Are Antiperspirants and Deodorants Safe During Pregnancy?

PregnantWhen you get pregnant you start to think about not only your health but also the health of your baby. This isn’t just a fend for yourself kind of life anymore and most people think about what is safe to use on their body.

The first things you are most likely to research is what you should and shouldn’t eat during your pregnancy, how much extra food is good for you and for your health, and what types of foods are the healthiest and the safest as well.

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But what about what we put on our bodies? Can those have an effect just the same? Can they be harmful if absorbed into the skin? One product that woman think could be a cause for concern is deodorant and antiperspirant.

They have a reputation (a false one) of being a factor in causing breast cancer. With those types of theories, one might also think that this is something that could affect a fetus as well. But what is the truth behind that?

Is there any substantial research to show that they can cause harm to your unborn baby and if so what are some other options to use when pregnant because feeling good and smelling good can be the boost in confidence that a woman needs when she is literally growing another human.

Are Antiperspirants and Deodorants Safe in General?

The basic answer to this is yes. There are no reliable and proven studies that show any of these products actually cause cancer.

The correlational studies show that there is a relationship between the location of breast cancer and the use of deodorants.

The issue with correlational studies is that they show only that there is a relationship between two things, not cause and effect and it doesn’t take into account other factors such as genetics, history of breast cancer or lumps, the diet of the individuals, other products that they use, etc.

These are things that can have a significant relationship with breast cancer as well, but again, it doesn’t prove causation.

There is no proof that is backed by science that shows that these products are going to cause cancer.

Can They Safely be Used During Pregnancy?

One thing that many know is that when you are pregnant, you are warmer than normal. You know that pregnancy glow? Many will say that this is because they are hot and sweaty.

Due to changes in hormones and for most, weight gain, and the baby growing and creating more heat,[1] many women will say they just sweat more and deodorant and antiperspirants are a necessity in order to stay dry and odor free.

There is a ton of controversy over the use of these products during pregnancy and it is focused on aluminum in antiperspirants, but they are not something to be worried about, again because there is no scientific evidence behind the claims.[2]

Aluminum, which is one of the most effective ingredients in antiperspirants to prevent excess sweating, is not something to be concerned about and is a hard ingredient to duplicate in a natural form.

Are there Ingredients to Be Concerned About?

Then again, not everything is perfect. One thing that you want to watch out for and that you’ll want to avoid are parabens.

Manufacturers are already aware that these can cause problems, and in an effort to maintain a safe product for everyone, they have removed parabens from their products.

If you are concerned about what is in your product, check the labels. This is something that you do want to stay away from so checking your regular brand can’t hurt.

Some additional ingredients that you may want to stay away from would be synthetic fragrances, PEG 20, propylene glycol, triclosan, and sodium benzoate.[3]

Also, you might want to consider switching to one that is not a spray so that you aren’t inhaling anything that is not necessary.

Why Do Women Switch Deodorants/Antiperspirants When Pregnant?

If you ask some of your friends they will say they switched when they got pregnant.

Most will offer the reason behind it, but you can find that a lot of people are switching because they need something more powerful.

Some switch to clinical strength version because they need more protection.

Other Options for You

If you are dead set on switching because you are concerned about the ingredients in your deodorant, there are some natural ways that you can look into.

This, however, is a personal choice and doesn’t have to be done, but the most important thing when pregnant is being comfortable with yourself and you have to do that, however, works for you.

  • They make wipes that you can use during the day to clear away the bacteria, which can cause odor. After cleaning up you can use baby powder/cornstarch/baking soda to absorb sweat.[4]
  • You could use a crystal deodorant stone instead of a regular antiperspirant or deodorant, which is not made of aluminum. You can try Milk of magnesia, which apparently controls body odor as well. You can also try lemon juice or alcohol rubbed under the armpits as well which can kill the bacteria (just don’t use either right after you have shaved, that wouldn’t be a good idea and could sting a bit).[5]

Final Thoughts

Antiperspirants and Deodorants are safe to use during pregnancy and shouldn’t be shunned.

Feeling confident during pregnancy is vital for a lot of women so that they can go about their day and also be okay with gaining literal baby weight.

If you do have any sort of reaction in your underarm area it’s quite possible that the hormones have affected you and caused a reaction (some women become allergic to foods that they never were before when they are pregnant).

But while there are articles out there that state using them will cause harm, there is again, no medical research that shows this to be the case. So smell fresh and use the deodorant while knowing that you are not causing any harm to your little one.


  1. The Open University: Study Session 7, Physiological Changes During Pregnancy. [Link]
  2. See Above #1
  3. Melissa Schweiger Annette Rubin. Are Deodorant and Antiperspirant Safe to Use During Pregnancy? [Link]
  4. See Above #1
  5. Meghan Slocum. Update on Using Milk of Magnesia as Deodorant [Link]
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