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    Pregnant and Pampered: Moms-to-Be Splurge on Spa Treatment

    Facials, belly massages, and yoga are among the indulgences of modern-day expectant moms.

    Maternity Spas Reduce Stress

    Another reason for the increase of maternity spas may be stress.

    Julie Scott, MD, a perinatologist in Scottsdale, Ariz., sees a lot of expectant mothers in her practice. She was perturbed by the stress and anxiety that women were facing in their pregnancies - much of which was exacerbated by their physicians.

    "The women in our community are older and have delayed having children until they have established their careers and their marriages, so they're coming at it at a different time in their life," she explains. "They may have faced fertility issues or medical issues, which traditional physicians look at as complications, so they've been given a list of things they can't do. They've been told that their pregnancies are complicated, which means they have a certain level of stress."

    So Scott got together with colleagues Karri Francois, MD, and Kathleen Harris, MD, also perinatologists, and founded AMOMI, a pregnancy wellness spa. It's the only physician-supervised maternity spa in the country for high-risk pregnancies, Scott says.

    "Our goal was to minimize that feeling [of stress] and say that pregnancy is normal," she explains. "It's a state of health, and we should be focusing on the positive aspects and optimizing their health and well-being by complete counseling, nutritional therapy, and alternative therapies, as well as consistent medical care."

    Maternity Spas: More Than Just Massage

    In addition to traditional spa treatments such as belly massages and facials, AMOMI offers a wide range of educational opportunities for their clients, including classes on nutrition, labor and delivery, and pain management choices. Like Barefoot and Pregnant, AMOMI offers pregnancy exercise classes as well.

    After birth, clients can go into AMOMI for a postpartum tune-up and get everything from microdermabrasion and laser hair and vein removal to a "New Mommy and Me" massage and facial. Prices range from $60 for a facial to $175 or $250 for laser vein renewal, but AMOMI also offers packages, like a half-day getaway, the "Trimester Trifecta" (three services per trimester), or "9 Months of Bliss," which offers treatments throughout the pregnancy.

    "We're not the women that our moms used to be, when it was a badge of honor to carry the physical effects of the pregnancy," Scott says about the cosmetic procedures. "Women nowadays see themselves very differently. These are women who want to get back to their pre-pregnancy wellness state, and there's no reason they can't."

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