full body with some much-needed attention placed on the feet and legs. Following a calming pillow spray, settle yourself onto the bed making yourself comfortable on one side before turning half way to the other. Gentle yoga-inspired stretches are incorporated to really stretch out tight limbs, along with the option for baby to enjoy with safe, soft and rhythmic movements across the abdomen. Hot towels wrapped around the feet aid circulation, and plentiful props are on hand to ensure optimum comfort throughout, with the use of warm oil providing a peaceful and gently uplifting experience.
Take a little extra time out (about 2.5 hours) with this very specialised treatment Yummy Mummy To Be. Situated in the sleek Shoreditch Montcalm East, they recently opened Bokeh having refurbished the poolside area, spa facilities and treatment rooms, alongside a programme of fitness and wellness classes. The spa’s name ‘Bokeh’ comes from the term that refers to the soft focus of an image, particularly apt for the relaxing oasis of the spa (and the photography programming within the hotel). The restorative pregnancy experience focuses on both body and face, incorporating instant relief for tired, overworked legs and feet and a revitalising facial topped off with a wake up scalp massage. You never know, your little bambino might enjoy the sense of calm too!
Building a reputation as one of London’s trendiest spas – it also boasts one of the metropolis’ only rooftop pools – The Berkeley’s Bamford Wellness Spa is a serene space spanning the top floor of the prestigious hotel. But before dipping in said pool, book yourself in for the Bamford Pregnancy Massage. Bamford’s Pregnancy Massage is the perfect treat for a mother-to-be, blending luxurious surrounds with premium organic ingredients. Using only the most gentle, unscented oils, the therapy treatment is adapted to suit you, positioning your body for optimal comfort. Fun fact: the treatment was designed by a pregnancy yoga instructor to ensure you’re in the optimum position for relaxation. Easing aches and pains, while lifting the spirits, it’s best suited to expectant mothers in their second and third trimester.
They say nesting is a thing, so should you actually “nest”, take some time out while you shop to fill up your nursery at The Beaumont Spa. Head downstairs from the lobby and you’ll find a quaint spa with hammam, and therapists specialised in treatments from Hot Stone Therapies to Akwaterra. Choose from a 60 minute pregnancy massage to a 2 hour maternity treat. Opt for the latter and you’re in for a perfect respite to release the stresses of body and mind. Ease up with a comforting massage focusing on the tense areas brought on by pregnancy, followed by a recuperative facial to meet the needs of a changing skin. Top tip? Book this at the end of your shopping day and leave all your stresses behind.
With two locations, Shoreditch and Marylebone, boutique massage studio Masaj offers a nurturing, pampering treatment for either second and third trimesters or a postnatal massage with one of their pregnancy specialists. At a time when your body is changing, adapting, and adjusting so dramatically, this massage features full bodywork or focused muscle work, which can alleviate many of the stresses and strains during this period of lie. It’s a well-deserved massage.