Expectant mamas know that back pain and swollen ankles come with carrying a baby for nine (almost 10) months. So when it comes time for a little pregnancy pampering, all moms-to-be wouldn't mind a relaxing massage or a fresh manicure. Before indulging in a little spa action, however, most moms will want to know which beauty treatments are safe for baby. Read on to see if you can still keep your monthly facials or waxing sessions.
1. Manicures and Pedicures: Being pregnant does not mean you have to forgo your mani and pedi treatments. While the nail polish fumes can sometimes cause moms-to-be to feel nauseous, the brief exposure you're receiving in salons from the products themselves won't harm your baby. Mothers should, however, avoid brands that use chemicals like dibutyl phthalate and go with ones that don't such as Jin Soon and Nars.
2. Facials: Basic facials are a great way to pamper your skin, especially as your hormone levels change during pregnancy. Not all treatments, however, are safe for moms-to-be. Aromatherapy, chemical peels, hot stones, and electric stimulation should be avoided until the arrival of your baby.
3. Waxing: Your skin will become more sensitive during pregnancy, but getting a wax is considered safe. Thanks to your hormones, hair will likely grow at a faster rate!
4. Hair Dye or a Perm: According to experts, chemicals found in semipermanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and are safe to use during pregnancy. The small amounts of dye that would be absorbed by the skin also aren't enough to reach the baby. For worried moms, however, some doctors recommend waiting at least until the second or third trimester to dye your hair.
5. Tattoos or Piercings: Little is known about the effects of chemicals in the tattoo dye during pregnancy. The main concern of getting a tattoo is the risk of contracting infections such as hepatitis B and HIV. Because of all these concerns and uncertainties, you should probably hold off on getting that new ink.
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6. Tanning: Doctors discourage women from soaking up the sun, whether naturally or in a tanning bed. The high temperatures can raise body temperatures to dangerous levels that can harm your baby.
7. Massage: Studies have shown that massage therapy during pregnancy can reduce anxiety and depression in addition to relieving muscle and joint pains. Many spas offer prenatal massages, but you'll want to make sure the person is certified in working with pregnant women.
8. Teeth Whitening: Professional whitening and over-the-counter products are not recommended during pregnancy. For moms-to-be who want a brighter smile, the better alternative is to make a strawberry (they contain malic acid, a natural substance that breaks down stains) and baking soda paste. Let the paste sit for five minutes before rinsing.
9. Botox Treatments: Botox use by pregnant women hasn't been largely studied, but it's recommended to avoid any injections until after you give birth.
10. Body Wraps: Body wraps involve placing heated towels and wraps on specific areas of the body to melt away fat. The process is not considered safe during pregnancy because it can raise a mother's body temperature to dangerous levels for the baby. The core temperature of a pregnant woman should not go above 102.2ºF.
11. Saunas and Steam Rooms: Avoid saunas and steam rooms when you're pregnant, because like tanning and getting body wraps, saunas can cause hyperthermia (abnormally high body temperature), which can lead to an increased risk of birth defects during the first trimester.