Pregnancy: Looking At Lifestyle Alterations

Your lifestyle inevitably changes during your pregnancy. You may wonder whether it’s still okay to do some of the things you may have done on a regular basis before you were pregnant. But you still need to learn about activities such as whether you can safely color your hair while you’re pregnant, whether you can go into saunas and hot tubs, and whether you can travel.

Indulging in beauty treatments

When your friends and relatives hear that you’re expecting they’ll probably tell you how beautiful you look. And you may feel beautiful, too, but some women feel contrary. You may find that you’re not happy with the physical changes that are happening to your body. Either way, if you’re like most of our patients, you may wonder whether your customary beauty habits are safe to follow during pregnancy.

  • Botox: The safety of Botox therapy during pregnancy and breastfeeding is unknown. Though you can enjoy the beauty from your pregnancy glow while you’re pregnant, and wait for the Botox.
  • Injectable fillers: Injectable skin fillers are used to smooth wrinkles and make lips fuller. Often they’re made with collagen or hyaluronic acid. No good data currently exists documenting the safety of fillers during pregnancy. The good news is that the fluid retention of pregnancy may lessen the wrinkles anyway!
  • Chemical peels: Alpha-hydroxy acids are the main ingredients in chemical peels. The chemicals work topically, but small amounts are absorbed into your system. We haven’t found any data on whether chemical peels are safe during pregnancy. They’re probably okay, but first discuss it with your gynecologist.
  • Facials: You may notice that your complexion has changed over the past few months. Sometimes pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on your skin. Facials may or may not help. But go ahead and have one anyway if only to enjoy the time to sit back and relax!
  • Massages: Massages are fine, and you’ll find that many massage therapists offer special pregnancy massages aimed at accommodating your pregnant belly. Some use special tables with the center cut out so that you can comfortably lie face down, especially in the latter part of the pregnancy.

Relaxing in hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, or steam rooms

Using hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, or steam rooms when you’re pregnant can be risky because of the high temperatures involved. Studies involving humans suggest that pregnant women whose core body temperatures rise significantly during the early weeks of pregnancy may stand an increased risk of miscarriage or having babies with neural tube defects.

However, problems typically occur only if the mother’s core temperature rises above 102 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 39 degrees Celsius) for more than ten minutes during the first seven weeks of her pregnancy.

In general, soaking in a warm, soothing bath is fine during pregnancy. Just make sure that the water temperature isn’t too high, for the reasons just mentioned.

Common sense suggests that after the first trimester, occasionally using hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms for less than ten minutes is probably okay. However, remember to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.


The main potential problem with traveling during pregnancy is that it puts distance between you and your prenatal care provider. If you’re close to your due date or if your pregnancy is considered high-risk, you probably shouldn’t travel far from home. Your decision to travel, though, depends on what the risk factors actually are. If you have diabetes but it’s well controlled, going on a trip is probably okay. But if you’re pregnant with triplets, traveling to far flung areas probably isn’t a good idea. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated, travel during the first, second, and early third trimesters is usually okay.

Traveling by car poses no special risk, aside from requiring that you sit in one place for a long time. On long trips, stop every couple of hours to get out and walk around a bit. Wear your seat belt and shoulder strap; they keep you safe, and they won’t hurt the baby, even if you’re in an accident. The amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus serves as a cushion against any constriction from the lap belt. Not wearing restraints clearly poses a greater risk; studies show that the leading cause of fetal death in auto accidents is death of the mother. Wear your seat belt below your abdomen, not above it, and keep the shoulder strap in its usual position.

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