Pregnancy is a special time for many women, and it's natural to want to look and feel your best. But with so many beauty treatments available, it can be difficult to know which ones are safe to use during pregnancy. Massages, hair coloring, skin care and makeup, sunscreen, Botox, laser hair removal, and artificial tanning are some of the beauty treatments that pregnant women may consider. Massage is generally considered safe during pregnancy.
However, as your belly grows, it's important to adjust your position on the massage table to avoid lying on your back for long periods of time. Lying in a horizontal position can cause the pregnant woman's uterus to compress the large vein in the abdomen, which can make you feel unwell or even faint. A professional massage therapist with experience in pregnancy will know this and will use alternative positions. Botox is a toxin that causes paralysis when injected into muscles. It has only been widely used for a relatively short time and has been used during pregnancy in some cases, especially before women realised they were pregnant.
In two of these cases, the woman had a spontaneous abortion. However, miscarriage is very common, so it's impossible to say if Botox was the cause. There simply isn't enough information available to justify the use of Botox for aesthetic reasons during pregnancy. Laser hair removal is usually less effective during pregnancy due to pregnancy hormones affecting skin pigmentation and hair follicle growth. Your skin may also be more sensitive, making treatments more painful and more likely to cause unwanted reactions.
Shampoos, conditioners, manicures and pedicures are safe. Small amounts of hair dye may be absorbed by the skin, but there is no evidence that this will affect the baby. Chemical hair straighteners and curlers are also believed to be safe. Piercing your face or piercing your navel, nipples, or genitals is not recommended during pregnancy as there is a greater risk of infection. If you already have a navel piercing, you can exchange a metal ring for a flexible plastic retainer made of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene).
Nipple rings can affect breastfeeding, so remove a ring before birth so your skin can heal. It's best to remove vaginal or vulval piercings to avoid birth damage. Laser devices can cause disfigurement, permanent eye damage with lasers, and infections if used improperly. Laser treatment to remove moles can also hide the signs of melanoma, delaying diagnosis and treatment. When it comes to laser hair removal for women, the consensus is to avoid treatment altogether.
Keep in mind that cost isn't necessarily an indicator of experience as some laser clinics may have untrained operators and charge hundreds of dollars for treatments you don't need. When Victorian woman Niki Richardson underwent erbium laser treatment at a new clinic on the Mornington Peninsula, she had a lengthy telephone consultation with her therapist and a face-to-face consultation. It took six months before Niki's face felt again and she was diagnosed with PTSD for two years after the laser treatment. Although studies that indicate a definitive adverse effect are lacking, most laser hair removal clinics advise against this treatment for pregnant women. It's important to feel and look good during pregnancy but even the most serene expectant mother can get stressed trying to evaluate the risk factor of every peel, product and treatment on the market. Demand has led to the emergence of laser services everywhere from beauticians who used to get facial treatments to laser clinics conveniently located in local malls. Living in the era of airbrushed celebrities and ubiquitous selfies it's no wonder that laser beauty treatments are a tempting prospect for many.
Often devices used for cosmetic treatments can be purchased cheaply online and are not necessarily approved by the Therapeutic Products Administration (TGA) because their use for cosmetic purposes is not considered medical. Avoid perms, dyes or chemical smoothing treatments before the second trimester and skip any treatments that involve keratin as they contain harmful formaldehyde. There are several clinical treatments to choose from such as laser hair removal, laser tattoo removal, carbon dioxide and erbium lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments; the last two are used to “rejuvenate” the skin and reduce wrinkles. Alison Hutchinson Sydney's mother (not her real name) was no stranger to laser beauty treatments but she was surprised and shocked when she suffered severe burns in a clinic she had been to before.
When it comes to beauty treatments during pregnancy it's important to know what you can and can't do. Although there are restrictions on what products and treatments are safe to use during pregnancy this doesn't mean you have to completely abandon your pampering and skincare routine.