I normally have quite brittle nails

Q I normally have quite brittle nails, but now I’m pregnant they seem to be so much stronger. Why is that?

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Midwife Nikki replies: Along with thicker hair, this can be one of the bonuses of being pregnant! Fingernails do seem to grow faster, especially around the 28th week or earlier in some women. Your body releases hormones that increase blood circulation and raise your metabolism, so your hair can become thicker, your skin takes on that characteristic ‘glow’ of pregnancy and your nails grow stronger.

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However, the flood of hormones might sometimes have the opposite effect, too, and some women may find their nails become more brittle and break easily. If this is the case, try keeping them short and avoid submerging them in water for long periods. Your fingernails should return to normal after birth, but the effects of pregnancy may continue until you finish breastfeeding your baby.

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