tanning while breastfeeding

If you are a nursing mother, it is reasonable to be hesitant about having any treatments that include radiation-emitting instruments. As a result, many moms are anxious about using tanning beds while breastfeeding, believing it would damage hurt their baby.

If you want that wonderful beach-like tan from a tanning bed but are concerned about the hazards to your infant, this article may alleviate your worries.

Continue reading to learn about the safety issues, potential side effects, and a word of caution before using tanning beds while nursing.

Tanning Beds

There is no evidence that tanning beds impact human milk for breastfed newborns. However, some moms have reported suffering burned nipples and breasts from tanning beds; this is highly painful, so cover your nipples and breasts and exercise care. If you are given vitamins or medications to help with the tanning process, consult with your doctor before using them.

Fake Tanning

When you’re nursing, you don’t have to forgo using tanning lotion or getting a spray tan. However, you must exercise caution while applying fake tan (or cosmetics) when your infant is around. You must verify that the fake tan is dry or has been washed off before having skin-to-skin contact to prevent accidently ‘tanning’ your baby.

DHA is the active component in most fake tans, while certain self-tanners use erythrulose. Both are non-toxic: neither chemical can penetrate past the outermost layer of your skin and hence cannot contaminate or damage your baby’s breast milk.

What to Consider Before Using a Tanning Bed?

Here are some things to consider if you’re set on using a tanning booth while nursing.


Tanning bed usage is associated with perspiration and skin dehydration. That’s why this may affect how much milk you make.

Self-Tanning Oils

Take caution while using tan oils, tan boosters, and similar products. These chemicals might be absorbed via the skin and found in breast milk.

If you are nursing, you may want to forego the tanning oil and instead use something like coconut oil.

Sensitive Nipple Area

While nursing, the nipples and breasts are very delicate, and it hurts to get a tan around the breasts and nipples. Breastfeeding may amplify the effects of burns, and you don’t want your infant sucking on scorched skin.

Protect your nipples by using a mask in the tanning booth. Wearing a bikini top is much better for protecting your full breast, and avoiding nude sunbathing while nursing is recommended.


Recent research has shown that some sunscreens may be absorbed via the skin and could be discovered in breast milk. Their potential harm to infants is currently being researched.

It would be best to use only a sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide while nursing.

Breastfeeding and Outdoor Tanning

Rather than using a tanning bed, you should go outside and soak up some rays. More generally, outdoor tanning and time spent in the sun have several positive health effects. To avoid sunburn, paying attention to the UV Index Forecast in your region is important. You should use sunscreen or cover up if you must go outdoors at any time when the UV Index is over 3.

Breastfeeding and Spray Tanning

The safest techniques to get a tan are likely to spray or sunless tanning. You aren’t putting your skin through the torture of the sun or the nearly inevitable dangers of a tanning bed. As opposed to tanning beds, spray tans have several advantages.

DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) is a chemical bronzing ingredient used in spray tanning. DHA causes the top layer of skin (dead skin cells) to change colour to a dark brown. The ultimate result is a tanned appearance without the harmful effects of ultraviolet light exposure associated with a “genuine” tan.

 Both mom and baby are safe to get spray tans. The infant will not absorb any DHA since it is not present in the baby’s skin or blood.

If you plan on getting a spray tan, you must use nipple protection to prevent the solution from getting on your nipples. While breastfeeding, you should take precautions to prevent your infant from accidentally ingesting any of the spray tan solutions. You don’t want your kid to accidentally consume any spray tan solution that could be in the area of your nipples. If you’re willing to take the risk, spray tanning is undoubtedly the safest method to use while nursing.

Tanning Sprays and Sunscreens

Spray tans are not a substitute for sunscreen while going outdoors, so keep that in mind. The sunscreen section recommends using zinc or titanium oxide, so look for those ingredients while shopping.

Summing Up: Breastfeeding and Tanning Beds

The safety of tanning during nursing depends on which method you will get the tan. Never put anything on your skin, including oils, lotions, or bronzers, that contains chemicals that might harm your child’s health. And make sure you and your infant only use sunscreens with a broad-spectrum zinc oxide composition.

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