About Prenatal Massages
Pregnancy is a time of joy and growth both emotionally and (obviously) physically. Preparing for a long-awaited child, wondering what he or she will be like, and wondering what happiness a baby will bring a growing family make this time in a woman's life among the most special.
For many moms-to-be, it is also a time of discomfort and restlessness because of all of that growth. Okay, it is a miserable time for MOST third-trimester mommies. The list of physical complaints can grow as long as the days of waiting for it to be over.
Because of this, it's no wonder prenatal massage is one of the most sought-after services for expectant mothers. The already very popular relaxation and pain management technique is so popular with this group that many spas offer a prenatal massage specific to the needs of an expectant mother.
What are the top complaints?
A growing belly comes often comes with a growing list of ailments. Probably the most common complaint at any point during a pregnancy is back pain. There are several reasons for this. Carrying around extra weight is one of the reasons. Another is that as a woman's belly expands, her tailbone begins to move posteriorly to help her keep her balance resulting in actual musculoskeletal changes!
Another chief complaint amount expectant mothers: hip pain. Like back pain, hip pain can have many causes, and a woman might have all, some, or one of the underlying conditions responsible. Sciatica is a condition that causes nerve pain on the left side stemming anywhere from the hip joint to the ankle. Some women describe it as a "lightening" sensation in the affected area.
Bursitis is another condition that causes hip pain. Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa or fluid-filled sac near a joint. It can hurt a woman to lay on her side when she has this condition.
Pregnancy hormones also cause hips to become more elastic and widen in preparation for birth which is very uncomfortable for many women and causes pain in the hips.
Mothers who are on their feet a lot either for work or perhaps chasing after their other children might complain of foot pain. A good foot rub during pregnancy is reason enough to seek a prenatal massage for many moms-to-be.
Prenatal massage is not only for pain relief. Pregnancy is not only physically demanding in the way of pain and discomfort with growing and changing body, but it is also EXHAUSTING. Many women feel fatigue and fog through the duration of their pregnancies from the hormone changes. Others find themselves tired and in need of rejuvenation because the physical discomfort interrupts their sleep at night. Massage is a great way to promote a sense of well-being for run down and tired mamas.
Massage is also very relaxing for most people. Just laying on a special table, listening to relaxing ethereal music, smelling the wonderful aromatherapy can be relaxing for an expectant mother who has a lot on her mind. Add to that the wonderful feeling of warm oil and caring hands going over your aching muscles with care and you get the picture here.
How does massage help?
Having aching muscles and joints rubbed down with warm oil and warm human hands can really help with the pain many women experience during pregnancy. Being massaged also increases blood flow to the tissues of the body, which can reduce swelling and help with pain. Some massage therapists incorporate some light stretching into the session, which can help with pinched nerves and joints as well. A serene environment and equipment designed to make a mama comfortable laying for a session can really help with pain and relaxation as well.
Science supports prenatal massage as a therapy that can:
- reduce depression, anxiety, and levels of stress hormones
- relieve pain and swelling in the muscles, joints, and nerves
- increase circulation
- reduce edema
- and improve birth outcomes for both mom and baby
- Decreased risk of low birth weight
Since the needs of pregnant women are different from other women, it is best to find a massage therapist with a certificate in prenatal massage.
While americanpregnancy.org indicates a woman can get a prenatal massage safely during any point in her pregnancy, many massage therapists will not give one before 12 weeks. This is because the risk for miscarriage is highest in the first 12 weeks or first trimester. It isn't so much that a massage would cause a miscarriage, but rather a responsible massage therapist wouldn't want that kind of liability, or to take that kind of risk.
Women with a high-risk pregnancy may be an exception as a group who would benefit from prenatal massage. Always check with your healthcare provider before trying something like massage therapy, especially if you know you are high risk or have complications.
A wellness massage, also known as a spa massage, takes place in a spa setting. The primary focus is overall wellness and relaxation. Though special types of massage, such as prenatal, can address specific concerns, this type of massage is intended to be a holistic, relaxing, spa experience.
A medical massage differs from a wellness massage in that it takes place in a more clinical setting. A medical massage therapist has a special license to perform a massage that is part of treatment for a diagnosed condition. A prescription is necessary for this type of massage in most places. In some cases, insurance covers all or some of the medical massage visits.
The list of the best 10 prenatal massages in New York City
New York City is a very big city. This might lead you to believe that there are more births in NYC annually than in other areas of the United States. Surprisingly, this is not the case. Birth rates in New York state are in the middle range compared to the entirety of the US, and have remained pretty steady at around 12.7 births per 1000 people for the past 10 years.
New York City, however, has A LOT, of places to get a massage. There are probably more places for a prenatal massage in NYC alone than in the entirety of the state of Montana. I have compiled a list of the best places to get a prenatal massage based on customer reviews.
1. Prenatal Massage Center of Manhattan
Located on 96th street in Manhattan, this location comes highly recommended by current and previous clients. The website has a wealth of information about the types of prenatal massage options an expectant mother has at this location, biographies about the massage therapists, and an FAQ section. The website also mentions a unique type of therapy for expectant mothers called Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, which is stated to have benefits before, during, and after pregnancy. The average cost of a prenatal massage at this location is $150, with session lengths from one hour to 90 minutes in duration.
I highly recommend this practice to any mother in need of a prenatal, post partum, or induction massage. My baby was past due and I was able to avoid an induced birth at the hospital thanks to their natural induction massage. I received the massage at 6pm and was in labor with contractions every 5 minutes at 1am that night. Our baby was born healthy 24 hours later. Since, I have been back for post partum massages and have even sent my husband over for deep tissue massages. Definitely the best massage practice I've come across.
2. Prenatal and Medical Massage Eastside
Located on the Eastside near the Empire State building, Prenatal and Medical Massage Eastside is another business that comes highly recommended by expectant and post-partum mother in the NYC area. Pricing for prenatal massage services here is about the same as the aforementioned Prenatal Massage Center of Manhattan. The owner and therapist, Inna, has a nursing background and has more than 20 years of experience working with expectant mothers.
Inna is a wonderful masseuse! I got a prenatal massage from her and can not wait to get more. She is patient and really works to make her clients comfortable. I have had a lot of not great prenatal massages and was a little worried going in. However, the reviews you'll see about how great she is are true! She is amazing. I even fell asleep it was so relaxing! Her office is easy to get to, the massage room is very clean, and calming. She also has water which I appreciated. Don't hesitate to book your massage with Inna (and I heard Fiona is excellent too!).
3. City Touch Licensed Massage Therapy
A few shakes from Madison Square Park on 27th Street massage therapists at CityTouch are making expectant mothers in the Chelsea area relaxed and comfortable, as evidenced by online reviews. The pricing for prenatal massage sessions is comparable to other top rated businesses. According to their website, they recently started accepting certain insurances.
I saw Marta for prenatal massages throughout my second and third trimesters and it was fantastic. Not only do they have that lovely pregnancy pillow platform that makes it so that I could be massaged facing down, she's just an amazing massage therapist. Intuitive, lovely, and extremely skilled; my sessions with Marta really kept me sane throughout my pregnancy. I can't wait to go back for a deep tissue!!
4. Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage
In Midtown, Body Mechanics focuses on the science of massage therapy, specifically on how it harmonizes with the human musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones), or Orthopedics. The owner, Beret, prides herself on creating a business model that puts customer satisfaction and facts first, and profit second. Beret has assembled a team of massage therapists who focus on sports, prenatal, and therapeutic massage therapies.
Prenatal massage sessions with Beret are priced similarly to other leading businesses in the area, and sessions with other therapists are as low as $125 for one hour. Unique to Body Mechanics is that some therapists will do home visits for a higher fee.
This is a really excellent place for a massage. the masseuses are extremely knowledgeable and they all try to address your specific concerns, including recommending helpful exercises to try at home. it's not your run-of-the-mill massage place. i started coming here when i was pregnant and the prenatal massage was really excellent and helped so much when i had horrible rib pain. (I) highly recommended!
5. Nuansa Spa
When I think of 5th Avenue in New York City, high-end people, shopping, and furnishings come to mind. The services and location of Nuansa Spa on 5th Ave appear to offer just that. Many spa and massage therapy services are offered here, prenatal massage in increments of 60 and 90 minutes included.
So, with this location being in a more upscale area, what is the ticket price on a prenatal massage? Surprisingly, only slightly higher than the previous four locations. A 60-minute prenatal massage at Nuansa starts at $160.
Best massage of my life! And I’ve had quite a few. This was by far the best I’ve ever had. Wish I lived in NYC so I could visit every week. Was mentally calculating in my head what I would have to give up to afford 30 minutes of this every day of my life...and I’m pretty sure whatever it took it would be worth it!
6. Massage Williamsburg
While Brooklyn is a more up-and-coming area in NYC, Massage Williamsburg has remained a pillar of the Brooklyn community for some time. The business was started and continues to be owned by a woman in 2008, which is something that owner, Rachel Bieder, is proud of. Not only is Rachel certified in many types of massage therapy, but she is also a licensed birth Doula. Rachel, along with 24 other massage therapists, offer exceptional services to expectant mothers at a cost below the established average: $130 for one hour and 90 minutes for $185!
Massage Williamsburg has been around for years, and has established itself within this community as the gold standard massage studio. The massage here is exceptional, spoken by a true massage enthusiast. All of the therapists I've seen so far are extremely professional, highly skilled, and true healers. They are not only well versed in the art of massage, but take into consideration the individuality of each person and tailor each massage to me, my body in that very moment, for whatever it is I'm hoping to accomplish in my session. I cannot recommend this place more highly for massage. On top of that, the studio is beautiful, and everyone who works their is so nice! You will leave feeling great, mentally, physically, guaranteed. I always do.
7. Red Moon Wellness
Also in Brooklyn, and also woman-owned by a licensed massage therapist and Doula is Red Moon Wellness. Many expectant mothers give this business high ratings because they feel comfortable with the all-female staff. Others enjoy excellent massage therapy at low rates, starting as low as $80 for 30 minutes. Prenatal massage is available in time intervals of 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and 90 minutes, with the option to add 15 and 30 minute increments as well. Like the first business on the list, Red Moon also offers Maya Abdominal Therapy. Childbirth classes and herbal medicine are also offered here.
I received a 90minute prenatal massage as a gift, and unfortunately was unable to go in for the massage until 14 weeks postpartum. I'm glad it happened this way as my body was never more in need of rejuvenation after pregnancy, labor, and 3 months of caring for a newborn (and all the aches and sleeplessness that accompanies that). Kari not only paid special attention to all of the areas I mentioned but really tuned in to areas that needed relief I wasn't even aware of. It was the most individualized massage I've ever received. I immediately felt relief and left Red Moon lighter and reenergized. I will be back and will definitely consider gifting this to other mommas!
8. Melt Massage and Bodywork
Melt is co-owned by female partners who actually started the business out of their home. Now they offer services in a Brooklyn neighborhood that are completely customized to the needs of their clients, pregnant women included. Not only does Melt receive praise in online reviews from past and current clients, but the price is also the best in the area, starting at $110 for a one-hour prenatal massage. Sessions are available here in 60, 75, and 90-minute increments.
What's more, Melt offers a unique service to help clients relax and unwind either before or after a massage in their "Meditation Den". Complete with a lounge chair, minimalistic design, and even adult coloring books and colored pencils, it is a truly nice touch.
My friend gave me a gift card for a prenatal massage and I was stoked to redeem it. I went twice and loved both masseuses and overall I felt like the place was warm and inviting. I just wish it was a smidge cheaper! But I recommend it, especially if you need a qualified and safe prenatal massage!
9. Rhemedy by Rhed Therapeutic Massage West Village
This spa in the West Village offers a trademarked massage called "Mommy & Me". Though the name is different, the techniques and potential benefits of the Mommy & Me massage are nearly the same as any other pre-natal massage, albeit the, "...RbR proprietary blend of Certified Organic oils" under the website description sounds exclusive and lovely.
Have been twice to Rhemedy by Rhed. Beautiful massage both times- I had prenatal twice. I usually like the super strong massages which these were not, but I think that is all prenatal massage for mama everywhere ;). I had Judy the owner and Allison- both wonderful and left feeling relaxed but even more importantly- invigorated and clear when I got home. It's like they "reset" me. They are obviously expert in what they do-- the care and knowledge is evident. It's in my neighborhood and love that they have online scheduling, so both times I was able to book just a couple hours before. Very relaxing, beautiful atmosphere and energy (dark, mellow, candles, crystals tucked into corners) that feels very authentic and local-- not like one of the larger spas in the city where you feel like an invisible number. This will be my go to place.
Rhemedy by Rhed is on the lower end of pricing for services in the NYC area, starting at $125 for a 60 minute Mommy & Me massage. Sessions are offered in 30, 60, 75, and 90 minute increments. Many other services and add-ons are available at this location, in addition to there being a therapy dog on site!
10. Hoboken Women’s Wellness
On the New Jersey side of NYC, Hoboken Women's Wellness came highly rated, even more so than some spas in Manhattan. They offer prenatal massage in 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90-minute increments. Unique to this practice is the offering of a 75-min Labor Induction Acupressure Massage. Pricing here is comparable to the other less expensive locations mentioned above, with an hour-long prenatal massage costing $120.
Amazing experience! I had a prenatal massage with Irene and I have to say it was one of the best massages I have had in a very long time. She was able to target my areas of concern extremely well and I felt a huge difference after my massage. This will be my new massage place and I'm excited to keeping up with it monthly.
Best couples prenatal massage in NYC in 2018
Let's not forget that your Baby Daddy might enjoy a good rub-down as well! Though he is not doing enduring the physical demands of pregnancy quite as intensely as the mother of his child, Dads are often taking on additional stress and worry during this time thanks to all of the changes that pregnancy brings to the family. What better way to relax together and prepare for life with a new addition than getting a massage together?
I love this spa! The women there are extremely nice and polite. The atmosphere is very peaceful. The rooms are neat and clean. I've been here twice and I plan on making a few more trips. Plus, they have giveaways on Instagram for free services!
This highly rated spa offers both prenatal massage and couples massage. Located inside of a Brooklyn brownstone, the spa offers treatments using high-quality professional products. If you're looking to splurge a little bit, they offer a Couple's Special massage which is a 2-hour service that includes soaking in a jacuzzi, tandem massage, and delicious treats including fruit, chocolate fondue, and champagne or cider. Sign me up!
The energy here is beautiful! The service is always warm and receptive each and every time I come here. And of course, the massages are soo therapeutic. I highly recommend!
Best free prenatal massage in NYC in 2018
Many spas in New York City accept certain insurances to cover the costs of treatment. Of course, every insurance is different, and every spa accepts different types, similar to a doctor's office. Many of the business list in the Top 10 above mention accepting some insurances on their websites. That would be the ideal approach to getting a massage for free, or for the price of a co-pay. Even if you are given a massage for free, however, always remember to tip. Tipping 20% of the cost of the service, regardless of what you actually pay, is customary for massage or body treatment.
Bergen Spa: cheap, not free
If you do not have insurance that covers massage therapy, have no fear, there are places out there that charge very little for their services. Bergen Spa is a highly rated business that offers prenatal massage at comparably low prices.
I never write reviews on Yelp for many many reasons... but I have to write a review for this place. Today was my second time coming here and both times I have made my appointments at ridiculous hours of the night by messaging them on yelp and someone always responds to me ASAP! Secondly... i have a really bad back situation where I keep getting these knots because of stress... and I cannot explain the level of attention I get here! It's awesome. The massage has always been GREAT! Lastly, they always add in about 5 mins extra of head massage in the end! For free!!!! WHAT? AWESOME... Will definitely keep coming back!!! :D :D PS- it is also so cheap!! $48 for 60 mins (more if you count the extra time they go over)..
Best medical prenatal massage in NYC in 2018
A medical massage differs from a spa massage slightly, as discussed previously. Some of the advantages are that insurance is more likely to pay for a medical massage and the practice is more scientifically grounded rather than spiritual.
Medical Massage Group
Located on the Upper Eastside, the Medical Massage Group consistently receives rave reviews for the services they offer expectant mothers looking to ease some of the pain and discomfort of pregnancy. A one-hour prenatal massage costs $140. This business also offers memberships for a monthly 60-minute massage for around $100, which is an awesome way to get regular massages at a discounted price.
My prenatal massage at the Medical Massage Group was excellent. Elinor gave a great deep tissue massage and the whole experience was relaxing and wonderful. Will definitely be back soon for more!
Pregnancy, though joyous for most women, is quite uncomfortable, especially at the end. Prenatal massage is a wonderful way for you to take care of your changing body, prepare for childbirth, and relax. There are numerous massage therapists in New York City who specialize in prenatal massage, and surprisingly most are pretty affordable. Do your research to ensure you find a therapist who is knowledgeable and experienced in working with expectant mothers. Take your husband along too and enjoy some relaxing time together before the excitement (and sometimes sleeplessness) of having a new baby in your family.