Your belly is getting bigger and you can barely SEE your legs, let alone shave them! If you shave standing in the shower you may need your partner to help you keep your balance. If you sit in the tub to shave, you may need help getting out to prevent slipping. Because of the changes in hormones during pregnancy, you may find more hair growth around the belly, nipples, or other unwanted places. If you don’t tweeze or shave, the excess hair will usually fall off after pregnancy.
For almost permanent removal: Electrolysis
There are no studies that evaluate the safety of electrolysis during pregnancy. Many health care providers and electrologists recommend avoiding electrolysis during pregnancy because of the lack of information about the effect on the fetus. If you choose to have electrolysis, the breasts should be avoided in the last trimester, especially if you’re going to breastfeed. In the final weeks of pregnancy, you should avoid the abdomen because it is very sensitive and would be very uncomfortable for you at this point in the pregnancy.
There are two types of current used in electrolysis, thermolysis and galvanic. Thermolysis may also be referred to as diathermy, radio wave, short wave, or high frequency. Galvanic electrolysis sends a minute electrical current through the client and back to the device. This is not recommended because the baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid. In this situation, amniotic fluid acts as a conductor of electricity. For this reason, galvanic current is NOT recommended for electrolysis during pregnancy. Thermolysis does not flow through the body and has not been found to be harmful to pregnant women or the fetus. Many electrologists require a letter from your health care provider authorizing treatment during pregnancy.
For almost permanent hair reduction: Laser
Laser hair removal targets dark pigment in the hair and causes thermal and/or mechanical damage to the hair follicle. There are no studies that evaluate the safety of laser hair removal during pregnancy. Many health care providers recommend avoiding laser hair removal during pregnancy because of the lack of information about the effect on the fetus.
If you choose to have electrolysis, the breasts should be avoided in the last trimester, especially if you’re going to breastfeed. In the final weeks of pregnancy, you should avoid the abdomen because it is very sensitive and would be very uncomfortable for you at this point in the pregnancy.
For longer lasting removal: Waxing
You may find that your skin reacts differently to waxing during pregnancy. Your skin may be more sensitive; using a soothing antiseptic lotion before and after waxing may decrease burning or stinging. It may also prevent infection, reduce irritation and lessen any redness that waxing may cause.
It is always best to check with your health care provider before waxing. There may be a specific reason that waxing is not recommended for you during pregnancy. Some pregnant women find waxing easier and more effective than depilatories or creams.
For less painful removal: Creams and Depilatories
The main concerns with depilatories during pregnancy are the active ingredients barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate. There is no evidence that they are harmful during pregnancy, but there have been no studies that prove they are safe either.
As with any cosmetic, you should try a patch of skin to see how you react. The chemicals, once exposed to oxygen, leave a distinct odor, which may be very unpleasant for you and in rare cases has been known to cause an allergic reaction. You will want to take extra measures to ensure a well-ventilated area and proper timing so chemical burns do not result.
For removal just in the nick of time: Shaving
Though not the easiest option during pregnancy, shaving is always the cheapest, most convenient option. Try to make it fun by creatively including your partner in the process. This may be good bonding time for you and your partner! Use a good moisturizer daily so when you shave your skin will be soft and supple. Moisturizers that contain vitamin E have helped some women shave less frequently. The next time you’re at the store, check out all the great smells and colors of shaving gels and buy a new specialty razor.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
Laser Lovers, http://www.laserlovers.com/
Hair Facts, http://www.hairfacts.com/
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, http://www.fda.gov/
American Pregnancy Association, http://www.americanpregnancy.org