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Hair Color and Nail Polish During Pregnancy: Are They Safe?
PHOTO BY @LightFieldStudios/iStock
  • Pregnancy can make you second-guess everything you do, especially if you’re a first-time mom and clueless about this interesting stage. You want to be sure that nothing you do will harm this precious life inside you. 

    Food and drinks are two of the top concerns during pregnancy. In the past, we’ve already discussed the beverages pregnant women can take, the ones she needs to avoid, and the food that is safe and unsafe to eat

    Besides these, questions on whether it is safe for pregnant women to do certain things, like getting a massage, or having a tooth extraction, keep cropping up in pregnancy forum and chat groups. Will any of these put the baby in your womb at risk?

    Is it safe to get a massage when you're pregnant? 

    YES, but consult with your doctor first. One of the benefits of prenatal massage is the regulation of hormones associated with stress, which result in improved cardiovascular health and a better mood overall. Moreover, prenatal massage helps ease aches and pains women typically experience during pregnancy.

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    As a general rule (and unless your doctor tells you otherwise), pregnant women should wait until they’re in the second trimester of a pregnancy before considering to get a massage. Those found to have high-risk pregnancies should not get a massage at all without their doctor’s clearance.

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    Is it safe to have hair colored during pregnancy?

    YES, generally. According to American Pregnancy, “Most research indicates the chemicals found in both semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and are safe to use during pregnancy.” Whatever little amount that the scalp might absorb from the hair dye will not reach the fetus, it adds. 

    However, keratin treatments and Brazilian hair treatments for relaxing and straightening the hair must be avoided while pregnant because these hair products contain formaldehyde, which could harm your unborn baby’s health.

    Though it is generally considered safe, it is best to err on the safe side and delay hair treatments in general until after you’ve given birth. However, if you still wish to get your hair colored, it is best to wait until you’re at least in your second trimester. Stay in a well-ventilated area in the salon to lessen your chances of inhaling the chemicals. Needless to say, be wary of allergic reactions to the hair dye. If you’ve never dyed your hair before, now is not the time to try it for the first time! 

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    Is it safe for pregnant women to use nail polish? 

    YES, if occasionally. Most nail polish brands are known to have toxic chemicals like DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde, and it is said that frequent use of these products may cause reproductive issues. However, an occasional manicure or pedicure is not known to harm you or your baby.

    Nonetheless, if you must have a mani-pedi, there are certain brands of nail polish that are being advertised as free of these harmful chemicals, so the good news is you have options.

    Is it safe to get a tooth filling or tooth extraction while pregnant? 

    If it’s an emergency. Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential during your pregnancy, and is actually recommended, mainly because gum disease has been linked with preterm birth.

    However, because of your pregnancy, some medications may be used with caution on you, like lidocaine, an anesthetic. Check with your doctor before having any procedures done. If possible, limit your dental procedures to just your regular prophylaxis.

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    Is it safe for pregnant women to get the flu vaccine? 

    YES. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Flu vaccines given during pregnancy help protect both the mother and her baby from flu. Pregnant women who get flu vaccine are also helping to protect their babies from flu illness for the first several months after their birth when they are too young to get vaccinated.”

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