Your first pregnancy is always full of questions and anxiety: what’s normal? What can and can’t I do? It’s nice to have some concrete facts to go by. This one’s pretty easy: The answer to ‘can I use nail polish while I am pregnant‘ is yes.

According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS, they study and release information on substances and practices that could cause birth defects or harm developing babies), it’s fine, just be wise.  Heck, go all out and get yourself a mani-pedi, because once you hit the middle of the second trimester you’ll be lucky to be able to see your feet, much less be able to contort yourself around the curve of your baby belly to paint your own toenails, right? At least then you’ll know they’re presentable without having to use a handheld mirror to check!

A manicure and pedicure every now and then is perfectly healthy, according to OBGYNs , and every mommy-to-be needs to pamper herself a little bit. Hands and feet and ankles (and everything else…) tend to swell during pregnancy, because of all that extra fluid in your system, and a massage is not only relaxing but can help decrease that swelling. So indulge!

Even having acrylic/silk wrap/porcelain nails put on isn’t a big deal, since you’re only in the salon for at most a couple of hours once a week, although you’ll find your nails grow a lot faster whilst expecting, so you may want to stick to natural nails while you’re pregnant, or else pay more for fills and maintenance! Chemicals and processes have seen significant refinement in the past couple of decades, having become kinder to the environment and to our lungs as well as being more effective. Go chemistry!

Nota bene! This advice is for your average expectant mum: pregnant women who work in nail or beauty salons and are always around those sometimes-harsh chemical fumes need to be careful, however. Wearing a mask will help reduce the amount of chemicals inhaled, but you need to take frequent breaks, and should try to reduce your exposure to products as much as possible.