Treatments to avoid when pregnant

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Treatments to avoid when pregnantIf you’re a spa and salon fundi like me, you’ll know how hard it is to say no when you find out you’re pregnant. I was particularly disappointed when I had to cancel a few of the below listed services, but to give you all a heads up I’ve listed the most important services to avoid during your nine months of joy:

1. Brazilian blowdries

Over the past three years this service has taken the world by storm and quite rightly because it gives you straightened, sleeker hair that doesn’t require you to give up any of your other chemical services. Despite the wonders it may do for your hair, there is no wonder in it when you’re expecting. The product can be absorbed into your skin and into your blood stream because of your bodies low resistance to fight off unwanted chemicals. Under usual circumstances your body will defend itself in a rapid way, but because your immune system is at a low, the vapours can be harmful.

Many products claim to be formaldehyde free, but for the safety of yourself and your unborn child, rather give this one a skip. Instead go for a mild reverse perm or a relaxer which is a lot safer and a lot more common if you really need it.

2. Facials or body treatments with machinery

The new ‘in thing’ is to have a mild laser treatment to take care of unwanted spots or blemishes on your body or your face and although they work wonders, they are not recommended during pregnancy. Carol Mackellem, owner of Just Skin Aesthetic Clinic, says: ‘That anything sending any kind of current through your body will reach your baby and this is very harmful’.

She also advised against Botox, microdermabrasion and collagen treatments which should also be avoided as the outcome isn’t guaranteed. If you really need a deep cleansing and facial treatment done, try having a mild glycolic peel which is done by hand and basically involves a cream containing alpha hydroxy amino acids which are great for cellular turn over. All other facials and waxes are completely safe otherwise.

3. Massages at unspecified salons

The wave has hit us with Thai therapies making their way onto everyone’s list of favourites. If you’ve ever been to a Happy Feet salon, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the cream of the crop when it comes to releasing tension in the body, but all pressure point therapies should be avoided. Early labour could be induced if the incorrect amount of pressure is applied to particular areas. Also be very aware of having a pregnancy massage done by just anyone. If the salon themselves do not specifically have a menu of treatments catered to pregnant women, do not have a massage or reflexology treatment done. There’s a fine line between the nerve endings in your body during pregnancy and if treated without caution can be fatal during pregnancy. Even having a pressure point hand, head or foot massage can be dangerous, so just because it’s not on your back or tummy, does not mean it won’t hurt your baby. The One & Only Hotel offers one of the best services for expecting mothers. It’s proven to be safe and very hands on so you’ll know exactly what you’re in for.

4. Self tanning

Topical self-tan creams and lotions were approved previously, but now a new study has shown that it might not be the best thing to do. It is a lot safer than lying in the sun for hours which can cause suffocation, a lack of oxygen to the foetus as well as extra water retention. However, if your gynaecologist or doctor gives you the go ahead then it should be fine. Too much controversy surrounds it and despite the fact that it’s not a gas or harmful otherwise, experts are still advising women to seek profession permission when it comes to one of the most loved services amongst women.

5. Teeth bleaching

This might seem like a harmless activity, but with the extra gum and tooth sensitivity that pregnancy brings, this is not a good idea at all. You may experience bleeding when brushing, which is completely normal, but the chemicals used in these bleaching products can cause infection and discomfort. Bear in mind that you cannot take anything for this other than a Panado, so let’s give this one a skip.

There may be many things that you can do so be sure to avoid the above mentioned. The safety of your unborn should always come first, but so should your safety.


Written by

Adele Ross is a senior stylist at Spoilt Hair and Beauty Salon based in Green Point, Cape Town. Her love for hair started when she was a little girl, and has been in the hair dressing trade for roughly 10 years, working as a professional stylist and a make-up artist. Spoilt Hair and Beauty Salon is a boutique hair and beauty salon specialising in cutting and styling, colour, hair extensions, hair and scalp nourishing treatments, manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. Call 021 434 7112 for more info.

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  1. Rashmee Bagirathi

    Also, certain essential oils used in massage therapy are stimulatory and cannot be used while pregnant.

    3 years ago •

  1. Khalisi

    Thank you for a very informative article!!! And I hope all the expectant ladies will take care during this sensitive time!

    5 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    Very informative, thank you! I was aware of a couple of things listed here, but not the self-tanning products.

    5 years ago •

  1. Leana

    I had no idea self tanning was an issue! Damn!!! Now I know! Thanks for this.

    5 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    This is so fascinating to me. Thanks for the great article.

    5 years ago •

  1. Anne

    Thank you, great article. Baby is way more important

    5 years ago •

  1. Riekie

    Anything about colouring hair? My sister is pregnant, so need to know

    6 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Wow… Dint know this… Thanks will share with friends… There unborns safety is essential… And so is their safety!!!

    6 years ago •

  1. Hima

    Such a informative article… will share it with my buddies…

    6 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    will keep this in mind for future reference. but wow this is very surprising

    6 years ago •

  1. Ciske

    need to keep these things in mind for future use! (or not using)

    6 years ago •

  1. miss_hle

    Wow, this article was really enlightening.

    6 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    I big thank you from my friend that is expecting now. She had no idea that all this pampering could be harmful.

    6 years ago •

  1. Firefly

    Will pass this info on to my preggie friends!!

    6 years ago •

  1. BeautyBloggess

    Apparently you should also avoid colouring your hair. Not sure how true this is but rather safe than sorry.

    6 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Good to know for future purposes!

    6 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    Good to know – especially about the massages

    6 years ago •


    I did n’t know most of this. Thank you very much for this article now I know what not to do when I am pregnant

    6 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    Thanks for the formative article. I didnt know all of this.

    6 years ago •

  1. Thobza

    Thank you, this is what every woman needs to understand

    6 years ago •

  1. Chicara

    Very interesting. I’m not pregnant, but my best friend is and I was looking for a ‘pamper’ present for her birthday – glad I didn’t go with any of the above. Thanks. :)

    6 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    This is so scary! Who would have thought that that many things have so many possible negative effects. Going to pass it on to girls.

    6 years ago •

  1. Anita

    Wow, did not know some of these could be bad for your baby

    6 years ago •

  1. Maddy

    Informative article and during pregnancy, safety of mom and baby is the top priority.

    6 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    Thank you, so informative,information will never be enough!!

    6 years ago •

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