Pregnancy

Five of the best: pregnancy massages

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Brenda Fisher

I blog about family things, parenting disasters, helpful tips and things that can help you to be a happy and healthy family. Follow the fisher journey and you may pick some things up along the way!

Lift your pregnancy fug with a specialised treatment at one (or all) of these five spas

Bamford Pregnancy Massage, The Berkeley SW1
£125 for 60 min (the-berkeley.co.uk/health-club-and-spa)
Developed by Bamford’s in-house pregnancy yoga expert, this full-body massage uses light touch as well as deeper, tension-easing techniques, which worked well to combine relaxation with something a little more revitalising — my plodding and overtired pregnancy fug had lifted by the end. Hypoallergenic grapeseed oil soothes and softens the areas of your skin that have been put through the wringer, either by stretching or hormonal changes. The hotel spa facilities are also available before and after your treatment. Harriet Walker

Champneys Beautiful Bump, various locations
£65 for 50min (champneys.com)
You can’t fault this treatment for its scope — foot soak, back, leg and scalp massage, and an intense moisturising treatment for your hands — or its price, but all these elements felt a little rushed to fit into the just-under-an-hour time slot. To get the most out of your treatment, I’d recommended asking your therapist to focus on the bits that need attention so that you don’t feel shortchanged. Request more pressure if you want it too — my therapist was, understandably, wary of going too hard. HW

The treatment at Dolphin Square ends with fresh mint tea, baklava and dates

The treatment at Dolphin Square ends with fresh mint tea, baklava and dates

Mums to Be Massage, The Spa at Dolphin Square, London SW1
£79 for 55 min (dolphinsquare.co.uk/spa)
In the heat of summer this subterranean spa is like walking into a cool Marrakesh hamam; ornate punched metal lamps hang in cool stone corridors that lead to plush treatment rooms. I was offered a selection of delicious-smelling and pregnancy-appropriate oils before I was arranged on my side for a gentle top-to-toe pummelling that focused on the aching or swollen points in my body. It finished with a goosebump-inducing scalp and face massage with rose oil that left my skin gleaming. To top off the atmosphere of a mini-holiday in Morocco, I had a reviving pot of fresh mint tea, baklava and dates in the spa’s garden courtyard while still wearing my robe and slippers. Daisy Greenwell

Great Expectations Massage, Bliss, London SW3
£170 for 75 min (blissworld.co.uk)
The name says it all: Bliss’s pregnancy massage is widely respected as one of the best, and I couldn’t wait to try it. It’s good for what ails you, as well for general pregnancy-related knackeredness. My masseuse, Trixy, quizzed me on the various parts that had been giving me trouble and ably responded with lymphatic massage on my legs and lower back. Add to this an intense focus on shoulder knots, a coating of Mama Mio’s Tummy Rub and Boob Tube creams, and I walked out on legs that felt light for the first time in weeks. Also, cakes in the waiting room. HW

 pregnancy massage

Cowshed deliver their full-body pregnancy massage with the mother-to-be seated

Udderly Gorgeous Full Body Massage, Cowshed, various locations
£80 for 60 min (cowshedonline.com)
If you find the idea of pregnancy “pampering” a bit naff, try Cowshed — it plays Massive Attack rather than Panpipe Moods 3. As such, its full-body pregnancy massage is a little different; you sit down for your back massage rather than lie on your side, so that you can have it all done at once. From there, you lie down for an intense but invigorating foot and leg massage, neck and shoulder rub, and face “reviver” — a cleanse and soothing moisturise to bring you out of the deep meditative state (or nap) that you will no doubt have sunk into. The products used are all from Cowshed’s maternity range, made with sea buckthorn to nourish stretched skin. HW