Is Perfume Safe While Breastfeeding?

Becoming a mother is a very stressful and overwhelming time. There are so many new things to learn, and of course you want to make the best choices for your new baby. One thing you can be sure of, though, is that choosing to breastfeed is the best decision you could make for you, your baby, and your entire family. However, a nursing mother does need to take some precautions. Keeping your baby healthy and safe doesn’t just come from the food you eat which passes to your baby’s milk. Some of the products we you use on your body, like perfume, can also affect your nursing baby. Read on for some ways to reduce harming your baby with perfume, while still being able to wear your favorite fragrances.

First of all, never ever spray perfume or put lotion on your nipples. You should probably avoid the whole chest area completely. Not only will it bother baby, but it may cause dryness and cracking of the nipples. Also, you want to keep your chest area completely smelling natural so that your baby doesn’t confuse your scent. This is especially important in the early months until breastfeeding is well established.

Once you do decide to spray perfume, do so modestly. Use logic. Don’t spray perfume right before you are going to nurse your baby. It will be too strong for the baby, and he most likely will not want to nurse. Don’t spray the perfume directly on yourself. Lay our your clothes and lightly spray them instead. Or lightly spray yourself in places away from the breast, like your wrists, or even the back of your legs. The effect will still be the same. You want to be careful and try not to let your baby associate unpleasant scents with nursing, or he may go on a “nursing strike.”

Use light fragrances. Don’t use strong sensual scents that may be too harsh for baby. Think light, clean and crisp. Chanel No. 5, for example, is known for its strong musky tones. While it smells great, you may want to put your Chanel bottle away for a night out with your husband and baby is home, or when you’ve stopped nursing. Something like Clinique’s Happy may also be a little too harsh for baby. It’s way too fruity and overpowering and will probably bother baby. Some examples of light perfume are Vera Wang’s Truly Pink, or White Tea by Bvlgari. Both perfumes are subtle and not too sweet, musky or overpowering.

Even if you do wear light and clean perfume, still follow the guidelines above to avoid irritating the baby and possibly interfering with breastfeeding. If your baby shows any signs of allergies, stop wearing perfume and take him to a doctor. Your baby may be allergic to something in your perfume.