Enjoy your pregnancy and relax with these six prenatal therapies across Dubai and Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Thinkstock
Are you pregnant or trying to conceive? Take a look at some of the prenatal treatments available here in the UAE that can help you on your way.
 
1. Acupuncture
 
What is it?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest treatment procedures in the world and is a form of therapy that promotes the natural healing of the body. It is a safe, drug free and effective natural therapy with the overall aim being to restore the body’s equilibrium. Acupuncture is performed by using a very specialised, skinny and painless needle. It is safe and there are no side effects to the treatment. 
 
What are the benefits?
Dr. Tang of the Dr. Tang Acupuncture Clinic in Dubai says “in our clinic, we provide therapies to assist women in conceiving naturally and also in preparation for IVF and IUI. We believe that the patient should not go for IVF without preparing the reproductive system to be in the best condition to conceive.” Dr. Tang cites that stress is one of the main causes for infertility and acupuncture is clinically considered to be the best drug free therapy for stress and depression. 
 
Where to go
Dubai
Location Dr. Tang Acupuncture Clinic, Villa 7, Al Wasl Road, Dubai Cost Dhs300 consultation fee Phone 04 385 6658 
 
Abu Dhabi
Location Dr. Hu Qiwan, Gulf Chinese Medical Centre, Mohammed Bin Butti Building, Old Airport Road, Al Nasr Street, Abu Dhabi Cost Dhs300 consultation fee Phone 02 634 3538 
 
 
2. Chiropractic
 
What is it?
Chiropractic care for pregnancy involves gentle forms of adjustments and manipulations to the joints and muscles, where there may be small misalignments or excessive tension, leading to problems. It is perfectly safe for both mother and baby when performed by an appropriately qualified chiropractor, and one who is experienced in prenatal care. 
 
What are the benefits?
Dr. Steven Marsland from the Canadian Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi advises that chiropractic care can be beneficial in pregnancy for a wide range of problems, including pelvic and low back pain, sciatica, pubic symphysis dysfunction (PSD), upper back and neck pain. Many women also see a chiropractor to check and maintain an optimal pelvic alignment, as there is a large amount of evidence that this can help make the birth process less traumatic, shorten labour time, and reduce the need for intervention. There are no side effects, though some people may experience some short-term soreness for a day or so after the treatment.  
 
Where to go
Abu Dhabi
Location Dr Steven Marsland, Canadian Medical Centre, Delma Street, Abu Dhabi Cost Dhs450 for first session, Dhs300 for follow-ups Phone 02 555 9999 (Additional branches for Chiropractic in Khalifa City and Dubai, Jumeirah Road)
 
Dubai 
Location Chiropractic Dubai at the Emirates European Medical Centre, Villa 119, Al Thanya Street, Umm Suqeim 2 Cost Dhs350 for first consultation, then prices according to treatment required Phone 04 348 1166 
 
 
3. Osteopathy
 
What is it?
The philosophy of Osteopathy focuses on the unity of all body parts and the principle that structure and function are interrelated and interdependent. Treatment aims to normalise the structure so that it functions as efficiently as possible. Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy can help to align the body so that the pelvis and spinal mechanics are in the best possible position and with as little tension or restriction as possible. Osteopathic treatment will maximise the body’s ability to change and support you and your baby with minimum pain and discomfort.
 
What are the benefits?
Lauren Whalan, an Osteopath from the Osteopathic Health Centre in Dubai tells us that Osteopathic treatment may help to ease back pain, neck and shoulder pain, muscular tension, lower abdominal pain or pubic symphsis pain, headaches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, circulatory problems, heartburn, indigestion, and constipation to name a few conditions. Osteopathy is safe and gentle for both the mother and the baby with the techniques used during pregnancy being carefully selected and adapted to suit each patient to minimise any risk. About half of the patients report mild increase in pain or stiffness, headache, or tiredness after the first one or two sessions. This is part of the normal process and patients need not worry about this, however they must report this to their Osteopath during the treatment. 
 
Where to go
Dubai
Location Lauren Whalan is based at the Osteopathic Health Centre Dubai,  Al Wasl Road Branch Cost Dhs450 for 30 minutes Phone 04 348 7366 (Additional branches at Uptown Mirdif – 04 288 8525 and Dubai Healthcare City – 04 423 2096) 
 
 
4. Physiotherapy
 
What is it?
Jade Lukas from the Canadian Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi is a physiotherapist with training in pregnancy and post-natal healthcare. Jade explains that Physiotherapy consists of a full assessment of posture and functional physical movements including strength and any pain that may be present. After identifying any problem areas treatment may include manual therapy. This can include mobilisation of the spine, soft tissues and myofascial release along with exercises to strengthen particular muscle groups specific to pregnancy. This will assist the body in coping with pregnancy as it progresses. 
 
What are the benefits? 
The benefits of physiotherapy include a stronger body and easier labour, as well as a leaner and stronger body post-partum. There are no negative side effects. 
 
Where to go 
Abu Dhabi
Location Canadian Medical Centre, Delma Street, Abu Dhabi Cost Dhs400 for the first session, Dhs300 for follow ups Phone 02 555 9999  (Additional branches for physiotherapy at Khalifa City and Mohammed Bin Zayed City) 
 
Dubai 
Location Mediclinic, various locations including Mediclinic City Hospital, Dubai Cost Dhs519 for 45 mins Phone 04 435 9999
 
 
5. Pre-natal massage
 
What is it?
Pre-natal massage is a technique involving deep bodywork designed to promote relaxation, improve circulation, take some of the strain off muscles and joints and generally re-energize.
 
What are the benefits?
Moira Pirzad, Owner of De La Mer Day Spa says that regular prenatal massages can not only help with relaxation, but may also relieve insomnia, joint pain, neck and back pain, leg cramping, and sciatica. Additionally, massage can reduce swelling in the hands and feet, relieve carpal tunnel pain and alleviate headaches and sinus congestion — all common pregnancy problems. Pregnancy massage should only be considered after the first-trimester, with the best time being during the second trimester. If there are any underlying health conditions, it may be best to avoid antenatal massage – check with your doctor. Always tell the therapist you're pregnant and take care to choose a certified pregnancy massage therapist as they are specifically trained to know which pressure points to avoid.
 
Where to go
Dubai 
Location De La Mer Day Spa, Jumeirah Beach, Villa No 783 Cost Pre-natal massage Dhs320 for 60 mins, Dhs400 for 90 mins Phone 04 328 2775  
 
Abu Dhabi 
Location Emirates Palace Spa, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi Cost Pre-natal massage Dhs598 for 60 mins, Dhs865 for 90 mins Phone 02 690 7978
 
 
6. Reflexology 
 
What is it?
Reflexology is an ancient complementary healing therapy that is natural and non-invasive. It is based on the principle that different reflex points on our feet, hands, face and ears correspond to all our organs, glands, systems and musculoskeleton of the body. Reflexology is usually performed on the feet, however it can also be done on the hands and ears. Anne Cook, owner and director of The Healing Zone Academy says “we use the feet as the client is more relaxed lying on a massage bed and the therapist is able to get a good position to do the treatment that way.”
 
What are the benefits?
Holistic Wellness Specialist Vandana Mendonca says that as Reflexology works to help the body reach a natural balance it is completely safe to receive it during all stages of pregnancy, and a trained reflexologist will know which reflex areas to stimulate according to the stages of pregnancy and the general health of the individual. Mendonca uses a combination of face, foot and hand reflexology and has noticed that with regular sessions women tend to feel relaxed, calm and balanced. This in turn also keeps the baby calm, and also addresses pregnancy related conditions including back pain, swelling of hands and feet, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, disturbed sleep, hormonal imbalances, mood swings and more.  
 
Where to go
Dubai 
Location The Healing Zone Academy, Office 2214, Building 2, Gold and Diamond Park, Dubai Cost Dhs600 per session Phone 04 388 7552
 
Abu Dhabi
Location Vandana Mendonca, Health n Harmony, Abu Dhabi Cost Dhs330 per session Phone 050 721 2693