Guest Author - Rebecca Spooner
When you are pregnant, a trip to the spa can be likened to a trip to heaven. But what is safe for your baby and how can you know?
There are a number of different things you can do to pamper yourself while you are pregnant. Such as doing your hair, doing your nails, or a massage. As with anything, caution and proper awareness is in order. The number one way to boost a woman's self-esteem and create a different, unique look is to go to the hair salon. The biggest concern in this environment, is the fumes. As much as some of the chemicals are absorbed into your system, the amounts are so minor that this is not necessarily a reason to avoid getting your hair done for 9 months. Rather, ensure that the salon has proper ventilation. A good way to test this is to walk in and see if the smell is overwhelming or not. Most hair salons will have great ventilation and this will not be an issue. The chemicals and fumes aside, pregnancy hormones cause a lot of changes to our hair. Often straight hair will go curly, dye won't color the hair as consistently, etc. It is not recommended to have anything drastic done, but rather stick to small changes such as a trim, or a slight change of hair color.
Getting your nails done is another issue entirely. Some are concerned that the chemicals are absorbed through the nail and into your system, thus affecting the baby as well. There are a number of different chemicals that have been proven, over longterm use to be carcinogens and even contribute towards alzhymers. These are things such as dimethicone. Although this research has some merit, there is very little absorbed into your system, and there is no research to prove how this affects you both in the short term and how it effects a developing baby. Therefore, the current advice given by healthcare professionals is to beware that you are in a well ventilated area and if you are concerned, to wait until you are out of the first trimester.
Most spas will ask if you are pregnant before they do treatment, as long as they are aware of your condition, they will be careful or even refuse to do certain procedures. There are a number of different massage sites in the feet that can trigger contractions, and because of this, you may notice that the massage differs from before you became pregnant, ie. is a little bit less "deep tissue".
All in all, the word of advice is to be cautious. Try to stay away from the spa while you are in your first trimester, and make sure that you are in well-ventilated areas and that the staff are aware of your condition. As long as those criteria are met, you can be pretty sure that your baby will be fine, and you will have a little more peace of mind and relaxation in the process.