Parenthood is tiring and sometimes you want nothing more than to relax. It’s easy to fall into a routine which includes quick, “easy” skincare products.
From a breastfeeding mom to another, now more than ever, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re putting on your body. Choosing skincare products deserves consideration; the chemicals you put on your body can easily be transferred to your baby when you breastfeed.
When you’re breastfeeding, you want nothing more than to bond with your little one. It’s a sweet time, shared just between the two of you... and your beauty products?
If that doesn’t sound right to you, keep reading. There are the ingredients in various products you should be avoiding in order to make breastfeeding the closest, safest time for you and your baby.
Here are the top 7 ingredients to look out for and avoid:
First and foremost, it’s important to note that both the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association have both found that fluoride is bad for your teeth. If you’re using a fluoride toothpaste, it’s time to stop. Switch to a natural brand like Dr Brite and skip the fluoride.
If you’re breastfeeding, fluoride is even worse for you. The CDC, FDA and the ADA have all advised that you should not mix baby food or cereal with water containing fluoride. Instead, choose “nursery water” or “spring water.”
So, it naturally follows that if you’re drinking water with fluoride, water will enter your baby’s system. If you’re using dental care products containing the chemical, the same is true.
Flouride isn’t just bad for the teeth, it’s also detrimental to bone health, toxic to the thyroid and can even affect the reproductive system. Do yourself, and your baby, a favor. Stay away from products containing fluoride.
Toluene is an ingredient found in many hair dyes, bleaching products, nail polishes and polish removers. If you’re bleaching your facial hair, those products may contain toluene, too.
So what’s wrong with toluene? Well, it’s a coal tar and petroleum derivative, which has proven to be very harmful to the respiratory system. In addition to causing troubles with breathing, and even asthma, toluene is a known skin irritant, damaging to the immune system and may cause nausea and vomiting.
Just done your nails? Think twice before you put your hands near your little one’s mouth. Stay away from products containing toluene and choose natural products instead.
Speaking of petroleum, petroleum products as a whole are something you should avoid while breastfeeding. These products can cause skin irritation. But they can also cause severe respiratory disorders in babies, increasing the risk of SIDS deaths.
While breastfeeding, you’ll wash your hands frequently. Your nipples will become sore and cracked, but instead of reaching for a petroleum based lotion, look instead for a product like our USDA Organic Whipped Body Butter. Looking for something a little thicker for breastfeeding pain? A small tube of Bamboobies has truly done wonders for me, I could have not done the first few weeks of breastfeeding without it – a true lifesaver!!
Phthalates are synthetic chemicals known to be carcinogenic. As a matter of fact, concentrations of phthalates have been found inside tumors. The chemicals are also associated with diabetes and asthma, and have been linked to infertility in both men and women.
Despite the risks, phthalates are found in a huge number of skin care products. You’ll see phthalates listed in moisturizers, shampoos, facial washes and body scrubs.
When you were pregnant, your doctor probably told you that phthalates can cross the placenta. But as you breastfeed, your baby comes in direct contact with the phthalates in your skin care products.
Avoid these dangerous chemicals. Look for ingredients like diethyl phthalate (DEP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), then put them back on the shelf!
You’ve probably heard talk of the dangers of sulfates. If not, here’s what you need to know.
Sulfates are a powerful skin irritant. They’ll cause redness, rashes, bumps and even severe allergic reactions. When ingested (like when your baby’s breastfeeding) they can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Sulfates have also been linked to organ disorders and cancer, endocrine disruption and nerve damage. In other words, sulfates are bad news for you and your baby.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is commonly found in shampoos and soaps, it provides the lather that most people love. But, for the health of your baby (and yourself), avoid skin care products with sulfates.
One of the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics today, parabens are almost impossible to avoid, unless you are purchasing all natural and organic skin care.
Parabens can accumulate in breast milk and affect the endocrine system of your baby. Paraben is usually the suffix of an ingredient so look for words like isopropylparaben or methylparaben on the label.
You may find Parabens in your deodorant, with that in mind, I recommend Schmidt's Naturals deodorants here (Rose-Vanilla is my personal favorite).
This one is as scary as it sounds unfortunately. This is a very common preservative in skin care products, and while it may not affect you, it can cause serious allergic effects in the breastfeeding baby.
Formaldehyde can be disguised behind more technical names such as hydroxymethylglycinate, DMDM-hydantoin and methenesmine. A good rule to abide by is that if you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not something you want on your body.
A Healthy Alternative
Of course many new mothers want to experience the wonderful bonding effects breastfeeding provides without worrying about nasty chemicals that can harm their new precious life.
Fortunately, as long as you’re using the right products, this won’t be a problem!
Our USDA Organic Unscented Whipped Body Butter is perfect for both Mom and baby as it is formulated with 100% natural, 99% USDA Organic Certified and soothing ingredients to leave your skin as soft as baby’s! It can also be used on your baby’s skin as it is super gentle.
Because all our products are formulated without chemicals, you can rest assured that no harmful toxins will enter your or your baby’s bloodstream.
In addition, breastfeeding mothers deserve to be pampered. Our USDA Organic Certified Body Scrub is perfect for a weekly excuse to take a long bath, and exfoliate your skin, to feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle thing called – mommyhood (we are creating new words here J). And if bath time does not happen, use it after each shower and take advantage of essential oils like sweet orange, rosemary and peppermint.
Indulge in an all-natural, organic treat and feel confident that you’ve chosen a product that won’t harm you or your baby.
You want breastfeeding to be a nourishing, bonding experience for both you and your baby. For the best experience possible, avoid the above mentioned chemicals in your skincare and beauty products. Reach instead for organic and natural products, and love your body and your baby. You deserve to enjoy this beautiful time in your life without the added stress of chemicals!