I am often asked why permanent makeup cannot be performed during pregnancy and breast feeding, there are a few reasons for this; firstly the treatment is causing trauma to the skin and holds an increased risk of infection, secondly during pregnancy you may find your skin bruises or scars more easily and you may be more sensitive to different products, but the most alarming reason is the risk of the pigment changing colour. As with hair colour, due to pregnancy hormones there have been known cases of pigment turning bright green or even neon orange! This is rare, but as I explain to all my clients, I for one would never want one of my clients to risk being THAT rare case!
There is a lot of contradiction surrounding beauty treatments and pregnancy so I thought I would share my knowledge and as a Mum of 3 my personal experience of the importance of Beauty treatments throughout pregnancy…
I was very cautious throughout my pregnancies and aware of any risks to me and my baby, not just in the first trimester but in fact throughout the entire pregnancy, this is because my first baby Chloe was stillborn just 3 days before her due date. Sadly for me and so many women pregnancy is a very scary time, so I did my best to ensure I was as relaxed, happy and healthy as I could be throughout my pregnancies, I found this helped both me and my baby. A large part of this is to ensure I looked the best I could as this gave me so much confidence, which is so important in pregnancy.
I wanted to share my knowledge about beauty treatments in pregnancy and advise you on what you need to consider when booking beauty treatments throughout your pregnancy.
There Is Little Research Available About Beauty Treatments In Pregnancy
Booking beauty treatments during pregnancy can be confusing because there is so much contradiction in advice. Often Beauticians are told by cosmetic companies that products shouldn’t be used on pregnant women simply because there has been no evidence based research to confirm if certain products could affect an expectant mother or unborn baby. This is because studies have not been published. I personally feel as with advice about exercise in pregnancy, as long as you are sensible, follow your instinct and listen to you body there is no reason why you shouldn’t carry on with your usual beauty routines and treatments throughout your pregnancy.
Happy Mummy – Happy Baby!
My “Mummy” opinion is that as with everything in pregnancy, it’s all about common sense – Will having Shellac nail polish really effect your baby? Will a massage or relaxing facial really effect your baby? I personally feel they will actually be highly beneficial to your baby, simply by relaxing their Mummy and making their Mummy feel good about herself – Happy Mummy, Happy Baby!
Always have Skin Sensitivity Tests Prior to EVERY Treatment
It is a known fact that a mothers hormones throughout pregnancy do often change quite dramatically, you may find normally you have quite oily skin but now you are pregnant your skin is really dry and itchy, also your skin sensitivity can often change, not just once but sensitivity can change day to day, week to week, with this in mind, my advice as a therapist would always be to have skin sensitivity tests before buying any new cosmetics and around 24 hours before each and every beauty treatment. This will avoid any allergic reactions, as an extra precaution it would be ideal to test again just before your treatment too.
Ensure You Are Comfortable
Another aspect to consider when deciding to have beauty treatments in pregnancy is the time and position you are sat or laying on the beauty couch for. In later stages of pregnancy it is not advised to lie on your back for long periods of time, this is because your baby bump could put pressure on one of your main arteries, this may make you feel, dizzy, sick or feint due to the extra pressure on your heart. Midwives and Obstetricians often ask Mums to lie on their left side when they are in labour because of this is the best position for your blood flow.
To avoid This whenever I have pregnant clients on my couch for lash and brow treatments such as LVL Lashes , Lash and Brow Tint or Brow shaping I will always perform their treatment only slightly reclined, rather than flat on their back, I also offer pillows for extra comfort. Treatments such as Massages and Acupuncture should be performed with Mum lying on her left side or in a kneeling position on a special massage chair.
REMEMBER – Always tell your therapist if you are uncomfortable.
Talk To Your Beautician And Ask Her Opinion
Personally I never refuse a treatment but instead I go through all the known risk factors with my client and always check for reactions before every treatment with skin patch tests. If my client is happy to go ahead with the treatment I ask her to sign her record card to say she is aware of the recommendations but is still happy to continue.
I truly believe in common sense in pregnancy and after all, living a healthy balanced lifestyle by eating properly, stopping smoking, drinking no alcohol and reducing BMI through healthy eating and moderate exercise is what’s most important, I also believe a relaxed, happy and confident Mum will help her through her pregnancy and birth.
So, here are a few pointers to look out for when it comes to having beauty treatments during pregnancy:
Tan Products and Spray Tans
There is no evidence to suggest that a tan product will cross the placenta and turn your baby’s skin orange. The main risk with tanning products is the risk of an allergic reaction, also your hormones could alter the colour of the tan you usually use, so always do a patch test before you have a spray tan or use self tan solutions.
REMEMBER! When your baby arrives and you are breast feeding or simply cuddling your baby against your skin, your tan product or in fact your sisters, friends even perhaps your Midwife’s tan product could in fact transfer onto your baby’s cheek or hands when they have their first cuddle, this is a MUCH more realistic risk to consider – It may not harm your baby but could cause their perfect skin to get a reaction or even a tan!
Considering Booking a “Baby-Moon”
If you are considering a holiday while you are pregnant, my advice would always be to check with your GP before you book, to ensure it is safe for you to fly. When you do fly always wear the support stockings to prevent risk of DVT and regularly stretch your legs and walk around. Always ensure you have travel insurance and notify your insurer that you are pregnant. It may mean you have to pay a little extra to be covered or even supply a doctors certificate, but the risk of having no cover when you are abroad is far too high!
When you are away, always apply high sun protection cream and wear a sun hat, a very common side effect of pregnancy is called “The Mask Of Pregnancy” (but officially known as chloasma or melasma gravidarum) and is often caused by sun exposure during pregnancy and menopause. Always ensure you stay hydrated and keep cool, over heating and de-hydration is a known risk in pregnancy. Lastly be aware of what you eat and drink, always buy fresh bottled water. Stomach upsets are a known high risk in pregnancy.
Manicures are considered safe throughout pregnancy. My only piece of advice would be to remove all acrylic extensions and gel nail polish on the approach to your due date. This is because should you need to go to hospital for the birth of your baby your Midwife, doctor and Anethetist can tell a lot about your circulation and blood flow by looking at your finger nails, if they need to they may have to remove nail polish themselves and acrylic and gel nails take quite a while to soak off , if they are removed quickly it can damage your natural nail and could add to stress levels.
One of the best things about pregnancy is your hair and nails grow and strengthen beautifully! Sadly this often comes to an abrupt end once your baby arrives, you may find your hair falls outs and your nails may become weak. I have also written a blog post call “What has my baby done to me?!” But I would recommend enjoying your lovely hair nails and skin while you can and read that blog once baby arrives!
Earlier on in pregnancy and once your baby arrives Gel and Powder Polish is ideal, with it’s long lasting high shine finish. They strengthen your nails without the harsh abrasive techniques other Acrylic polish and Extensions use. Shellac is also quick and easy to remove, a simple 5 minute soak-off in Shellac remover without any filing or using harsh strong smelling Acetone.
Pedicures Are considered safe throughout pregnancy, in fact in your 3rd trimester it is recommended you put your feet up regularly to relax. There is no reason why you shouldn’t have a lovely Shellac Polish to brighten up those toes you rarely get to see because of your bump!
Foot and lower leg massaging will help your circulation and will help reduce swelling, which is common in the later stages of pregnancy. If you are experiencing swelling to your feet, legs or hands, please ensure you tell your Midwife, who can keep an eye on you, although it is a very common symptom in pregnancy, swelling is also a sign that there may be a problem so any changes to your health or your baby such as their movement, or any pain or bleeding should be reported to your Midwife or the antenatal ward at your local hospital to be checked.
Waxing is one of the most popular ways to remove unwanted body hair, and sadly an increase in body hair is something you may experience in pregnancy. Many women notice an increase to hair on their abdomen. There is no evidence to link any risk to you or your baby from having waxing treatments to remove unwanted hair. The only suggestion is that rarely waxing could cause skin infections due to the pores being opened and slight bleeding. The solution to this would be to use an anti-bacterial or antiseptic cream or lotion for a short time after the treatment to prevent infection. I would always perform a small patch test on the wrist or ankle before the treatment just to ensure you have not become allergic.
I personally love LYCON Hot Wax and Strip Wax which use only natural waxes and aromatherapy oils and scents. With the revolutionary new technique which includes a pre wax oil that acts as a barrier between the skin and wax LYCON Waxing is virtually pain free. It lso removes hair as short as 1mm long so no need to grow unsightly hair before you need to wax.
Many women are keen to have their legs, underarms and bikini waxed before the birth of their baby, as they are worried about how they will look to strangers during labour. The truth is by the time you go into labour your fuzzy legs and private parts will be the last thing on your mind and your Midwives have all seen it all before! Saying that I do believe that if it will make you feel happier, more relaxed and confident about your birth then you should book yourself in for your waxing treatment a few weeks before your due date!
Lashes & Brows
Lash and Brow Treatments are popular treatments to enhance your brows and lashes, they can open and brighten your eyes without the need for makeup, which is ideal in the last stages of pregnancy, when sleepless nights and tiredness strike.
Lash extensions can take hours to apply which isn’t ideal as you would need to lie flat on the couch and they do require quite a bit of aftercare and in fills to maintain the look so I prefer to recommend LVL Lashes as an alternative to Lash extensions. LVL Lashes only take 30-40 minutes, I can perform this treatment in a slightly reclined position rather than you laying totally flat and best of all LVL requires no maintenance or aftercare and lasts for between 6-8 weeks!
Although I’m not able to offer any Semi-permanent brow or lash tattooing during pregnancy or breast feed I can offer Brow Shaping where I include the full brow mapping and measuring technique to ensure your brow shape fits perfectly with your face shape, I can also offer Brow and Lash Tinting which can enhance your lashes and brows temporarily. I use a fantastic tint called Appraise which actually leaves a tint on the skin so adds more definition to brows.
Many companies do not recommend treatments are performed on pregnant women because they are unable to take Anti-Histamine if they did experience a reaction. Also insurance companies do not cover therapists for treatment performed on pregnant women. Because of this may salons and therapists refuse all treatments on pregnant women, some refuse treatments before 2nd trimester. It is ESSENTIAL you speak openly and honestly to your therapist to ensure you achieve the best results for you.
Beauty Treatments In Pregnancy Check List:
Always patch test before every treatment
Do not lay on your back for long periods
Tell your Therapist if you are uncomfortable or feel unwell immediately
Call your Midwife or Hospital if you notice any change to you or your baby
Follow your instinct
Blossom and be beautiful!
Signs & Symptoms you should ALWAYS report to your Midwife or Doctor Immediately:
If you notice a change in your baby’s normal movement pattern
If you have any itching or a rash
If you have a temperature or fever
If you have any pain including headaches
If your vision becomes blurred or you see colours or patches
If your hands or feet become swollen or painful
If you have any fluid loss or bleeding
If you have pain passing urine
If you have a “bad feeling” or feel uneasy in any way
If your unsure still please call your Midwife, your not wasting their time.
Recommended pregnancy companies:
Mama Baby Bliss – Pregnancy Massage and products. Baby Massage and Baby Yoga
Michelle Mardall Reflexology – Pregnancy Reflexology
Susan Adams Acupuncture – Pregnancy Acupuncture
Busy Lizzy – Baby Massage, Pregnancy Yoga & all things baby
Guildford Pilates Place – Pregnancy Pilates
Further advice in pregnancy:
I set up Kicks Count after loosing my first baby Chloe, the charity has since gone on to become one of the leading pregnancy charities internationally. I urge all expectant mums (and Dad’s!) to follow Kicks Count to learn the importance of baby’s movements.