You don’t expect your nails to undergo any changes in pregnancy, but they do. Your nails can change for the better, or the worse. Like with other pregnancy symptoms, you can blame your hormones for the havoc that it causes on your nails.
Some pregnant women report that their nails grow faster when they’re having a baby; others experience harder nails. It’s also common for women to have softer or more brittle nails. These nail changes are normal, and shouldn’t cause you any alarm.
Fortunately, nail changes are temporary, and your nails will go back to normal after delivery. With good nutrition, your fingernails will return to their former glory within three to six months after you give birth. It might take your toenails a little longer than this – possible up to nine months or one year.
How to Cope with Nail Changes in Pregnancy
To maximize the possibility that you have the healthiest nails possible, make sure that you eat a healthy and balanced diet so that you get all the nutrients you need. Biotin, a B-complex vitamin, is especially helpful in improving nail firmness, thickness, and hardness. It also keeps your skin healthy, so that’s an added benefit. You can find biotin in foods, such as eggs, soybeans, mushrooms, whole grain breads and cereals, milk, and bananas.
If you’re experiencing nail problems, such as brittle or easy to break nails, you’ll want biting or picking at your nails. Make sure that you keep your nails clean and dry at all times. Water can make your nails softer, and soft nails break more easily. Lotion and moisturize your hands before you go to bed; this may also improve the condition of your nails.
When you’re pregnant, you may want to stay away from solvent-based nail products (including some nail polishes, acrylic or fake nails, and some nail polish removers). Solvent-based products tend to dry out your nails, which may worsen their condition. Plus, they smell bad and the fumes aren’t good for you or your baby. If you decide to head to the nail salon and get yourself a manicure, just make sure that you’re in a well-ventilated area.
Another good idea to keep your nails healthy – always wear gloves when you’re washing the dishes or cleaning your home. This will keep them dry and minimize the possibility of more problems.