Common Pregnancy Frequently Asked Questions

1- Can I color or perm my hair during pregnancy?

At Virginia Obstetrics and Gynecology we recommend that you not dye your hair in pregnancy, especially avoiding the first three months of pregnancy. It is not completely understood how much dye is actually absorbed by your skin/hair when you dye it, or the effects it could ultimately have on your baby. If you must have your hair dyed, which we do not recommend, please wait until your second trimester and make sure that it is done in a well-ventilated area by a professional who minimizes chemicals and the type used in pregnancy.

We do not recommend getting your hair permed in pregnancy, as enough data has not been done on the chemical process to cause your hair to curl. It is unknown the quantity of chemical absorbed that could affect your fetus.

2- I feel like I have a cold or seasonal allergy symptoms, what should I do?

Unfortunately, most pregnant women will be affected by either a cold or seasonal allergies during their pregnancy. We recommend increasing your water consumption and increasing your rest. Some medication is ok and can be taken if necessary to improve the symptoms of your cold or allergies. We recommend only plain medications, avoiding any combination allergy or cold medications. See list below:

For allergies: Benadryl, saline nasal spray

For cough and cold: Tylenol, Tylenol extra strength, Sudafed, Robitussin, Vicks vapor rub, Halls cough drops & lozenges, Afrin nasal spray

If fever greater than 100.3 develops at any time you should seek immediate care at the ER to assure you are not affected by the seasonal flu. Should you have any concern or feel that your symptoms are progressing further after increasing your water, rest, and treating the symptoms we encourage you to call your provider to prevent cold turning into an infection.

3- Are hot tubs and saunas ok to use in pregnancy?

We do not recommend the use of hot tubs or saunas in pregnancy. The use of hot tubs and saunas increase the body temperature. There are studies that an increased body temperature of over 102 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to birth defects. We recommend if you need a way to relax to fill a well cleaned bathtub with body temperature water and to soak for 10 minutes. Avoid heating the water above 101 degrees Fahrenheit.


Have a question? Contact Loudoun County OBGYN Dr. Jack Ayoub