Are Manicures and Pedicures Safe when Pregnant?

Pampering and Pregnancy

As an expectant Mama, there are a wealth of exciting new experiences and challenges that you face every day. These new found experiences can be what make the pregnancy journey so magical, however having to sacrifice some of your old habits can be one of the things that makes it so difficult. Parts of your usual routine become questionable like, are manicures and pedicures safe when pregnant?

Whilst it’s important that you do look into things like this beforehand, it’s still super vital that you find the time for you. In this excerpt from Mama You Got This, an honest guide to pregnancy, expert Melissa Schweiger Kleinman talks the truth about manicures, pedicures and pregnancy.


Are Manicures and Pedicures Safe when Pregnant?

When my nails are groomed and polished, I just feel better. It’s amazing what a mood-lifter a manicure can be. Even if you can’t see your toes, a pedicure can do a lot to elevate your look—especially if it’s sandal season. As long as you take some necessary precautions before setting out to the nail salon, a regular manicure/pedicure session can still be a part of your preggo beauty routine.



Start by choosing a five, seven or eight-free nail polish. There are so many on-trend nail polish brands, including some of the big names, that don’t use harmful chemicals, so there’s no reason not to go the safer route for your nail colour. Three-free, which means free of formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate, used to be the standard in worry-free nail polish, but times have changed and we’re now aware of more ingredients to avoid.

Five-free means there is no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, or camphor. Seven-free indicates there is no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, or parabens. The next step up is the eight-free formula, which is made without formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, and triphenyl phosphate. At the top of the worry-free nail polish chain is the nine-free polish which has no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens, or acetone in its formula. Or for the ultimate non-toxic manicure, look for waterbased nail polish, which uses a water-base as opposed to a solvent-base. The only downside with water-based, besides the lack of available brands producing this type, is that it takes a lot longer for the polish to dry. Something to think about before applying it and then having to head to the bathroom for a wee straight away.



Whilst at the salon, ask your manicurist not to clip your hang nails and instead have them pushed back. Cutting your cuticles can lead to possible cuts and become an entry point for bacteria. Find a cuticle oil and rub it on your fingers to help soften that area. Bring your own tools to the salon. Even though tools are supposed to be sanitized before each use, you can never be too safe in this department. Make sure they wash out the pedicure sink with disinfectant before you get your pedicure. If you can try and get to the salon earlier before the crowds, there will be fewer people getting their nails done and fewer chemicals to breathe in. If you can sit near an open door or window whilst getting your manicure, even better.


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Writer and expert