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How can being pregnant affect my fingernails?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Hormones (as well as prenatal vitamins and a healthier diet) cause nails to grow a bit faster than usual during pregnancy. While some women's nails get harder, many women find that their nails get softer and break more easily. If so, protect your nails with rubber gloves with a cloth lining when you're doing any kind of hard-hand work, like washing dishes and gardening. It will also help to trim them short (which you'll want to do after the baby is born anyway).

If you choose to have your nails done at a salon, avoid places where there's a strong odor or where all the manicurists are wearing masks, and remember to bring your own instruments unless you are certain that the salon sterilizes its tools. You also want to avoid places that may use a chemical called MMA, which is highly toxic. If you do it at home, avoid polishes and removers that contain MMA or acetonitrile and make sure to paint your nails in a well-ventilated room.
YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

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YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

Can I get a cavity filled while pregnant? Will avoiding spicy foods make my kid a picky eater? Can I really increase my baby's IQ while she's in utero? Whether you're pregnant for the first time,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.