PARENTAL PAMPERING A MUST FOR PROGRESSIVE SPAS

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The post 9/11 baby boom has arrived, and with it loads of opportunities for spas to expand their programming. With pregnancy treatments becoming standard fare and a growing number of services geared toward parents and even the kids themselves, some spas are becoming family-friendly.

Mothering Mom: Pregnancy is a time of dramatic physical and emotional change as well as great anticipation, and pregnancy treatments have become an essential service offering at many day spas. Keep in mind, however, that delivering services to pregnant women requires special care to avoid harming either the mother or the child. Precautions must be taken to avoid products and ingredients that could be potentially harmful to the fetus, such as certain essential oils. Therapists must be properly trained to care for pregnant clients.

Indulging Dad: Although the focus usually seems to be on the needs of the mommy-to-be, many day spas are starting to realize that there are few times as stressful in a man's life as the year in which he becomes a father. Recognizing that being a new parent is not only a joyous event but also a time of great upheaval, husbands and wives frequently indulge in spa services for each other.

Kids R Us: Whereas spas were formerly 'kid-free zones,' today more and more day spas and resort spas are accommodating children. In addition, several day spas offer mother-and-infant packages designed to lend a hand in the bonding process, and to expose new families to the benefits of infant massage. Several spas are experimenting with kids-only programs, for birthday parties and other special events