Nail changes during pregnancy

There's good news and bad news when it comes to 'pregnant' nails. Pregnancy brings in faster nail growth, sometimes accompanied by brittleness, groove formation or sometimes even separation of the nail from the nail bed called onycholysis. Pregnancy hormones actually make your nails grow faster, which is terrific for some moms to be. For others, nails that grow too quickly can be thin, weak and easy-to-break.

What you can do to protect your nails during pregnancy

Eating a balanced diet with regular intake of your prenatal vitamins containing B-complex, ensure improvement in nail firmness, hardness and thickness. Include nuts, eggs, soya bean, mushroom, peas, avocados, bananas, milk and whole grains in your daily diet as they are rich in vitamin B-complex. Make sure you check on your allergies before including any new items in your diet. Consult the CareNine dietician for a well planned balanced meal.

Nail Changes During Pregnancy

What products you should refrain from using

Check labels and avoid nail paints, polish removers and acrylic/artificial nails with acetone and formaldehyde whenever possible. Also while getting a manicure/pedicure, make sure the room is well ventilated to avoid direct inhaling of the fumes from the nail paint.

What preventive steps you can take

  • Don't bite or pick at your nails.
  • Keep nails clean and dry. (Water makes nails soft, and soft nails break — another reason to limit your bath time.)
  • Opt for short nails for a while. They're less likely to chip off and break. This will make it easier for you to care for.
  • Slather a good moisturizing cream onto your nails and cuticles at bedtime.
  • Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes and using household cleaners.
  • Push back your cuticles gently, rather than cutting them. Nails will stay stronger and you'll be less likely to get an infection.
  • Don't dig out ingrown toenails. See a dermatologist if they get really painful.
  • To minimize your chances of infection, bring your own grooming kit to the nail salon; sanitize them well before you use them again.