Since pregnant women are given a list of things to avoid, it's hard to know what seemingly innocuous pastimes we should stay away from in the name of safety. When I was pregnant I heard plenty of stories about how getting a foot massage was a big no-no because it could induce labor. But does getting a pedicure induce labor? I mean, really? Or, like most things on the internet (unfortunately) is it just some myth us pregnant folk can ignore? Turns out, there's some things you should know before calling your favorite salon and booking your appointment.
Pregnancy may bring with it hair and nail changes, weight gain, and all sorts of new aches and pains. So it's nothing short of understandable that expectant moms may want to pamper themselves. After all, in a few short months they'll be new parents who may find it particularly difficult to engage in self-care on a regular basis. Still, and as important as self-care is, there are a couple elements to a pedicure you should considering when asking if they'll induce labor. According to The Nail Studio in Boulder, CO a standard pedicure consists of, "nail shaping, foot filing, sugar scrub, massage, cuticle clean up and polish." So when you ask if a pedicure will jump start your labor, that's what you're essentially referring to.
Pedicures in particular can be helpful to pregnant women, according to What to Expect. The site goes on to explain, saying, "A pedicure can work wonders in the last trimester, soothing sore feet, increasing circulation, and reducing swelling — not to mention making you feel a whole lot prettier (though you may have trouble admiring your tootsies if you can’t see past your belly already). Do be sure the manicurist doesn’t massage the area between your anklebone and heel (it could trigger contractions)."
Another area of concern is the possibility of transferring fungus from pedicure tools. BabyMed advises soon-to-be moms to be careful when booking their appointment, saying, "When choosing a salon for a pedicure, it is important to choose a salon that autoclaves pedicure tools between uses. An autoclave will kill all fungus that can be passed from client to client. Chemical sterilization may kill bacteria, but it will not kill fungus." Pregnant people must be particularly mindful of keeping themselves infection free.
Though the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is quiet on the specifics of whether pedicures will induce labor or not, the inclusion of chemicals such as nail polish remover and nail polish may also concern some pregnant people. What to Expect, however, says there is an easy solution. "If you get your nails done in a salon, make sure it’s a well-ventilated one (at the very least, the fumes might make you queasy — or they might be unsafe). As for acrylics, there’s no proof that the chemicals are harmful to you or your fetus, but you might want to err on the cautious side and forgo those tips until the baby comes."
The bottom line? Make sure your pedicurist is aware that you're pregnant and the experts say you'll be just fine.