At some point, your clientele will probably double—for nine months at least. If a client is pregnant, how can the spa handle with care? Paying attention to contraindications is a must. Jennifer O’Rourke, director of admissions at the Canadian Beauty College, and Jolene Ali, owner of Sweet Momma pregnancy spa in Edmonton, share tips.
Do… Ask which trimester your client is in.
“The first trimester is the highest risk. Everything is very delicate at that time, and you have to take extra precautions in the first trimester,” says O’Rouke, who prefers to defer all treatments until the second and third semester. At Sweet Momma, where pregnancy acupuncture is also offered, the staff will assess whether there has been a history of miscarriage or if there is a high-risk in the pregnancy before a treatment. “Our staff is trained not to stimulate pregnancy points during the first trimester,” says Ali.
Don’t… Use anything too abrasive.
Since hormones are changing rapidly, clients might face different reactions than they normally would. “Even if they’re not normally allergic to something, they might feel like their skin is burning if you’re using vitamin C and vitamin A, so that should be avoided,” explains O’Rourke. “We let them know that they can’t have certain facials, like a chemical peel, or anything with harsh chemicals. Instead, we might do a relaxing hydrating facial.”
Do… Keep the temperature down.
“We don’t do thermal treatments on our pregnant clients,” says Ali. “We have heat wraps post-pregnancy to help with losing any excess water, but when a client is pregnant, you don’t ever want to raise the body temperature above 37° C. For our hydrating body wraps, we just use towels and oil; we don’t use any heat on them at all.”
Don’t… Skip the massage.
“Pregnancy massages are really relaxing,” says O’Rourke. “But nothing vigorous, like a soft-tissue massage. Calves tend to swell up a lot around the ankle, but you don’t want it to be very deep tissue with a lot of stimulation, just a little bit of release.” Spa estheticians will also want to look out for blood clots and varicose veins. “You don’t want to be moving those around or applying any pressure,” says Ali. O’Rourke would recommend avoiding the treatment altogether if clients show varicose veins: “Safety first.”
Do… Be cautious with essential oils.
“I wouldn’t use anything that can have a medicinal effect and you’re not sure how it affects a pregnancy,” says Ali. “Unless it’s very innocuous, like traces of lavender, you have to remember that essential oils are medicinal. They may not be as active as
Tylenol, but they definitely have active ingredients that affect the body.”
Don’t… Forget client comfort.
Having a number of pillows in different sizes and shapes can help pregnant clients feel comfortable, according to Ali and O’Rourke. They can range from chest pillows, pillows for legs, under the knees and to support the head. Sweet Momma is also careful to have armrests on the chairs in the waiting room to assist pregnant women with getting up and down. “You have to remember to make your environment pregnancy-friendly, and people will come.”