Carrying a kid around for nine months or so is no joke. Doing it in New York City, in these strange times? Oof. Luckily, there are tons of great prenatal massage places in NYC where an expectant mom can find stress relief and help for those gestational aches and pains. And yes, Covid safety procedures are in effect to keep everyone healthy—and relaxed! Below, our picks for the city’s best places to get a prenatal massage.
The ‘In-the-know’ Massage Therapist: Prenatal Massage Center of Manhattan
For over 16 years Anne Heckheimer has been offering support in the form of massage to NYC’s pregnant women. She incorporates unique add-ons such as gua-sha relaxation (repeated strokes using a smooth stone) and facial rejuvenation into prenatal massages upon request. (Heckheimer is also a certified personal trainer!) All safety rules are being followed: there’s a new medical-grade air purifier on-site, there’s a new intake form for clients with specific COVID-related questions, and clients will be required to bring their own water bottles to reduce the number of surfaces to be touched by everyone. Don’t forget your mask! New modalities: Spinning Babies® Body Balancing, Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® and Labor Enhancement Massage Sessions.
231 West 96th St. Suite 2B, Office 7
Upper West Side
Makes Housecalls: Motherly Love Massage and Acupuncture
This housecall pre-natal massage small business services Manhattan and Brooklyn. Says owner, Leigh: “We exclusively offer housecalls, specializing in massage and acupuncture for pregnancy, postpartum and parents!” Perfect for de-stressing during challenging times, Motherly Love’s practitioners thoroughly employ the new covid-safety protocols and professional guidelines, “with sessions designed to nourish your well-being from the comfort of home.” Housecall services have recently expanded to Westchester county, Princeton and Rumson, NJ, too.
119 West 23rd St., Suite 802
Fertility-focused: The Yinova Center
Due to COVID19, The Yinova Center launched a new Remote Bodywork Program designed to empower patients through guided self-massage techniques known to support and optimize the reproductive system. The virtual bodywork program will guide you through the self-massage techniques that are appropriate for whichever stage of the cycle you are in. For those coming in, all COVID safety guidelines are being followed and there’s heightened staff & patient screening. Everyone coming into the center is required to sign a health declaration and have their temperature taken. There’s also enhanced cleaning and PPE required for staffers. For pregnant women, initial consultations are currently divided into two parts: The intake portion of the treatment is done virtually, after which you will be able to come into one of their centers for a treatment.
37 W. 17th St., Suite 300
Best for An Afternoon of Pampering: Melt massage
Says owner, Alexis: “While getting an indoor massage at this time cannot be risk-free, we're doing everything we can to make it as safe as possible.” This includes limiting the number of people in their space - the desk is almost entirely working remotely - and all sessions are staggered by at least 15 minutes. “Both clients and LMTs are wearing masks the entire time in our space.” The small team is constantly cleaning the air with HEPA filters and dual direction fans and surfaces are disinfected thoroughly between each client. Adds Alexis: “Finally, we are making an effort to communicate with clients both before and after their sessions over email or on the phone since talking (even while wearing a mask) makes the situation risky.”
84 Lafayette Ave.
The Holistic Haven: Earth & Sky Healing Arts
Earth & Sky Healing Arts offers prenatal and postpartum massage, cranial-sacral therapy and newly expanded acupuncture services. Specializing in fertility and supporting clients through the childbearing cycle, Earth + Sky's therapists offer years of experience and evidence-based care. This holistic wellness spot is both comforting and dedicated to providing excellent care. They adhere to all COVID safety guidelines and have a new acupuncture program.
5-31 50th Ave.
Long Island City
Best for Shared Spaces: HND + TMPL Massage Therapy
“Since the start of the pandemic, there's been an increase in stress levels and a reduction of social interaction and external physical contact,” says owner Ben Brown, LMT. “An expecting mother needs all the support available as she manages the growth of another life. Conscious touch in the form of prenatal massage can help assist in these challenging times.”
Brown is certified in pre and postnatal massage and has worked in a medical setting, a day spa, and private practice over his 14-year career. “I currently work out of City Wellness Collective in Chelsea, which is a group of individual wellness practices operating in a shared space.” Aside from his practice, there’s an on-site fertility acupuncturist, and a chiropractic practice specializing in pregnancy healthcare. Each treatment room has ventilation, a Hepa air-filter, and its disinfected between appointments. While in session, Brown wears PPE, including goggles, face mask, and an apron. Clients have the option of wearing their mask when face down but are required to wear one when face up. Temp checks upon arrival.
141 West 28th St., Third Fl.
The Park Slope Full Service Spot
The popular Sage Spa once occupied this Park Slope storefront. Now it’s occupied by Red Moon Wellness, a center for massage, childbirth education and assistance, and herbal medicine. Massage services include both prenatal and postpartum work. Run by certified massage therapist, birth doula, lactation consultant and clinical herbalist Lena DeGloma, this is also a good resource for expecting and new parents looking for education and support. As far as COVID-19 safety rules go, this Brooklyn gem upgraded ventilation, installed touchless faucets, implemented masks for both clients and therapists and more.
405 5th Ave.
For Moms of Multiples: Liza Adara Healing
Liza Adara’s bodywork and massage utilizes Craniosacral Biodynamics and restorative acupressure to assist the body in finding optimum wellness. She supports many twin pregnancies – she’s even a twin herself – and advocates that regular massages for moms carrying twins makes a tremendous difference in the pregnancy and birth. Manhattan home visits and various studio locations in Manhattan and East Hampton
For the Mama On the Go: BodyMechanics
BodyMechanics always operated as a medical practice and had 30 min between appointments so when the pandemic hit they were actually fully stocked with gloves, sanitizer and masks. Says the team: “All of our in room furniture is fully wipeable (always was); now you will find hand sanitizer in each room for patient use and our cleaning practices include things, like light switches and sterilizing your chair!” Expectant moms can completely relax because everything is cleaned for their visit. They also added table top hepa air filters to each room to help with air circulation. Additional upgrades include the fact that we ported all of our old paper files into an online HIPPA-compliant system so you can now fill out all of your medical records via your smart phone, as well as check out without passing staffers your card. (Note the new address!)
1 W 34th St., Suite #204
Most Accommodating: Remedy Massage
Remedy Massage is great for making you feel comfortable at any stage in your pregnancy. It has a number of different pillows meant to support your body and belly in any position. It also lets you schedule online and often has last minute appointments available.
107 West 82nd St., Suite 103
Upper West Side
Best for Pain Relief: Massage Williamsburg
The practitioners at Press Massage Williamsburg, a woman-owned business, are experts in pain relief, which is great for women who may be experiencing lower-back pain or swelling during their pregnancy. Owner, Rachel Beider, is the prenatal massage expert so you know you are in good hands. You can choose to lie face down on the Preggo Pillow, or lie on your side if you are a little farther along.
169 Wythe Ave., Suite 202
Best for a Reflexology Combo: Lori Singer Massage
Lori is a board-certified reflexologist as well as a certified prenatal and postpartum massage therapist. The internet talks a lot about reflex points that should not be used during pregnancy, but since Reflexology balances all our bodies functions thru deep relaxation there is a lot of good too, explains Lori. “And, of course, I know what reflex points to stay away from. When I combine reflexology with a massage I am facilitating your body to balance and heal it’s self both internally and externally.” She also offers postpartum massages, which are beneficial in facilitating stress reduction, fatigue, restoration of your pre-pregnancy shape and less postpartum depression. Regarding COVID safety, there are HEPA air purifiers are in treatment rooms, lots of hand-washing, mandates masks required, and more.
feature photo: Press Massage Williamsburg
— Rachel Sokol