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15 Beauty Treatments That Are No Longer Safe During Pregnancy

It's an essential part of the female instinct to take care of her body and her looks on a regular basis, and it’s not unreasonable to say that it's a must on her daily to-do list. If she doesn’t get her beauty routine accomplished, it may make her feel like her day is incomplete and could potentially lead to a bad mood. Of course, women like to take care of other things than their body and looks, and this fact depends on each individual. Body care includes numerous disciplines such as exercising, aerobics, yoga, running and walking, swimming, volleyball, tennis, and other activities, in addition to body care through pursuing a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle. Regarding the care for how she looks, tanning, hairdressing, makeup preparations, body lotions and creams, hair removal aids, manicures, pedicures, and others, are employed for this purpose.

During pregnancy, Mom-to-be usually refers to a specialist doctor for informing herself on the proper changes she needs to make in her diet, physical and mental activity, and her overall lifestyle. She usually accepts these recommendations and guidelines with an open heart and positive attitude  for the sake of her and her baby’s health and wellness. But being suggested to discontinue certain beauty and cosmetic treatments do not seem to get the same positive reaction, especially since she knows that her body is about to start many phases of transformation, and these treatments always help make her feel better. Although she may have been using certain beauty treatments for quite a while, once she's pregnant, some things just aren’t safe for the growing baby.

15 Tanning - In The Sun Or Salon

Even without the presence of an expected baby, exaggerated exposure to UV rays are known to bring several degrees of danger. The case with pregnancy is certainly more serious and critical. Ultraviolet rays are known to have the biggest hazard on the human skin, which interferes with conception. Targeting the skin enhances the risk of melanoma, i.e. skin cancer, so the risks are even higher during pregnancy, which causes an increase of melanin. Being overly exposed to UV rays during pregnancy also poses a serious threat to one of the main pregnancy essentials – folic acid.

Folic acid deficiency caused by UV rays as a result of tanning can lead to maternal anemia and blood synthesis insufficiency, and inadequate growth of the placenta and fetus, resulting in premature birth. It also negatively impacts fetal development and wellness, causing cardiac defects, cleft lips, and central nervous system defects, manifested in spina bifida and anencephaly.

14 Hot Stone Massage

A massage is one of the methods to bring relief and relaxation to the human body. There are numerous types of massages, which during pregnancy become restricted. A massage during pregnancy is not completely prohibited, it can still be performed under supervision and only by certified professionals, avoiding methods that carry any harm to the mother, her baby, or both of them.

The hot stone massage is seriously prohibited during this period. Women are requested to delay having contact with this method at least until after they give birth. The fact that they are likely to feel warmer and hot at a faster rate can cause Mom and baby to become overheated. Moreover, since the first trimester is very sensitive, the probabilities of miscarriage are higher than later in the pregnancy. So total prohibition is imposed. Application of stones can be strictly allowed, completely avoiding placing them on the abdomen.

13 Beauty Products Containing Phthalates

Phthalates, or cosmetics that contain phthalic acid, are ingredients in many cosmetic products, and in each of the products, the chemical gets absorbed into the skin and thus into Mom-to-be's blood circulation. There has been research released by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that shows that the chemicals are hormone disrupting and have been linked to a higher risk of gestational diabetes, miscarriage and excessive weight gain. Phthalates are used in a large number of products but are best known for their use in plastics to make them more pliable. However, they are also used in beauty products such as lotions, fragrances and cosmetics.

Male babies are especially at risk with phthalates proven to induce Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome, which is manifested by defects in the male fetal genital system, including hypospadias (the incorrect position of urethral opening), cryptorchidism (failure of testis to descend properly), as well as testicular germ cell cancer, and low count of sperm. Phthalates are also observed to suppress the production of testosterone.

12 Getting Tattooed

Getting a tattoo during pregnancy is not definitely prohibited, but at the same time not really advisable since the pain the body endures during the tattooing process can cause extra stress on the body. In all cases, if she is decided in her intention, she ought to make sure she goes to a certified professional tattoo artist who is experienced working with pregnant women and with high quality sterilized instruments and inks.

Information regarding fetal infection by the tattoo ink is still unclear, but it has been proposed that the process represents a threat for the maternal body to contract hepatitis B or HIV. It has also been proposed that tattooing during the first 12 weeks (that is first trimester), may cause the fetus to be infected and its development to be hindered due to exposure to the tattoo ink.

11 Teeth Whitening Products

Maybe Mom-to-be has been in the habit of undergoing regular whitening at her dentist, but once she becomes pregnant, she is advised to refrain from continuing for the time being. Not only is a pregnant woman's whole body more sensitive during pregnancy, but her teeth and gums become more sensitive, too. This doesn't just mean that her teeth might hurt if she drinks ice-cold water, but Mom-to-be is also more at risk for different types of gum infections.

Teeth bleaching products are known to contain carbamide peroxide, which after reacting with water produces hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can target the highly sensitized gum and cause harm. The exact mechanism and action of hydrogen peroxide that affects the fetus is still not clearly understood, but it's enough to state that this compound is one of the well-known oxygen radicals whose presence in Mom-to-be is generally considered dangerous as it, like other radicals, possesses critically toxic functions.

10 Body Wraps

An essential part of body care is weight management, finding the perfect balance between feeling and looking good. Numerous innovations have come out to the public to be utilized for such purposes, one of which is body wrapping. This method involves the application of hot towels or wraps on specific areas of the body, mainly the abdominal region and the thighs, in order to melt away the accumulated unwanted fat from these places, and relieving the body from aching and bloating.

Perhaps the desire to undergo this procedure increases during pregnancy due to the fact that so many women feel uncomfortable about their bodies changing, but they ought to realize that the core body temperature during pregnancy should never exceed 98.6℉, and body wrapping usually raises the body temperature beyond this degree. So this particular beauty treatment poses a serious threat to the fetus because Mom-to-be can overheat very quickly.

9 Dermal Fillers

These are injections filled with Botox, Restylane, or Juvederm, placed intradermally in the desired place of the body, usually the face. So many women report that they underwent the dermal filling procedure before finding out about their pregnancy, and some others admit undergoing it after conception, while expressing their worry about any complications or effects that might occur to the fetus as a result of injecting these chemicals into the bloodstream.

In fact, these substances have been proven to linger in their place of injection, without being transmitted elsewhere, which can indicate that they are not approaching the fetus or any part relating to the uterus. However, researchers states that the presence of these substances during pregnancy have not yet been carried out enough to come out with any final conclusion. But since doctors believe in prevention in the first place, they advise to eliminate the doubts by simply avoiding them, so as to guarantee being on the safe side.

8 Hot Saunas

Saunas are one of the most common and beloved methods of relaxation and stress relief. Sitting in a wooden room heated to the temperature of 150℉ or more, with humidity kept below 15%. Avoiding saunas during pregnancy is not always required; sometimes the doctor approves undergoing this relaxing process, depending on the status of the expectant Mom, but certainly with restrictions and for a limited period of time. In general, in case Mom-to-be is permitted inside the sauna room, she must immediately leave once she feels nauseous, since this probably indicates that overheating has occurred.

Sauna and body wraps share the same danger, which is the risk of overheating. Embryos are unable to regulate temperature inside the uterus, so their exposure to overheating puts them in the danger of death, or brain or spinal cord defects, especially in the first trimester. Complicating current abnormal maternal clinical conditions is also anticipated as a negative impact of overheating.

7 Chemical Hair Removal

Getting pregnant doesn't mean turning into a fuzzy Grizzly Bear for 9 months. In fact, the safety of waxing and electrolysis during pregnancy has been stated, shaving is still possible, but only with support - most Moms-to-be find it difficult to reach behind the legs and around the ankle area once they hit the third trimester. The only method which is warned against is using chemical ingredients for hair removal.

These chemical ingredients are known to target the hair keratin, causing breakage and removal of the hair from the root. These products also contain fragrances in an attempt to mask the actual odors of the chemicals, which are likely to be unpleasant and perhaps harmful. These chemicals are expected to be absorbed by the skin and can cause allergic reactions. Since skin sensitivity during pregnancy is higher, the likeliness of an allergic skin reaction, or other reactions caused by skin absorption or inhaling the fragrances, is even higher.

6 Spontaneous Piercings

As skin sensitivity increases during pregnancy, the choice of wearing piercings and other jewelry should rather be postponed until after the baby is born. Although those who have no complications or conflicts wearing jewelry, or have shown no other reactions to certain metals, should be okay to get new piercings. However, a new piercing is not recommended for the fact that their insertion into the skin or muscles could be accompanied by infections of any type.

The seriousness of the condition depends on the place the piercing is inserted. A piercing into the nipples may cause no conflicts at the beginning, but requires later removal for breastfeeding purpose - if that's in Mom-to-be's plans. Clitoral piercings are advised to be taken off to prevent vaginal swelling, infection or any complications especially during delivery. As for any abdominal piercings, it's obviously advisable to wait until after baby is born, or remove any during the belly's inevitable growth.

5 Spray Tanning

The main product to be concerned with is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a chemical in spray tan products that interacts with proteins in the top skin layer. This interaction leads to the formation of melatonin, which is the chemical in the body that creates a brown pigment. DHA is known to be a sugar derivative and non-toxic when applied topically and absorbed through the skin, that’s why topical application of tanning products that contain DHA is not really warned against during pregnancy, though complete avoidance is still preferred.

However, the administration of DHA by spraying it onto the body, i.e. spray tanning, raises the possibility of having some particles accidentally inhaled and accessing Mom-to-be's system through respiratory or alimentary tracts. This could very well lead to some dangerous toxic effects. In addition, some studies have proven that exposure to DHA can cause DNA mutations. DHA also induces allergic skin reactions, which are likely to increase during pregnancy.

4 Chemical-Based Sunscreens

Despite the fact that many manufacturers of sunscreen state that their product is safe for pregnant women, it's still preferred to simply avoid all of them and stay in a shaded area, protected enough from the negative effects of UV rays. However, when a pregnant woman wants to get into the swimming pool or the ocean, she ought to have sunscreen applied on her body beforehand, since the sensitivity of her body is increased and even if she wasn’t prone to sunburn before, she may very likely be now.

Sunscreens recommended to avoid are those containing bug repellents, retinol, retinyl palmitate and especially oxybenzone since they are believed to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream and, in excess, cause birth defects. Research done in Europe and by the FDA has shown that sunscreens containing nanoparticles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are safe to use in lotion form. No sunscreen should be sprayed on so as to avoid inhaling it.

3 Antiperspirants And Deodorants Containing Aluminum

A main part of any woman's personal hygiene is her daily use of antiperspirants or deodorants to prevent underarm sweat and unpleasant body odors. They usually come as sprays, solids or liquid roll-ons. An antiperspirant stops the applied area from producing sweat, while a deodorant stops the production of bacteria that cause body odor. Antiperspirants that include aluminum in their ingredients are more or less harmless for non-pregnant women, but the condition is not the same during pregnancy.

Aluminum is known to be added to antiperspirants so as to block sweat release from the glands. Nevertheless, when used in high doses, it can be systemically effective, causing a decrease in hemoglobin or red blood cell count, resulting in anemia. It can also cause bone and memory impairment. Extreme tiredness is also a side effect of using aluminum-based deodorants and antiperspirants daily during pregnancy. It's therefore recommended that pregnant women avoid it.

2 Hair Straightening Treatments Containing Formaldehyde

Some agree that there is no problem using hair straightening products that don't contain chemicals to which pregnancy is sensitized, though it's still advised to avoid all hair straightening brands and temporarily abandon this hair care method. Formaldehyde is known to be a component of other cosmetic products such as nail polish. It's also present in carpets, disinfectants, cleaning products, and adhesives. Formaldehyde is not added to baby shampoo, but its derivatives are, which function in preserving the content of the manufactured shampoo.

It's recommended to avoid hair straightening products and any other products that are known or suspected to have formaldehyde. It can find its way inside the body through inhalation, ingestion or absorption by the skin. The possibility of fetal exposure to this compound is high, consequently leading the fetus' spontaneously death, premature birth, or being born with congenital defects and malformations.

1 Products Containing Retinol

Retinol is a derivative of the retinoid group, a type of vitamin A that functions in skin renewal and collagen protection. They are essential components of anti-aging and moisturizing creams that are used on the skin to reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin tone. Almost no problems have been detected in case of topical application of retinoids during pregnancy. However, for the sake of caution and safety, doctors advise expectant mothers against using products with these ingredients.

Some of the compounds of the retinoids include differin, retin-A, renova, and retinyl palmitate. The main danger lies in oral administration of treatments containing these chemicals, for example oral intake of vitamin A at a high doses has been proven to cause harm to the fetus. Moreover, the intake of Accutane, which is an ingredient containing isotretinoin and used for treating acne, is known to cause defects in the newborn.

Sources: Parents.com, ForYourMassageNeeds.com, BabyCenter.com, NCBI.NIH.govMommyMeds.com

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