Who wouldn’t want to ‘soothe, calm and relieve the strains of pregnancy’? A specialised pregnancy massage can help with muscle aches and joint pain, and gives mothers-to-be a chance to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy some well-deserved ‘me time’. We love the award-winning Little Butterfly skincare range, so when we heard they’d launched a Dreamy Pregnancy Massage in UK spas, it seemed too perfect to be true! We headed to So Spa at Sofitel London St. James Hotel to try it out.
The Dreamy Pregnancy Massage uses the Little Butterfly London Fall into Dreams Massage Oil, suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Soothing peach kernel, rosehip, calendula and argan oils nourish the skin, while softening apricot, jojoba and grape seed oil help minimize stretch marks. The oil is scented with delicious mandarin and orange essential oils, blissfully sensual for the mother, and good for helping the baby to sleep.
Like all Little Butterfly products, the Fall into Dreams Massage Oil is organically certified and produced in Britain. After your massage you can take the remaining of the 100ml bottle home, so you can continue to pamper your skin.
I arrived 15 minutes before my treatment, changed into a towelling robe and slippers, sipped fruit tea and filled in the consultation form. As well as selecting my preferences for the treatment, I also choose the music and room temperature. So Sofitel is grandiose yet relaxing, the soft lighting creates an intimate atmosphere to the otherwise stately interior. Modern, pendant lights illuminate the rose-coloured marble walls and Corinthian-style marble columns.
Patricia, my therapist, talked me through the massage, explaining that she couldn’t use my choice of firm pressure in a pregnancy massage. She said she would keep it medium and concentrate on the areas that needed attention.
Starting on my left side, Patricia carefully tucked a long pillow between my knees, alongside my body and between my arms so I was almost cuddling it. This position allowed me to relax my arms, support my bump and lie as comfortably as with a pregnancy pillow.
Patricia started by kneading the exposed side of my body, working up from the bottom of my back to my shoulders. She used a very gentle roll and squeeze movement on my hips which are a problem area for me. She asked me to turn over and repeated the same pattern on my other side.
Patricia asked me to turn onto my back so she could massage my legs and feet. This immediately screamed, ‘bad move’ to me, as you can feel faint or dizzy while lying on your back in later pregnancy. I needn’t have worried, Patricia adapted the MyBed massage table to gently sit me upright, and adjusted my legs so they were slightly bent. This had to be one of the most comfortable positions I‘d been in for a long time, the small of my back had been taking a lot of strain, but now it felt fully supported.
Patricia began to stroke in an upward motion over my legs, kneading my tired thigh muscles and pummelling the balls and arches of my poor feet. I nearly drifted off to sleep.
In the final part of the massage Patricia used gentle stroking movements over my bump. I had been adamant that I wouldn’t want this, as touching my bump feels very personal, but I changed my mind after meeting Patricia. She put me at ease in seconds thanks to her warm nature, and reassured me she would only use ‘super light’ strokes.
Patricia’s confidence gave me confidence too, and I felt comfortable and pampered. My baby kicked before and after the strokes across my bump -- I believe out of gratitude -- and I felt like I bonded more with my baby during this heavenly moment of ‘our time’.
After the treatment you can shower and use the vanity area until you are ready to enter the real world again. Take your time to relax in the dedicated mezzanine lounge, laying blissfully on a reclining lounger. I helped myself to an herbal tea, plugged my headphones into the iPod and immersed myself in a glossy magazine. Post treatment heaven!
Any pregnant woman would enjoy, if not adore this experience! But you do have to be more than 12 weeks pregnant to experience it.
60 minutes, £105 or 90 minutes, £140
So Spa, At Sofitel London St James, 6 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AN
T: 020 7747 2200
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus