Can Pregnant Women Get Manicures?

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When you’re about to welcome a new family member into your life, it’s natural to start worrying about seemingly random things that you might not have ever given a second thought to before. There are so many things that could inadvertently harm your little bundle of joy, but are your highly-anticipated manicure sessions one of them? Here’s everything you need to know about getting a manicure during pregnancy!

Can I Get a Manicure While Pregnant?

Yes, it’s generally safe to get a manicure while you’re pregnant. You might worry about exposure to nail polishes, fake nails, polish removers, and other products formulated with chemicals, but rest assured that your exposure to these compounds is not high enough to warrant any concern or risk as long as they’re used as directed and in normal doses. Any chemicals that are absorbed by your skin will also be negligible.

With that being said, there are some additional safety precautions you can observe to ensure an enjoyable and worry-free experience:

  • Check Air Ventilation: While the chemicals used during manicures are nothing to worry about, they can still give off strong odors that may make you feel uncomfortable, dizzy, or nauseous. Finding a salon with proper air ventilation will help you stay relaxed during the entire manicure session by dispersing the strong odors produced by the products being used on you, as well as those of other patrons.
  • Prioritize Hygiene: Finding a salon that stays on top of the hygiene and sterilization of their tools and equipment can go a long way in easing your worries. The last thing you want is to find out that the same implements being used on you have already been used on a previous customer. Not only can it be disgusting, but you may also be exposed to bacteria, germs, and other microorganisms that may cause certain health concerns.
  • Tell Your Technician That You're Pregnant: When it comes to your safety, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so consider telling your technician that you’re pregnant. With this information, your technician may decide to swap out some products for safer alternatives and take a gentler approach when it comes to your massage.
  • Ask for a Chemical-Free Manicure: If you want to forego chemicals altogether during your manicure, then you can also ask if the salon offers chemical-free manicures. This alternative uses safe and non-toxic products instead of what’s normally used, so you can rest easy knowing that your relaxation isn’t coming at the expense of your health.

Is Nail Polish Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, nail polish is safe during pregnancy, but there are a few ingredients that you should avoid:

  • Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde has been associated with miscarriages and cancer. While an individual should have high and frequent exposure to this, it’s still best to steer clear of it.
  • Toluene: While not really dangerous for your health, toluene can produce powerful fumes that may leave you feeling nauseous and with a headache, especially during the first trimester of your pregnancy.
  • Phthalates: Phthalates may disrupt your endocrine system, which can compromise your body’s natural ability to produce hormones.
  • Organic Solvents: The fumes of your nail polish may contain organic solvents, which have been linked to birth defects.

Aside from doing your due diligence when researching a salon, as well as informing your beauty technician that you’re pregnant, there are also some other things that you can do to keep your manicure session as safe as possible:

  • Make sure that acetone is not left on your skin for longer than needed. While there’s no evidence of acetone being linked to any severe health risks, the strong fumes may still leave you feeling sick.
  • Wash your hands once your nails have fully dried to ensure that all traces of any chemicals are thoroughly rinsed off.
  • Check the ingredients in the nail polishes and products that your nail technician plans to use. You can either ask them to double-check for any harmful ingredients or take a look yourself.
  • If all else fails, feel free to bring your own non-toxic nail polishes, especially if they’ve received the green light from your doctor.

Is It Safe to Get Acrylic Nails Done While Pregnant?

Yes, it’s safe to get acrylic nails done while you’re pregnant, as the chemicals used during this procedure are not harmful or dangerous to either you or your baby. However, keep in mind that the process may entail some strong fumes and odors that might cause some discomfort. It’s also important that you ask your nail technician to use a bonding agent that doesn’t obtain methyl methacrylate, which is dangerous, even for individuals who aren’t pregnant.

Is It Safe to Get Gel Nails Done While Pregnant?

Yes, it’s safe to get gel nails done while pregnant. However, similarly to acrylic nails, the products used must be free of methyl methacrylate, which is harmful to everyone.

Is UV Light Safe During Pregnancy?

UV lamps have the benefit of speeding up the drying process of your nail polish, while also making it less likely to chip or peel off. While they are generally safe, it’s still important to exercise caution, especially with frequent use. As great as they are for your fingernails, UV exposure in general can cause the skin to age much more rapidly. This may not be too much of a concern if you’re going in once every few months, but the same can’t be said when you make it a habit for years on end.

Here are some ways to keep your hands safe:

  • Apply sunscreen all over your hands before a manicure session.
  • Cover your hands when they’re exposed to the UV lamp.
  • Don’t leave your hands under the UV light for longer than you need to.

Soon-to-be mothers may be looking for a way to relax and pamper themselves before the baby comes, and there’s no reason why they can’t treat themselves to a nice manicure session. Manicures are generally safe to have during pregnancy as long as the right safety measures and precautions are observed.

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