If, like me, you’re a fan of massage in general then you’ll find the first trimester of pregnancy frustrating, because as mentioned above, most spas will refuse to treat you while you’re at this delicate stage. You also need to find a specially trained therapist. If you’re used to a regular pummelling you’ll miss it in that first few months while your moods and nausea levels rise and fall.
However, the good news is there are a few places out there that will see expectant mothers during the first trimester – just make sure you let them know you are expecting.
Ciara Curtin is based in Midleton and opened her Curdane Therapeutic Centre recently, offering a range of massage services.
LA-based yoga teacher to the stars Ducky Punch calls Ciara “the best bodyworker” she has ever seen, and after a session with Ciara you’ll see why. She offers massage right throughout pregnancy.
Be warned – it’s not so much a relaxing massage as a serious interrogation of your muscles and ligaments, and while you’ll feel a little tender for a day or two afterwards (a warm bath helps!),
Ciara will find the knots and stresses in your muscles that the changes in your shape may be producing, as well as the ones that were there to begin with. If you’re suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, swollen hands and feet or backache, this is a great way to address all of the above and make yourself a little more comfortable. Prices range from €60 for one hour to €90 for two hours and regular special offer apply as well as a loyalty scheme for regulars. www.facebook.com/CurDane
If you’re not up for a pummelling, and once you’re past the first trimester, Cork has excellent options when it comes to spas and holistic treatment centres that will give you a more relaxing than therapeutic experience (although you can of course ask your therapist to go heavy on you, if you prefer!)
Fota Island Resort has one of the best spas in Ireland and offers an excellent range of MamaMio pregnancy spa treatments, specifically designed to cater for pregnant women, with all the sensitivities that growing a baby may bring. Their 60 minute massage (€100) focuses on the lower back muscles that may be under strain from the pregnant tummy, and uses delicious MamaMio products with their exclusive mix of Omega oils. If you’re looking for a blissed-out, relaxed spa experience in beautiful surroundings, look no further, while if you’re not a fan of massage, they have a range of facials and skin treatments for mothers-to-be too, all using MamaMio. www.fotaislandresort.ie.
Escape at the Imperial uses all-natural products from Aveda and Voya, an important factor if you’re sensitive to ingredients. With its central location, you can even pop in here after work on a weekday – a real treat. The Aveda Hydrotherm Massage for Expectant Mothers is €105 for an hour and fifteen minutes of absolute indulgence. Aveda’s products smell delicious and the oils used are chosen by your therapist on the day to reflect your mood and what you want from the massage (lavender to help you sleep, rosemary or mint to revitalise you, etc). Escape has also just introduced the Sligo-made, seaweed-based Voya range, probably the best Irish luxury skincare brand out there. They offer the Voya pedicure to pregnant women, as part of a ritual that also encompasses dry floatation.