Sunday, 8 December 2013

Nails During Pregnancy

I am a trained nail technician and thought, given that I am pregnant, I would give some advice!

Some people will find that their nails grow quicker and stronger whilst pregnant, where as others will find that the rarely grow at all.  There are also those that will grow as normal, but start to flake and peel (which is the option mine have chosen).

There is a possibility that your nail beds may become oilier whilst pregnant, which will mean that enhancements and polishes will not last as long, where as some people will find their nail beds to be more dehydrated and enhancements and polish will last longer.

A way of combating oiler nail beds, is to ensure that they are fully dehydrated before applying any type of nail coating.  CND's Scrub fresh is very good for this and can be used before Shellac, enhancements or polish.  OPI's Bond Aid - used after NAS 99 is also very good, used before an enhancement of polish (this should not be used for a Shellac service).

For those with drier nails, moisturiser and almond oil (I love Solar Oil or Avoplex Oil) are very helpful, not only to keep your nails in a moisturised condition, but will also extend the life of your enhancement.  For example, clients that use Solar Oil on their Shellac services seem to find that they last better than those that don't!

There are concerns whilst pregnant with some types of enhancement treatments (not the enhancement itself).  Some salons, especially the lower end salons have poor ventilation, the use of Liquid & Powder (Acrylic enhancements) are especially potent and it is not advisable to spend too long in enclosed spaces with these fumes.  There is no evidence that nail enhancements are unsuitable for pregnant people, but be careful about infection and the environment in which you get your treatments as you do not want to put yourself at risk with a weakened immune system.

Nail beds and cuticles can become incredible sensitive whilst pregnant, in fact some women have this at certain times during their cycles, so it may be more comfortable to have manicures, or a soak off gel/Shellac service throughout pregnancy as this means there is less pressure from files on your nail beds.

Some nails develop ridges during pregnancy, don't panic, this is down to hormones and can easily be remedied with gentle buffing.  Using a ridge filler base coat (I like OPI's Ridge Filler which contains silk) will ensure that painted nails will look smooth.

I personally have found that my nails need to be protected continuously, and I have been using either Shellac or my OPI Axxium Soak Off Gels to keep them from becoming too brittle.  This has not been helped with the colder weather!!  Saying this, I have found that looking after them has improved their condition, so there is hope if your nails are not faring that well whilst pregnant!

The most important thing to remember when you are pregnant is that your body is going through a lot of changes.  If you nail condition has changed, don't worry, this will, in the main, go back to normal after your baby is born.

I hope that you have found this helpful.  Do let me know if you have any further advice!!

My nail blog can be read at:

Thanks for reading :)


iCandy Strawberry

After much discussion (arguement), research, trials and bargaining, my husband and I have finally chosen our buggy!

The iCandy Strawberry!

We went for a travel system, just to give ourselves the flexibility, should we need it, as well as the option of a carry cot that can be used over night should we choose to travel anywhere.

The iCandy Strawberry folds up in one with no need to remove the seat, which was very attractive as it allows for easier storage and movement into the boot of the car.  Folded up, it also stands on it end which will asset with storage when visiting somewhere with limited space.  My mother-in-law came with to assess whether she would be able to use it, and she found it easy to fold, clip together and pick up.

The wheels are larger than some we have seen, which we thought would be useful for the pavements that aren't always perfectly laid where we live!

There are four flavour pack colour choices for this model, Black, Grey, Purple and Red.  We went for the red as I thought it would stand out in a crowd of buggies!

There are hundreds of different buggies available, and the choice is a very personal one.  I would advise going into shops and trialling them (John Lewis are very good for an impartial view), watching YouTube reviews, as well as asking friends and family.

I will update this when we have started to use it!


Painful Gums During Pregnancy

The first symptom I had whilst pregnant was incredibly sensitive gums!!  I found it very difficult to brush my teeth, and as the weeks went on in my first trimester, I was also having to deal with nausea and vomiting whilst trying to brush!!  You are not alone, many women seem to have the problem, all my friends didn't bat an eyelid when I told them how uncomfortable it was, but I had never heard of this and I was so worried!

Once you have told your GP you are pregnant, you can apply for free NHS prescriptions which also includes dental treatment.  Once my card came through, I went straight to the dentist and also saw a hygienist privately, as oral hygiene is so important when pregnant.

The dentist and hygienist were great, the advice they gave was to continue using an electric toothbrush and to also floss.  The more you do this, the easier you will find the discomfort on your gums.

By week 14 my gums had settles back down, it is the hormone progesterone that causes the sensitivity, and when the levels have balanced out, this seems to pass, as well as the nausea!!

I hope this helps you if you have sore gums, don't panic, seek advice and keep on brushing!!


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Telling the GP you are Pregnant

I made an appointment with the GP to inform them that I was pregnant a few days after I had taken my pregnancy test.  I am not too sure what I was expecting, but it was certainly more that I got.

I walked into the doctors and informed them that my pregnancy test was positive.  The doctor said OK, asked me what hospital I wanted to deliver at (this had not yet really crossed my mind, but said the closet one to me) and filled in a form and told me I would hear from the Hospital in the next few weeks.

I was not examined, was not asked to take another test, or to give a blood test.  My blood pressure, nor my weight were recorded.  No one said congratulations ( I did not hear this from any clinical person until I was 13 weeks), and I left the surgery in a blur, I suppose I though that something would have been confirmed, after all, I could have misread the test and I could not have been pregnant at all!!

Have you had a more positive initial appointment with your GP, or was it just me?!

Claire xxx

The Pregnancy Test

After almost 4 years of trying, we were delighted to find ourselves expecting in July 2013.  A number of family and friends had children and we thought we knew what we were in for!  Little were we to know that the first trimester is exhausting!  There were days when I could not lift my head off the pillow, and it is for this very reason I took a test in the first place.  Having Polycystic Ovaries meant that my periods were far from regular, I was unsure as to when my next period was due, so me being so tired was the trigger to take a test.

I tested in the evening, alone in the house, assuming that I had yet another ovarian cyst as i had been uncomfortable for a few days.  I did not think anything of the test, and after half an hour of forgetting about it, I walked into the bathroom to see the + on the indicator.

After a few minutes of shock, I frantically tried to contact my husband, who was not answering his phone.  I eventually got through to him on his commute home with the happy news.  I waited at the front door and have never seen such a smile on his face as he walked towards the house.

After another 3 tests, it began to sink in that we were expecting, so I contacted my Gynaecologist, who had just referred us for fertility treatment, and he seemed as happy as we were!

Having taken many tests over the years, I would not spend too much money on buying the most expensive tests, we found that the supermarket brands were just as good as some of the higher end ones.  I had test when I was 4 weeks with an inexpensive test and that picked it up just as much as the more expensive ones we took after to confirm it.

Thanks for reading.

Claire xxx