"It can relieve stress, helping to ensure that your baby remains calm as well," says Tracy McClellan, spa director at Washington, D.C.'s Mandarin Oriental Spa. "Prenatal massage also improves circulation, minimizes edema (swelling), and helps the mother sleep better."
Be sure your therapist is fully licensed and trained in prenatal techniques, so that, for instance, no part of the massage compresses the baby. The following 26 spas all specialize in prenatal treatments.
Making Your Pregnancy More Comfortable
Check out these other ways to stay happy and comfy while your baby -- and body -- grows.
Mandarin Oriental Spa; 202-787-6100
Splurge on their Total Indulgence Pre/Post Natal Treatment ($260), available to moms after the first trimester. The treatment involves calendula oil, mud, and creams. (Maternity massage -- $225).
The Spa at the Hotel Hershey; 877-772-9988
The 50-minute prenatal massage ($100) makes use of a specially designed tabletop cushion to accommodate your expanding belly -- you can actually lie on your stomach.
The Spa at Stoweflake; 802-760-1083
Enjoy their Marvelous Motherhood experience ($110), which includes full-body exfoliation, rose-scented moisturizer, and warm (but not too warm!) towel wrap.
The Spa at Norwich Inn; 860-886-2401
At this historic inn, moms can indulge in a relaxing 50-minute Swedish massage on a special pregnancy table ($95).
St. Michaels, MD
Five Gables Inn & Spa; 410-745-0100
Enjoy one last getaway with your husband at this inn on Chesapeake Bay. The Bundle of Joy package ($505 and up) includes a two-night stay, a couples massage, and baby-related goodies to take home.
Terme di Aroma; 215-829-9769
The one-hour prenatal massage ($85) at this holistic spa not only reduces discomfort but improves your emotional state.
Four Seasons Spa; 972-717-2555
This recently renovated spa features all the glitz the name Four Seasons conjures up. If you're looking to be queen for a day, head here for the Mother-to-Be massage ($125).
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Tranquility Spa at Marriott's Harbor Beach Resort; 954-525-4000
The 50-minute Mother's Love Pregnancy Massage ($156 - with 20% service charge added) uses a special body pillow so you can lie on your side. Afterward, relax around the private pool deck.
Hilton Head, SC
Breathe Spa at Daufuskie Island Club & Resort; 843-842-2000
If Daddy's a golf fan, he can enjoy a round while you get pampered. The 50- or 80-minute prenatal massage ($90/$130) is designed to improve circulation.
Essential Therapy Store and Spa; 615-321-2639
The 60-minute + 90-minute ($85 + $115) their Mother & Child Massage ($70), uses physician-developed products for the safest, most beneficial massage possible.
Spa Space; 312-466-9585
The prenatal massage ($90) aims to maintain skin's elasticity and prevent stretch marks as well as alleviate lower-back stress. A doctor's approval is required.
Spa Julianna; 734-455-4445
All therapists are certified in prenatal techniques. The 50-minute massage ($130) requires a doctor's note; add a body wrap to moisturize dry, itchy skin.
The 30- or 60-minute massage ($50/$80) targets trouble spots like the neck, shoulders, back, and legs. A recliner-style table accommodates each mom individually.
Cascade Gardens Spa; 505-332-0848
This highly rated day spa strives to be affordable -- the prenatal massage ($75) leaves you both relaxed and guilt-free.
Las Vegas, NV & Tucson, AZ
Canyon Ranch; 877-220-2688 (Las Vegas) and 800-742-9000 (Tucson)
The classic Canyon Ranch prenatal massage will help you relax at any stage of pregnancy ($100-$155 depending on duration).
The Oxford Club Spa and Salon; 303-628-5435
In addition to 55 minute pregnancy massages ($80), a variety of foot and hand treatments is available. There's even a doula on staff if you'd like to consult her.
St. George, UT
Green Valley Spa; 435-628-8060
A 50-minute revitalizing massage is tailored for each woman's specific needs with targeted techniques that release tension and ease stiffness and sore muscles ($115).
West Coast & Northwest
Mill Valley, CA
Barefoot & Pregnant; 415-388-1777
This is one of the first spas to cater exclusively to moms. Massages ($65-$95) focus on trouble spots; the unique belly facial ($65) minimizes itching and stretch marks.
Desert Hot Spring, CA
Two Bunch Palms; 760-329-8791
This rustic (they call it retro-bohemian) spa offers pregnancy massage with oils or dry ($110). Trained therapists can accommodate expectant moms at any stage of pregnancy.
Santa Barbara, CA
Bacara Resort & Spa; 877-422-4245
Enjoy a 50- or 80-minute massage ($120/$175) at this spa overlooking the Pacific -- you may even spot a few celebrities.
Habitude at the Locks; 206-633-1339
Enjoy a pregnancy massage ($103 + up) and the artwork -- the spa is a renowned art venue.
Teton Village, WY
Avanyu Spa at The Snake River Lodge; 307-732-6000
While everyone else hits the slopes at Jackson Hole, you can hit the spa and enjoy a 50-minute prenatal massage ($130).
Originally published in American Baby magazine, May 2005.