All you need to know about prenatal massage in Singapore
Is prenatal massage in Singapore painful? Let's bust some myths about pregnancy massages...
When it comes to prenatal massage in Singapore, we are often inundated with queries from our readers. Women are now spoilt for choice, with many freelance masseurs now offering door-to-door services. But are all these massage services reliable? What are the precautions one needs to take? We decided to ask Nouri Face & Body Concepts, a 15-year-long pioneer in the beauty and pregnancy massage industry, to see if we got any answers.
Valerie De Costa, founder of Nouri Face & Body Concepts, tells us that certified therapists are more informed to assess the mummy’s condition and decide what the appropriate massage would be for her. Most freelancers just want to make some quick money and, “will not take the effort to educate mummies.”
Says Valerie, “When we meet clients during pregnancy, we are able to advise them on diet and tips on detoxifying treatments, so that you don’t have all these backlogs eating into your postnatal period. Most of our clients who take the pregnancy package have far less problems during confinement, because the toxins, water retention and stress has been removed. They actually look forward to the delivery.”
We learn that a certified therapist from a professional centre takes notes of your progress and any irregularities. She can make recommendations based on what stage of pregnancy you are in.
Valerie tells us about the personalised advice she gives mummies, “We advise them constantly. For example, remember now you are in week 34, you must take coconut water. You need to do simple exercises.”
“When we handle clients during pregnancy, I meet them personally. I assure them they can reach me if they have any queries about their diet. If they have health concerns like gestational diabetes, I can tweak the treatment and advise them on food that they can cut off during pregnancy. We also advise them when we feel they are putting on too much weight .”
It is also important to base your expectations on your culture and genes. Valerie says, “Chinese clientele, have different structural problems than Indian and Malay women. From pregnancy, we preempt them on what they are likely to expect, so we customise our packages according to race and body type too.”
Many of our readers get turned off by prenatal massages because they fear it might end up being painful. Certain positions and techniques are not recommended during pregnancy because they may endanger the baby or mother. If the massage is not done using the right technique, it may cause extreme pain and even lead to a miscarriage.
Valerie clarifies, “None of our customers have pain because of the technique that we use, which is designed especially for pregnant women. They actually feel relaxed and rejuvenated.”
“I feel that most home masseurs are better trained in postnatal massage, so they tend to be too hard when doing prenatal. Or sometimes when they see a pregnant lady, they get frightened and end up being too soft. There needs to be good rhythm and flow and they need to be in tune with the customer’s body. She needs to feel refreshed and not in pain.”
“In special cases, we do inform the client that she might feel pain. For example, if she is not doing regular office work and needs to be on her toes all the time, like a dance teacher or someone in F & B, and has asked for the achy parts to be really worked on. Then we tell her that over the next 3 days you might feel sore and achy, but just apply our pregnancy oils as usual, and you will be fine in 3 days.”
A good prenatal massage improves your overall health and prepares you physically and emotionally for labour. Valerie affirms, “They would have an easier delivery because the massages help the ligaments to loosen up.”
“We give our clients a kit of compression shape wear and aromatherapy blend which I hand make on my own, with 13 different essential oils inside. After delivery, mummies apply these oils and once the doctor gives them clearance to go home, they start wearing the shape wear.”
“They feel good, they feel warm and they feel the support.”
The chief reason mummies opt for postnatal massages is to regain body shape and lose weight after pregnancy. But that’s not all. Postnatal massages are instrumental in reducing postpartum depression, help in increasing breast milk production and promote faster healing after giving birth.
Valerie also informs us that it is better to get the postnatal massage as early as possible after delivery, “With mummies who have just delivered, their fats and bones are softer and more pliable, and can be moulded back into shape.”
“Also, we give our clients the option that once you reach the last 30% of your postnatal package, you might want to come back to the centre to take advantage of the postnatal belly tightening facility that we have in here.”
“We use a special machine, which gives waves for muscles to contract and release, as if you are doing tummy crunches. This will help regain the strength and confidence to do your own tummy crunches later.”
“We also don’t promote anything to ingest. I give mummies a list of do’s and dont’s for food. All items are easily available in supermarkets. I don’t promote supplements at my centre, because supplements are all factory made and artificial. I suggest healthier options like flax seeds, if clients are keen on increasing their omega-3 intake.”
Most women who have had a C-section delivery have apprehensions when it comes to post natal massages. Valerie assures them that they are in safe hands, “I have a lot of experience with ladies who have had a C- section delivery. Most of the protocol is the same, but the technique is different, and more delicate care has to be exercised on the tummy area.”
“Stitches are covered using a towel, with a 2 inch allowance. We work above that area and on the sides. Such mummies usually pass a lot of wind.”
“We usually start such packages 10-14 days after the C-section. However, if the doctor advises 30 days of rest, we still offer the postnatal package, but mummies will have to come to our centre, to avail of our machines here, for better results.”
There are cases when things didn’t quite work out as planned and fate had other things in store... Is the postnatal massage also beneficial for women who have had miscarriages or stillborn babies?
Valerie, “Yes, in this case, we focus mostly on recovery and recuperation. A different set of essential oils are blended to prevent depression in such ladies. We take care to be extra sensitive, loving and caring. Of course, if the customer feels that she has put on a lot of weight, she can still opt for our slimming package.”
We were surprised to know that pregnancy packages were not only about massages. Here are some perks that you get to make use of:
- Pregnancy acne treatment: Says Valerie, “Our pregnancy packages come with facial programs where we use aqua peel machines to remove dirt with water jets, and use lifting masks to remove water retention in the skin.”
- Oils and creams: “I take 2 days off from the week to hand make all my products which include oils for pregnancy, oils for postnatal care, our sexy mum creams, massage creams, face masks, body masks and body scrubs.”
- Body exfoliation: According to Valerie, the chief issue with freelance masseurs is, “They are just rubbing oils on ladies whose skin is not well prepared. When the client skin is unprepared and dirty, a lot of oil gets used, just to get the movements.”
“At Nouri, we have a specific plan for the customers from pregnancy for body exfoliation. Our scrub granules are very closely knitted together, I personally add the grains, and make it heavily granulated. We use the anti water retention method when scrubbing customers, so after scrubbing and washing, the skin feels squeaky clean, they feel lighter and feel like passing urine, because all the excess water has been removed.”
- Body masks: “We have 4 kinds of body masks - anti stretch marks, hydration, body toning and slimming (anti water retention). Our customers lie there wrapped in the appropriate mask for 45 min, so that their skin can absorb the essence.
“While wrapped up in their body mask, the aqua peel machine is used for the face because that’s when the pores on the skin open up readily. Later on, good aromatherapy oils are used for massage so we don’t really need so much oil and effort, as the skin is ready to absorb all the nutrients.”
It is also interesting to note that even the towels are washed separately based on whether they were used for massage or after a scrub. Clearly, there is much attention to detail to admire here.
Finally, do freelance masseurs lack training? How is it that they are much cheaper, we wonder?
Valerie believes that most freelancers would have some certificate based on a short subsidised course that they did. She stresses, “We don’t hire such people. Such people cannot take the real pressure and real work required from a therapist.”
“A real course would entail 2-3 years, but I also look at the experience. After having employed so many people, I now know that some people may be highly educated, but they cannot handle the demands of this job.”
“The masseurs I prefer are those who know their customer’s body through touch or intuition. Apart from good qualification, they are constantly updating their knowledge in nutrition, reiki, holistic therapy, and also want their customers to benefit from their knowledge.”
“My therapist should be a team player and have no ego. They must be well versed in body work and be able to put in hard work. It may not just be massaging the client but also empathising with them through soothing words. All my staff are full timers, we don’t employ any part-timers or freelancers.”
Well, we sure were impressed by all the facilities, the relaxing atmosphere together with the fragrance of aromatherapy oils, that a professional centre offered. Valerie sums it up nicely when she says, “Pregnancy is not the end of the world. At Nouri, when a client comes in, our vision is to have her looking healthy, radiant and toned during pregnancy. We want our mummies to feel good about themselves. When our clients give birth, our aim is for every mother to look trim on the day of her baby’s 1 month party.”
For more personalised advice on prenatal massage in Singapore, you may contact:
Address: 114 Lavender Street,, CT Hub 2 , #02-63, 338729
Phone: 6294 8106