Though pregnant manicurists who are consistently exposed to potentially harmful substances may have cause for concern, getting the occasional manicure shouldn’t pose a safety risk. However, a study by the Environmental Working Group warns against using polish that contains dibutyl phthalate (DBP), an ingredient that is linked to birth defects in animals. And for devotees of nail extensions who may have safety concerns, there are all-natural, fake nails (however oxymoronic).
At least two hair-removal methods are perfectly safe during pregnancy: shaving and waxing (though the latter may cause a reaction or be particularly painful for expectant moms). The prevailing thought on depilatory use: Why smear unnecessary chemicals on your body now? As for laser hair-removal during pregnancy, consult with your doctor if you’re interested. Meanwhile, leg lotions can safely ease fatigue.
Happy feet aren’t out of the question now, despite their increased burden. According to Janine E. Polifka, Ph.D., president of the Organization of Teratology Information Services, the mint-scented soothers aimed at tired, swollen feet and legs are safe, not to mention refreshing. But if you’re using a soak, make sure the water is cool to warm. If you’re getting a pedicure, avoid reflexology, as
certain pressure points are believed to stimulate labor.