Should You Work in a Salon While Pregnant?

The debate continues. Can you work in a salon while pregnant? Some say yes, some say no. Some say you can be a master nail tech and have a gorgeous pregnant belly. Others say, absolutely not, wait until your bundle of joy comes before you head back to work. Are you pregnant and wanting to know what you should do about working but need a definitive answer before you make your decision? Continue reading for the answer!

Working While Pregnant: How Dangerous is it?

It’s no secret that some chemicals involved in doing nails smell pretty strong and are fairly toxic. Even people who aren’t pregnant can’t stand the smell. So, if you’re pregnant, should you take a leave of absence? There isn’t enough evidence to prove that working in a salon is dangerous to your unborn child but there hasn’t been enough research to prove it’s safe either.

A study conducted in 2012 evaluated the hazards pregnant women in various fields come in contact with such as manicurists and hairdressers and even women working in factories making chemicals. They found that pregnant women exposed to organic solvents at work have a slightly higher chance of having a baby with a heart defect. 

The study was published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine and evaluated 5,000 women. They found the risk of newborn heart defects was doubled for women who were exposed to these chemicals at work.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in at Atlanta. Researchers observed that exposure to these chemicals around the time of conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy appeared to pose the greatest risk.

On the flip side, in high concentrations, some of the chemicals used in a nail salon have been linked with higher incidences of miscarriages, deformities and other complications. But, these studies were done in laboratory settings where the levels of chemical exposure were much higher than what nail technicians actually come into contact with on a daily basis.

So, what’s the moral of the story? You can still be pregnant and work but you need to take certain precautions into consideration. But, if you are worried about your unborn baby, taking a leave of absence would be a smart idea because you’d rather be safe than sorry. Many nail technicians leave work when they are pregnant because when it comes to their kids, there’s no such thing as too safe!

Safety Tips When Working

  • No matter what, as a pregnant woman, you want to limit your exposure to chemicals that could be harmful to your baby. In fact, you want to completely eliminate anything that could be harmful to your baby.
  • High odor chemicals are used for acrylic nails but if you limit your exposure, it’s completely okay. Try to reduce exposure time.
  • Make sure to wear a mask over your nose and face so you aren’t sitting there and breathing the chemicals. Inhalation is the number one way that vapors enter your body.
  • Request to sit in a well-ventilated area. Open a window if needed.
  • It is possible for the harmful chemicals to get into your skin or a cause an infection to occur so take caution.
  • Try to request working in the morning, the fumes won’t be as intense.
  • Do not eat or drink at your work station and wash your hands before you eat.
  • Take plenty of breaks to get outside (weather permitting) for fresh air.