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.
Waxing is often associated with pain. Therefore it is suggested that if you are planning to continue waxing through the entire pregnancy, to begin in the early months. This will allow you to, as the pregnancy progresses; build a tolerance for the pain. As the hormone levels increase, the skin may become more sensitive; and waxing may hurt more than before. Also you may experience an increase in hair growth caused by higher hormone levels. Meaning it could be necessary to wax more often.
It is best to test the wax product on a small area that is not noticeable. This would be to make sure there are no adverse reactions. Because the skin could be more sensitive than before becoming pregnant, this would also be used to check for pain tolerance. Also the vessels are more likely to break and become more noticeable. To test in an area that will be inconspicuous is best so you will not feel self-conscious.
In the later months, there may come a time when waxing may become too difficult. The physical changes may begin to get in the way. If you choose to continue, there are many day spas and salons that have technicians trained to care for expecting mothers. It is recommended that one have a good service relationship with your technician. It may be necessary at times to take a break to keep the stress level low. If you have a good relationship with your technician it will be easier to let them know that you need a break.
If you choose to wax the bikini line, remember that the process could be a bit more uncomfortable than before. Testing to check for reactions and monitoring the hair growth could make for a less painful experience.