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Botox During Breast Feeding – Safe or Selfish?

by Michele on April 12, 2012

Botox - Safe or SelfishTo date, the American Academy of Pediatrics has not tested the effects of Botox injections on mothers who are breastfeeding. In fact, the medical community classified Botox as a category C medication, meaning that it is a prescription drug with effects on newborns are presently unknown. However, because there is no real evidence to support that the substance can be found in the breast milk, physicians view the Botox treatment as a moderately safe procedure for new mothers. Still, since there are potentially undiscovered risks, the only circumstance when a doctor will prescribe Botox to a breastfeeding woman is when the benefits of the procedure outweigh the potential harms done to the infant. As every situation is different, it is recommended that you discuss your case with the doctor.

Process of Injecting Botox

At the same time, the procedures of injecting Botox to the mother are performed a bit differently. To put it simply, the physician handling the procedure takes special precautions to ensure the substance is injected directly into the muscle. As the possibly harmful toxin is unable to enter the circulatory system of the woman, it is highly improbable that it will appear in the breast milk. In addition, mothers are advised to avoid breastfeeding immediately after the intervention so that the possible remnants of Botox disperse.

Testing the effects of Botox on new mothers is rather difficult if you were to take into account the ethical implications of this aspect. Essentially, no mother will agree to endanger her infant for the sake of science. Nonetheless, several women (new mothers who had a Botox treatment) gave their consent for testing for Botox remnants in the bloodstream. The results indicated that a tiny amount of the toxin is present in the bloodstream for a few hours after the Botox has been injected. The conclusion of the research is that its presence in the bloodstream means that there is a chance of passing to breast milk as well.

Effects of Botox During Breast Feeding

The only more detailed research about the effects of Botox, pregnancy and breastfeeding comprise of the studies conducted on pregnant rodents and rabbits. In a nutshell, the aforementioned studies found a link between Botox injections and a worrisome birth weight and other fetal bone developmental issues. Even though the results are scary enough to convince anyone that the risks are not worth taking, the truth is that the amount of Botox injected into the animals was significantly higher than the one administered to a woman undergoing a cosmetic treatment.

This guide wants to point out that the effort of injecting Botox during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not advisable for two main reasons. First of all, in both situations (and especially during pregnancy) the woman tends to gain weight due to water retention. Therefore, the skin will start to puff out and noticeably diminish the fine lines. Secondly, even though not proven there are potential harms (for both you and baby) resulted from Botox, it is simply not worth risking, especially for cosmetic reasons. The only time when you should discuss the possibility of undergoing a Botox treatment is when you are experiencing severe headaches and migraines.

 Nelson Lossett is a cosmetic expert and specializes in botox treatment

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Xanna October 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Do the studies show how long it takes before the botox can no longer be detected in the blood stream? I ask because I have a medical condition where, if I don’t get Botox injections, it is hard for me to breath. I’ve been holding off getting an injection, but I’m reaching the point where I’m considering formula feeding my baby while I get my injection. I’m just trying to figure out how long to wait after before resuming breast feeding.

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Michele October 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Hi Xanna,
The research I’m finding is mixed. Some resources indicate that it’s very unlikely for botox to enter the bloodstream at all. Other resources I’ve found tell the reader that it remains in your system for three to six months – meaning that if you’re a regular user of the product, it’ll be in your system on a consistent basis. I would highly recommend having a conversation both with your baby’s pediatrician and your OBGYN or family doctor before making up your mind. An informed decision is always the best one :)

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Rebekah June 15, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Just a FYI – Botox is also used in medically necessary instances. It is an accepted treatment for chronic migraine, which if left untreated may result in a nonfunctioning mother. It can be a very difficult choice for a mother to make who wishes to breastfeed and be a functioning human.

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Millie Bream April 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I like the article. The message is presented vividly. Mothers needed to know the risks of having Botox while nursing their young, but the choice is really up to them. But for me, I’d like to ensure that my child is out of harm’s way at all times.

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Michele April 19, 2012 at 6:46 am

I’m with you, Millie. There’s no way I’d take a chance like that out of vanity.

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Pedro April 13, 2012 at 4:34 am

I can’t believe any new mother would think about botox while she is still breast feeding, but the article is really well focused!

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