In Conversation with Lori Kruk of The Oriental Spa
As I approached the final countdown to the birth of my baby, at eight months I went for my final prenatal treatment, the hour-long full body New Mothers treatment at The Oriental Spa in The Landmark Mandarin Oriental. I especially love this treatment as they use Sodashi products, which I’ve always loved. After my treatment, I had the chance to speak with Lori Kruk, the Director of the Spa & Wellness at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental, which is also celebrating their tenth anniversary this year.
Joanne Chan: How many prenatal spa treatments do you offer at The Oriental Spa?
Lori Kruk: We offer a treatment section entitled New Life in our brochure, this is specifically for our pre-natal guests needs as well as post natal. As we do not recommend the heat experiences for our moms to be, we do offer use of the pool and encourage use of the relaxation areas to unwind and release tired and tense muscles. Besides the services offered in this section, our chemical-free Sodashi product line is also fantastic for pre-natal facials. Our BGA pedi:mani cure studio is also the perfect cure for sore feet and hands.
JC: Who is the mastermind behind your prenatal spa treatments? Can you tell us a bit about the background of the treatments?
LK: Our treatments are in collaboration with our Mandarin Oriental Group Spa Trainer, Petra Roberts, plus our highly experienced team of therapists as well as the product lines we work with. We use Aromatherapy Associates in our prenatal treatments as well as the chemical-free line Sodashi.
JC: Could you explain the particular combination of treatments for the prenatal spa treatment?
LK: Expectant mothers tend to have tired muscles in the legs area, foot area, lower back, and neck. Their skin may also look fatigued and tends to become dehydrated. Each of our treatments emphasises tension release and hydration with a focus on these areas. As all our services are customised, and we ensure to offer something for the face and body in a safe, relaxing, and results driven environment.
JC: How does a regular spa treatment differ from that of a prenatal treatment?
LK: Our pre-natal services are designed to target specific muscles pregnant woman are more affected by once they have gained weight. The skin complexion changes and our facials are specifically suited for rejuvenation and renewal. We are quite selective with the oils we use during massages and we do not use heavily scented products as women during this time are hyper-sensitive to smell. Movements encourage circulation, address water retention, and avoid certain pressure points. The technique differs from standard treatments as we are very aware of the position of our expectant guests and never have them lying face down for their safety, of course.
JC: When can a pregnant woman start her prenatal spa treatment? And when should she stop prenatal spa treatments?
LK: We suggest starting treatments after the first trimester. We do not recommend taking treatments before hand as the pregnancy is very new and your body is still adjusting and in a more fragile state during this time. After the first trimester, women can enjoy treatments all the way up to eight months.
JC: How often should a pregnant woman go for a prenatal spa treatment?
LK: Expecting mothers can come in weekly if they choose. It really is based on their comfort levels, but it is common to have a weekly treatment alternating between a massage or facial, for example.
JC: Apart from spa treatments, what would you advise expectant mothers to do at home to stay radiant during the pregnancy?
LK: It is important expectant mothers continue to stay active but to a lower degree. If she is a runner, she can continue to be active by walking or swimming. We encourage women to continue to use moisturisers and body washes that are safe during this time, such as rose body wash. We suggest using bath oils when bathing as well and monitor skin.
JC: Any tips for expectant mothers who strive to stay beautiful and radiant during their pregnancy?
LK: It is essential to maintain a healthy diet and prenatal exercise routine.
In the first trimester, pregnant women's skin may become oilier as metabolism increases, and some women find they develop blemishes or even acne like lesions. It is important to use a good balancing cleanser to cleanse the skin thoroughly and moisturise with hydrating lotions.
In the second and third trimester, pregnant women’s skin is usually in good condition due to high estrogen levels, and any blemishes usually disappear, however, dark patches of chiliasm may develop due to extra melanin stimulation by the pituitary gland. Avoid strong sunlight as this makes pigmentation worse and use sunscreen with a strong filter if you have to go out in the sun. Don't try to bleach the marks. If you want to disguise it, you can use a skin-blemish covering stick. During this period, some pregnant women will find their skin becomes very dry. Rose essential oil, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, hazelnut oil and jojoba oil which contains vitamin A & E are good in moisturising pregnant women's dry skin. Gently rub moisturiser over the dry areas and add bath oil to your bath water. Use as little soap as possible.
JC: Do you offer any postnatal spa treatments?
LK: The prenatal spa treatments we offer in out spa are also suitable to any new mother who wishes to have a postnatal spa treatment. These treatments are designed to soothe both prenatal and post natal women's bodies and to pamper their skin with the nourishing properties of rose and apricot kernel oil. As it takes time for the body to recover, we are also aware your cells need renewal growth and products that encourage this.
JC: If yes, when can they start after giving birth?
LK: Yes, they can start after the 6 week postnatal medical check, or 12 weeks for the case of a Caesarean birth for massage. Facials and mani:pedi cures are fine a week after.
JC: Will postnatal treatments help women go back to their weight before birth?
LK: Even though our New Mothers treatments do not target or reduce weight loss, it helps to enhance lymphatic circulation and ease the heavy feeling with attention paid to the new mother's body especially abdomen, arms and legs. As we also offer yoga, pilates and personal training, as we understand it is important for women to get back to their healthy weight and to gradually re-introduce activity back into their routine. It helps in a social environment or with a trainer one to one who can customise a program. We will extend pool usage upon booking one of our postnatal treatments to encourage the introduction of exercise back into daily life in a non-(high) impact way.
JC: Any tips on a healthy prenatal and postnatal diet?
LK: It is recommended to eat a good varied and balanced diet with plenty of fresh, unprocessed foods. Reduce sugary, salty and processed foods. You will need essential nutrients including calcium, protein, vitamin C, fiber and iron. Don't use the increase in your appetite as an excuse to eat the wrong kind of food. Eat healthily and watch weight gain. Drink plenty of water and watch caffeine intake.
During my pregnancy, I swore by two products for my skin care and tummy area. I found Sodashi products to be particularly soothing for my dryer and more sensitive skin. It helps to oxygenate and revitalise tired skin. I used Cowshed "Udderly Gorgeous Stretch Mark Balm" for my tummy and "Udderly Gorgeous Leg & Foot Treatment", a cooling cream which aids my easily tired and extremely tight calves. One other thing that I found particularly helpful towards the end of my pregnancy are knee high compression socks. They do not have to be any brand in particular. I prefer them knee high because as the tummy gets bigger by day, it becomes quite a bit of work to pull the compression socks higher than your knees.
I hope the tips from the spa experts have been as useful to me as they are to you. Good luck with your pregnancy. And keep that healthy glow!
For reservations and enquiries, contact The Oriental Spa at +852 2132 0011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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