It's March and I haven't written on here in a while...oops. We have been busy at the salon and it has simply slipped my mind (we'll blame the baby brain!).
As most of you by now know, I am expecting my first baby in May (only 9 weeks to go!), which is incredibly exciting - if not a little daunting. And it seems there's a bit of a baby boom at the moment, as I know of a lot of women also expecting, due to pop around May and June!
So with this in mind, I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk through which treatments are suitable during pregnancy, and those that are not. I'll talk about how treatments can be adapted, at what times they are suitable to have, and if not suitable at all...the reasons why!
Before I start, I would like to point out that the following advice is based purely on the training we have received for the treatments on offer at Utopia, and what our insurance company stipulates in our policy with them. So please be aware that this may differ from salon to salon (or spa to spa!).
So we'll start with a popular one: Waxing.
We often get asked by clients if waxing is suitable during pregnancy, and the simple answer is YES! Right from day one of your pregnancy waxing is completely safe to carry out, and can be done right up until the birth. Some may feel more comfortable waiting until the first 12 weeks have passed, when you reach the so-called 'safe zone', but that is purely a decision for you to make.
We are insured to carry out these treatments all the way through, and can tell you it is perfectly safe to do so. As your pregnancy progresses there may be some changes we have to make to the way the treatment is carried out to ensure a comfortable and safe treatment for you both, and all of the wax and products used in these treatments are safe to use when pregnant.
As the bump grows, certain positions won't be possible - for example lifting the legs to the chest for a bikini wax, or laying on your front for us to get to the back of the legs. But rest assured, we know all the correct and safe positions to assist you in to enable us to reach all the same areas as normal. And once we know you are pregnant, we will also lift the back of the couch up so you never lay flat (as per recommendations).
The same all applies to threading!
These can be safe to have, depending on the type you are looking at having.
Our DermaCo Pro treatments (think Microdermabrasion and Bio-Lift) are a big no-no throughout the whole of pregnancy, as not only does this include micro-current (so a tiny electrical current), the skin during pregnancy can become much more sensitised, so this simply would not be suitable. We may only be treating the face, but that tiny electrical current will also affect the body slightly, so we don't want to harm baby in any way!
However, our Dermalogica Skin Treatments are a different matter - perfectly safe to have throughout all stages of pregnancy, just perhaps slightly modified if need be. All of our therapists who perform these treatments on clients have undergone intensive training with Dermalogica and are either Dermalogica Certified, Specialist or Expert level. We are all trained to know which ingredients are best to avoid when pregnant and nursing, and therefore what products should be avoided during these treatments. We can also advise you on what to use at home, so you know everything is safe to use.
We know how to Face Map (analyse) the skin and what to look out for, so to avoid causing any sensitivity during the treatment - as mentioned above, the skin can become more sensitised throughout pregnancy and nursing.
Our Hydrotherm cushions (which we use for all Dermalogica Skin Treatments) are set only to body temperature, and no higher, and the back of the couch raised to avoid you laying flat on your back. We also have a comfortable bolster under the knees, so your lower back is fully supported throughout.
Although the products used in these treatments are safe to use whilst pregnant, due to the nature of the treatments and the client having to turn and lay on their front, we wouldn't advise these throughout. It's not the same laying on your side, and we can't treat the skin in the same way we would be able to with you on your back!
Now this is a yes, and a no.
We offer the Hydrotherm during pregnancy massage, which is perfectly safe to have from 12 weeks. Because the treatment is stimulating (10x more than a standard Swedish, in fact), we wouldn't advise this before the 12 week period is up (and our insurance wouldn't cover us for this either, for the same reason) - however, really this is just a precaution. The treatment would probably be safe to have right from the start, but we feel it's best to wait until that 'safe period' before performing any massage treatments on a pregnant client.
All therapists who carry out this treatment have undergone training in the Hydrotherm system, and have worked their way up to the level in which they can be trained in pregnancy massage (either completing both the foundation and tranquil sea training, or the foundation, advanced training and tranquil sea training first, completing either 12 or 24 case studies).
We will ask you to fill out a specialised consultation form for this one (rather than our more standard ones) so we can be sure everything is safe to proceed with treatment, and are able to advise if we need further consent from a GP or midwife if there is a medical complication we feel needs checking.
As with the skin treatments, the Hydrotherm cushions are heated only to body temperature - and no higher - and the back of the couch raised slightly so you're not laying flat on your back, and no essential oils will be used. We also use the bolster under the knees, to support the lower back.
The warm water (which feels amazing, by the way!) not only supports the body in every way, but provides the perfect setting for the therapist to slide their hands under and around the body, reaching all the same places we would in a standard Swedish massage, without the need for you to lay on your front at all. It's incredibly comfortable, nurturing, and very supportive for the body.
Just remember to specifically book for a pregnancy massage, as not all of our therapists are currently trained.
As for Indian Head massage, this is also suitable from 12 weeks of pregnancy, however the treatment would be much more gentle and not so vigorous, and no essential oils would be used. The couch will be set up in exactly the same way (if you opt for the adapted version!).
As for our other massage treatments - La Stone, and all Germaine De Capuccini Spa Rituals - these would not be advisable during pregnancy, due to the ingredients used in the products, the need for you to lay on your front, and the heat used (higher than body temperature).
Lash and Brow Treatments
Now these differ, depending on which one you have, so we'll answer this separately:
Lash and Brow Tinting: at Utopia, our insurance allows us to carry out tinting on pregnant clients, providing an up-to-date patch test has been carried out before every tinting treatment. We would also recommend this patch test be carried out no sooner than 48hours beforehand, to keep it as close to the treatment as possible. Some clients feel they would rather wait until baby arrives, and that is fine - whatever you feel comfortable with.
LVL Enhance: This, however, is not suitable during pregnancy (or nursing), as there are many more products used in which could cause a potential reaction. The manufacturer's guidelines are to avoid having this done, which means our insurance will not cover us to carry this out on a pregnant client. Boo!
HD Brows: This one can be done, again providing a new patch test has been carried out 24-48hours before each treatment. If you're uncomfortable with the thought of having tinting, then we can simply skip this stage of the treatment!
Although the piercing itself causes no harm to the baby, the general rule is to avoid anything like this whilst pregnant or nursing - the main reason being that if any infection were to set in, you'd be restricted with what medications you could take to help clear it up. The manufacturer does not advise it, and so we are not insured to carry it out.
At Utopia, all of our nail treatments are perfectly safe to have right through the 9 months of pregnancy - at any stage.
All of our products are 5-free (meaning no harmful or nasty chemicals), and contain no parabens. Our lacquering gel is also TPO free, so you can be sure to know that everything is completely safe to use and gentle on the nails too!
So there you have it - a round up of what's suitable and what's not - so get booking, and enjoy!