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Is It Safe To Use Lidocaine Cream While Pregnant

Posted on June 06 2018

Lidocaine is a popular topical anesthetic or numbing agent, which is majorly used during tattooing, minor surgery, and other cosmetic procedures. Some common names for lidocaine are Emla, Lidoderm, Xylocaine, and AnaMantle.

Is It Safe To Use Lidocaine Cream While Pregnant

General Precautions for using lidocaine

The ingredient lidocaine has been placed in category B in the pregnancy, but as per certain reports, there are certain side effects on infants born to mothers who were found using this anesthetic during pregnancy. It occurs in women using excessive lidocaine. However, there are no side effects if it is used at a normal dose.

Lidocaine is able to quickly pass through the placenta to the growing baby. Therefore, doctors recommend to use it only for an established medical needs. Furthermore, it can be used as an epidural labor with no side effects.



According to one study, over 229,000 women out of which approximately 700 were exposed to lidocaine during pregnancy. There were no definitive negative side effects, pregnancy complications or birth defects associated with lidocaine use in those pregnant women. Likewise, other studies have also shown the same results.

Safe During Breastfeeding

If lidocaine is found in breast milk, there are no negative side effects associated with lidocaine use while breastfeeding. However, allergic reactions have occurred as per some studies. In case, your infant has shown allergic signs after breastfeeding, you immediately need to contact your pediatrician. 

 Numbing Cream Warnings For Pregnancy & Breast Feeding

It’s essential to acknowledge the fact that some of the ingredients used in numbing creams are medicines. Just like other medicines some are safe to be used during pregnancy while others are considered unsafe. Therefore, you need to consult your doctor before using the numbing cream during pregnancy. Some women might be allergic to the ingredients present in a numbing cream. So, a lab test by your trusted physician may give a clear idea whether using lidocaine or any other numbing agent is safe for you or not. 

No one wants to take a risk during pregnancy and make newborns suffer from the troublesome allergic reactions. Therefore, it’s best to look out for the following ingredients in a numbing cream, provided you are not allergic to any of these ingredients.

Ingredients To Look Out For

Lidocaine is an active ingredient in most of the numbing creams in concentration 5%. There are a very few studies on Benzocaine and Tetracaine, so we would suggest sticking to lidocaine. However, you need to speak with your doctor to discuss their medical history and any allergies that you might have.

In pregnancy: The used of lidocaine in pregnancy is recommended only if the benefit outweighs the risk. Early stages of pregnancy have the maximum organogenesis so it’s potentially the time with the highest risk. The major risk during this stage is of fetal toxicity that also increases the chances of changes in the central nervous system and cardiac functions in the fetus. Another risk associated with taking lidocaine could be a delayed labor that leads to lesser muscle strength in a newborn. According to animal studies, there is no shown evidence of fetal harm, however, there is no controlled data about human pregnancy.


A caution is recommended during breastfeeding. You need to completely avoid using numbing cream on the breast area when you’re in breastfeeding stage of your life. For other areas of the body, there is a small chance of lidocaine passing into the breast milk. In case, side effects are occurring in infants, it may be due to the allergic reaction due to lidocaine. It is best to consult your doctor before using this ingredient in your numbing cream.

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