If ever there’s a time when you need a bit of TLC and some relaxing, soothing downtime, it is when you’re expecting. We sent out some mums-to-be to find the best pregnancy-safe treatments in town not sure what to use on your skin while pregnant? here are some great toxin-free bump-safe beauty treats

Pregnancy doesn’t need to end your favourite spa treatments; in fact, you’re almost spoilt for choice in Dubai. A little bit of me-time is a great way to relax, revitalise and rejuvenate your mind and body before the arrival of your little one, especially during the second trimester when extreme tiredness and morning sickness have hopefully passed, and you can still manoeuvre yourself onto the treatment table without too much effort. We road-tested some of the many options available...

What: Expecting Mother

Where: Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah

How much: Dh550

How long: 60 minutes

What it’s good for: Easing water retention, relaxing muscles and improving circulation.

When can you have it: From month 3 until the end of month 7

Contact: 04 3666818

Talise Spa really takes their responsibility towards pregnant women very seriously and has five therapists specially trained in pregnancy massage. I had to fill in a form before even entering the spa; I was asked for info on how far I was along, and if I had any particular areas I’d like to be worked on, and only then was I taken through to the changing area. I was shown around and encouraged to use the relaxation waiting room once ready – a quiet room with reclining lounge chairs covered in towels and with teas and water, but lovely to sit in and wind down before the massage.

I was then met by my masseuse and taken through the gardens to the therapy room. She went over my form in detail, asking how my pregnancy was going and testing the special pregnancy massage oil on my hand so I could see if I liked the smell; as you know, that’s very important for the heightened senses of a pregnant lady!

The massage bed was absolutely amazing. I could lie on my side with an abundance of pillows and fluffy towels for support, or face down if I wanted since the bed is fully adjustable. I chose the latter and my therapist made a little well in the middle for my bump to rest easily in, so there was no pressure at all on the baby and it made a nice change for me. Reassuringly, she was also very understanding when it came moving around; she was always there to support me, and was exceptionally gentle with my stomach.

The massage itself was incredible. I went from mildly relaxed to the point of almost drifting off to sleep within the first 5 minutes. The atmosphere was so calming and comfortable, and my masseuse worked so quietly and smoothly I could barely tell when - or if - her hands ever left my skin. Her touch just seemed to continually flow from my toes all the way to my head.It was definitely a high point of my pregnancy so far.

What: Mummy-to-be massage

Where: The Cure, Media City

How much: Dh250 with a free pedicure

How long: 60 mins

What it’s good for: Aching limbs, circulation and relaxation.

When can you have it: Up until 32 weeks

Contact: 04 391 6485

On entering The Cure I was given a hot towel and offered a drink. The weight of the day lifted from my shoulders and I was glad I’d left my chaotic household for bit of R&R! Smile lines appeared as I was introduced to my therapist and shown to the restful, serene massage room.

My therapist asked if there were any particular areas I’d like her to focus on before starting with my massage.

She explained almond oil is the base to all aromatherapy oils and is a mild hypoallergenic oil used for all prenatal massages. She then explained carrying a baby inside you changes your centre of gravity and puts a lot of stress on your back, neck, abdominal muscles and shoulders, so with this in mind she started on my back, using a circular motion and gentle kneading of the lower the back to release all the pressure.

My legs in particular felt very heavy and sore, and with this being one of my problem areas the therapist kneaded her way through the knots and left them feeling light and weightless. The massage ended with an amazing head massage, where I was convinced the therapist had another pair of hands!

The Cure is a beauty and wellness lounge that offers an excellent variety of treatments with a friendly, gracious service. It’s a one-stop shop for a busy mum to be; excellent value for money and the perfect way to end a stressful day.

What: Ultimate Rose Pregnancy Massage

Where: Heavenly Spa, The Westin Mina Seyahi

How much: Dh495

How long: 60 minutes

What it’s good for: Heavy legs and an aching back

When can you have it up until:

Contact: 04 511 7901

The gentle trickle of water and the delicate lighting automatically relaxes you as you step into the Heavenly Spa. After your welcome drink you’ll be treated to 60 minutes of bliss; just perfect after a long day at work or chasing toddlers around at home. Unwind and recharge a tired body and mind safe in the hands of the experts.

Propped up with fluffy pillows to support your back and legs, the therapist begins relieving the strain. Easing knots from stiff shoulders, focusing on sore hips and lower back pain, the lightly scented rose oil relaxes, moisturises and can help to reduce stretch marks.

The treatment releases tension held in your body helping you to feel relaxed and recharged. Following this you’ll experience a moisturising and refreshing facial massage. Then, a real treat; a hypnotic head massage, sending tingles all over your body and helping you fall asleep as aches and tiredness melt away with each gentle stroke. Heavenly.

What: Mother-to-be massage

Where: Anantara Spa, Anantara The Palm

How much: Dh600

How long: 60 minutes

What it’s good for: Relieving tension in the lower and upper back and reducing swelling in the hands and feet

When can you have it up until:

Contact: 04 567 8140

This Thai-inspired spa, hidden away on the Palm, is like a sanctuary; luxurious and peaceful. The experienced therapist will tailor the massage and adapt it to meet the needs of your particular stage of pregnancy. With the gentle aroma of jasmine floating in the air, it doesn’t take long for the exotic charm of this spa to work its magic. The treatment begins with a relaxing lavender milk foot bath, sea salt scrub and a refreshing peppermint spray.

Using gentle movements to promote deep relaxation she alleviates the stresses while the Elemis Japanese Camellia body oil is absorbed into tired, dehydrated skin. I’m informed it’s great for stretch marks. Instant refreshing gel is applied to my feet to reduce swelling. It’s energising and cooling.

The replenishing facial at the end of the treatment soothes and rejuvenates. The papaya peel tingles but illuminates my skin making it feel - and hopefully look - renewed. I almost float out of the treatment, it’s been so relaxing.

What: The Skin Healer Facial

Where: Clarins, Dubai Mall

How much: 450dhs

How long: 60 minutes

What it’s good for: Sensitive, dehydrated skin

When can you have it: Up until birth you can have one or two treatments a month, depending on your skin type

Contact: 04 434 0522

Tucked away on the first floor of Dubai Mall is a tranquil treatment room, with flickering candles and a soundproof door keeping the hubbub of the world’s largest shopping mall locked away. Guaranteed to give you a pregnancy glow, this 60-minute facial is perfect for soothing sensitive skin.

The treatment focuses on a combination of rehydration and repairing techniques, designed to meet your individual skin requirements. The therapist assesses skin texture, puffiness, circulation, dehydration and firmness, and then chooses three supplements accordingly.

The Tri Active Facials, as the name suggests, focus on three areas, the first being skin preparation which is a combination of cleansing, skin exfoliation and drainage massage. All products are applied use the same technique, starting from the centre of the face and moving outwards and from the neck in downward strokes towards your lymphatic glands to drain toxins.

Next is the hydrating and intensive face mask, followed by eye and day cream. The therapist uses gentle strokes on dehydrated and sensitive skin, not only focusing on the skin but using massage techniques on the face, neck, décolleté, hands and feet. The Clarins products are lightly fragranced and quickly absorbed.

Halfway through my pregnancy, my face was looking tired and stressed but this facial put me well on my way to restoring my glow.

What to avoid at the spa

Steam rooms

Hot tubs

Saunas

Body wraps (unless pregnancy-specific)

Reflexology (unless pregnancy-specific and using aromatherapy oils safe during pregnancy)

As that second line appears on the pregnancy test, chances are you’re thinking about folic acid and pre-natal vitamins rather than whether you can carry on using your regular beauty products. But do they contain ingredients that aren’t safe to use in pregnancy? A quick search online reveals a list of no-go ingredients...

Retinoids and vitamin A, often found in anti-ageing products

Salicylic acid, often a main ingredient in acne creams, facial peels and toners

Soy-based products

Parabens, commonly used as preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria

We’ve rounded up a few brands and products billed as being safe for use during pregnancy.

Kure Bazaar Nail Polish Dh80

Promising to give impeccable resistance, ultra-shine and super-quick drying, this eco-trendy nail varnish is great for mums-to-be. It’s the perfect combination of an eco-natural formula that’s not tested on animals and a wide selection of vibrant colours,

Four Cow Farm Mother’s Oil, Dh159 from The Change Initiative, Db Babies, Caboodle and Holland & Barrett

100% natural and organic, these products are handmade on an Australian farm by a former midwife and now grandmother. Four Cow Farm uses the finest restorative organic oils for boosting the care of sensitive, stressed or stretching skins. It delicately blends rosehip and camellia oil, both of which are known for their skin repairing qualities. Full of powerful antioxidants and natural vitamin E - which restore suppleness and elasticity and helps your skin retain moisture - the oil is ideal for both face and body.

Lush

There’s a huge selection of 100 per cent organic, handmade, pregnancy-friendly products instore.

Dr Hauschka

The Dr Hauschka range is certified natural and organic, making it ideal for pregnancy skincare. There’s a whole range of products for both face and body, and solutions for a range of skincare issues commonly faced in pregnancy.

Mamma Mia - double buff body exfolianor pregnancy boob tube chest and neck

Pregnancy doesn’t need to end your favourite spa treatments – in fact, you’re almost spoilt for choice in Dubai. A little bit of me-time is a great way to relax, revitalise and rejuvenate your mind and body before the arrival of your little one, especially during the second trimester when extreme tiredness and morning sickness have hopefully passed, and you can still manoeuvre yourself on to the treatment table without too much effort. We road-tested some of the many options available...

Expecting Mother

Where: Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah

How much: Dh550

How long: 60 minutes

What it’s good for: Easing water retention, relaxing muscles and improving circulation.

When can you have it: From month three until the end of month seven

Contact: 04 366 6818

Tess, 23 weeks, says: “Talise Spa takes its responsibility towards pregnant women very seriously and has five therapists specially trained in pregnancy massage. I had to fill in a form on arrival and was asked how many weeks I was, if I had any particular areas I’d like worked on, and more. After that, I was taken through to the changing area and shown around the facilities. I was told to wait in the relaxation room once ready – a quiet room with reclining lounge chairs covered in towels and with teas and water... A lovely place to sit and wind down before the massage.

“I was then met by my masseuse and taken through the gardens to the therapy room. She went over my form in detail, asking how my pregnancy was going and testing the special pregnancy massage oil on my hand so I could see if I liked the smell – as you know, that’s very important for the heightened senses of a pregnant woman!

“The massage bed was absolutely amazing. I could lie on my side with an abundance of pillows and towels for support, or face down. I chose the latter and my therapist made a little well in the middle for my bump to rest easily in. There was no pressure at all on the baby and it made a nice change for me, having not been able to lie on my tummy for a while. She was also very understanding when it came to moving around – she was always there to support me, and was exceptionally gentle with my stomach.

“The massage itself was incredible. I went from mildly relaxed to the point of almost drifting off to sleep within the first five minutes. The atmosphere was so calming and comfortable, and my masseuse worked so quietly and smoothly, I could barely tell when – or if – her hands ever left my skin. Her touch just seemed to continually flow from my toes all the way to my head. It was definitely a high point of my pregnancy so far.”

Mummy-to-be massage

Where: The Cure, Media City

How much: Dh250 with a free pedicure

How long: 60 minutes

What it’s good for: Aching limbs, improving circulation, and relaxation.

When can you have it: Up until 32 weeks

Contact: 04 391 6485

Emma, 17 weeks, says: “On entering The Cure, I was given a hot towel and offered a drink. The weight of the day lifted from my shoulders and I was glad I’d left my chaotic household for bit of R&R!

“Next I was introduced to my therapist and shown to the serene massage room. She asked if there were any particular areas I’d like her to focus on, and she made sure that I understood what the process would entail. She explained almond oil is the base to all aromatherapy oils and is a mild hypoallergenic oil used for all prenatal massages. She also said that carrying a baby changes your centre of gravity and puts a lot of stress on your back, neck, abdominal muscles and shoulders. So with this in mind, she started on my back, using a circular motion and gentle kneading on the lower of the back to release the pressure.

“My legs in particular felt very heavy and sore, and, with this being one of my problem areas, she kneaded her way through the knots and left them feeling light and weightless. The massage ended with an amazing head massage, where I was convinced the therapist had another pair of hands!

“The Cure is a beauty and wellness lounge that offers an excellent variety of treatments with a friendly, gracious service. It’s a one-stop shop for a busy mum-to-be – excellent value for money and the perfect way toend a stressful day.”

Mother-to-be massage

Where: Anantara Spa, Anantara The Palm

How much: Dh600

How long: 60 minutes

What it’s good for: Relieving tension in back and easing swelling in the hands and feet

When can you have it: above 12 weeks, below 37

Contact: 04 567 8888

Zoe, 25 weeks, says: “This Thai-inspired spa, hidden away on the Palm, is like a sanctuary – luxurious and peaceful. The experienced therapist will tailor the massage and adapt it to meet the needs of your particular stage of pregnancy. With the gentle aroma of jasmine floating in the air, it doesn’t take long for the exotic charm of this spa to work its magic.

The treatment begins with a relaxing lavender milk foot bath, sea salt scrub and a refreshing peppermint spray. Using gentle movements to promote deep relaxation, the therapist alleviates the stresses while the Elemis Japanese Camellia body oil is absorbed into tired, dehydrated skin. (I’m informed it’s great for stretch marks.) Instant refreshing gel is applied to my feet to reduce swelling.

“The replenishing facial at the end of the treatment soothes and rejuvenates – the papaya peel tingles but illuminates my skin, making it feel (and, hopefully, look) renewed. I almost float out of the treatment room, it’s been so relaxing.”

The Skin Healer Facial

Where: Clarins, Dubai Mall

How much: dh450

How long: 60 minutes

What it’s good for: Sensitive, dehydrated skin

When can you have it: Up until birth you can have one or two treatments a month, depending on your skin type

Contact: 04 434 0522

Kirsty, 23 weeks, says: “Tucked away on the first floor of The Dubai Mall is a tranquil treatment room, with flickering candles and a soundproof door keeping the hubbub of the world’s largest shopping mall at bay.

“Guaranteed to give you a pregnancy glow, this 60-minute facial is perfect for soothing sensitive skin.

The treatment focuses on a combination of rehydration and repairing techniques, designed to meet your individual skin requirements. The therapist assesses skin texture, puffiness, circulation, dehydration and firmness, and then chooses three supplements accordingly.

The Tri Active Facials, as the name suggests, focus on three areas – the first being skin preparation, which is a combination of cleansing, skin exfoliation and drainage massage. All products are applied using the same technique, starting from the centre of the face and moving outwards and from the neck in downward strokes towards your lymphatic glands to drain toxins.

Next is the hydrating and intensive face mask, followed by eye and day cream. The therapist uses gentle strokes on dehydrated and sensitive skin, not only focusing on the skin but using massage techniques on the face, neck, décolletage, hands and feet. The Clarins products are lightly fragranced and quickly absorbed. Halfway through my pregnancy, my face was looking tired and stressed, but this facial put me well on my way to restoring my glow.”

Ultimate Rose Pregnancy Massage

Where: Heavenly Spa, The Westin Mina Seyahi

How much: Dh495

How long: 60 minutes

What it’s good for: Heavy legs and an aching back

When can you have it: at 15 to 26 weeks

Contact: 04 511 7901

Kirsty, 23 weeks, says: “The gentle trickle of water and the delicate lighting automatically relax you as you step into the Heavenly Spa. After your welcome drink you’ll be treated to 60 minutes of bliss – just perfect after a long day at work, or chasing toddlers around at home. Unwind and recharge a tired body and mind, safe in the hands of the experts.

“Propped up with fluffy pillows to support your back and legs, the therapist begins relieving the strain. Easing knots from stiff shoulders, focusing on sore hips and lower back pain, the lightly scented rose oil relaxes, moisturises and can help to reduce stretch marks. The treatment releases tension held in your body, helping you to feel relaxed and recharged. Following this you’ll experience a moisturising and refreshing facial massage. Then, a real treat – a hypnotic head massage, sending tingles all over your body and helping you fall asleep as aches and tiredness melt away with each gentle stroke. In a word: heavenly!”