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Is it safe for a breastfeeding mom to use insect repellent?

Is it safe for a breastfeeding mom to use insect repellent?


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Yes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), insect repellents are considered safe for breastfeeding moms when used as recommended. (They're also safe for pregnant women.) Find out when you can safely use bug repellent on your baby.

They're also an important part of protecting yourself from tic- and mosquito-borne viruses, especially when you're visiting or living in places where these illnesses are common. (See our articles on Zika, dengue, and West Nile for more information and travel advisories.)

EPA-registered products containing the active ingredients DEET, picaridin, 2-undecanone, or IR3535 offer safe and longer-lasting protection. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE or para-menthane-diol, PMD) are also safe, but most don't last as long. (Don't use pure oil of lemon eucalyptus – it’s too strong.) EPA-registered citronella products are safe but don't last as long either.

Permethrin is also a repellent, but it's not safe to use on skin. Permethrin products are for use on clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear.

The percentage of DEET is an indicator of how long the repellent will be effective – not of how well it will work. The higher the percentage, the less often you need to apply it – up to DEET concentrations of 30 percent. (Concentrations higher than 30 percent won't give you any added protection.)

Follow the same safety precautions that you would for applying insect repellents to children. Take special care not to get repellent on your nipple area.


Watch the video: When you dont have breastmilk do this. What Parents Ask (October 2022).

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