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Can You Get Your Nails Done While Pregnant?

If you’re pregnant and love getting a manicure or pedicure, you’ve probably wondered can you get your nails done while pregnant. While caution around a lot of activities is warranted. With getting your nails, there is no need to worry. 

According to the National Childbirth Trust, you can get your nails done while pregnant. That being said, you do need to be cautious because some nail polish and fake nails contain chemicals. Still, it’s unlikely that these chemicals will have adverse effects on your unborn baby. However, to reduce any possible side effects, limit the exposure to these chemicals. 

However, research is lacking regarding the possible effect of these compounds while pregnant. That being said, most products are safe to use. 

Below, learn more about getting your nails done while pregnant. We will also include safety precautions you can take to limit possible adverse effects. 

Can You Get Your Nails Done While Pregnant? 

There are so many things you cannot or shouldn’t do while you’re pregnant. There is plenty of information about what’s considered safe for pregnant women. However, there is limited information about getting your nails done while pregnant. 

That being said, most nail salons use strong chemicals like toluene. Others like acetone can be found in the nail polish remover. You want to avoid having prolonged exposure to these products.

So far, no real scientific evidence proves that exposure to these chemicals can be harmful during pregnancy. A small amount of these chemicals are breathed in or absorbed through your nails and skin. It is unlikely that these small levels of exposure will cause any problems during pregnancy. 

That being said, there is one exception to a chemical compound called methyl methacrylate. This can be found in some glue products used for fake nails. According to studies, these chemicals may not be safe for you or your unborn baby. For pregnant women, it can cause dizziness.

A research study conducted in 2021 found that some babies that have been initially exposed to high levels of this chemical had a higher chance of developing congenital heart defects. In some rare cases, some babies also develop neural tube defects.

However, this study was conducted on a small population of babies, so it may be overestimated regarding the risks to unborn babies. It is worth mentioning that other factors may cause congenital and neural tube defects, such as not having enough folic acids during pregnancy.

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Also, your skin might get slightly irritated when you’re pregnant. Some chemicals in nail salons’ commonly used products, such as methyl methacrylate, can cause skin inflammation. 

Safety Tips for Getting Your Nails Done While Pregnant 

There are some safety precautions you can take to reduce the risk of any adverse effects. When you’re getting your nails done, choose a clean nail salon. This will decrease the chances of getting any infections caused by bacteria. Getting nail infections is very common in nail salons that are not properly cleaned or maintained. 

In addition, do not get your nails done if you have any unhealed wounds on your toenails or fingers. Since you are pregnant, your immune system is weaker. Therefore you have a higher chance of getting an infection.

Since you’re more sensitive to smells when you’re pregnant, you might get nauseous or slight headaches if the salon isn’t well-ventilated. If that happens, ask your nail technician if they can open more windows to allow for better ventilation. A well-ventilated nail also helps fan out any potentially harmful chemicals like methyl methacrylate. 

Opt for less toxic nail polish that does not contain toxic ingredients like formaldehyde or parabens. While most nail polishes are considered safe, doctors recommend pregnant women avoid using gels polishes. You should be cautious about the exposure to the UV light used to prepare gel polish. However, the effects of gel polish haven’t been extensively studied. 

Also, make sure that your nail technician properly sanitizes all the tools. Since you’re more prone to infections while pregnant, clean tools are a must.

The Bottom Line 

You can get your nails done when you’re pregnant. This can be a relaxing activity to do and a great form of self-care during pregnancy. It is also safe to do under the prescribed safety precautions.

However, you don’t have to worry because there is no scientific evidence that the chemicals found in the products can cause problems during pregnancy. 

When you’re pregnant, make sure that the salon you choose to get your nails done is clean and tidy. Ensure that the tools used are sterilized adequately, so you don’t get any nail infections. 

These infections can lead to swelling. However, you can get some treatment such as antibiotics to treat the infections. 

If you are getting your nails in a nail salon, make sure the area is well-ventilated to have limited exposure to the chemicals. 

Some other precautions you can take when you are getting nails done is making sure you wash off any chemicals that may have touched your skin. 

This isn’t a site of concern, but you should avoid irritants or use products made for sensitive skin instead. Also, to be on the side of caution, ask your nail technician to use products that do not contain methyl methacrylate. If you have any concerns about getting your nails done while pregnant, we advise you to consult your doctor.

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