Manicures and Pedicures
Towards the end of your pregnancy, a salon pedicure may be more necessity than luxury—after all, it's hard to polish toenails you can't reach! Fortunately, there's no need for concern about the safety of having either your feet or your fingernails done. While many expectant women worry about chemical fumes from the products used, it really isn't too much of an issue, says Dr. Minkin. Simply make sure that you have your manicure and pedicure in a well-ventilated room.
Karen Spring kept herself feeling pretty during her twin pregnancy with massages, hair highlights, and lots of manicures, even having a French manicure done shortly before her C-section. "As my nail girl said, 'At least your nails will look great,'" says Spring, of Deptford, New Jersey.
While there's no hard evidence that tanning beds can harm your baby, there is overwhelming evidence that they can be quite bad for you. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, tanning beds expose your skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause skin cancer. Skin that is stretched out—common in pregnancy—is also more easily damaged.
In addition, pregnant women are prone to a condition called chloasma (often described as "the mask of pregnancy"), in which the facial skin darkens in patches. Exposure to UV rays may aggravate this condition.
There's good news if you prefer to "fake" your golden glow. The spray-on or "airbrush" tans available in many salons are considered safe for external application during pregnancy. Their active ingredient is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a sugar derivative that stains the surface of the skin.
However, according to the FDA, DHA has not been proven safe for ingestion or inhalation. So take precautions when choosing a salon. If the salon doesn't offer protection for your eyes, mouth, nose, and ears while you're in the spray-on tanning booth, go somewhere else.