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deodorants breastfeeding and pregnancy

How to Use Deodorants Safely During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

I had a question last week about using deodorants during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Have you noticed that some of the natural deodorants that we sell here at Hello Charlie are not suitable for use during pregnancy? Let me explain.

How to Use Deodorants Safely During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Deodorants and pregnancy 

Deodorants like Noosa Basics Deodorant Stick - Coco Vanilla and Acure Deodorant Stick - Cedarwood & Mint contain clary sage essential oil, which isn't recommended for use during pregnancy unless the goal is to help induce labour. This is because clary sage is an example of emmenagogue oil. Robert Tisserand, one of the world's leading experts in essential oils and aromatherapy, explains:

"An emmenagogue, or menstrual stimulant, may act by directly stimulating uterine contractions, or through stimulating hormone production."

This is clearly not what you want during pregnancy! The safest oils to use during pregnancy are:
  • chamomiles
  • citruses (bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, petitgrain, tangerine) although please note that these can be photo sensitising.
  • frankincense
  • geranium
  • lavender
  • neroli
  • sandalwood
  • spearmint
  • rose
  • ylang ylang

Avoid using aniseed, birch, camphor, pennyroyal, sage and wintergreen essential oils during pregnancy. For further information on essential oils to avoid during pregnancy, have a look at this list on Bubble & Bee. Do remember that you'd need to use a lot of these oils before you have any problems. And although you should avoid rosemary essential oil when you're pregnant, that doesn't mean you can't eat rosemary on your Sunday lamb roast. Essential oils are highly concentrated. When you eat the whole plant there are antioxidants and other chemicals that counteract the problematic compounds that are in such high concentration in the oil alone.

Breastfeeding and deodorants

Emmenagogue oils aren't an issue when you're breastfeeding. However, it is worth considering the effects of scent on infants. Babies identify their mothers through smell. Avoid wearing perfume or scents during the first three months to help your baby bond with you and identify you through smell. The Australian Breastfeeding Association recommends not wearing perfume or aftershave, or using strong smelling deodorant or soap for at least the first few days after baby's birth. Babies use smell to locate the breast, so avoiding perfume can help with successful breastfeeding.

Do you have to stink of BO through pregnancy & breastfeeding?

Of course not! During pregnancy, choose a deodorant that uses essential oils from the safe list. Look for scents like rose, lavender or citrus. When you're breastfeeding, try a fragrance free natural deodorant, like this one from Acure.

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