Can You Get Laser Hair Removal While Breastfeeding? A Detailed Guide 2022

When you be a new mom, your life changes in many ways; along with the new baby comes a whole new set of responsibilities – and a new set of things to think about. One standard post-pregnancy change is hair growth in places you may not have had it before or hair that’s thicker and darker.

Many nursing women experience this and wonder if they can do something about it – like laser hair removal.

So, can you get laser hair removal while breastfeeding? Yes, laser hair removal is safe if you are not getting laser hair removal around or near your nipples or areola. Also, ensure the person doing your laser hair removal knows that you are breastfeeding. 

Why not resolve this myth with some expert opinions? We asked a couple of doctors whether it is safe to get laser hair removal while breastfeeding. And in this article, we will be discussing the same.

Can you get laser hair removal while breastfeeding?

When researching this article, I found much conflicting information about the safety of laser hair removal while breastfeeding. So, I decided to head straight to the source and ask a couple of doctors whether it is safe to get laser hair removal while breastfeeding.

Most agree that nursing mothers can undergo laser hair removal treatments without risk to their babies. However, there is a bit of controversy surrounding this topic, so let’s take a more in-depth look at what the experts say.

According to Dr. Nava Greenfield, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, “Laser hair removal is safe during breastfeeding, as long as the areola is not in the range of targeted area.

Let’s try to understand this with an example. Imagine that you want to get your underarms waxed. The area around your nipples is off-limits, but the rest of your underarm is fair game.

Similarly, you can get laser hair removal on your bikini line, but not on or around your labia. You should be evident if the laser beam doesn’t direct at or near your nipples or areola.

Why exclude the areola and nipple area?

Don’t forget that you are nursing and a source of milk for your child. And like all mammals, your breasts are full of milk ducts. These milk ducts run from your nipple to your armpit.

So, if you get laser hair removal in your armpit, there is a chance that the laser could damage some of these milk ducts. And this damage can cause a dramatic decrease in your milk supply. But remember that the risk is shallow, and it would take a lot of bad luck (and a very poorly-aimed laser) to cause this kind of damage.

But what about other parts of your body? Is it safe to get laser hair removal on your legs, arms, or face?

Yes, it is. I know what you’re thinking – if the laser can damage milk ducts, it can also damage other parts of your body. But relax, it can’t.

Laser hair removal targets the pigment in your hair follicles. So, the lasers aren’t concerned with your milk ducts or any other part of your body.

Is it safe to get laser hair removal while breastfeeding?

Yes, laser hair removal is safe until you don’t have any open winds and the laser doesn’t come in the range of your areola. But wait, there is something else you should know.

When you are pregnant, your hair growth changes, and the hair follicle size grows. This usually occurs during the last trimester and doesn’t return to normal until after you’ve given birth. This change in hair growth can make laser hair removal less effective, as the laser targets the follicle size.

Also, if the chemicals can somehow pass into your breast milk, it could harm your baby. But how? We all know that our skin owns a significant value for being the largest organ of our body. And what we put on it does get absorbed into our bloodstream. However, only a small amount gets into our breast milk.

So while it is technically possible that the chemicals in laser hair removal can pass into your breastmilk, it’s implausible to happen significantly.

When to get laser hair removal while breastfeeding?

I respect your hurry to get back to your pre-pregnancy appearance, but I must caution you to do so with great care. As a new mother, your body undergoes many changes, and your hormones still fluctuate. Also, the skin is suffering a lot of changes, it is more sensible due to the pregnancy, and now it can be more prone to burns.

So my best recommendation is to wait until your baby gets six months old and starts eating solid foods.

 Let me share some surprising facts about laser hair removal and pregnancy that will make you think twice before getting this treatment while still breastfeeding.

  • Less effectiveness: Can you afford to go for more sessions? You might be surprised that laser hair removal is less effective during pregnancy and in the months after delivery because of hormone changes. Yes, when the baby is out, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body decrease, which makes the hair follicles go into a resting phase, and the hair becomes thinner. So you might need more sessions to get the desired results.
  • Risk of burns: When you give birth to a baby, you will have to take care of the little one and your own body. The skin starts to lose its elasticity and becomes more dry and sensible. That’s why dry and rational skin can get you in trouble with burns during laser hair removal.

Pre-operative measures to take before laser hair removal

Being yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby. But, if you are insisting on getting laser hair removal while breastfeeding, here are some pre-operative measures to take before going for the treatment:

  • Have a truth talk with your doctor: The first and foremost thing you need to do is have a heart-to-heart conversation about the pros and cons of laser hair removal during this time. Ask your doctor to give you written consent if they find you eligible for the treatment.
  • Get a patch test done:  Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead, get a patch test. You can do it at home, but if you can, go to the clinic. In a patch, the doctor will put a laser on a small area of your skin to see how you react to it. If everything goes well, you can go for the treatment.
  • Choose the correct type of laser: Here comes the next big thing- choosing the right kind of laser. Not all lasers are equal and suitable for nursing mommies. Go for diode, Nd: YAG or Alexandrite laser. These are the safest ones during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Prepare your skin:  Just like you take care of your skin before applying makeup, in the same way, you need to take care of your skin before laser hair removal. Exfoliate your skin a day before the treatment to eliminate dead cells.

Post-operative measures to take after laser hair removal

After getting laser hair removal without any complications, you are not free to do anything. It would help if you still took some post-operative measures:

  • Pump and dump: You might have heard about this term before, but if you haven’t, let me explain. Pump and dump mean you must pump your breastmilk away and throw it away. The reason behind this is that when the laser hits your skin, it releases chemicals that can enter your bloodstream. And there is a high chance that these chemicals can transfer to your baby through breastmilk.
  • Keep the treated area covered: If the kid comes near to treated area and tries to suck or lick it, it can cause irritation and inflammation.
  • Drink lots of water: Maybe you see it as a cliché, but water has several benefits, especially for your skin. Drinking lots of water play a role as a flusher and helps to get rid of toxins from your body.

Conclusion

The outer self-image is essential, but it should never be a reason to risk your baby’s health. So, the bottom line is that laser is safe if you cover the areola with a cotton ball dipped in milk. Also, you must have a good grip on pre and post-operative measures to avoid any unfortunate event. But I suggest waiting for six months until the baby enters a safe zone( gets six months old) and can digest solid food.

Have you ever heard of someone getting laser hair removal while breastfeeding? How did it go? I will be happy to know the success stories and horror stories in the comments below.

Note: This post is for informational purposes only and does not, in any way, constitute medical advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long after giving birth can I get laser hair removal?

You can get any time, but the ideal time starts after breastfeeding. In simple words, the baby starts eating solid food after six months to one year post-partum.

Can you get laser hair removal armpits while breastfeeding?

The most common areas women get during breastfeeding are upper lip, chin, and sideburns. But if you want to get your armpits done, you can. Just ensure that the laser technician is well aware of your breastfeeding period.

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