Important changes to make to your skin care routine when you move from pregnancy to a new mommy with nursing duties round the clock.
You are the most important person to your baby right now, and vice versa. So this phase is all about caution, keeping safety in mind above all other goals!
Here are some top tips for this precious period in your life.
Avoid applying skin care products to areas that the baby’s mouth will come in contact with. This includes the breast and nipple areas, but also the shoulder, neck and face as you cuddle/burp the baby. The easiest way to manage this is to cover up the contact areas, where possible, with clothing. For the other areas, consider using short contact products over long wear ones.
Avoid using strong perfumes and heavily coloured skin cosmetics during this period.
Adopt the baby’s skin care products – this would be anything from body wash to body moisturizer. You can continue to use your own face wash, but make sure to rinse it thoroughly.
Do not get on to the baby’s hair care routine. Stick with your own hair care products, may be, you can focus on rinsing out the products more thoroughly.
Limit sunscreen use to outdoor trips, and use physical protection wherever possible. You will need to use a nursing safe sunscreen like Brigade Road, which is also a pregnancy safe sunscreen.
Redcovery tranexamic acid serum may be used by nursing mothers, if there is any acne or pigmentation. Oral tranexamic acid has been used safely in nursing mothers. However, as a measure of caution, we recommend that you check with your health care provider before starting on Redcovery Face Serum, regarding its acceptability based on your personal circumstances.
Paraben containing products are best avoided during nursing, just like how it is during pregnancy.
Avoid colouring your hair and avoid doing any hair treatments like keratin, straightening or smoothening during this phase.
Health supplements during this phase are usually not recommended unless approved by your lactation consultant.
Retinoids too, are best avoided during this phase of motherhood.
Skin bleaching creams like hydroquinone are not recommended due to the possibility of product absorption into the bloodstream.
Congratulations on getting past the 3 month mark! Your baby will now be rewarding you with many, many smiles – so this is truly an enjoyable time. Do not worry, the baby looking at you is not the cause for your hair fall. The real reason for the heavy hair fall that you may be facing from the 4th month onwards – is due to a condition called postpartum telogen effluvium. During pregnancy, there is a prolongation of the growth phase, and all of these hairs in the growth phase now go into the resting phase between 3-6 months of delivery. This causes a precipitate hair fall, and that explains the kind of hairfall you are facing right now. But worry not, most of the hair will eventually grow back.
For the skin, the same rules as above will apply.
If you have acne, you can gently start using a chemical exfoliator at home, containing either lactic or salicylic acid.
If you have oily skin, you need to choose a salicylic acid peel, and if you have dry skin, you can consider a lactic acid peel.
The idea of using a home chemical peel from the UNSCRUB series, as compared to using an alpha hydroxy acid based toner or a beta hydroxy acid serum, is to limit the contact time. During the period of nursing, using short contact products will ensure that the product is not absorbed into the mother’s body which makes it very safe during nursing. Further, chemical exfoliation needs only seconds to a few minutes to do its job. Leaving on a lactic acid containing serum, or a salicylic acid toner for longer on the skin, is unnecessary and adds more to skin sensitivity than to any deeper exfoliation.
For the hairfall, the best thing to do is to try your best to get some good rest, and increase your protein intake. You can also consider starting collagen and protein supplements, after obtaining clearance for the same from your lactation consultant. If you are considering a collagen supplement, double check to ensure that it is mercury free. You can also continue iron, calcium, biotin supplements under your physician’s guidance.
Hair care is simple, with nothing but a shampoo without parabens or phthalates, and a rinse off conditioner, or a leave in serum, just for the hair strands.
Sunscreen is mostly for outdoor use, but if you have resumed working from home, you can get back to using sunscreen twice to thrice daily. Brigade Road sunscreen is a long wear nursing safe sunscreen with a water resistance of upto 6 hours, so you may use it twice daily. As this is based on non nano zinc, you do not have to worry about absorption. Further, there are no chemical filters, or endocrine disruptors in Brigade Road Safescreen, so you can use it safely. These are the same reasons that make Brigade Road a pregnancy safe sunscreen too.
Your baby is now big and strong, and you might have tasted some early success with the weaning.
Let’s start this phase with the most important question: When can I start colouring my hair after giving birth? There is no data so far, that clearly points to any harm from hair colouring when you are nursing your baby. However, as you would know, if you have done any hair colouring, smoothening, keratin or perming treatments in the past, the pungent smell of your hair may be a little difficult for a baby to tolerate and in some babies who may have allergies or atopic tendencies, this may trigger some discomfort. So it is best to avoid colouring or doing hair treatments for your hair, during the first 3-6 months of having a baby, as your baby is always in close contact with you. Post 6 months, your baby is busy exploring the world, and you may find it easier to maintain some distance till the smell on your hair dissipates with a few washes.
Your skin care products like body wash and moisturizer can continue to be the same as your baby’s.
Hopefully, by now, you have started your fitness routines, and you will need to make sure to prevent sweat related issues like body acne. This is easily done by washing your scalp frequently, avoiding applying oil on the scalp, using cotton clothes that can wick the sweat off – during your workouts, and keeping yourself well hydrated.
You may notice more facial hair at this time, and you can safely step out for your laser hair removal sessions.
Once daily:Nuzest Protein Shake and TOR Fish Collagen (TOR Classic or TOR Mighty)-after clearance from your lactation consultant. You can also consider taking oral sun protection in the form of White Pine Pycnogenol capsules if cleared by your lactation consultant.