During pregnancy, a woman's life undergoes significant changes. They experience various physical and psychological transformations, such as aversions to certain foods and the onset of swelling in their feet. However, one aspect often overlooked is the potential changes that can occur to the nails amidst these transformations and challenges.
The impact of pregnancy differs among women. Some observe their nails growing excessively and strengthening due to hormonal changes, while others notice their nails becoming brittle and weaker.
This article aims to address nail care during pregnancy and breastfeeding, offering guidance to uphold the beauty and health of your nails and navigate challenges that may arise during this phase.
Nail care during pregnancy and breastfeeding is a crucial aspect of a woman's self-care regimen. Throughout these periods, her body undergoes hormonal shifts that render her nails more delicate and prone to damage. Failure to attend to them can result in breakage and cracking, often leading to pregnant women experiencing easier tearing, breaking, or splitting of nails than usual. Such occurrences can bring discomfort and heighten the risk of bacterial infections affecting both the hands and nails.
Conversely, weakened or brittle nails might signal another issue; at times, they indicate insufficient iron or biotin in one's diet.
Proper nutrition forms the cornerstone of robust nails. Vitamins like biotin, folic acid, beta-carotene, and B12, alongside minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium, fortify nails, warding off peeling and breakage. Incorporate these nutrients through protein-rich foods like meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, and a colorful array of fruits and vegetables such as carrots, oranges, strawberries, and spinach. Conversely, steer clear of high-sugar, high-fat, preservative-laden foods.
Adequate hydration is vital for overall bodily health, particularly for nails. Water moisturizes nails, preventing them from becoming brittle and prone to breakage. It aids in eliminating toxins, enhancing blood circulation, and fostering nail growth. Aim for at least 7 cups of water daily, adjusting intake if you're breastfeeding.
Caring for nails during pregnancy and breastfeeding involves regular and moderate-length trimming. Long nails can invite contamination by germs or fungi, leading to potential scratches or breakage. When trimming, ensure using clean, sterilized scissors or a file to avoid infections or bleeding caused by cutting the skin around the nails or skin tags. Aim for a straight or slightly rounded trim, as sharp edges might cause nails to crack or dig into the skin, which can be uncomfortable or painful. This precautionary measure helps maintain nail health and minimizes the risk of unwanted issues during this crucial period.
Household chores involving chemicals pose risks to your nails. Chemicals in cleaning agents might lead to skin irritation, dryness, discoloration, or damage. Direct exposure should be avoided. Always wear protective gloves during cleaning or washing activities to safeguard your nails from potential harm.
Choose high-quality nail polishes devoid of harmful substances like formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates. Applying a base polish and a final protective layer shields nails from contamination and pigmentation. When removing nail polish, opt for acetone-free removers. Providing periodic breaks from polishing allows nails to respire and regenerate, promoting their health.
Nail biting is a bad habit that may result from anxiety, stress, or boredom, which may cause many problems for the nails and mouth, so the cause of anxiety or stress must be sought and treated. Nail biting leads to distortion, splitting, and breakage of nails. It increases the risk of bacterial, fungal, or viral infections, and can cause damage to teeth, gums, or jaw. Some methods can be used to get rid of this habit, such as chewing gum, mints, or candy, applying bitter or hot nail polish, or wearing gloves.
As we mentioned, some of the chemical products that you use for nail care may contain substances that cause irritation or allergies, which negatively affects your health and the health of your child. So choose natural or organic products that do not contain these substances, and which nourish, moisturize and protect your nails. You can also use vinegar, lemon, garlic, ginger, honey, and aloe vera as home remedies for nail problems such as fungus, pigmentation, and cracks.
Prioritizing nail care during pregnancy and breastfeeding is crucial for maintaining healthy, strong nails. Opting for natural products and remedies, along with a balanced diet, regular trimming, and avoiding harmful chemicals, ensures not only your nail health but also the well-being of both you and your child. Embracing these practices fosters resilience against nail issues while promoting overall nail strength and beauty.