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Every woman deserves a little pampering, and that's never more true than when you're suffering through morning sickness, sciatica, joint and ligament pain, and other body changes that you'd only mention to your gynecologist. Now is the time to relax, enjoy and spoil yourself as much as possible so you're as rested as you can be for the big event and the sleepless nights to follow.
Pamper Your Hands
If you're looking for a little bit of pampering, feel your stresses melt away as your providential nail technician massages your hands and beautifies your nails. Manicure treatments are safe throughout pregnancy. You can even opt for a set of acrylic or gel nails if your own tips aren't performing at their best. However, nails can change a lot throughout pregnancy, growing thicker and stronger, or becoming weak and brittle. You may prefer a simple manicure, a hand massage and a pretty coat of nail polish — the choice is entirely yours. If you're experiencing morning sickness — better described as any-time-of-day sickness — you may even want to avoid nail polish for a while because the fumes may trigger your sensitive stomach.
Whether you're beaming with the glow of pregnancy or spending more time turning green with morning sickness, a facial will help to bring out your pregnant beauty. Pregnancy hormones can increase your oil production, which can lead to clogged pores and oily-looking skin. If you've noticed acne popping up like it did during your teenage years, those extra oils are the likely culprit. A deep-cleansing facial helps to unclog your pores and give you healthier looking skin. These facials typically include services such as exfoliation, a face massage, a hydrating or cleansing mask and a healthy dose of moisturizer. If your baby bump isn't showing just yet, make sure you let your esthetician know you're pregnant so she can avoid products such as ozone and retinol. Pregnancy may also have made your skin more sensitive, advises Josephine Fusco, a certified makeup artist and skincare expert in Oceanside, New York. It's best to avoid microdermabrasion and chemical peels for now, and treat yourself to the works once your baby has arrived.
Massage Your Stresses Away
While your massage therapist may not be able to move your baby off your bladder or eliminate sciatica, a soothing, relaxing massage may make you forget about your pregnancy troubles for a little while. "Prenatal massages by a licensed massage therapist can do wonders for both physical and mental stress," says Dr. Jaime Schehr, a naturopathic doctor and registered dietitian in Greenwich, Connecticut. According to the March of Dimes, massage can help to reduce emotional stress, ease back pain, alleviate swelling and sooth your aching muscles. Always remember to opt for a side-lying position, particularly during the second and third trimesters, to avoid venous compression during your soothing massage. While prenatal massage is safe for most pregnant women, the March of Dimes does recommend pregnant women consult with their health-care provider before making that first appointment.
Just because you can't see them anymore, it doesn't mean they're not still down there somewhere. Pampering your feet during pregnancy not only helps to keeps them looking soft, supple and beautiful, it also feels wonderfully relaxing. Make an appointment at your favorite salon at least once a month to indulge in some well-earned foot pampering. However, if you're pampering on a tight budget, or you've made it your personal mission to be the most frugal mom-to-be of the year, you can enlist the assistance of a pregnant pal. Enjoy a warm foot soak as you relax with fruit juices and mini sandwiches, and then take turns giving each other pedicures.