The moment you decide on getting pregnant is a life-changing decision in itself, while the moment you find out that you are pregnant, and changes your life entirely!
From your mom to your co-worker, everyone is hands-on in giving you advice. Though they may be doing it in good will, it can rub you off the wrong way. There is, however, wisdom in their words. With hormones coursing through your body, it will take an iron will to sit and listen to them. If you don’t have it in you, then we have the perfect read to get you through pregnancy, safe and sound!
1. Acne Medications, Salicylic Acid and Retinol
Acne is one of the most dreaded skin problems. You happily say goodbye to your teenage acne that extends well beyond in your 20’s, and then you get pregnant!
When you get pregnant, you either get a clear and glowing skin or you may end up with acne. The trouble with acne and pregnancy is that you cannot do much about it.
Products such as Accutane, Retin-A and tetracycline’s are prescribed to non-pregnant patients and should be avoided during pregnancy. They are all well-documented to cause severe congenital disabilities.
Over-the-counter products such as those used for spot treatment, are also considered unsafe. Although they contain small doses of a retinoid or salicylic acid, they still contain traces of vitamin A which can be harmful to the fetus.
2. Luxury Bath Products
Your body is working overtime during pregnancy. Daily stresses may take a toll on you, and you may want to soak in the tub to soothe and relax, but using high-end luxury bath products are a big NO during pregnancy. Saying goodbye to your luxury bath products may seem like an extreme step, but it has been well-documented that high-end luxury products contain chemicals that can cause allergies and even roam into cancer-causing dangerous territories.
Phthalates are often found in luxurious and fragrant products and have been known to impact birth outcomes such as stunting your baby’s proper development.
Tests performed by a German green consumer magazine have found that cheap bath products are safer than their high-end counterparts.
After-bath heavy fragrances should be avoided, as heavy fragrances also contain phthalates that are known to upset fetal development. Stick to lighter and natural perfumes.
So, as long as you are pregnant, ditch your luxury and opt for safe and cheap. You have another option of using baby bath products since there are fewer chances of having any questionable ingredients in them.
3. Skin Whitening Products
Pregnancy brings a beautiful glow to your skin. If, however, you are unlucky, you might suffer from melasma. Melasma is pregnancy pigmentation, and unfortunately, there is not much you can do about it either. It is a pregnancy-associated condition and fades away after pregnancy.
If you regularly used skin whitening products before pregnancy, then you might have to say goodbye to them, as well.
Skin whitening products contain hydroquinone or glutathione. They block enzymes involved in the production of melanin and therefore, prevent a reasonable process in your baby for a healthy dermis.
Some whitening products also contain mercury, which has been found to cause fetal abnormalities. We do not know yet if mercury in skin products can cause this or not. But it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Corticosteroids are also one of the ingredients of skin whitening creams, and they are known to affect the size of the placenta along with, low-birth-weight babies.
4. Nail Care
If you are in the habit of going to the nail salon to get yourself pampered after every two weeks, then you might have to give it up, as soon as you find out you are expecting.
Some health workers have experienced stillbirths, congenital disabilities and developmental issues and spontaneous abortions, although no formal studies have been published in this regard.
You may not have the same amount of exposure to chemicals when you go in for a manicure or a pedicure, but no one knows the exact safe levels, so it is better to take a precaution and not take a risk.
Consumer campaigns have forced the suppliers to reduce the toxic trio of dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene, but many nail products still contain questionable ingredients which have not been adequately tested.
So the next time, you plan a nail-salon date with your friends, opt for a chemical-free manicure and pedicure and have it done in a well-ventilated room.
5. Spray-on Tanning
Come summers and everyone wants a beautiful bronze glow. We all know how harmful the sun rays can be to you, in comes spray tanning to the rescue.
The main chemical used in spray tanning is Di-Hydroxyl-Acetone or DHA and has been approved by FDA. It works by reacting with the top, dead layer of skin in much the same way as bread is toasted.
As it remains in the upper layer of the skin and is not absorbed, it is considered to be safe, as opposed to sun tanning which causes skin cancer.
There is a catch. As safe as it may be, it does not take into account the risks that may be associated with inhalation of these spray tanning particles.
Studies have suggested that DHA may cause mutations within the DNA, but none of the studies have been made public. Spray-on tans may be better than soaking in the sun, but it is not worth putting your baby at risk.
Do not consider a tanning bed as elevated temperatures can lead to developmental problems, fetal distress, and miscarriage.
Each pregnancy is unique, and your experiences may differ from one pregnancy to the other. No matter what you experience, the well-being of your unborn baby is always a priority. Giving up a few things for a few months is worth it when you hold your healthy one in your arms. Here is to your safe and healthy pregnancy!