The Important Reason why you should re-consider Botox while Breastfeeding

If you regularly get Botox and are now pregnant, you may be wondering whether it is alright to get Botox injection while you are breast feeding. It is good to consider the safety of every medication before you use it when you are breastfeeding as some medication can go through your breast milk to your baby. So can you get Botox while breastfeeding? Is there anything that breastfeeding women need to know before they get a Botox treatment? In order to answer these questions, let us first look at what Botox is.

What is Botox and what is it used for?

Botox is an injection used to even out wrinkles and crinkles in the face. It is the short form for botulinum toxin type A (BtA). Botox is a brand name for Clostridium botulinum, which is the bacterium used to make Botox. Thanks to the media, Botox is widely known for its use for facial skin in particular. 

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Botox is not just used to tighten facial skin or for other similar cosmetic purposes. Botox works for other non-cosmetic uses as well.  It may surprise you that other than ridding you of fine lines and wrinkles, Botox is used for a wide range of things from ocular disorders to gastrointestinal disorders to pain management to autonomic nervous system disorders. There are people who really struggle if they have to go without their regular dose of this chemical. For some, it is less of a choice and more of a necessity. Unfortunately though, Botox can create problems. 

Clostridium botulinum can, on the rare occasion, cause botulism. 

What is botulism?

Botulism is “a potentially lethal disease caused by one of seven homologous neurotoxic proteins usually produced by the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum.” It is a paralytic disease that usually occurs when food that has not been properly preserved is consumed. When affected, a person may go through anything from vomiting to diarrhea and other symptoms typical of food poisoning. However, neurological side effects could also be experienced. 

Does Botox go into your bloodstream?

Simple answer? We do not know. Yet.

What is known is that Botox is not supposed to be able to travel far from the location into which it is injected. However, the information on this does not seem entirely certain.

While statistics on botulinum poisoning from use of Botox are difficult to find, the symptoms have definitely been recognized. Botox users have shown signs of muscle weakness, double vision, loss of bladder control, drooping eyelids, and more. 

If Botox users can experience all these side effects, you might imagine that those quantities of the toxin, no matter how small, could potentially enter the bloodstream. It may not be enough to simply pump and dump after having a Botox treatment. Just to be safe, and since you cannot be sure, perhaps you could consider some alternatives to Botox instead. At least until after you have finished your breastfeeding journey. 

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5 Alternatives to Botox while breastfeeding

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  1. Catch all the winks. Of course, caring for a baby and breastfeeding, sleep might be a rare commodity for you. Take advantage of every bit of sleep that you can catch up on though. It will help to keep your skin looking fresh and give your skin an opportunity to rejuvenate itself naturally.
  2. Frownies. These facial patches are applied on wrinkles and fine lines overnight to even them out. You can purchase them by clicking here
  3. IPL. Intense Pulsed Light is another treatment used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by using strong beams of light at a high frequency. 
  4. Skin peels. Lactic, glycolic and malic acids all help to even out fine lines and wrinkles. Also try hyaluronic acids. 
  5. Stay hydrated. Just like you probably tell your children, water is very important. It maintains and can improve your skin’s elasticity.  

How soon can you get Botox after having a baby?

Really, just as soon as you are sure that you have finished breastfeeding, and under the advice of your doctor, it is safe to start getting Botox again.

READ: Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding for your baby

extended breastfeeding toddler on mummy's lap
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

In conclusion…

There is not much information out there on the effects of Botox on breastfeeding and breastmilk. However, it is generally recommended that breastfeeding women do not use Botox because there is uncertainty about how much OnabotulinumtoxinA  goes into the breastmilk. Your baby’s health is, of course, your primary concern.

You should speak with your healthcare professional if you would like to use Botox while breastfeeding.

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