Warm, sunny days have finally arrived and summer is upon us! Along with this brings up some questions or concerns that may be on the minds of breastfeeding moms.
Let’s discuss a few common questions.
1. Can I use sunscreen when breastfeeding?
Yes. Applied topically, a minimal amount is absorbed through the skin that passes into your bloodstream and then into breast milk. Avoid application around the areola and nipple so that baby does not directly ingest. Always clothe (hat, long sleeves)the baby and yourself to protect both of you from the sun
2. Insect repellent
Per the Centers for Disease Control, no adverse reactions have been reported in breastfeeding moms using insect repellent containing DEET.
3. Self-tanning lotions and spray tans
Both of these are similar to applying sunscreen and minimally pass into breast milk. Be sure to wash off your breasts if applied to this area to avoid direct ingestion by the baby.
Swimming in a chlorinated pool is fine. If the baby is swimming in the water with you he will ingest more chlorine from the water than breastfeeding. Public water systems that provide us with drinking water are also chlorinated. If you are still concerned you can shower or wash your breast with fresh water prior to feeding baby.
5. Hot tubs
Be sure that the hot tub you are using is clean and well maintained. Practice usual precautions as hot tubs can breed organisms causing a variety of issues such as skin rashes/infections, digestive infections, and urinary tract infections.
6. Hair removal
Laser hair removal and electrolysis are both compatible with breastfeeding. Topical hair removing creams are also safe, but be sure to avoid applying to nipple and areola.
7. Hair dyes/relaxers
No evidence has been found that any of these causes harm to breastfeeding infants.
It is very important for your milk production to remain hydrated. Try to drink mostly water, drinking to thirst. Carry a water bottle with you in your diaper bag.