Should you dye your hair when pregnant or continue to enjoy facials? Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions on wellness issues.

Day-to-day beauty routines may have to change when you're a mum-to-be, for your safety and that of your baby. Here are some of the do's and don'ts of pregnancy beauty and wellness.

Do think about discontinuing hair treatments

Hair dye and straightening agents can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Most chemicals clear quickly from the system, but unfortunately there haven't been many studies conducted into the effects of hair treatments on pregnant women. Medical advice is to avoid dyeing or re-bonding the hair while you're expecting — although perming in the second and third trimester is considered to be safe.

Do make time for foot rub

A foot rub is a great way to relax at any time — but particularly so in pregnancy. It's particularly good for soothing tired calves and feet, so ask your partner to oblige!

Don't step into the sauna

Anything that elevates the body temperature in pregnancy should be avoided, as it increases the chances of complications. Saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs should be considered off limits until baby is born. Baths are fine — as long as they're warm and not hot.

Don't use aromatherapy oil on the skin

Avoid aromatherapy massages as the oils are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. Until more is known, avoid excessive use of essential oils, especially in the first trimester as this is when your baby's organs develop.

Don't miss out on sleep

Finding a comfortable position to sleep can sometimes prove difficult when you're pregnant. You might find that you feel sleepy during the day so take the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon nap when you're at home.

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By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr Michelle LIM Senior O&G Resident, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific
Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore

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