Pregnancy & Beauty Treatment
Although pregnancy can give a woman thicker hair and longer nails, sometimes a disappearing waistline, swollen body parts and stretch marks can make a pregnant woman feel anything but beautiful.
While spa and beauty treatments can help a pregnant woman feel attractive again, safety should be considered before deciding on any beauty treatment during pregnancy.
Hair is perhaps one of the most dramatic changes a pregnant woman could make in her appearance. Although getting a new hairstyle or haircut is completely harmless, other hair beauty treatments are not as safe. Hair coloring typically requires chemicals to go straight onto the scalp.
Those chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, says Dr. Roger Harm of the Mayo Clinic, who suggests women wait until after their first trimester if they are concerned about the risks to the fetus from those chemicals.
However, if a pregnant woman just can’t resist getting a new hair color, highlights or low-lights may be a safer alternative to all-over color. Colette Bouchez, author of “Your Perfectly Pampered Pregnancy,” points out that these processes do not typically involve chemicals going directly on the scalp.
In addition to hair color, getting a perm or straightening your hair should also be avoided, Bouchez says. This is not only because of the harsh chemicals used during each process, but also because pregnancy hormones may affect the way the perm or straightening treatment works, which means your hair may not come out as desired.
Longer, stronger nails are a definite benefit of pregnancy, and showing off these nails through a manicure or pedicure is a safe and fun beauty treatment to try during pregnancy.
Pedicures combined with foot massages should be used with caution during the last trimester, however, as it is possible stimulating some acupressure points on the feet may stimulate contractions or induce labor.
Some women find that their complexion improves during pregnancy, while others become more prone to breakouts and blemishes. BabyCenter.com’s Angie Drakulich recommends being cautious over-the-counter acne fighters containing salicylic acid—also called beta hydroxy acid or BHA—which can cause birth defects in large quantities.
The American Pregnancy Association (APA) states that the prescription medication Accutane as well as products containing Retin-A or tetrocycline may be particularly harmful. Pregnant women struggling with acne do have some prescription options, however, and should consult their doctor for recommendations of safe acne treatments
Pregnant women should take especially good care of their teeth during pregnancy. Because of changing hormone levels, plaque can build up on teeth more easily in a pregnant woman, which in turn leads to gingivitis, also known as gum disease.
Although tooth whitening has not been proven to be unsafe during pregnancy, the APA recommends that pregnant women avoid whitening their teeth and other elective dental procedures until after delivery.
Makeup and Lotions
Most makeup and lotions are safe during pregnancy, with a few exceptions. Any makeup or lotion designed to treat or prevent acne or wrinkles should be avoided, as they typically contain retinoids or salicylic acids.
Non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic makeup and lotions are good choices when pregnant, as well as products that are mineral based.