Doula, childbirth educator and prenatal massage therapist Sara Lyon is a seasoned expert in all things mother and baby and has used her vast knowledge and belief that healthy, nontraumatic birth is a human right to author a book—with a second releasing in June—and found Glow Birth & Body spa. With a new location set to open in Roscoe Village May 1, the Chicago regular gets real about childbirth, pampering expectant mothers and the key to living well. 2120 W. Belmont Ave., glowbirthandbody.com
What inspired Glow Birth & Body? I had the rare opportunity to learn from a group of specialized teachers, mentors and bosses in Australia and the U.K. who opened me up to a totally different approach to prenatal bodywork than I had access to in America. Their collective approach to massage was informed by physical therapists, osteopaths, anatomists and endocrinologists. Working with them at the start of my career was an absolute gift. I married my massage training with my experience in the spa industry and founded the first location of Glow in Oakland, Calif. It absolutely took off, and we’ve been growing ever since.
Why is now the time to open in Roscoe Village? My family has deep roots in Chicago—both of my parents grew up in Chicago, my extended family is here, and as a Michigan Wolverine, I have my friend family here too. Chicago is just the best. My daughter says, ‘In Chicago, it’s like strangers don’t exist.’ Roscoe Village maintains that earnest community vibe at the heart of Glow; it’s a veritable estuary of young families.
What can we expect at the new location? A luxe, bohemian vibe with a richness of texture and a nod to generations past. Every treatment room has state-of-the-art massage tables with extra cushioning, sound systems, organic massage oil and white linens. The Glow experience is rich and deeply relaxing; you’ll want to move in.
Name the ultimate self-care indulgence for expectant mothers. No one needs a good massage more than a pregnant woman. There are so many ways massage therapy can help with common pregnancy discomforts like lower back pain, rib pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, oedema, pubic symphysis dysfunction and so much more. Find a good practitioner in a luxurious setting that caters to your needs, and go as often as you are able to—once a week would be the ultimate self-care luxury.
What does wellness mean to you? Wellness is a spectrum, not a destination. Mind and body both need to be fed by balanced choices though: When do we rest and when do we move? When do we drink water and when do we drink wine? When do we actively parent and when do we carve out time away to nurture ourselves? These successive decisions create the balance that builds wellness.
Photography by: ANDI HATCH