Being pregnant is one of the most incredible, interesting, challenging and rewarding experience in a woman’s life. I am now beginning to understand this experience. If I haven’t tell you yet, well, I’m into my 7th month of pregnancy!
As my stomach gets bigger each day, my lower back tends to ache a lot and I get numerous leg cramps every night! The pain can be quite bad and no amount of pain plasters, analgesic ointment or hot water could ease the pain. Being an avid spa goer, I kept asking myself if I should go for a massage to ease my pain. I have done a lot of reading & asking around and I get some people saying it’s a no no and some saying, yes, go for it. At the end of the day, I guess checking with your obstetrician and trusting your own body will be your best judge if you should go for a pre-natal massage.
In Singapore, it seems that Javanese and Indonesian massages are the most popular type of pre and post natal massages. There are also several Malay Macik(aunties) who seem to specialise in pregnancy massage and they can even come to your home.
Not all spas or therapists have the expertise in doing prenatal and/or postnatal massage. I did some research online and finally found one that has both the necessary expertise and the availability for the massage that I badly need. I’ve decided to check out the Afond Boutique Spa.
Oriental Tap and Basin
Cosy Oriental lights
Keep your clothes in this Oriental cupboard
The Afond Spa has two branches. One is located at Chinatown and the other at Holland Village. I went to the Afond Boutique Spa located at Chinatown which is located in a 3 level conservation shophouse besides the popular Maxwell market at the fringe of the historic Chinatown area.
Afond Boutique Spa has a few luxurious couple rooms and private individual rooms with attached showers. Each room is decorated with oriental furniture, ornaments and lighting. I was introduced to my assigned therapist, Susan. She led me to the 2nd floor where all the individual rooms are situated.
Initially, I was quite skeptical about prenatal massage, not sure if it will affect my baby but I know I badly needed a massage as my lower back was really aching. I left myself in the good hands of the therapist but was prepared to stop if I feel that I’m not comfortable with Susan or if I feel that the massage is not going right.
One of the differences between a normal and prenatal massage is …… the lying position! As explained by the therapist, most women find it uncomfortable to lie face down right from the start of pregnancy because of their tender and swollen breasts. And it’s impossible to lie face down on a traditional massage bed once your belly has started to grow.
On the other hand, it’s also not a good idea to lie flat on your back either, particularly once you’re past mid-pregnancy, because the weight of your uterus puts too much pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart.
For these reasons, I was asked to lie on my side with a full-length body pillow in between my legs for support. I understand that some therapists performed the massage by asking the customer to sit on a chair as well.
Hang your towel here if you need to take a shower
This Oriental Screen protects your modesty when you take your shower
Dry up and change into the undies; ready for the massage
Susan is indeed is a well trained pregnancy massage therapist. She knows exactly where a pregnant woman’s sore spots are and which areas and techniques to avoid. Very soon, I was in a totally relaxed mood and enjoyed the one and half hour massage session.
What exactly is Prenatal massage? Prenatal massage shares many of the goals of regular massage, i.e. to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots and improve circulation and general body tone. But it’s also tailored specifically to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies. It is recommended that prenatal massage is done only after the 2nd Trimester.
Do note the following pointers for pregnancy massage:
- Make sure you only engage a therapist that is familiar with pregnancy massage. It is best to get a recommendation from some-one you know or check out reviews online.
- If at any point you feel uncomfortable, stop immediately.
- Once you are comfortable with a certain therapist, you should engage the same therapist for future sessions.
- Skip the other spa treatments – no more steam, sauna, hot pool, scrubs or foot reflexology for this interim period. Facial and hair treatment is still alright.
- Although I do not believe in spa packages due to the many hard-sell spas out there, I believe a short-term pregnancy massage package with a familiar spa is worth it. If you’re a busy working to-be mother, a regular massage can take some of the stress and pain off a pregnancy, so a package deal may cut some of the cost involved.
Many mothers-to-be are on the look-out for a good pregnancy masseur. I will not hesitate to recommend that you call Afond Spa for a chat to see if they are a right fit for your pregnancy massage needs.
293/293A South Bridge Rd S’pore 058837
Size of Spa: About 10 private treatment rooms with en-suite showers
Friendliness: Friendly and professional
Pricing: 1 hour massage starts at S$70. Other treatment and massage services start from that price onwards. Discount available for visits before 5pm and first-time customers.
Others: Sport, ladies and pregnancy massage are also available. No hard-sell at this spa.