Pregnancy Spa Do’s & Don’ts
Here are a few Dos and Don’ts to make sure you get the best treatment you can, and get the most out of it
DO avoid body treatments in the first three months of your pregnancy.
DO make sure you continue having treatments during your pregnancy. It can assist you with feeling more comfortable.
DO choose the spas and spa products carefully. Choose products that are organic, natural products and that are safe for pregnant women.
DO consider foot treatments: pedicures, reflexology and foot baths. When you’re pregnant it may be difficult to get down there yourself. Your feet and legs often feel tired and heavy, too, and may be swollen. A foot massage will get your circulation going and help reduce the swelling, aches, and pains.
DO try pregnancy massage, even if you’re feeling self-conscious, you will feel so much better and be surprised at just how easy it is.
You may find that you’re more sensitive to smells than usual. After the first trimester, aromatherapy is fine as long as it is pleasant for you; however, essential oils may be absorbed through the skin. Until more is known, use only oils that have been tested for safety in later stages of pregnancy.
See Aromatherapy Chart. This chart indicates essential oils that should not be used during the different stages of pregnancy.
Note: You should always check with your Doctor prior to any massage service or aromatherapy session.
Hair color: There is a lot of debate on this issue, but the most recent studies show that there is nothing to worry about. Although, there haven’t been any conclusive studies done, most healthcare providers will suggest waiting to color or perm hair until after the first trimester, minimizing any possible effect on the developing fetus. In addition, changing your hair color or texture can be a smelly business, and sensitivity to fumes is usually at its peak during the first trimester.
DON’T have any non-pregnancy-approved body treatments if you are, or think you might be, pregnant. Some essential oils, chemicals, ingredients, techniques and treatments could be harmful to you or your baby, so make sure you get good advice.
DON’T choose spa products that contain parabens or other chemical additives.
DON’T have a heat treatment. Saunas and steam rooms can be dangerous for you when you’re pregnant as they raise your internal body temperature. Science has known for years that fever in early pregnancy is bad for the embryo, increasing the chances of miscarriage and birth defects. The baby, whose body temperature is a degree higher than yours, doesn’t have a way to get rid of heat except through your ability to cool off. All treatments that raise your body temperature should be off limits during pregnancy. This includes the sauna, steam room, and hot tub, hot stone massages and body wraps.
DON’T have a heated wrap or wrap that will cause you to get hot. Any type of body wrap that heats your body up and includes covering your stomach probably isn’t safe during pregnancy. A body wrap may also result in dehydration, which can increase your risk of preterm labor. And as with hot tubs, overheating from a body wrap or a sauna can cause any number of pregnancy complications or even miscarriage.
DON’T go in the Jacuzzi or any hot pools. A recent study found that women who used hot tubs or Jacuzzis in early pregnancy were twice as likely to have a miscarriage as women who did not. Studies have also shown an increase in neural tube defects. Expectant mothers should not let their body temperature rise above 102.2 degrees for more than 10 minutes. This can interfere with a baby’s cell division and cause brain damage or other birth defects. They should also avoid aerobic exercise in hot weather or overheated swimming pools.
DON’T (particularly in the first three months) have any massage or facial, or use any products featuring any of the essential oils specified in the aromatherapy chart.
DON’T consume the following foods:
Sushi and oysters. Uncooked seafood can carry hepatitis A or parasites like tapeworm Hot dogs, deli and lunch meats. Deli meats can carry listeria, which can cause miscarriage, premature delivery or stillbirth.
Brie and other unpasteurized soft cheeses. These also carry the risk of listeriosis.
Large fish like shark, shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. These can contain levels of mercury high enough to harm an unborn child, but pregnant woman can safely eat up to 12 ounces a week of a variety of fish and shellfish lower in mercury such as crawfish, shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon and catfish.
Raw sprouts. Raw vegetable sprouts can carry Salmonella and E. coli.
Raw or undercooked meat, poultry or eggs. These can carry many food-borne illnesses, including listeriosis, E. coli and Campylobacter infections, salmonellosis and toxoplasmosis.