When you are pregnant, a trip to the spa can be an opportunity for much-needed pampering. However, some spa treatments can be harmful to you and/or your baby, so it is important to do your homework so you know which ones to avoid. Here are 6 spa treatments that can be unsafe for pregnant women.
Saunas, Steam Baths, Hot Tubs, Whirlpools, Heat Wraps. Heat that causes a pregnant woman’s body temperature to rise significantly can be bad for her and her growing baby. While a warm bath can be a relaxing way to lower stress, the prolonged high temperatures of saunas, steam baths, hot tubs, whirlpools, and heat wraps can cause dangerous overheating and should be avoided. Signs of overheating include felling extremely hot, dizzy, faint, clammy or feels excessively thirsty, having chills, and experiencing dry mouth and nausea.
Tanning Beds. It is best to avoid spa tanning beds any time, but they definitely should be avoided when you are pregnant.
Chemicals. Some chemicals used in spa treatments can enter the blood stream and may cause harm to the fetus. Therefore, processes that involve chemicals are best avoided. Those, such as Botox or facial peels, that involve harsh chemicals put directly on or under the skin definitely are not good ideas. However, even inhaling chemicals used in manicures and pedicures carries some risk, so talk to you obstetrician before opting for these spa services.
Massage. For many women, one of the joys of a visit to the spa is getting a relaxing massage. However, massage, especially deep massage, can be risky, so be sure to opt for a maternity massage or prenatal massage that is especially designed for pregnant women. Among other things, women should avoid deep massage of the legs.
Waxing, Hair Removal. Pregnant women should check with their obstetricians before having hair removed by waxing, electrolysis or laser.
Strongly Scented Products. It is a good idea for pregnant women to avoid strongly scented products, which can cause nausea in some women. Lightly scented products are best. Many women find lemon, lavender and eucalyptus especially soothing.
If you are expecting, be sure that a spa’s staff is experienced in serving mothers-to-be before making an appointment. One positive sign is if you see a prenatal or maternity massage on the spa’s list of services. Also, before visiting a spa, talk to your obstetrician about which spa treatments to enjoy and which spa treatments to avoid, and, when you arrive for your appointment, be sure to inform the esthetician that you are expecting.
Ann Douglas, www.thenursery.com, Spa Do’s and Don’ts for Pregnant Women/The Nursery
www.indiaparenting.com, Beauty don’ts for pregnant women – Beauty and Grooming
Kate Beswick, www.edubook.com, Beauty Treatments Pregnant Women Should Avoid
www.marchofdimes.com, Are hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms safe during pregnancy? – March of Dimes