Pregnancy seems like a natural time to visit the spa. Expecting a child can put some women in touch with their bodies like never before, adding extra layers of gratification to any treatment. A visit to a spa or wellness center can also be a medication-free way to mitigate aches and pains.
As positive as this nourishment can be, a spa treatment during pregnancy is not just business as usual. Don’t book an appointment without mentioning the pregnancy. While there are wonderful ways to relax and enjoy your visit, wellness treatments are powerful…and a few could be detrimental to the health of moms and little ones.
Pregnancy is a wonderful time to indulge in a classic deep-cleansing facial to open the pores and improve the complexion. A hydrating facial will soothe the skin and relax the body. But be aware that skin is more sensitive during pregnancy, so gentle products should be used. Vigorous treatments that might normally bring out the best in your skin – like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, electronic stimulation and deep extraction – can cause damage during pregnancy, so put these routines on hold. Avoid any wrinkle therapies that might involve BHA (salicylic acid), vitamin A (retinoids) or vitamin K. Skip laser treatments.
Prenatal massages can rejuvenate the muscles, floating away pregnancy muscle strain and backache. If you get a massage, be sure to work with a therapist who has experience with pregnancy. You might want to skip any aromatherapy aspects of the massage, both for your comfort and to avoid stimulating uterine contractions. Reflexology massage can also cause contractions, so skip this unless your therapist is very knowledgeable and experienced with pregnancy. Many women find that the second trimester is an ideal time for a prenatal massage. Check with your doctor before the appointment, as many spas – including the Tiffani Kim Institute – need to obtain a letter from a doctor before a prenatal massage.
Heat treatments should be avoided throughout pregnancy, starting at the very beginning. Don’t ramp up your body heat if there’s even a chance of pregnancy. Those wonderful hot stone massages should be skipped until after the baby arrives, as should heated body wraps, hydrotherapy, steam rooms, saunas and whirlpools. Over-heating the body can have serious, negative effects on a developing baby at all stages of pregnancy. Tanning beds are never a good idea, but they’re especially harmful during pregnancy.
Manicures and pedicures can be safe treats for a mom-to-be, in moderation. Be aware that most nail polishes contain chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene that can be harmful during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.
Even though some treatments should be avoided, don’t let these risks prevent you from visiting the spa. The right services can be not only safe, but extremely beneficial. Nourishing mom’s body and soul during pregnancy is good for everyone, baby included.