Deodorant and Breastfeeding

Deodorant and Breastfeeding


Depending on who you ask, there are a number of things to avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

There are the usual things pediatricians recommend you limit – alcohol, caffeine and even certain types of fish – but with current emphasis on using cleaner and natural formulations mothers are starting to take a look at traditional skincare and body products – especially deodorant – and switch them out for more organic and plant-based ingredients. OB/GYNs also suggest limiting products that are known to cause hormone disruption – many of which are featured in common household products and traditional skincare formulas.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Timely and effective steps must be taken to ensure the safety of all mothers and infants from toxic environmental agents. Because data are lacking on the safety of most chemicals, careful consideration of the risks posed must be given while the potential immediate and long-term health and genetic risks are evaluated. A chemical should never be released if a concern exists regarding its effect on health.”

While most typically look at deodorant and antiperspirant as one and the same, there’s actually a pretty significant difference:

Formulated to prevent sweat, antiperspirant often contains ingredients such as aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum chloride, as well as other questionable additives designed to temporarily plug sweat glands and eliminate the body’s natural need to sweat.

Deodorant, on the other hand, doesn’t eliminate sweat but it covers up the odor that inevitably develops in the underarm region after sweating.

Another reason why pregnant and nursing mothers opt to make the switch to natural deodorant is because common ingredients in traditional deodorants contain ingredients like triclosan, phthalates (synthetic fragrances) and parabens, which have been shown to contain properties that mimic estrogen and cause disruption or imbalance of hormone levels. During pregnancy or postpartum recovery when hormones are already fluctuating, using ingredients that mimic or cause an imbalance (known as being estrogenic) cause even more stress to the body during an already delicate time. 

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to in the near future, now’s a good time to make the switch to a natural deodorant. Embrace the idea of allowing your body to do what it does best through sweating – detoxifying and regulating body temperature – while also addressing concerns about body odor! Plant-based natural deodorants – especially those formulated with essential oils – work to eliminate body odor without disrupting the body’s natural processes.

New mothers often voice concerns with using traditional deodorants and antiperspirants while breastfeeding. Why? One concern is the location. During breastfeeding, the proximity to the underarm area increases the risk of your baby coming into contact with skin that’s been covered with questionable ingredients. Another point to consider, according to pediatricians, is that products used on your body are absorbed through the skin and filtered through the body – as well as the breastmilk – meaning what you apply to the skin will find it’s way into the baby’s milk supply.

Natural and organic products are better than ever – the enhanced science and effectiveness behind creating such products like deodorant allow you to manage concerns without compromising potential health. Over time, continuing to apply ingredients such as parabens, synthetic fragrance and aluminum to the skin could result in a buildup within the body, which has the potential to disrupt hormones, clog pores and prevent natural and healthy detoxification from taking place.

Shopping for a new deodorant? Look for products that don’t contain these ingredients:
Parabens + phthalates
Baking soda
Synthetic fragrances

When there’s a new baby in the house, take the opportunity to make some changes to your own routine. Swap out products that don’t serve you any longer and incorporate formulations that are more plant-based and organic for overall peace of mind and wellness.

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