A woman's body undergoes dramatic changes when pregnant and the strain on her body is immense. Every pregnancy experience is different, but one thing is certain - all mothers-to-be deserve indulging in a little 'me time' before embarking on the lifelong vocation of motherhood. Spa treatments and massages, as part of a holistic prenatal and postnatal care programme, can help pregnant women combat common discomforts such as swollen legs and feet, back pain from the additional weight, and relieve overall tiredness until labour. And the best time to begin them is from the fourth month of pregnancy as by that time the baby is in a more stable condition, says Suki Cheng, lead aesthetician at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong's Plateau Spa. Winner of the Best Hotel Spa in Hong Kong 2009 award by the Asia Spa and Wellness Festival Gold Awards, Plateau offers a one-hour 'Mother-to-be Massage' tailored for pregnant women at HK$860 or HK$1,180 for 11/2 hours. 'This gentle massage alleviates muscle tension and promotes relaxation for mother and baby,' says Cheng. As safety for the client and unborn child is a top concern at Plateau, Cheng says this massage is different to others as it is performed with the client lying on her side supported by a special pillow. Its technique is similar to the Swedish style where long stroking movements are used and does not include pressure points, tapping or stimulating movements, nor the use of machines. And, as essential aromatherapy oils are not appropriate for pregnant women, only organic grape seed oil is used at Plateau. Before treatment begins, the therapist will ask the client whether they would be comfortable with having their stomach and head massaged and also where they feel most of the strain of the pregnancy and concentrate on the affected parts during the session. And, to set the mood, tranquil music plays in the background featuring local musicians, including the lead cellist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. An added benefit of enjoying the prenatal massage at Plateau is the option to stay overnight at the spa afterwards. Partners are also welcome, giving the couple a chance to bond and take a 'babymoon' before the arrival of the new addition to the family and the beginning of many sleepless nights. Each trimester comes with its individual quirks and ailments, and as the body caters for the new life growing inside, it goes through an amazing metamorphosis. Some women initially experience tough bouts of morning sickness followed by a brief respite in trimester two, but the honeymoon phase is truly over by the third trimester. Trimester three, if not earlier, is an excellent time to pamper oneself and get a pedicure and foot massage as it gets increasingly difficult for pregnant women to reach their toes over their expanded belly and relieve the pain of the additional weight which the feet have to bear. More Than Skin Urban Spa, a boutique spa in Central, provides a 75-minute 'Spa Pedicure and Foot Contouring Treatment' at HK$610. Just stepping into the spa immediately relaxes you as you are transported from the hustle and bustle of Central into intimately decorated Victorian styled rooms using a palette of restful olive green. The air is calmingly fragrant, with soothing jazz music playing lightly in the background as candles burn warmly. 'This is a relaxation treatment to soothe the muscles, stimulate circulation and help rehydrate the skin', says spa director Annie Fung. Seated comfortably on a sofa that has a well-placed cushion to support an aching back, the treatment begins with a warm foot soak in micronised algae powders. This is followed by filing and cuticle work of the toenails before an exfoliation of the feet to help peel away dead skin cells and soften calluses. The next step is the ultra-relaxing foot massage that soothes away aches and pains followed by a mask using moor mud from Africa leaving a cooling effect. Pamper yourself with a relaxing massage and spa treatment to help ease pregnancy discomforts and be a true 'yummy mummy'. A pregnant pause Great Expectations Massage Bliss Hong Kong, W Hong Kong 75 minutes, HK$1,200 A ?bump-friendly? version of the spa?s signature Blissage 75 massage focuses on lymphatic drainage and helps combat water retention, relieve tired muscles and stimulate blood circulation which is essential for the health of the mother and unborn baby. Mums-to-be will enjoy a full body massage with antistretch mark and specially blended unscented oils. Added extras include a head massage and the popular Bliss Cucumber Eye Pack. Due to safety concerns, this spa does not perform any massage treatments on women within the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy. Mother-to-be Treatment Melo Spa, Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin 60 minutes, HK$700 or 90 minutes, HK$900 The treatment begins with a melo citrus foot bath and ends with a refreshing citrus and pomelo herbal tea. To ensure the comfort of the mother special pregnancy pillows are used for support and the masseuse will tailor the massage by concentrating on the parts of the body where most of the pregnancy strain is felt. This massage increases blood and lymphatic circulation, helps reduce swelling, stress on joints, muscle cramps and myofascial pain. Yummy-Mummy-To-Be Treatment Chuan Spa, Langham Place, Mong Kok 90 minutes, HK$1,650 East meets West with this drug-free holistic treatment that is combined with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Treatment begins with a consultation and is followed by acupuncture and a TCM-inspired antenatal massage by a therapist who is certified in pregnancy massage and TCM. The TCM techniques used soothe the nervous system and help with nausea, insomnia, swelling and other muscular aches and pains. Pre- and Post-Natal Treatment The Peninsula Spa by ESPA, The Peninsula Hong Kong 80 minutes, HK$1,440 Designed specifically for pregnant women and nursing mothers, using natural calendula-infused oils, muds and creams this treatment aids in relaxation and improving skin tone. The in-depth consultation at the start allows the therapist to gauge the health of the mother who can also express her concerns and how she wants to benefit from the treatment to ensure the most indulgent and relaxing therapy is given to address her needs. Mummy Fit Package The Mandarin Spa, Mandarin Oriental HK$9,800 This package is ideal for new mothers looking for a comprehensive and effective way to get her body back to her pre-pregnancy shape. Combining three months membership at the exclusive Mandarin Fitness Centre, mums are also entitled to a personal training session each month and two In- Body Analyser assessments for pre and postprogramme body analysis. The package also includes a Body Purifier spa treatment and a complete makeover.