Therapeutic massage offers both physical and psychological benefits for an expectant mother. It's a great way to relax, feel good, and help relieve many of the aches and stress of pregnancy, especially for NYC mamas who are hoofing it all over town and up and down those subway stairs.
We recently rounded up great options for prenatal massage in Brooklyn, and now we're spotlighting places in Manhattan where you can enjoy the healing and soothing benefits of prenatal massage. All offer side-lying positions and some also have special pillows and tables that allow you to lie face down, even with a pregnant belly.
Check out our NYC Baby and Pregnancy Guide for more new mom info, including fun baby and me classes and where to meet other parents.
To be safe, check with your healthcare provider to make sure prenatal massage is right for you. And don't forget to find out if your health insurance provider covers the cost of a massage, or if you can deduct it through an FSA spending account. Either way, treat yourself to a massage this coming Mother's Day!
Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage — Midtown East
This massage spot's prenatal program was designed by the owner, an NYC mom who knows what it is like to be pregnant in the city. Not only is it relaxing and supportive, but the massage may help to improve function and reduce pain often associated with pregnancy. Moms-to-be have the option of lying face down on a special table, or lying sideways with the support of pillows. The massage is conducted with scent-free organic lotion and cool cloths soothe swollen feet and ankles.
Holistic Hands — Flatiron
Nicole Libschik, a certified massage therapist and doula, offers prenatal massage that helps to bring the nervous system to a relaxed state, reduce muscle pain and enhance blood circulation. Her massages provide focused individualized attention to both physical and emotional needs. She also offers doula support, postpartum massage and infant massage education.
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A therapist can arrange the body cushions at Maternal Massage so that a pregnant woman can lie face down if she likes—a rarity in pregnancy. Photo courtesy the business.
Maternal Massage and More — Soho (and Park Slope)
Licensed massage therapist Janet Markovits uses a body cushion system to allow pregnant women—even in their last trimester—to lie face down. She also offers massage during labor, as well as postpartum and infant massage.
The Medical Massage Group — Upper East Side
One of our editors raves about the massages here, calling it "one of the best prenatal massages" she's ever received, though the setting feels less salon, more doctor's office. The certified massage therapists use a custom-designed treatment table with a hole in it (rather than pillows) that accommodates your belly, while an adjustable sling provides flexible and gentle support. For many pregnant women, it's an amazing relief to be able to lie face down after sleeping on your side for months, even if it's just for an hour.
Prenatal Massage Center of Manhattan — Upper West Side
Licensed massage therapist Anne Heckheimer offers prenatal and postpartum massage to soothe and de-stress women's changing bodies, working to alleviate common discomforts including backaches, leg cramps, sciatica, heartburn and fatigue. She also teaches a partner massage and yoga for labor class nearby.
Soho Sanctuary — Soho
This full-service spa offers a complete menu for expectant mothers including facials, massages, body scrubs, manicures and pedicures. Opt for the "Mama Massage" to relax those lower-back muscles and feet with Mama Mio's O-mega massage oil. Bonus: It includes an invigorating scalp massage. Bolsters and pillows are used to help clients feel comfortable. All expectant mothers must be in their second trimester to receive a prenatal service.
The YinOva Center — Chelsea
This medical center combines traditional Chinese medicine with Western practices and offers acupuncture, massage and other forms of body work such as Rolfing. The licensed massage therapist will employ the Arvigo techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy for those past the first trimester to improve circulation for mother and baby and keep the uterine muscles healthy. Women lay on their sides with pillows set up according to your stage of pregnancy. Acupuncture for breech babies, labor induction and postpartum depression, as well as breastfeeding support is also available.
Top photo: Therapist Anne Heckheimer provides a mom-to-be with a prenatal massage at the Prenatal Massage Center of Manhattan. Image courtesy the company.