Topical Numbing Cream Warnings For Pregnancy & Breast Feeding


Pregnancy is a time of uncertainty. That is why pregnant women often wonder if they can do a particular activity, eat or drink something, or even use topical creams. That is the time when they need to either call their GP or ask their care providers whether they are midwives or OBGYNs. The same goes for moms that are breastfeeding. Because whatever the mom consumes or puts on her body, whether she is pregnant or breastfeeding, it will pass onto the baby.

Pregnant moms worry about what they ingest or put on topically crossing into the bloodstream and passing through the placenta. Breastfeeding moms worry about the same thing as it would pass through the milk they feed their babies. That means the questionable substance either way would get to the baby.

One common thing that pregnant or breastfeeding moms worry about is if numbing cream is safe to use. What are the warnings they must know about when it comes to the use of topical numbing cream during pregnancy or lactation?

Is the Use Of Topical Numbing Cream Safe During Pregnancy?

Topical numbing cream contains lidocaine, a local anesthetic, and some types of numbing cream also have prilocaine, which is also a local anesthetic. There are numbing creams that contain both components as well. If you are suffering from hemorrhoids, for example, which often happens during the later stages of pregnancy, you will want numbing cream to numb the pain. However, is that a good idea?

Studies conducted on the use of both lidocaine and prilocaine topically fall under category B regarding pregnancy safety.

There was no evidence that either numbing cream component would cause miscarriages or fertility issues in men and women who used it before conception. There wasn’t a connection found between topical numbing cream and congenital disabilities either.

However, some studies concluded that pregnant women that used topical lidocaine during the later stages of pregnancy delivered newborns with low muscle tone. However, only the pregnant women that use copious amounts of the cream were at risk for that. Several incidents of pregnant women used topical creams with prilocaine in the later stages of pregnancy delivered newborns with methemoglobinemia. Methemoglobinemia is a condition characterized by the poor delivery of oxygen to the body’s cells from the blood.

There are reported occurrences of adults developing methemoglobinemia after using prilocaine as well. Therefore it is not advised for pregnant women to use topical numbing creams at all that contain prilocaine. If they must use numbing creams containing lidocaine, they must contact their care provider or GP before they do. What about if the mother plans to nurse the infant? Is it safe for her to use numbing cream then?

Is The Use Of Topical Numbing Cream Safe During Lactation?

When it comes to breastfeeding your infant and using topical numbing cream, it is essential to talk to your care provider first. Based on research conducted, small amounts of lidocaine can enter breastmilk. However, the particles are so minuscule that the baby would only absorb trace amounts; it would not cause any harm.

But, there are not enough conducted studies to determine how much the baby can absorb prilocaine through breastmilk. The bottom line is to contact the care provider or pediatrician before using any topical numbing cream if you are nursing your infant.

Are There Entirely Safe Topical Numbing Creams That Pregnant And Nursing Mothers Can Use?

The short answer to that question is, yes, there are. However, even then, you need to contact your care provider before using them as well. Some natural topical oils and creams help numb any pain that a pregnant or breastfeeding mom can experience.

Some midwives even tell their pregnant and breastfeeding patients to use frankincense oil for relieving joint pain and headaches. A drop of frankincense oil added to a teaspoon of carrier oil can help heal the pain. However, only use it topically.

The topical gel with the arnica herb can also help relieve pain, such as joint and muscle pain is safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Don’t forget about using cold compresses for numbing pain, which is entirely safe to do. You can put ice cubes wrapped in a towel or an ice pack against your pained area to relieve pain naturally.


Pregnant and lactating mothers are understandably worried about using topical numbing cream, and there are plenty of reasons that they will want to use it. Not only do pregnant mothers deal with pregnancy-related aches and pains, but both pregnant and lactating moms can experience incredibly painful hemorrhoids. The only thing that these mothers can do is contact their care providers or their infant’s pediatrician if they have given birth to ask about the safety of taking topical numbing creams.

These moms should not forget that there are safe and natural methods for numbing out the pain that does not involve questionable chemicals and additives. Even then, it is essential to seek out safety information.