Pregnancy is not only a time of great anticipation, it’s also one of great changes to both mind and body. SmartParents asks Dr Christopher Chong, an obstetrician, gynaecologist and urogynaecologist at Gleneagles Hospital, when you are pregnant, can you still...
…Colour my hair?
No ― depending on the hair colour you choose, bleach may need to be applied first before the colour is slapped on. Since bleach is caustic, it should definitely not be used during pregnancy.
…Visit the sauna?
While a sauna may seem like the ideal remedy for your body aches and pains, you should avoid the high-temperature environment of a sauna as it may affect the development of your foetus. This is especially dangerous in the early months when the baby is developing.
…Use body wraps?
Body wraps are safe as long as these wraps are not medicated. Since it will cover a large surface area (your skin) and the absorption rate is high, any medication used may harm the baby.
…Use anti-ageing/acne treatments?
It’s fine to use creams. However, you need to exercise care when you apply these creams to areas with open wounds, especially to treat acne. This is because the drugs in medicated creams may be absorbed into the mum-to-be’s bloodstream and affect the foetus. For example, Roaccutane cream can cause ear malformation and other birth defects. Dr Chong’s advice ― consult your obstetrician or dermatologist if you think you need such treatment.
…Exercise as normal?
Yes! A pregnant woman can exercise throughout pregnancy but needs to reduce the intensity of her routine as she should take care not to overexert her body. Dr Chong advises taking walks and swimming as ideal examples. Incidentally, Kegels are the most important exercises you need to do right now as these will help strengthen your pelvic floor.
…Embroider my eyebrows?
Eyebrow embroidery pigments should not be applied on open wounds as these chemicals may be absorbed into the expectant mother’s bloodstream and harm the foetus. So, for the sake of your baby’s safety, make eyebrow pencils your best friend when you’re preggers.
…Go for aesthetic treatments/botox?
Since not much research has been done on the effects of aesthetic treatments ― like IPL or other laser treatments ― during pregnancy, Dr Chong advises, “Don’t take the chance!” Also, steer clear of botox. Since this treatment is derived from botulinum toxin, one of the most potent toxins known to man, it definitely should not be anywhere near a growing foetus.