This blog was last updated March 2024

It isn’t difficult these days to find a prenatal massage near you. What proves hard to find is providers that truly cater to pregnant clientele with their services. If you were a regular spa-goer pre-pregnancy, it can be disappointing to lose a routine for relaxation you’ve become accustomed to.

Not to mention, pregnancy often brings a host of discomforts and changes along with it.

The Prenatal Massage benefits extend far beyond days of relaxation. Through the art and science of touch, pregnant individuals can experience pain reduction and relief, mental relaxation, and tap into their parasympathetic nervous system via increase in Oxytocin in the body. By activating our “rest and digest” hormones, we can experience lowered levels of stress overall, which impacts every system of our bodies.

We did the heavy lifting for you and found some of the best options for locally owned pregnancy spa treatments in and around Baltimore. These local options offer a variety of Prenatal Massage techniques. We’re sure you’ll find one that matches your needs perfectly.

For the Holistic-Minded: Anhata Massage

Logo of Anahata Massage Therapy located in Baltimore, Maryland

Sanskrit for “heart”, Anhata Massage is owned by Joshua Gosnell. Offering a holistic approach, this massage will focus on more than just physical wellness, venturing into spiritual wellness as well to treat you as a whole person.

Instagram: @anahatamassagetherapy



For a Full Spectrum: Sweet Willow Massage

Logo for Sweet Willow Massage + Wellness

Sweet Willow offers services not only during pregnancy but preconception as well. Owner Jessie Bernstein-Newton additionally offers Infant Massage Classes for when your little one arrives! These classes can be incredibly beneficial for connecting with your baby and helping to relieve discomfort from things like gas after feedings.

Instagram: @sweetwillowmassage

For an Integrative Massage with Options: Metta Integrative Wellness Co-Op

Employee owned wellness co-op, Metta, in Baltimore, Maryland

An employee-owned cooperative, Metta offers a host of Integrative Health services including Prenatal Massage. Co-owner Molly Farwell creates an experience that can be adapted to all stages of pregnancy and all levels of comfort.

Instagram: @mettawellness



For Massage and Bodywork: Charm City Integrative Health

Logo for Charm City Integrative Health, a wellness business in Baltimore, Maryland

Charm City Integrative Health has been consistently voted Best in Baltimore by! Offering Prenatal Massage and Bodywork, they focus primarily on comfort for the expectant parent.

Instagram: @ccintegrative



For Massage with Optional Add-on Personal Care Services: Indu Wellness

Logo for Indu Wellness, located in Baltimore, Maryland.

Indu Wellness places emphasis on treating the whole person as a part of a comprehensive approach to wellness. While you’ll find Prenatal Massage there, you might also add on your routine personal care services such as Facials, Waxing, or Acupuncture.

Instagram: @indu_wellness


Massage can be a key part of nurturing your wellbeing. With the right provider, incorporating this science-based approach to care during pregnancy is an easy choice.

Looking for referrals to other professionals? Check out our Growing Family Professionals resource page for vetted local individuals and businesses.

Safety Note: Wherever you have your prenatal spa day, be sure to check in with your provider about any treatments you plan to receive, inform your spa technician that you are pregnant and need accommodations, and speak up if something doesn’t feel right. You are the expert on your body and baby!

Nausea in the first trimester is pretty common. From strangers at the store to your family members, you’ll often hear, “Are you having morning sickness?”

A misnomer, many pregnant people are shocked to find that their “morning sickness” hits at lunch time or persists into the evening. Accompanying every interaction is likely to be a reassuring “At least it’s almost over! A few more weeks and you’ll feel much better!”

However, the truth is a little more complicated than that.

Why isn’t this nausea going away?

For some with “morning sickness”, they will indeed find that it resolves as they enter the second trimester. On the other hand, some will experience nausea that continues for the duration of the pregnancy. Alternatively, many will find that it fades for months and returns in the third trimester.

Usually the reappearance of nausea is benign and does not signal a cause for concern. Since late nausea may be a sign of Preeclampsia we still recommend discussing any new symptoms with a trusted healthcare provider.

Please note that this blog covers typical nausea or “morning sickness”, and not the more serious Hyperemesis Gravidarum. HG occurs in up to 3% of pregnancies. If you suspect you have HG we recommend contacting your provider immediately to receive care for this severe form of nausea, dehydration, and weight loss.

Third trimester nausea: Cameron’s story

Cameron experienced nausea in late pregnancy. A mother of three, she had routine first trimester morning sickness with all three pregnancies, which faded away with the first two babies by 16 weeks. With the third pregnancy, however, she had some memorable bouts with nausea in the last 5 weeks before delivery.

“I was so tired all the time, with two young children at home and a traveling husband. I wasn’t taking time to eat well or to sit and put my feet up, so I shouldn’t have been surprised one morning when I had to bolt for the front door and throw up in the bushes.”

Her next unexpected attack was the following week, at Christmas at her mother’s house. With so much going on and a crowded house full of relatives, she and her husband were sharing a bathroom. “He farted in there, and the whole house heard me throw up. Funny in hindsight, but it wasn’t pretty at the time!”

Cameron said she frequently felt queasy during those weeks, and struggled to find enough to eat to fuel her body and combat the fatigue that built every afternoon. In her 36th week she caught a stomach virus. After 3 days of struggling to keep anything down, IV fluids and anti-nausea medication were administered.

Despite the extreme nausea Cameron’s baby was born healthy at 38 weeks after an induction for hypertension, and the nausea disappeared.

What if you find yourself in Cameron’s shoes?

Identifying causes may be helpful so that you can target your treatment, but many times the cause is a combination of hormones and the physical changes when growing a baby. If this is the case, there are many coping strategies but the only real “cure” is birth!

Keep a Food/Supplement Journal

Writing down what you eat for a period of time can be an excellent way to find patterns in your eating and when they correlate with nausea. Additionally, some people find that their supplements (such as a prenatal vitamin) make them feel sick. If this is the case, try taking your supplements in the evening.

Drink Water!

Are you staying well hydrated? Dehydration can worsen your nausea symptoms and, if you are actually vomiting, you’ll be losing a lot of fluids needed for your body functions. Try keeping a refillable water bottle near you full of ice water so it’s easy to remember.

Try Snacks or Smaller Meals

Eating smaller amounts of food more frequently could help keep nausea under control. Part of the reason this works is because it keeps your blood sugars stable. Try making sure each snack or meal has some high quality carbs and protein to assist in balancing the sugars.

On the other hand, if all you can stomach is cereal, eat cereal. Fed is best for you, too.

Buy Yourself Some Candy

Ginger and peppermint have long been touted as helpful things to combat a queasy stomach. There are hard and soft versions of these candies, though many pregnant individuals swear by sucking on hard candies. Alternatively, sour candies have been reported as helpful too.

Above all, finding some time to rest is helpful for coping with nausea, and is also an essential component of preparing yourself for labor. When in doubt, reach out to your doula for suggestions or to discuss steps you can take. Remember, it will end! Until then, you’re doing great hanging in there.

The third trimester is between 28 and 42 weeks of pregnancy, and the final weeks before delivery. While your baby is growing and getting ready for their birth day, you might be experiencing more discomforts. With difficulty sleeping, feeling full after a few bites, heartburn, and frequent urination, how do you have a healthy third trimester? Here are some tips for keeping you and your baby healthy as delivery day approaches. 

Continue eating a healthy and balanced diet–and getting your vitamins and minerals.

During the third trimester, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion notes that pregnant people may need to consume 450 more calories than their normal diet. They recommend that this come in the form of vegetables, whole grains, and proteins–not sugars and fats. As your baby gets bigger, they may start to compress your stomach, and you can feel full after eating only a little bit. Consider high-protein snacks in between meals if you are having trouble eating what you normally might at a meal. 

You may have been taking a prenatal vitamin, and you can continue that into the third trimester. You want to keep getting proper amounts of folate, iron, and calcium. Check with your care provider about what your diet and calorie consumption should look like during a healthy third trimester. 

Stay physically active for a healthy third trimester. 

The National Institutes of Health recommend that people try to be as physically active during pregnancy as they were before. With the physical changes that your body is going through as you prepare for labor (link to blog), you may find the exercise harder or more uncomfortable. However, studies show that exercise can help reduce bloating, leg cramps, and backaches, and reduce other conditions like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and postpartum depression. Consider moderate exercise, like a walk around the neighborhood, a water aerobics class, or a prenatal yoga class. 

Listen to your body and your body’s signals.

By the end of your pregnancy, you may feel bloated, with pains in your belly and back, among other places, and tired from a lack of sleep. You might be uncomfortable, but your body is preparing for birth. While it might be hard to imagine getting comfortable before baby is born, you can try a number of things to relieve the aches. A warm bath or shower can help you relax, and relax your muscles. Pregnancy pillows or other support pillows can make sitting or sleeping more comfortable. Wear loose fitting clothes and don’t be afraid to fan yourself if you are hot! 

Learn more about what to expect during a healthy third trimester in our four week Complete Childbirth Education class or our intensive, one-day Birth Basics. 

Are you planning on traveling this holiday season? For many of us, this feels like the first, best opportunity to see loved ones after almost two years of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns. Here are some tips for flying or taking car rides while pregnant and with your newborn. 

No matter where you are traveling, consider getting vaccinated for COVID-19 if you are not already. USA Today recently reported that only 18% of pregnant people in the United States are vaccinated against COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and World Health Organization all recommend the COVID vaccine even during pregnancy. The benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks. 

Flying During Pregnancy

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) write that during healthy pregnancies, “occasional air travel is almost always safe.” Most domestic airlines allow pregnant people to fly until about 36 weeks of pregnancy, but international airlines may have different cut-offs. You should always consult with your healthcare provider and the airline before booking any travel. 

If you do choose to fly while pregnant this holiday season, you can do a number of things to make the flight more comfortable. First, book and aisle seat if possible. This way, you can get up and walk around more easily. Sitting for more than four hours increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that forms in your leg and can cause pulmonary embolism (when the blood clot gets stuck in your lung). Even when you are sitting, you can move your feet, toes, and legs to keep up circulation. 

You should also wear the seatbelt low across your hips, below the belly and avoid carbonated drinks. All domestic flights currently require masks during travel, and you should consider wearing an N95 or surgical mask, which offer the most protection against airborne pathogens like coronavirus. To stay hydrated, drink water. 

Taking Long Car Rides During Pregnancy 

Like flying, taking long car rides during pregnancy might feel uncomfortable. Wear loose-fitting clothing and layers that can be taken off or put on. You should also be drinking water and eating regular meals. Usually when we drive we want to get there as soon as possible, but remember to stop to use the bathroom and stretch your legs. Sitting in the car for extended amounts of time increases the risk of DVT and can just be uncomfortable. 

Even though a few hours-long car ride might not seem as noteworthy as flying somewhere, remember to speak to your care providers about where and how you are traveling. They may want to offer additional advice to keep you and baby safe. 

Flying with Newborn Baby

You should speak with your baby’s care provider before deciding to go on a flight. As uncomfortable as flying can be for us, it can be especially bad for newborns. Because their immune systems are still developing and planes are by nature crowded spaces, babies might be more susceptible to picking up a virus during a flight. 

The cabin pressure changes may also hurt baby’s ears. If you are traveling, let baby suck on something during takeoff and landing. And while we don’t always notice how loud a plane is, the engines and air circulation can be very loud for a baby’s new ears. Consider noise-cancelling headphones to protect their hearing. 

The level of oxygen inside an aircraft is also lower, and while this might be fine for some babies, talk to your doctor about any of baby’s heart or lung issues. 

And, although baby is allowed to be in your lap during the flight, best practice would be to purchase a seat for baby and to properly install their infant car seat (double checking for FAA approval). This gives you the mobility to get up and move around as well as a familiar place for baby to sleep. It also is by far, the safest way for baby to fly. 

Finally, make sure that you have everything your baby might need during the flight in an easily-accessible carry-on bag. 

Car Rides With a Newborn 

First, make sure that your car seat is properly installed [link to blog]. Like flying, you should also have everything baby needs in an easily-accessible bag. You or your partner may want to sit in the back seat with baby.

Before you leave, consider when and where you’ll be making stops along the way. Think about when your baby usually eats and where the best place to stop might be. Because of COVID, you may want to stop at a rest stop or picnic area rather than a restaurant. 

Although the conventional knowledge is that people are pregnant for nine months (which would be 36 weeks), most babies are actually born between 38 and 42 weeks. This means that you can think of a “due month” rather than a specific date. In fact, less than 5% of babies are born on their due date. But this date range can present a problem: how do you know if you are actually going into labor? Here are four ways to know if you are going into labor. 

You experience certain physical and emotional changes. 

There are specific physical and emotional changes we hear from clients that make your doula double check her birth bag and put her running shoes by the door! A change in emotions and becoming more sensitive, bursts of nesting energy, new or unusual cravings can signal your body is getting ready for labor. You may also have physical changes. These include feeling “crampy” or having backaches, increased vaginal discharge, loss of mucus plug (especially blood-tinged mucus), and softer, more frequent bowel movements. Be in tune with your body and emotions, and communicate those changes with your care providers as you get closer to your due month.  

You’re having uterine contractions. 

Uterine contractions are the first sign of going into labor for most people. But how do you know the difference between uterine contractions and Braxton Hicks or false labor contractions? Uterine contractions are regular and consistent; they get steadily closer, stronger, longer and do not lessen with rest, movement, eating or drinking. You may have contractions before you are in labor. But if they are not causing your cervix to change, you are not in labor. See our blog post on latent labor for more on those contractions.

Your water breaks. 

It always happens in movies: water spills on the floor and the character knows their baby is coming. In real life, only occasionally does your water break ahead of contractions. For the vast majority of people, contractions will follow within 12-24 hours. 

Your cervix is not a crystal ball and it can’t tell you if labor is imminent.

Pre-labor cervical exams are not necessarily an indication of when labor will begin. There are a number of cervical changes that have to take place ahead of dilation, the number measured in centimeters that we all associate with labor. Your cervix will shift forward to align with the birth canal, soften or ripen, thin (or efface) and THEN finally dilate. These changes may be evaluated by your care provider during a cervical exam once you head to the hospital in order to determine if you are in labor. 

To learn more about childbirth and the stages of labor, sign up for our Complete Childbirth Education class or Birth Basics