My first pregnancy and first pregnancy massage experience
I am 8 months pregnant with my first baby – 37 weeks and 2 days today.
I have been very lucky with my pregnancy and haven’t had any sickness or any real problems – I have actually really loved being pregnant.
As my due date draws closer and my excitement is forever growing (not to mention a few nerves), I am also finding my back and hips are really aching and I have days where my feet, legs and even hands look more like my husbands than my own.
So I decided to treat myself to a pregnancy massage at La Belle, the beauty boutique in Worthing, West Sussex. From the moment I arrived I felt relaxed and pampered. I was lead through to my private massage room where Kayla my beautiful beautician explained how the next hour of my life would proceed.
I filled out a card with my personal information (health and safety elements covered, which all good salons should do) and was given another card to tick the boxes of how I was feeling that day. I thought this was a great idea as it really makes you think about your body, your mind and various symptoms so the beautician can truly help you.
It was then time to choose which oils would be used on me. I was told about Aromatherapy Associates, a British brand that offers bath, body and skincare products and focuses on natural healing powers. You can choose between three types and I settled on the Rose scent (which was also recommended as the best for my skin type).
I was given privacy to undress and laid down on my left side on a lovely warm bed. There was a large, half-moon shaped pillow that I tucked under my huge bump for support and in-between my legs and pulled the thick cover over me. Laying there, listening to the relaxing music, snuggled cozily in bed, in a low lit room I thought “I hope I don’t fall asleep before the massage starts!”
A moment later, a soft knock at the door to check that I was ready was the start of a fantastic hour-long pampering session. Kayla started on my back and covered my neck and shoulders and after some time asked me to turn onto my back. She altered the bed position so I was half sitting up and propped up my lower legs with a bundle of soft towels.
I asked what the difference was between a pregnancy massage and a normal one and was told it is mainly just a few adaptations to a normal massage so it suits your body and you don’t feel like you have missed out. The pressure they apply is softer on your lower back as your ligaments and joints soften from the hormone called .
I was asked if I wanted my bump massaged but declined as I think its too personal and I don’t see what benefit it would really offer me (other than possibly helping with stretch marks which I have been fanatical about and have been using oil day and night anyway – not that it’s stopped them from appearing) but I know friends who have said yes and liked it, it’s just down to personal preference. (By the way, if you choose to refuse there is no issue at all, so don’t worry about saying no thank you.)
Kayla started massaging my shoulders, neck and arms. Then went on to do my legs (which were much needed as I’m carrying a lot of water retention there) and then came back up to the top of my body and gave me a wonderful facial. My makeup (except eye makeup) was removed with a toner and cleanser, and then a face pack was applied and massaged into the skin. That was removed with a warm cloth and then oil was massaged into my face and then into my scalp. Head massages are one of my all time things and this was just heaven – especially as I hadn’t initially this was part of the package.
At one point I was so relaxed I fell asleep and to my embarrassment woke myself up snoring! Another glamorous side effect from pregnancy!! Kayla pretended not to notice and continued working her magic (a sign of a true professional!)
A quick tip – if you have a fringe, as I do and are happy for the massage oil to go through your hair and scalp, then bring a hairclip to clip your fringe off your face afterwards to save you looking like you haven’t washed your hair for several weeks.
The massage really focuses on your inner self as well as tension in your body. They focus on releasing knots through your pressure points and encourage you to breath deeply and work on your body on an outward breath. It was wonderfully relaxing but more importantly I felt it helped release stiffness in my muscles that had built up from carrying my wonderful Cub (our nickname for the baby).
I would definitely recommend a good pampering session to any other pregnant ladies or Cub-carriers as my hubby refers to me. It’s a special time where we all seem to be running around finishing all the little things off, so ladies, take some time out and look after yourself. As L’Oreal says – because you’re worth it!
By Louise Stevenson- Tiger Marketing