1. ”Can I get a massage while pregnant?” Massages are relaxing, can reduce swelling in the arms and legs, can improve labor outcomes and the newborn baby’s health. But “visit only a licensed massage therapist who specializes in prenatal massage,” stresses Stephanie Hipos, M.D., obstetrician-gynecologist at St. Luke’s Medical Center and at the DLS-STI Megaclinic. “Massaging certain pressure points in the body is believed to trigger uterine contractions in some women.”
Given the increased incidences of miscarriages associated with massages during the first trimester of pregnancy, you should consult your doctor first before getting one, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy or a delicate condition such as pre-eclampsia or preterm labor. Steam rooms or saunas must also be avoided as these may cause dehydration.
2. “Is it safe to get a leg wax while I am pregnant?” Ma. Kathrina Mari, M.D., visiting consultant and obstetrician-gynecologist at the FEU-NRMF Medical Center, says, “Yes. But if you have hypertension, vaginal spotting, or uterine cramps, you should avoid waxing as the pain might aggravate your condition.”
3. “I hear some nail polishes are dangerous for pregnant women. Is this true? What should I watch out for?” Small amounts of DBP (dibutyl phthalate), a main chemical in nail polish formula, may not cause harm, but further studies are still necessary.
4. “Can I dye my hair while pregnant? Is it okay to use henna dyes?” “Wait until after the first trimester before using hair dyes,” advises Dr. Hipos. “It is during this time that your unborn child is at greatest risk from outside pollutants and chemicals.” Select hair dyes which require the least contact with the scalp and are applied for the least time possible. Treatments containing ammonia should be avoided. ““I waited until I was in my second trimester (before I had this done), after the 16 to 20 week ultrasound showed there were no complications with the baby,” recalls Hershey Filoteo-Velasco, a registered nurse and mom to Riley, 2, and Connor Reese, 8 months.
According to Dr. Mari, natural hair dyes such as henna are safe to use during pregnancy.
5. “Is it safe to get a facial or a diamond peel while pregnant?” Facials or mechanical peels are safe but extra care should be given when performing these on pregnant women.