Pregnant in Japan

Pregnancy Pampering- How I Treated Myself

Pregnancy Pampering- How I Treated Myself

Pampering yourself before D-Day seems to be a big thing in the States. It was surprising to me that fashionable Japanese women were discouraged from getting their nails done. And don’t even get me started on waxing.

It’s hard enough finding a salon that does waxing. And to find a salon that’s willing to wax a pregnant woman…. Luckily for me, such a waxing salon exists in Tokyo! Plus, I managed to get my nails done as well!

Waxing

My previous waxing salon, Waxing Bee, is located in Ginza, on the same floor as Threeq, which is the sister branch of my Shinjuku nail salon, Goldy. I went when I got waxed for my wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii. As I planned to go to the beach every day, several times a day, I didn’t want to rely on shaving. In addition, I did not know how freshly shaved skin would react to being in contact with salt water.

As a point card holder, I looked forward to by waxing appointments and collecting stamps that got me closer to a discount with every visit. Progressing through my pregnancy, I wanted to continue going to that salon. However, they had a very strict “no waxing” policy for pregnant women.  Once my bump started to show, I could not longer continue going to my salon. I relied on depilatory creams for the remainder of my pregnancy. Still I thought it would be nice to go to a salon to get things done professionally.

In December, with a little less than 6 weeks to go, I decided to search for a salon that would wax me despite being heavily pregnant. I visited English maternity boards to pass time as I waited for baby. Getting waxed, getting manicures and pedicure, going to the hair salon, etc, seemed to be what Western moms-to-be did. To my surprise, I found a salon, Ibiza Wax, that would accept me, and on top of that, they were located less than 5 minutes from my nail salon!

I booked an appointment two weeks before my due date and when I arrived. Staff didn’t even bat an eye when they saw me. I hadn’t been waxed professionally for quite some time, but I didn’t experience anything abnormal or negative. I ended up being almost a week overdue. But due to the quality of the service I received, I had nothing to worry about. Plus, I ended up having an episiotomy, so I saved myself a shave!

Nails

I’ve gone through years of teaching kindergarten without missing a monthly nail appointment. I even go out my way to have specially designed Halloween and Christmas nails! It’s a messy job. At least I have my nails to keep me pretty, even when I find myself covered in paint, clay and other gunk.

So, it was hardly surprising that I resisted to the every end when the nurses and doctor told me that I couldn’t have a “manicure” when delivering the baby.

Now, in Japanese, “manicure” (マニキュア manikyua) means nail polish. Since I don’t use polish, but rather have gel nails, I figured that was my loophole. I mean, were they going to kick me out of the LDR if I did have freshly done nails? I’d already taken out my navel piercing in October. Now I had to give up my nails?!

I figured to err on the side of caution and opted for clear gel nails on my January appointment, the final appointment before giving birth. Naturally, my stylists were shocked that I’d request such a simple design, but they were pleased that I decided to stick with my routine of going to the salon every month. Apparently, most of the customers who become pregnant end up giving up on going to the nail salon for a significant period of time or don’t come back at all.

For me, I had to deal with a growing waistline, mood swings, and from now on, life with a baby. At the very least, I needed my nails and went without fail every month to my appointments. For this moment, at least, I just had to deal with one month of a clear gel coat, then I could go back to my regular styles. Truthfully, I liked having shiny nails but I needed more. Two weeks after giving birth, I headed to Shinjuku.

Two hours later, I had a new set of gel nails. As a teacher, I try to keep my nails short so as to not accidentally scratch my students. With a baby, I must be diligent in maintaining a sensible length…except when Halloween comes around. Then it’s time for blinged-out princess nails!

Check out my other posts on pregnancy and giving birth:

Pregnancy and Birth in Japan – A Reference Guide

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