Mama Love

pregnant woman receiving a massage
Digital Vision/Thinkstock

With Mother’s Day on the horizon, spa owners know that now’s a crucial time for their bottom lines. Not only can your spa’s gift card sales skyrocket with the right marketing campaign, but you can also use the holiday to secure some happy new regulars. In particular, reaching out to new mothers—pregnant clients and those who have just welcomed bundles of joy into the world—has become an essential element of running a successful spa. “The pregnancy market is significant,” says Stacy Denney, founder of marketing/education outfit Belly Friendly. “More than 16,000 pregnant moms enter the market every day in the United States.”

These women seek healing, calming and nurturing experiences to help them weather the ups and downs of pregnancy and new motherhood. Plus, most women become increasingly aware during their pregnancies of the need to take care of themselves. “Pregnancy involves a changing body every single week, and massage therapy can do much to relieve the stress and strain,” Denney explains. “Also, women are waiting to have children later in life, and these clients are more wellness-focused, and have more disposable income.”

Answering the call for care is what day spas do best. But doing it right is key. Spa-going mamas know the difference between a truly targeted treatment—not to mention a properly trained therapist—and a mere facsimile. They need something beyond a so-called “prenatal” service that offers little more than a gentle touch.

“The two most common complaints we hear [from pregnant clients] about massage from a non-specializing spa are: ‘They barely touched me, when I really needed relief,’ and, ‘I left the spa in more pain than when I started,’” Denney says. “Smart spa owners should make sure their entire staff is trained to meet the specific needs of pregnant clients.”

Beyond specialized treatment, these clients also seek comfort—physical, mental and emotional. Denney stresses the importance of developing a comforting ambiance as well as a staff that’s equipped to offer emotional support in addition to treatment. “Pregnant women, especially first-timers, are full of questions and fears that need to be addressed and relieved,” she says.

In an effort to help all spa owners benefit from expert strategies, DAYSPA investigated several maternity-focused business operations. Here are three that shine.