The Mom-to-Be’s Guide to Relaxation (or what passes for it)


Relaxation, especially in later stages of pregnancy, can seem like a distant memory. With a constant assortment of aches, pains, tweaks, kicks and rumbles to contend with, comfort isn’t exactly easy to come by. It is possible, though! Here are a few things that have helped me to get through the past nine months (yes, I’m in the home stretch!) without becoming a wrung out ball of snark.

For the spa girl, a perfect way to relax is to treat yourself to a pregnancy massage, facial or other body treatment. I recently had the most heavenly experience at Edamame Spa, a cozy, tranquil spot nestled into the Destination Maternity store in midtown Manhattan. Their Pure Results Facial is 60 minutes of sensory nirvana, customized to suit those charming hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy. Sue Perez, esthetician extraordinaire, began with a choice of aromatherapy scents (I fell in love with lavender and tangerine, which are so refreshing when mixed together). What followed was an hour of massage, exfoliation, steaming and cleansing with organic Naturopathica products that actually made me forget that I was lying in one position for ages (something I haven’t been able to do without squirming in months)! By the time Sue was finished, I was so relaxed and loose that I nearly asked to stay and snooze! If you’d prefer a different indulgence, Edamame’s entire menu of services is beyond enticing, even including services designed to get your skin and senses back into shape post-pregnancy. Immerse yourself at

If you’re more casual about your relaxation, there’s plenty to be done in the privacy of you own home. The most obviously beneficial is to simply put your feet up. Whether you take a luxurious afternoon nap or just swing your legs up onto the couch for half an hour, resting your body as often as possible helps to minimize swelling, keeps your mind at least sort of clear and keeps aches and pains to a minimum. Alternate these respites with as much activity as you can muster (walks, prenatal exercise programs and even stretches can really help to keep your juices flowing) and the fatigue that comes with this territory won’t be quite so bad.

Another great way to relax and keep your spirits high right at home is to goof off! Laugh, sing, dance, tell your baby all about Star Wars … just let loose. Do it alone or invite a few friends (pregnant or not, everybody needs a good goof-off sometimes) and just try not to feel like a million bucks. Your baby will love it, too (mine bounces all over the place when I launch into my Billy Idol repertoire).

If you’re too pooped to goof and Mr. Idol’s work isn’t exactly your idea of soothing, make yourself a hot cup of peppermint tea and get lost in whatever type of music you love most. If it makes you happy, it’ll make your baby happy. So, let the peaceful bonding commence! If you make it through an entire Enya CD without being kicked in the lung, consider your relaxation experience a success.

Hopefully, some of these tricks will work as well for you as they have for me. Keep smiling and remember that all the weirdness you’re experiencing is because your body is busy doing something amazing. Enjoy it as much as you can, and relaxation might just sneak up on you!

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