Who doesn’t want pretty feet during pregnancy? Our feet don’t change too much during pregnancy and we can enjoy showing them off to the world. But having a pedicure during pregnancy poses some health-related issues for pregnant women. There are both benefits and drawbacks to having a pregnancy pedicure, and each pregnant woman will have to weigh them for herself.
Deciding whether or not a pregnancy pedicure is safe for you and your baby is personal. Having a pedicure during pregnancy may be right for you or it may not, depending on how you feel about chemicals applied to the body, your current health condition and the local salon’s level of expertise with pregnancy pedicures.
The best way to receive a safe pregnancy pedicure is to be familiar with the health issues associated with pregnancy pedicures and address them accordingly before you go to the salon and during your salon visit.
Ask the Doctor
Before having any type of salon work or body work, a pregnant woman needs to consult with her doctor. Pregnant women in overall good health should easily get the OK to have a pedicure done.
How Do You Feel About Chemicals?
Some women try to have a chemical-free pregnancy, others pick and choose which chemicals they deem tolerable. Again, this is a personal decision that is made by each pregnant woman.
A chemical-free pregnancy could include abstaining from consumed chemicals including nicotine, caffeine and artificial sweeteners. Each pregnant woman has her own line drawn in the sand when it comes to chemicals. For some, being chemical-free brings peace of mind. For others, trying to be too strict about avoiding all chemicals all the time creates undue stress.
Standard toenail polish contains formaldehyde, a carcinogen, which can be absorbed through the nails. It also contains toluene, a solvent that can irritate skin and lungs and has been linked to causing cancer in laboratory rats. Pregnant women who are concerned about either the smell of these polishes or about the body absorbing even trace amounts of these chemicals can still have a pregnancy pedicure with the right polish.
Find a salon that offers chemical-free nail polish and nail polish remover. Even if the local salon does not offer these products, you can buy your own and bring them with you.
Even if the nail polish being used to fancy up your toes is chemical-free, there are many other chemicals and chemical scents in the salon. Opt for a salon with a private area for pregnancy pedicures, or request one. This will help minimize your contact with other salon chemicals.
Clean and Sanitized
Have a pregnancy pedicure done a salon that you know to be clean. The best way to avoid any chance of contracting a bacterial or fungal infection during a pregnancy is to bring your own pedicure tools to the salon.
Massaging of the foot and lower legs may feel divine, especially during pregnancy, but they should be done minimally. The lower legs should not be massaged by anyone who is not versed in pregnancy massage, especially if the feet are already swollen.
Also opt for a vibration-free soak. Heavy vibrations to the feet may release blood clots.
Ask the pedicurist not to massage ankles or the bottoms of the feet. There are reflexology points on the foot that could trigger pre-term contractions. Unless the pedicurist is knowledgeable about which spots to avoid, simply skip this part of the pregnancy pedicure.
During a pregnancy pedicure, ask for a short soak in the warm water bath. Pregnant women who soak too long in the warm water may experience foot or leg swelling.
A pregnancy pedicure can be a relaxing treat for women, when safety precautions are taken to meet your needs.
EPA and the National Toxicology Program