WHAT I TRIED The Pre-Natal Speciality Treatment at ESPA at the Yas Hotel.
WHAT I EXPECTED Disappointment. The sight of a gently rounded (or hugely swollen) belly makes most therapists take fright. What's billed as an invigorating massage becomes a gentle tickle across the shoulders or scalp when what any pregnant woman really wants is someone to ease her aches and pains.
WHAT HAPPENED My 90-minute pre-natal treatment started with a gentle foot soak and exfoliating scrub before I climbed onto the treatment table. I sank onto my side, desperate to flop into the squishy U-shaped treatment pillow but the therapist made me sit up and lean over it. She applied an exfoliating gel and a cleansing milk to my back before applying hot towels. Then the therapist massaged my back using a nourishing oil to unknot my shoulders. Finally, she applied a cream mask - comprising ESPA's pink hair and scalp mud, mixed with its body cream and oil - to my skin.
Next, I lay down, and the therapist massaged my body with the cream mask, from the ankles upwards, including my abdomen. I dozed off for a bit while the potion worked its magic.
THE VERDICT The next morning my shoulders ached from the massage - a good sign - and my skin felt soft. But the most lasting benefit came from being able to rest in complete physical comfort for an hour and a half. No mean feat when you are six and a half months pregnant.
The ESPA Pre-Natal Speciality Treatment costs Dh570 plus taxes, at ESPA at the Yas Hotel, Abu Dhabi, 02 656 086 For further information, go to www.theyashotel.com/spa