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Conceptually, a prenatal spa is not much different from a traditional spa. Both focus on rest, relaxation and rejuvenation of both the mind and body. A prenatal spa, however, is geared specifically toward women who are pregnant, and it utilizes treatments and programs designed to ease the physical and emotional stresses of impending motherhood. This type of spa is dedicated to helping women relax and feel healthy and happy during pregnancy. The designers of these spas know that pregnancy can be a difficult and uncomfortable time for women, and the designers seek to pamper them.
Prenatal spas adapt traditional spa techniques to suit the discomforts that women face during pregnancy. Pregnant women sometimes complain of back aches, swollen muscles and ankles or other general physical discomfort as a result of carrying the extra weight of a child. Treatment for these aches and pains at a prenatal spa might include a variety of massages to loosen up muscles, facilitate stress reduction and increase circulation.
Another way a prenatal spa might focus on relieving physical discomforts associated with pregnancy is through gentle exercise. Generally, light exercise is recommended during pregnancy, unless there are extenuating medical circumstances or the pregnancy is considered a high-risk pregnancy. A prenatal spa often provides opportunities for light cardiovascular exercises or weightlifting, taking care not to include any exercises that might be harmful to the mother or the child. Yoga is also a popular choice, because the classes usually focus on strength and flexibility as well as meditation and breath control.
Beauty treatments can be found in prenatal spas, but with some restrictions. While facials and masks are still found, technicians are careful to use natural products that do not contain harsh chemicals or any other ingredients that might harm the unborn baby. Unlike traditional spas, steam rooms and hot tubs are generally not provided, because doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid these types of facilities. Some prenatal spas also advise against aromatherapy and nail treatments, because they might overwhelm women whose senses are heightened during pregnancy.
Many prenatal spas have classes or programs that teach women how to keep their bodies and their babies happy and healthy before and after birth. Nutrition classes might help women learn the best foods to eat at different states of their pregnancies or how they need to adjust their normal eating patterns to meet the needs of the growing baby. Some spas offer childbirth classes that teach women about the different options available to them and what to expect at the time of birth.