Can I Have A Manicure During Pregnancy?

The short answer is: yes, you can have a manicure during pregnancy.

Studies have not demonstrated that there is any danger to having a manicure while pregnant. Having said that, there have been relatively few long-term controlled studies on the use of and exposure to nail polish during pregnancy. There is one study that suggests that one of the chemicals in nail polish, known as phthalate, may cause brain defects in laboratory animals. However, no further studies have supported this conclusion, and there have been no human studies that would suggest this particular link. In addition, many governmental agencies, including the FDA, the EPA, the CDC, Health Canada and several European agencies have indicated that phthalates pose no danger to pregnant women. The majority of the evidence tends to suggest that phthalate is of no danger to the pregnant woman.

The occasional manicure during pregnancy should be a great way for the pregnant woman to pamper herself. It may help her self image as her body is changing, and to lift her spirits. A pedicure may also be relaxing and, later in pregnancy as it gets harder and harder to trim your toenails, very practical.

In some cases, the smell of the chemicals that go along with a manicure or a pedicure may make you nauseous. This is particularly true during pregnancy, as many women seem to have a heightened sense of smell. In addition, during early pregnancy, many women are particularly vulnerable to nausea and vomiting. You may be able to avoid these specific problems by making sure that you get your manicure in an open area with a sufficient amount of ventilation.

As always, if you have concerns about using a product, you should speak to your health care provider. If you are afraid of using phthalates, check your product labels for dibutyl phthalate, also referred to as DBP. There are products available that are free of DBP as well as other potentially harmful ingredients such as toluene or formaldehyde.


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