Babymoons are claiming a growing segment of the tourism and travel industry as hotels, spas, and resorts around the world devise special packages designed to pamper soon-to-be parents. Relaxation and romance are encouraged and massage often helps. Many establishments offer couples and individual massages but special techniques are needed for a safe prenatal massage. Remember these dos and don'ts for the most relaxing prenatal massage.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Massage is generally safe for most pregnant women but women experiencing a high-risk pregnancy are urged to discuss it first with their doctor before scheduling a massage.

  • Prenatal massageDo Make Certain Your Massage Therapist Is Qualified
    Qualification begins with certification, but make sure your massage therapist is certified for prenatal massage or received specialized prenatal training within the previous five years. Also make sure s/he works regularly with pregnant clients. Look for a three-year history of performing prenatal massage on a frequent basis.
  • Do Be Choosy About Body Position
    Lie on your side or in a semi-reclining position for a prenatal massage, never on the stomach. Even in the earliest stages of pregnancy, massage pressure on the lower back when lying face down causes undesirable strain on the ligaments that support the uterus and the joints in the pelvic area.
  • Do Discuss Your Pregnancy and General State of Health
    Your massage therapist will need to know how far along your pregnancy is, any aches and pains you are feeling, if there are any complications to the pregnancy she needs to be aware of, and your general state of health.
  • Do Speak Up
    Do feel free to ask questions of the therapist, such as training and massage background. Ask about the facility and other services. If any discomfort arises during the massage, be sure to speak up about it the first moment it's noticed.
  • Don't Use Places That Demand a Doctor's Approval
    When a facility demands a note from your obstetrician before providing massage or other spa services, consider it a red flag of warning. It could be a sign of inadequate training or limited experience.
  • Don't Use Places That Won't Massage During the First Trimester
    Even if your pregnancy is further advanced, refusal to do massages in the first trimester could mean the facility or therapist hasn't received special training in prenatal massage. Don't trust them at any stage of the pregnancy.

Many places that offer massage also offer other spa treatments such as facials and full-body treatments meant to cleanse, detoxify, relax, and beautify. During pregnancy, the skin becomes hyper-sensitive to chemicals and sunlight so make sure every substance used in these treatments is pregnancy-safe and non-toxic.

Source: "What to Expect During Your Pregnancy Massage or Prenatal Spa Visit." Belly Friendly. Belly Friendly. n.d. Web. Mar 21, 2014.