Whether you're looking for pure relaxation or a healing treatment, facials can be wonderful. But as with many salon and spa procedures, pregnant women should proceed with a little extra care, notes Tiffany Bastedo, LPN, LE, an esthetician in Tucson, Arizona. "A pregnant woman's skin becomes more sensitive as she advances in her pregnancy and it is [usually] best to calm and soothe the skin rather than increase circulation further," says Bastedo. Due to this increased sensitivity, facial peels and microdermabrasion are not often recommended for expecting moms.
First, the bad news: due to physiological changes, waxing is more painful during pregnancy, says Denny. The good news is that it's generally safe to have even large areas of your body waxed. Just be sure your esthetician is sensitive to your comfort level during the waxing—and if you need to take a break and regroup, don't hesitate to speak up.
"Believe it or not, we have clients come in every day who have never had a Brazilian wax before and want one while they're pregnant," says Denny. She offers a tip for women in early pregnancy: "If you know you're going to want [bikini or Brazilian] waxing when you get further along, start doing it now and keep it up. The first time is usually the worst!"
Any soon-to-be mom can imagine the benefits of lipstick and eyeliner that remain fresh all the time, even during those 3:00 AM feedings; however, if you're considering permanent cosmetics, it's better to wait until after your baby is born, says Kristanne Matzek, PhD, of the American Institute of Permanent Color Technology in Tustin, California. "There's no data out there to indicate one way or the other [whether permanent cosmetics are safe]," says Dr. Matzek. "So our industry does not endorse [pregnant women having permanent makeup applied]."
The good news is that permanent cosmetics are fine for new moms, even if you're breastfeeding, adds Dr. Matzek. So while you do have to wait, you don't have to wait long.
Coloring, Perming, and Straightening Hair
"My husband and I had a gigantic row about coloring my hair during my first pregnancy," says Mary Parker, of Chicago, Illinois. "He finally relented."
But Parker's husband wasn't alone in his concern; chemically treating hair during pregnancy has long been a subject steeped in controversy. While there haven't been any conclusive studies done, most healthcare providers will suggest waiting to color or perm hair until after the first trimester, minimizing any possible effect on the developing fetus. In addition, changing your hair color or texture can be a smelly business, and sensitivity to fumes is usually at its peak during the first trimester.