Risks of Work In Cosmetology During Pregnancy

Common chemicals to avoid while pregnant

It is well known that there are many common chemicals that could have a negative effect on your baby. Chemicals found in the kitchen, in the air, and even in foods are all harmless for normal use but can become extremely hazardous for a developing baby in the womb. Many moms-to-be simply avoid these chemicals altogether during pregnancy. 

Many moms-to-be already know the typical things that should be avoided. They don’t eat fish for fear of mercury, they don’t use bleach, and they don’t stand around people who are smoking. Avoiding chemicals is the perfect solution for most pregnant women, but for some, it is simply not an option.

Cosmetology profession and pregnancy

Chemicals in hair products have had some particularly negative associations with birth through the years. Many products have been linked to miscarriages and women are generally advised to stay out of the salon.

However, if you are a professional cosmetologist, you don’t have this option. Since you need to make a living right up until it’s time to take your maternity leave, you’ll be surrounded by products that contain chemicals all day, every day. Unfortunately, a recent study does suggest that women who work in the field of cosmetology do in fact have more preterm births than those who don’t.

What can you do to protect the baby as a cosmetologist?

If you work in cosmetology and plan on having a baby, try taking extra time away from the salon before it’s time to give birth. Even if you can’t avoid the chemicals altogether, it is better to minimize your contact with them as much as possible. Also, wear a mask during any type of hair treatment. If management argues that it is against the dress code, explain the situation. If you had to take them to court over it, you’d probably win, and they know that. Also, to avoid preterm birth, check in with your health care provider often. They should know the status of your baby at all times.

At least if your baby will be born preterm, you and your doctor will have prepared for it. If you are pregnant and work in the cosmetology field, you do have a higher risk of delivering your baby preterm. However, if you need to work at the salon through gestation, do so, but you should prepare yourself for the risks and complications associated with delivering preterm. Many babies that were born preterm grow up to be healthy, happy, and successful; so don’t let the probability of risks ruin the excitement of your pregnancy.

Source: Michele L. Herdt-Losavio et al: The Risk of Having a Low Birth Weight or Preterm Infant among Cosmetologists. Maternal and Child Health Journal Volume 13 Issue 1 pp. 91-97 February 2008

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