The Sweet, Personal and Creative Way One Woman Is Using Nail Art to Honor the Baby She Lost
Oct. 15 is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
A new trend has emerged that has moms-to-be flocking to nail salons with their ultrasound photos in hand, requesting a manicure crafted to look just like their little ones’ first snapshots.
Most of the impressive photos floating around social media seem to be of women who had their nails decorated for gender-reveal parties, baby showers and similar events. One Swedish Instagram user (who happens to be a hairdresser and nail artist herself) with twins on the way even shared a snapshot of a nail set that showed two sonogram images to represent both of her babies.
But others are using the trend as an opportunity to honor babies they have lost, like a user named Sara who suffered a miscarriage in 2017 and did her own nails with an early ultrasound photo painted onto one.
“This manicure has been a long time coming,” she began the post’s heartbreaking caption. “After three years and numerous fertility treatments, my hubby and I finally conceived in April. On May 30, my heart was broken when I found out my baby was no longer living and growing, and he was taken from me the next day.”
“I lost all inspiration as I struggled with the grief. I learned how to love him and his brief life and move forward with renewed hope,” Sara added. “I love you jelly bean, and seeing you on my nails makes me smile ❤️”
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PEOPLE spoke with Nadine Abramcyk, co-founder of Tenoverten non-toxic salons (based in New York City, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas) about her thoughts on the new trend — namely, whether spending time in a nail salon is okay for pregnant women.
“It’s totally safe to do it as long as you’re in the right environment,” says Abramcyk, who is currently pregnant with her third child. “It matters less what products you’re using and more about the safety of the environment at the salon that you’re choosing.”
She encourages pregnant women to “be your best own advocate” when going to get a manicure: Check for good ventilation (using the sense of smell is a great way to do this) and that your nail techs are using clean tools — and don’t spend a ton of time there, as relaxing as it may be!
“It’s definitely a better option to find a nail salon that is free of a lot of chemicals that they’re using in services, so that these chemicals are not airborne and you’re not breathing them in,” Abramcyk advises, noting that Tenoverten is a “completely formaldehyde-free” salon.
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While it’s not something she’d likely get done for herself, Abramcyk thinks the ultrasound nail art is quite impressive due to it being difficult to get so detailed on such a “smaller canvas.”
“I would probably not be the greatest candidate for it — I like very clean, simple nails,” she tells PEOPLE. “But I think it’s fun and think it’s a cool idea. … [Personally] I’d rather write ‘It’s a Girl’ on my nails or something like that!”