We have recruited another FANTASTIC writer to investigate the wonderful world of pampering-for-pregnancy: Features Director of Red Magazine, Sarah Tomczak. She is now about to welcome her second child into the world, but we got in there quickly and sent her to Aromatherapy Associates for the only massage I myself enjoyed 3 years ago during my own pregnancy. Here’s her honest review of the treatment. GT
Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Pregnancy Massage, 60 minutes, £90.
A pregnancy massage is a funny thing – in some ways you want to be handled with kid gloves, in others you want the most uncompromising, knot-releasing massage of your life. At Aromatherapy Associates, I pretty much got both.
The ‘ultimate rose pregnancy massage’ I went for, was in a way misleading, because I was actually given a choice of three body oils (each recommended because it has a lower concentration of essential oil than normal so is safer to use during pregnancy and more gentle on extra-sensitive noses too). I chose a nourishing oil simply by it’s scent (ylang ylang, vanilla, coconut) but as the endless winter and pregnancy have both made my skin far drier than normal, this made perfect sense.
The reassuringly gentle bits about my treatment were as follows: lying on my left-hand side for the back massage or propped up with cushions for the legs and shoulders bit and also avoiding the pressure points on my lower back during the massage (which can impact the baby). The wonderfully rigorous bits: a good firm massage which focused on removing the sitting-at-a-desk-all-day knots in my shoulders (which I’d mentioned at the start – but you can focus on any niggles you might have), a surprisingly effective head massage and a great facial massage (nourishing my dry complexion with specific facial oil – it’s the only time my skin hasn’t felt papery in the past six months).
I’d like to be able to give you an analysis of the massage from start to finish but I drifted into a scented sleep three quarters of the way through. Testament to a truly relaxing treatment and a toddler at home who wakes at 6am daily without fail.
The only downside? I didn’t love the ‘bump’ massage I received halfway through. My therapist had mentioned it at the beginning and said it was optional. I don’t usually have a problem with things like this, so didn’t protest but actually it felt strangely intimate.
I realised the only people who stroke my bare bump are my husband and me – and I quite like keeping it that way.
Otherwise this was the perfect way to soothe my body and spirits.