As a new mom, you’re likely focused on doing everything you can to keep your little one healthy and happy. You’ve just spent the last ten months of your life in pregnancy, taking your prenatal vitamins, visiting your healthcare professional, and being mindful of what you eat. You’ve done an excellent job, mama, and we are so proud of you.
There’s something you may not have considered yet, and I want to be sure you are well-informed as you enter your next phase of motherhood in making your baby’s experience with breastfeeding safe.
Did you know some of your beauty products could transfer through our breast milk and potentially harm your nursing baby?
As a nursing mom, you must be aware of the ingredients in your skincare products and the potential risks they may pose. After all, the last thing you want is unknowingly exposing your baby to harmful chemicals. In addition, it’s important to know which beauty product ingredients to avoid while breastfeeding. Ingredients can transfer directly from your breast milk into your baby’s skin.
This blog post will explore some harmful ingredients in beauty products and why they should be avoided while nursing. From potential skin irritation and allergic reactions to more severe developmental and neurological issues, we’ll investigate the risks these ingredients can pose to your nursing baby.
But don’t worry – we’ll also share some safer alternatives and tips for making informed decisions about the products you use. After all, as a loving and caring mom, your baby’s health and well-being are always your top priority.
Harmful Ingredients to Avoid for Breastfeeding Mothers
First, here is a list of ingredients for all nursing moms to avoid. In honesty, we would love to help you ween off them now and never return. But unfortunately, nothing good comes from these harmful ingredients’ long-term use.
Cutting them out of your daily routine while pregnant and breastfeeding is imperative for your baby’s health.
Parabens are preservatives commonly found in cosmetics and personal care products. They have been linked to breast cancer and can potentially disrupt hormones.
Phthalates are chemicals in various beauty products, including fragrances, hair sprays, and nail polishes. They are known endocrine disruptors and can potentially harm the development of the reproductive system in infants.
Formaldehyde is a preservative commonly found in hair straightening treatments and nail polishes. It is a known carcinogen and can be harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin, so it’s best to avoid it while breastfeeding.
Retinoids are commonly found in anti-aging creams and acne treatments for acne-prone skin. They can harm developing fetuses and infants, so avoiding them while breastfeeding is best.
Hydroquinone is a synthetic compound commonly found in skin-lightening and anti-aging products to help mitigate or lighten dark spots. It works by inhibiting melanin production in the skin.
Hydroquinone has been linked to skin irritations, such as hives and swelling, allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, and hormonal disruptions. Animal studies have linked it to developmental issues. If you have dark spots, I would advise seeking their cause rather than using this chemical.
Fragrances are found in many beauty and personal care products, but they can be problematic for some people, especially those with sensitive skin or allergies. They can contain many undisclosed ingredients, some of which may be harmful.
Salicylic acids are often used in the skincare industry in acne treatments and exfoliating products. While it is generally considered a safe skincare product in small amounts, it’s best to avoid high concentrations of salicylic acid for pregnant women and while breastfeeding. An alternative to removing dead skin cells is by using a gentle loofah on your areas of concern.
Oxybenzone is a common ingredient in sunscreen, but it has been linked to hormone disruption and can potentially harm the development of fetuses and infants. While skin protection from the sun is important, what moms put on their skin matters. When mom and baby enjoy the much-needed skin-to-skin contact, chemical sunscreens can risk your baby’s skin. Without a skin barrier, they these harmful ingredients could soak right in.
Risks to Your Nursing Baby
As a loving mom, the health and safety of your nursing baby are of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, some beauty products you use daily can potentially harm your little ones, even if you’re not directly applying them to them. Here are some of the risks that harmful ingredients in beauty products can pose to your nursing baby:
Skin Irritation and Allergic Reactions
Some ingredients commonly found in beauty products, such as fragrances and certain preservatives, can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. Your baby’s delicate skin is particularly vulnerable to these irritants; even small amounts can lead to uncomfortable rashes and other skin issues.
Certain ingredients, such as parabens and phthalates, have been shown to disrupt hormone function in the body. This is particularly concerning for nursing moms, as hormone imbalances can impact milk production and quality.
Some ingredients have been linked to developmental issues in animal studies, raising concerns about their potential impact on growing infants. For example, retinoids, a common ingredient in anti-aging products, have been linked to birth defects and other developmental issues.
Some ingredients, such as formaldehyde and certain fragrances, found in skincare products have been linked to neurological problems, including developmental delays and behavioral issues.
It’s important to note that the risks associated with these ingredients vary depending on the specific product and the amount used. However, as a loving and caring mom, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and avoid using products that contain potentially harmful ingredients whenever possible.
Look for a natural and organic skincare product or products specifically designed for nursing moms to minimize the risks to your little one. And always consult with your healthcare provider before using new skincare products while breastfeeding.
As a new mom, you want to ensure that everything you do is in the best interest of your nursing baby. One way to reduce the potential risks of harmful ingredients in beauty products is to choose safer alternatives. Here are some options that you may want to consider:
Natural and Organic Products
Look for skin-care products made with natural and organic ingredients. These products are often free from harmful ingredients and synthetic fragrances, making them safer for nursing moms and babies. Some natural ingredients safe for breastfeeding moms include coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera.
Products Specifically Designed for Nursing Moms
Many skin-care products on the market are specifically designed for nursing moms. These products are formulated to be gentle on the skin and safe for nursing babies. Some examples include nipple creams, stretch mark creams, and body lotions. We share some trusted brands later in this post.
DIY Beauty Products Using Safe Ingredients
Another option is to make cosmetic products using safe skin-care ingredients. This can be a fun and creative way to pamper yourself while ensuring that you’re not exposing your baby to harmful toxins. Some examples of safe ingredients that you can use in your DIY beauty products include honey, oatmeal, and essential oils.
While vitamins are good for our bodies, too, the source matters. For example, vitamin C has known anti-inflammatory properties and is a potent antioxidant for the skin. However, synthetic vitamin C harms your fetus and newborn and is another thing to avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding. You are best to consume safe levels of vitamin C through organic foods to take advantage of its benefits, including its collagen production properties.
As a mom, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to sacrifice your skin-care routine to prioritize your baby’s health and safety. With some research and creativity, you can find plenty of safe and effective skin-care products that will make you look and feel great without putting your nursing baby at risk. And remember, if you have any questions or concerns about the products you’re using, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider for guidance.
Brands We Trust
Many clean beauty brands are made in the USA and offer safe products for breastfeeding women and their newborns. Here are a few options to consider:
Rejuva Minerals is a natural and organic makeup brand that offers a range of safe and gentle products suitable for use by breastfeeding moms and newborns. Their products are made with high-quality, non-toxic ingredients free from synthetic fragrances and artificial preservatives.
We suggest their Natural Look Pressed Powder, made with gentle and natural ingredients suitable for sensitive skin and help minimize fine lines, and their Lip Gloss, formulated with organic oils and natural pigments. Their lip glosses are nice, light, and a great treat for any new mom.
Sheer Miracle is a natural and organic skincare and makeup brand offering safe and gentle products for breastfeeding moms
and newborns. Their products are made with high-quality, non-toxic ingredients free from synthetic fragrances and artificial preservatives.
Products for both pregnancy and breastfeeding include their Organic Skin Perfecting BB Cream, formulated with gentle and natural ingredients suitable for sensitive skin, and their Organic Jojoba Oil, a gentle moisturizing oil that can be used to soothe and nourish dry skin. This is great for penetrating deep into trouble spots.
Anne Marie Gianni
Anne Marie Gianni is a natural and organic skincare brand that offers a range of safe and gentle products suitable for use by breastfeeding moms and newborns. Their products are made with high-quality, non-toxic skincare ingredients free from harmful toxins, synthetic fragrances, and artificial preservatives.
Two products are particularly well-suited for nursing moms and newborns. One is their Coconut Honey Mask, formulated with organic honey and coconut oil to nourish and soothe the skin. The other is their Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin, which is made with a blend of organic oils that are gentle and nourishing.
Everyone for Everybody
Everyone for Everybody offers safe products for breastfeeding moms and newborns.
Their products are made with natural and organic ingredients that are gentle and non-toxic, making them an excellent option for anyone who wants to prioritize their health and well-being.
Some products suitable for nursing moms and newborns include unscented 3-in-1 soap, unscented body lotion, and unscented natural deodorant.
Keeping your skin moisturized is good, as stretch marks fade after pregnancy. In addition, this lotion hydrates well, mitigating dry skin conditions that may arise postpartum.
These products are free from synthetic fragrances and harmful ingredients, meaning they are safe and gentle on the skin.
All Good is a natural and organic sunscreen brand that offers safe and gentle sun protection for use by breastfeeding moms.
Suggested products for the breastfeeding mum include SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Butter, formulated with organic and natural ingredients like coconut oil, beeswax, and calendula. Also recommended is their SPF 50+ Sunscreen Spray, a convenient and easy-to-use option that provides broad-spectrum protection.
It is not advised to apply sunscreen on children younger than six months. Limited sun exposure is healthy for us all, providing natural vitamins from the sunlight but limiting babies, especially newborns, to sun exposure. Keep them under a canopy in the shade if you plan to be outdoors for over 20 minutes.
Additionally, their products are affordable and easily accessible, making them a great option for anyone who wants to prioritize their health and well-being without breaking the bank.
Additionally, each brand is committed to sustainability and ethical production practices, meaning its products are safe and environmentally friendly. It’s a win for you, your baby, and the planet.
NOTE: While we love and trust each of these brands, and they are typically found safe or considered generally safe, it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients list and consult with your healthcare professional if you have any concerns with all of your beauty, personal, and skincare products.
In conclusion, as a nursing mom, it’s crucial to prioritize the safety of yourself and your baby regarding the beauty products you use. By reading labels, researching products, and choosing safer, more natural options, you can help reduce the potential risks associated with harmful ingredients commonly found in beauty products.
Avoid synthetic fragrances and choose fragrance-free options whenever possible, as these can harm nursing babies. By making informed decisions and choosing safer beauty products, you can enjoy your skincare routine while keeping your little one safe and healthy.
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