Moms, it’s time to relax. You’ve earned it! While watching your belly expand before your eyes, odds are that your shoulders are tight and tense, your lower back is aching or those poor feet are begging for some love (hopefully not all of the above!). Enter the prenatal massage and the greatest city to get one in: NYC! We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite spots around town to lie back and be pampered for an hour or two.
But first, a few pointers before you go:
- Most doctors advise delaying prenatal massages until you are in your second trimester as there are specific pressure points that could disrupt that tiny little baby in the early days of pregnancy. Be sure you hold off or better yet, check with your OB or midwife before scheduling.
- Some prenatal massages feature a table with a pillow or net for your growing belly while others will set you up with a pillow while you lie on your side. Which do you think you would prefer? Be sure to ask before making an appointment so you can relax and enjoy in comfort.
- Many prenatal massages include light, soothing strokes rather than deep tissue work. If it takes real force for you to relax, mention it to the receptionist when you call and see if any of the therapists are able to accommodate you. If not, look elsewhere (or savor the quiet time to relax and schedule that swedish massage for postpartum).
Don’t put this appointment off for another second (think of it as something for the baby)!
1. Exhale Spa. Still hitting the barre for your pre-baby workouts? Good on you! Wrap up one of those thigh-burning sessions with a laid back stretch known for improving circulation and reducing swelling in your hands and feet. Their prenatal massage session is designed specifically for women in their second and third trimester (they won’t take women who are still in the first trimester of pregnancy) and it’s great to improve circulation, reduce swelling, and take some of the stress off of your body. $140 for 60 minutes
2. Graceful Services. While the decor leaves much to be desired (think of this as a step up from those quickie massage stops on your block), the price is right, and you’ll leave feeling relaxed and restored. While receiving your massage, they encourage you to place your hands on your belly letting the baby know you’re getting a massage. $90 for 60 minutes
3. Medical Massage. Ranked as one of the best prenatal massages by New York Magazine, Medical Massage is a must for any pregnant mommas in or near the Upper East Side. Ask for Molly if you’re hoping for a deep, intense stretch and be sure to look into their early bird discounted pricing if you’re able to schedule in the morning. For those who can’t make it out of the house or have just too much on their plate, Medical Massage also provides at-home services, bringing relaxation right to your home. $140 for 60 minutes/ $210 for 1hr 30 minutes
4. Sage Brooklyn. For our Brooklyn-based moms, Sage is a great option for holistic-oriented services. At Sage, all of the staff receives training in prenatal massages. So you can relax and relieve some of your pregnancy- and postpartum-related pain, tensions and discomforts — not just with the magic touch of the massage therapists, but also with the sound machines, aromatherapy and the dim lights all over the spa. Sage even offers a partner massage class for pregnancy so you can get your partner involved as well! Their 40 Weeks and Waiting massage is known to induce labor once the time is right (we have their number on speed dial just in case). 60 min $125 | 75 min $150 | 90 min $180
5. Earth & Sky Healing Arts. At Long Island City’s Earth & Sky Healing Arts, a massage is more than a massage — it’s an experience that allows you to connect with your body and the changes it goes through during and after pregnancy. There, they offer prenatal and postpartum full-body massages — yes, that even includes your bulging belly — that focuses on the areas that need most of your attention during that time in your life: your hips, your lower back, your neck and your shoulders. Simone, who also offers Mayan Arvigo massages, is a true healing force. She is grounded, listens to what you want and leaves you with advice on how to prepare for labor and take care of your body once you are back at home. $120 for 60 minutes/ $160 for 90 minutes.
6. Red Moon Wellness. Owner Lena DeGloma, M.S., is a licensed massage therapist, a clinical herbalist, a certified birth doula, a certified lactation counselor, and a certified childbirth educator. In other words, she knows all about the pregnant and postpartum body (and all of the woes it goes through during this transformative time). Back pain and sciatica, swelling, insomnia… You name it — even if you don’t quite know what is causing your pain, Lena will find the culprit and work hard to heal your body. At the end of a session, Lena shares what she learned about your body and leaves you with valuable tips on what you can do to feel good and prepare for childbirth. The whole experience is relaxing and intimate, and you leave the studio feeling like you know your changing body a little bit more. $80 for 30 minutes/ $120 for 60 minutes/ $160 for 90 minutes
7. Holistic Hands. Nicole Libschik is also a licensed massage therapist, a certified in Prenatal and Postpartum Massage, a DONA trained birth doula and even an infant massage therapist! That’s why if you’re experiencing tension in your neck, back, ribcage, hips, legs or ankles, Nicole will bring your whole body to a deep state of relaxation to not only reduce pain and discomfort, but to also help with lymphatic and blood circulation. Nicole also offers childbirth classes and private consultations, postpartum massages and… wait for it… baby massages. During that session, you will learn about different massage techniques, infant body language and ways to relieve gas pain and colics. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your little! $150 for 60 minutes/ $225 for 90 minutes.