Tanning While Breastfeeding – Is It Risky?
Being in fashion is something that most women cannot forgo, and skin tanning is something that most fair-skinned women opt for, to change their look. However, when you are a nursing mother, you may have to think twice before you think of anything like this. This is because procedures like tanning may directly or indirectly impact your baby. Read this article to learn whether tanning while breastfeeding is a yes or a no!
Is Tanning Safe while Nursing?
Summers are just around the corner, and you may have plans of flaunting a beautiful tan on your body. But is it really safe for your baby? Where basking under the summer sun is a great option for tanning, other options such as tanning beds and tanning lotions are great options when sunlight becomes a far-fetched dream, especially during the cold winter months. Well, different techniques can be used for tanning, and every technique comes with its own pros and cons. In the following sections, we shall be briefly discussing the safety of each tanning technique separately.
1. Sun Tanning
One of the safest and natural ways of getting a great tan is sun tanning. All you have to do is protect your skin with a good sunscreen and let the sun do the job. However, make sure you keep reapplying your sunscreen if you plan to spend more time out in the sun. Also, if you plan to breastfeed your baby in between, make sure you wash off the sunscreen nicely before that. Your baby can ingest unwashed sunscreen lotion, and it may cause him harm.
2. Tanning Using a Tanning Bed
A tanning bed is a great way of getting a good tan. Also, there is no study available that describes any connection between breastfeeding and tanning beds. Getting yourself tanned in this way neither reduces your milk supply nor does it bring in any changes to the quality of your milk. However, you should cover your nipples before getting into the tanning bed. This is because the UV rays may cause excessive dryness around your nipples and they may get sore when you feed your baby. Also, do not stay in the tanning bed for a longer duration, because it may lead to wrinkles, eye troubles, immune disorders and in some cases, an increased chance of developing skin cancer. Tanning beds may not harm your baby, but they may negatively impact your health if used for a prolonged or extended duration. Therefore, limit the use of such beds to evade the probable risks and stay healthy for the sake of your little munchkin.
3. Fake Tanning while Lactating
One of the simplest options for tanning is by using spray tans. Just like lotions, spray tans can tan the skin within no time. However, you must make sure that it dries up completely before you get close to your baby. Also, make sure you leave your nipples and areola when you use the tanning spray, or you can even forego the entire breast area. There are no major spray tan and breastfeeding complications; however, if your baby comes in contact with it, your baby’s skin may show some irritation or allergic reaction. Make sure your baby is not in the vicinity whenever you use the spray tan because your baby might end up ingesting the fumes which can be harmful to your little one.
4. Using Tanning Lotion while Breastfeeding
Another simple solution for getting a nice tan is using tanning lotion. There are umpteen options available in the market that you can choose from. However, make sure you choose a lotion with herbal or organic ingredients. Make sure your tanning lotion is absorbed completely before you handle your baby or plan to breastfeed. Also, avoid applying the tanning lotion on your breasts because these lotions may wear off easily and may come in contact with your baby. Most of these lotions comprise of harsh chemicals, and when these chemicals come in contact with your baby, they can irritate the baby’s skin or cause an allergic reaction. It is not unsafe to get a tan while you are breastfeeding your baby; however, it is important that you follow the precautions for your safety and that of your baby.
Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers Who Want to Tan Their Skin
Here are some tips for breastfeeding mothers who wish to tan their skin:
- Make sure you discuss your breastfeeding status with the person in charge so that necessary precautions can be taken.
- You can express and store breast milk for your baby. This is because sometimes the procedures take time and the stored milk can be used to feed your baby.
- You can secure your nipples and areola by applying petroleum jelly so that the tan does not get on to these places.
- A feeding mommy should never bare her entire top region before going into the tanning bed because the UV rays may take a toll on your nipples. Secure your nipples with a tape or a breast pad before stepping into the tanning bed to prevent your nipples from over-drying. Dried and parched nipples may make it difficult to breastfeed your baby.
- If your tanning procedure is going to take a long time, make sure you wear comfortable clothes that can make breastfeeding easier for you.
- Last but not least, get in touch with your doctor and get your skin condition assessed. Tanning may pose a risk of skin cancer. Getting your doctor’s opinion will help you make an informed decision.
Motherhood is a beautiful phase in every woman’s life; however, it demands a mother to make some deliberate choices too, especially during the breastfeeding stage. Therefore, if you are planning on getting a tan, make sure you make an informed decision about the same. Though it is a very safe procedure, exercising caution is always advised.
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