If you feel like the “pregnancy glow” is nothing more than a myth, you’re not alone. Many women find it hard to get comfortable and feel beautiful as their pregnancy progresses, and while spa and beauty treatments are always a great way to relax and rejuvenate, what is safe and what’s off limits during pregnancy? Here’s the safety scoop on all your favorite indulgences:
A massage is a great way to ease the tension, soreness, and fatigue that many women feel as they gain more weight and their ligaments stretch to make room for the baby. When choosing a spa, ask if they have massage tables specifically designed for pregnant women. These tables have a cut-out to accommodate your belly, keeping you and your baby safe. If they don’t have a special table, straddle a chair or lie on your side, but never lie on your stomach or your back after your 20th week. Lying on your back later in pregnancy can cause the weight of your uterus to cut off your vena cava (a large vessel to your heart), which will not only be uncomfortable and may trigger dizziness and lightheadedness, it could also reduce the blood supply to your baby.
Wondering whether it’s safe to keep up your color or straighten your hair while pregnant? Research in this area is limited; however, most studies show the amount of hair dye that is absorbed by your scalp and enters your bloodstream during normal coloring is so small that it won’t affect your baby. The same is true of perming and straightening your hair; however, many doctors recommend you wait until you are beyond your first trimester to color, perm or straighten your hair since this is the time when your baby is most vulnerable to outside factors. To give your hair color a boost during pregnancy, try highlights. They are safer than full coloring because the chemicals are less likely to be applied directly to your scalp.
Manicures and Pedicures
Many women notice their fingernails grow faster and become stronger during pregnancy, so take advantage of this and treat yourself to a few hours at your local nail salon! Pedicures are particularly popular with many moms-to-be as their bellies grow and they are unable to see their feet, much less paint them! Manicures and pedicures are safe during pregnancy, but acrylic fumes in the salon may make you nauseous, so choose a salon with good ventilation and don’t spend too much time there. Take the time to (safely) pamper yourself while you’re pregnant – you may not have time after the baby is born! C’mon mom, you deserve it!