Best Spas for a Prenatal Massage

Pregnancy is hard work. Treat yourself to a prenatal massage at one of these BC spas

There’s no better time for pampering than during pregnancy. These five spas offer expectant mums the royal treatment, so put your feet up and breathe easy – at least until baby arrives

Pregnancy is both a joyful time and hard work. But it's nothing a little extra attention, pampering and TLC can’t cure.

Massage therapy during pregnancy tackles many common complaints: stress, swelling, a sore lower back, joint pain, circulation problems and even sleep issues.

Here are BC’s best spots for much-needed pregnancy massage therapy.

Magnolia Hotel & Spa

You’ve wined, dined and toured in Victoria, but have you recuperated? After all that walking, an expectant mum needs to put her feet up. The recently expanded Magnolia Spa in the award-winning Magnolia Hotel is a tranquil oasis stocked with organic Intelligent Nutrient products, by Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher.

Mums get to pick a massage oil fragrance and lie down during the Expectant Mother Massage, which lasts 60 minutes. A special pregnancy pillow allows mums to lie on their stomach while the massage therapist focuses on relaxing tension throughout the back. They’re also happy to focus on special areas like sore calves, if you ask nicely.

60 mins/$110

Vida Spa

Not all moms-to-be feel comfortable with downward-facing pregnancy massage pillows. Vida Spa, with three locations in downtown Vancouver and one in Whistler, offers a specialized pregnancy massage that allows you to remain on your side.

The massage aims to reduce toxins by stimulating the soft tissues, aiding circulation and the removal of waste by the body’s lymph system, while carrying nutrients throughout the body. In short, it counterbalances the burden of a ginormous uterus. The experience also relieves headaches and stress; perhaps it's the Ayurvedic vibes that accompany all Vida treatments.

60 mins/$125; 90 mins/$180; 120 mins/$235

Spa Utopia

Perfection is no longer unattainable. You just need to book well in advance. Vancouver’s popular Spa Utopia in the Pan Pacific is ranked one of the top 50 spas in Canada with good reason. The health and wellness centre offers five pregnancy treatments: pre-pregnancy, first trimester, second trimester, third trimester and post partum.

Each treatment works on a different problem area. Moms who want to set themselves up for a comfy pregnancy will enjoy the invaluable first-tri session where the massage therapist shows you breathing techniques and gentle exercises that will strengthen the lower back and abdominals, preventing discomfort in the months ahead.

50 mins/$120; 80 mins/$165

Willow Stream Spa

Willow Stream Spa, on the 5th floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, is lovable and almost impossible to leave. Consider it practice for going back to work after your baby makes an appearance. The facility has a stunning view of the Burrard Inlet and mountains, as well as an outdoor spa terrace with healthy and indulgent snacks while you wait.

The Maternity Massage treatment is a basic 60-minute rubdown, and focuses on sore spots that you identify. Take a preggers girlfriend or three and enjoy the yoga studio and fitness facilities while you’re there.

Oceana Massage

Oceana Massage in Yaletown’s Glow Wellness Centre puts a nice emphasis on the symbiosis between mother and baby.

The basic theory? The more relaxed the mother is, the more the growing baby benefits.

Massage therapist Susan Polano combines techniques from multiple massage disciplines (Swedish massage, shiatsu and reflexology) to increase circulation to take the pressure off joints. Fatigue and puffiness depart; limbs become limber once more. You’ll leave with tingling extremities. If your bump could smile, it would.

60 mins/$95