Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wearing Contacts and Makeup During a C-Section

A frequent question I see regarding c-sections is whether you're allowed to wear contacts, makeup or nail polish during the surgery. It's always best to check with your own hospital's policies regarding these matters, however, here's what you might expect to hear:

Nail Polish
- probably won't be allowed on your fingernails. Why? During the surgery, you will be wearing a pulse oximeter on one finger to monitor your oxygen saturation and pulse during the surgery. Wearing nail polish on your finger can cause the pulse ox reading to fail. If you arrive with nail polish on, anticipate that they may remove it from one finger.

Alternative to painting your fingernails: Paint your toenails instead! They'll be covered up with feet booties during the actual surgery, but you can enjoy them during your recovery.

- Many hospitals will allow you to wear contacts during a c-section The reason why some hospitals may not allow you to wear contacts during surgery is to protect your eyes in the event that you are put under general anesthesia. However, with the advances in day and night contacts now, I'm not sure whether their is much risk or not. If you want to wear contact lenses during your c-section, make sure you check your hospitals policies ahead of time.

Makeup- The hospitals that I know of DO allow makeup. It's possible that there are hospitals that don't, but in general, most hospitals will allow you to wear makeup during a c-section.

Some women may be reading this and shaking their head wondering why any woman would even care what she looks like during a c-section. Look at it this way- during a c-section you're laying on a cold table completely exposed and with no control over your body. Your belly is cut open and your insides are on the outside. For some women, wearing makeup and trying to look nice gives them a little bit of control in a helpless situation, as well as making them a little nicer in photos. Consider it vain, but it's important to many women.

If you are a c-section mom, did you wear makeup, contacts, or nail polish? Why or why not?

*Your hospital may differ in policy to what I have written. It's always best to meet with a maternity coordinator from your hospital before your c-section date and discuss your birth preferences as well as learn what your hospital policies and procedures are.


  1. I don't think I wore any with my first section.
    This time I am definetly wearing make-up! I looked so awful in all the pics after I had my DS, I want to look nice this time! I am a little vain though, haha. I don't wear conacts and probably won't wear nail polish but DO plan on having my toes painted :D

  2. i didn't the first time because i didn't know i would have a c-section. next time you bet i will have makeup on!

  3. I had 2 c-sections and I was not allowed to wear contacts or nailpolish. After 22 hours of labor with my 1st baby before they called it a c all the make up wore off. The 2nd one was a emergeny too because I had him 4 weeks early so I never put any on that day. In all the pictures I look aweful but they still are the most beautiful and precious pictures that I own.

  4. I didn't have a C-section, but I would hate it if I couldn't wear my contacts. I can't see a thing and I don't wear glasses!
    Good Luck!

  5. I just happened upon your blog link and had to check out this post :) At the risk of sounding vain, I have to admit I wore make up and contacts at all three of my c-sections (1 emergency/2 scheduled) and would do it again! I'm fine with how I look in most of the pictures and it was well worth the few minutes it took to put on some makeup!

  6. i wore makeup for my last c-section it was planned so i was prepared =) my other 2 c-sections were emergency so i cant remember

  7. I think the same goes for women who give birth vaginally, as well. Do you/Don't you wear makeup or nail polish?! I don't hardly ever paint my nail, but I am, however, going to be wearing these super cute little footie-socks that have cute little monograms on the toes. One is pink with ice cream cones and one is blue with cupcakes. At least it will give me something to concentrate on during labor.

    As for make up, I'm not really a make up person when I'm in pain.. however, after all the stories I've heard of bad photos due to Mommies looking like crap.. I'll be wearing make up. Yes, I will probably be one of those women who takes a shower and puts make up on before she heads to the hospital, lol.

  8. I did not wear any of these things. Well, maybe nail polish on my toes, but I don't generally polish on my fingernails or wear make up. I do wear contacts, but I believe I took them out for comfort reasons.

  9. I've fallen asleep with contacts on often (not supposed to, but it happens, especially when you have a busy day and just want to take a nap) harm was done. I don't think contacts should be a problem.

    I was told that nail polish was a no no *after* a surgery (I woke up to find the nail polish removed from one finger). They said they monitor the nail bed too (in addition to putting a monitor on the finger) for color changes. If there is a problem with your oxygen level, your nail bed turns bluish (at least that is what they told me...I don't have any factual basis for that)

  10. I work in L&D. We tell women that it's ok to wear contacts (but bring glasses, just in case the anesthesiologist requests that you take the contacts out). Make up and nail polish is fine too. I've actually not had any problems with getting accurate readings on the pulse ox with nail polish on. If we do have problems, we have nail polish remover, and can take the polish off of one finger.

  11. Fortunately I didn't require a c-section. I just love this picture!!! Too wonderful!!!

  12. I'm having a c-section in 2 days and I've been told not to wear ANY makeup or nail polish. The reason for this, they say, is that they need to see if I'm getting enough oxygen and the colour of my skin and nails is an indicator. Hmpf. Must be different policies in different hospitals.
    Forgot to ask about contact lenses, but I'm going to wear them anyway and just take them out if it's a problem


Have something to say? Leave your comment here.

And just so you know, all spammer comments will be deleted.