Are you at your due date and anxious to have your baby? Have you been considering getting a pedicure in an attempt to induce labor? There is no concrete evidence that this works, but some women claim it helped them. If you’re set on trying this method, make sure to consult with your doctor to ensure it is safe for you. In the meantime, here are a few things to keep in mind if you do go ahead with a pedicure.
But first, why should you take my advice on any of this?
Before we start, hi — I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 I know how desperate pregnant women are to feel normal, and possibly also to get your baby out — so I’m a good word of advice on this subject.
Can a Pedicure Induce Labor?
The jury is still out on whether or not pedicures can actually help to induce labor. Some women swear by it, while others say it did nothing for them. There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that getting a pedicure can help to induce labor, but there are a few theories as to why some women think it works.
Pro Tip: I really did just look for studies, and I found nothing, but I have heard friends saying the salon won’t take them “because it will cause labor” and frankly, I just think that’s the salon preferring not to take the liability of a pregnant person. All businesses are WELL aware of the liability they take with pregnant people, and that may make them choose to not serve you.
Ok, back to the safety….
One theory is that the massage you receive during a pedicure can help to stimulate your uterus and get things moving. There are a lot of reflexologists (these are the people who study how the nerves in the feet innervate the rest of your body) who do have points they recommend to put you into labor. Which may, or may not work.
Another theory is that the chemicals in the nail polish or other products used during a pedicure could potentially help to induce labor. While there is no scientific evidence to support either of these theories, some women claim that they have had success with inducing labor through pedicures.
Much like some say spicy foods, sex, massages, baths could cause labor. That’s because sometimes labor just starts, and it’s pretty hard to decide if it actually had anything to do with that actual thing or not.
If you are considering trying this method, it is important to consult with your doctor first. They will be able to let you know if it is safe for you and your baby. It is also important to make sure you go to a reputable salon that uses sterile instruments and safe products. Frankly, I think they’ll say “it’s fine” but if you have other issues be sure to talk to them first.
Are Pedicures Safe During Pregnancy?
In general, pedicures are safe during pregnancy. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you are pregnant.
First, make sure the salon you go to uses sterile instruments. If you were to get an infection during pregnancy, it is harder for your body to heal. You may also have increased swelling in that area during that time as well. This is first and foremost the most important part to check about the salon you are using. It will be worth it to pay a bit more for high quality, clean instruments and technicians.
Second, be mindful of the fumes in the salon, and make sure that it is adequately ventilated. Many salons are small rooms where the polish, and remove builds up in the air. You need all the oxygen you’re getting during pregnancy, so watch out for that.
Third, consider not soaking your feet in too hot of water. Soaking your feet in hot water can cause your blood vessels to dilate, which can lead to dehydration and overheating. Having a glass of water during the massage can counteract any of these efffects.
Fourth, make sure that the products that they are using are mainstream and generally considered safe for use during pregnancy. Feel free to ask the salon if they feel comfortable using these items on pregnant women.
Finally, make sure any massage is gentle enough and that you are comfortable throughout the entire process.
After all, a big reason to get a pedicure is to relax and feel great about yourself… if that’s not happening, it’s not worth any possible “risks” (which frankly, seem pretty small if you’re going to a good salon).
Why a pedicure might be great during pregnancy?
Despite the potential risks, there are a few reasons why getting a pedicure during pregnancy can be beneficial.
First, it can be a great way to relax and take some time for yourself.
Second, it can help to soothe your aches and pains. Your feet are taking a beating between being swollen or increased weight on your body.
Third, it can help you feel more syled and put-together during a time when you might be feeling large and uncomfortable.
If you do decide to get a pedicure during pregnancy, make sure to consult with your doctor first. They will be able to let you know if it is safe for you and your baby. Additionally, make sure to go to a reputable salon that uses sterile instruments and safe products.
So, does getting a pedicure induce labor? The answer is…maybe. Just as much as spicy foods or a bath “might” do it.
There’s not a whole lot of research on the topic, but what there is seems to suggest that it might have an effect (especially if you take people’s opinion online seriously). If you’re at all worried about it, though, your best bet is to talk to your doctor. They’ll be able to give you the most accurate advice for your individual situation. In the meantime, enjoy those final months of pregnancy! You’re almost there!
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And, if you’re not quite sure you’re ready for that whole thing, check out the free lesson from it. It’s your first step toward getting in the driver’s seat of your birth.
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice. She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.
As an evidence-based prenatal educator Hilary has delivered thousands of babies and has educated hundreds of thousands of parents from a diverse patient population to help them have a confident birth.