Hair removal can be a serious concern for some pregnant women. Pregnancy hormones can increase hair thickness, speed of growth and darken hair so it appears thicker. While most of these effects will fade after giving birth, some are long-lasting and may require some form of hair removal. Waxing is considered safe during pregnancy for most expecting mothers. However, swelling, increased sensitivity and skin irritation can make waxing more harmful than beneficial in some cases.
Fluid retention is a symptom of pregnancy that is irritating, but necessary. With amniotic fluid and increased blood flow, fluid is needed by the body to maintain both the health of the woman's body and her growing fetus. In order to insure there is enough fluid available as needed, the body retains it during pregnancy. Fluid retention can lead to swelling of the face, hands, legs and feet, and as the skin swells, it may become more sensitive and easily irritated. Waxing can increase this irritation and lead to acne, breakouts and ingrown hairs. Waxing does not permanently remove hair and can cause infection and swelling as the hair, that was pulled out from the root, begins to grow back.
Home waxing kits tend to be safe. If a salon uses the same wax for different patients, something that's against all recommendations, then these unsanitary conditions, mixed with increased sensitivity, could mean an increased risk of infection. That's why when you go to a salon you should make sure that the salon uses sanitary conditions and doesn't reuse the wax.
That said, home kits, while sanitary, also hold some risk. Many home kits require melting wax in the microwave or on the stove. If the wax is too hot, scalding and burns can occur which can later lead to infection.
While women tend to abhor shaving on a daily basis, this may be the safest hair removal process during pregnancy. Pregnant women can effectively shave eyebrows, legs and other areas – with help in some cases. Electric shavers are another alternative to waxing that may provide some relief from excess pregnancy hair growth.