Botox While Breastfeeding
If you are pregnant and will soon be breastfeeding or currently are breastfeeding, you may have questions regarding Botox. You may be a past injection user for cosmetic or medical reasons. You are probably asking yourself, can I get Botox while breastfeeding?
Below we will talk about a variety of subjects regarding Botox. We will cover the details of what Botox is, as well as its treatment uses. There will be information on its safety if you are breastfeeding, effect on breast milk supply, and potential risk and side effects.
A list of some great alternatives to Botox is at the end of this article. These are wonderful if you do not feel comfortable with the injections while you are breastfeeding.
What is Botox?
Botox is a drug used by doctors to treat mainly wrinkles and facial creases. Botox itself is the brand name of the toxin. The toxin is made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The toxin causes temporary prevention of muscle from moving. The same microbe that causes botulism produces the Botox toxin. Botulism is a type of food poisoning.
Botox is actually available in different formulations that are manufacturer-specific. These can include:
- onabotulinumtoxin A (Botox)
- abobotulinumtoxin A (Dysport)
- prabotulinumtoxin A (Jeuveau)
- rimabotulinumtoxin B (Myobloc)
- incobotulinumtoxin A (Xeomin)
Although there are other brands, Botox is the term you often hear to refer to all brands and the procedure itself. The use of the name commonly is due to the fact that it was the first injectable botulinum toxin available on the market.
What is Botox Used For (Types of Treatments)?
Doctors most commonly use Botox to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the face. Clinicians use Botox by diluting the powder into saline. It is then injected directly into neuromuscular tissue.
Botox can also help treat conditions like:
- Chronic migraines
- Severe underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- Cervical dystonia, which is a neurological disorder causing severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms
- Uncontrollable blinking, known as blepharospasm
- Overactive bladder
Read more information about the FDA-approved Botox uses here. Botox has proved to have many uses over the years, and they most likely will continue to discover more as studies continue to be done on the toxins uses. There are currently several uses of Botox that are not yet approved and are in the testing phases. Called off-label or unapproved, these include:
- dyshidrotic eczema
- post-herpetic neuralgia
- Raynaud’s disease
As you can see, there is an increasing number of conditions being treated by qualified physicians using Botox.
Botox and Breastfeeding
If you are a woman who received Botox before your pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is natural to wonder if you can have your injections done while you are breastfeeding. The injections are considered to be safe. There are some recommendations from some plastic surgery centers that administer the injections. The most common recommendation by physicians is for the mother to breastfeed before the injection. After the injection, you should wait a few hours before feeding your baby again. This precautionary measure can even further reduce the chance of passing the medication on to the baby.
Can I Get Botox While Breastfeeding?
There are few clear medical studies on if Botox toxins can spread through breast milk to a child. Because of this, many doctors recommend avoiding getting Botox while breastfeeding. The botulinum toxins are active in the body for six months or longer. Therefore, if you are nursing, you may want to avoid getting Botox injections, although no definitive data states it is unsafe.
As with many treatments that lack study data, the decision to use Botox may be best discussed with your physician. The company that manufactures Botox, Allergan Inc., says that breastfeeding women should talk to their doctor if they are considering Botox, as the complications remain unknown. Because this is the warning from the manufacturer itself, you may feel safest having a conversation with your doctor.
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Is Botox Safe While Breastfeeding?
Again, although no definite studies exist yet, it is thought to be safe to receive Botox while breastfeeding. A 2020 article in LactMed found that the drug is not detectable systemically after being used intramuscularly.
No detection would make excretion into breast milk considered unlikely. One infant who was breastfed during maternal botulism found that no toxin was detectable in either the mother’s milk or the infant. Because doses used medically are much lower than those causing botulism, amounts ingested by an infant are so small that they will not cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. The lack of adverse effects would mean that no special precautions are needed for mothers receiving injections.
I Got Botox While Breastfeeding – Can Botox Affect Breast Milk Supply?
The answer to this is similar to questions regarding the general safety of receiving Botox injections while breastfeeding. According to FDA, there is not enough information to say whether or not Botox can affect breast milk supply. There has not been adequate research to study the effects of Botox on breast milk. It is not known definitively if Botox passes into breast milk. There is a wide belief that it is unlikely that the amount of Botox used in cosmetic procedures can affect breast milk.
Botox Health Risks/Side Effects
Botox has been used for years and is generally considered safe. As with any procedure or injectable, there are potential risks and side effects. If side effects are a reason you are wondering can I get Botox while breastfeeding, you may want to consider these.
Botox health risks and side effects can include:
- Injection site pain, swelling, or bruising.
- Flu-like symptoms or headaches
- Cockeyed eyebrows or drooping eyelids
- Drooling or crooked smile
- Excessive tearing or eye dryness
- Muscle weakness
- Trouble swallowing or speaking
- Vision problems
- Breathing problems
- Bladder control loss
The best way to avoid the likelihood of any of these side effects is to make sure a qualified medical professional trained in Botox performs your injections. Avoid having injections done somewhere just because they are offering a deal or coupon. Make sure any injector knows the musculature of the face well. They should always discuss with you where they are injecting and why. If you ever feel uncomfortable for any reason, do not have the injections done.
Botox for Migraines While Breastfeeding
If you suffer from migraines and are questioning whether you can receive Botox while breastfeeding, the good news is that, yes, it is generally considered safe but, you must consult your doctor. If you suffer from chronic migraines of more than 15 days a month for at least three months, then your doctor may suggest Botox as a treatment option.
Migraines during pregnancy can affect other aspects of your life, like your sleep. Understandably, you would want to remedy them as quickly and effectively as possible. Studies have shown no increased risk of birth defects in babies when pregnant mothers received Botox for migraines. Because there has been a lack of evidence that Botox transfers to breast milk, it is considered safe.
Alternative Safe Fillers While Breastfeeding + Products
There are many alternatives to Botox while breastfeeding. Most dermal fillers do not really move through your body. Due to the lack of movement, they are considered safe to give to women who are breastfeeding. You may decide that during your time breastfeeding, you would like to go a more natural route. If you feel more comfortable going a natural route, there are many options. One of these may be right for you. Some great alternatives to Botox are:
- Facial Acupuncture – Small needles are inserted into the surface skin of the face. Studies on facial acupuncture show a significant improvement in skin elasticity.
- Frownies – These patches retrain muscles while you are sleeping. They can help eliminate some wrinkles.
- Gua Sha or Jade Rolling – Both are Chinese methods for reducing wrinkles and decreasing lymph and swelling in the face. These are performed with a roller or gua sha spoon you can purchase online or at beauty retailers.
- Resurfacing Peels – Combinations of AHA and BHA acids that are applied at home. The peels minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines, dark spots and improve skin texture.
Many of the above alternatives are helpful additions to your skincare and self-care routine to begin during breastfeeding and then continue afterward. Gua sha and jade rolling, as well as facial acupuncture, can be both relaxing and effective.
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We covered a lot of information above. Hopefully, much of this has helped you make an informed decision as to whether you would like to start or continue with your Botox injections. Answering the question, can I get Botox while breastfeeding, can be a tricky one. There is not a lot of data from studies to make a definite yes or no statement. Doing what is best for you and considering all options is always the safest bet. When making decisions regarding injectables, it is always best to speak to your doctor first. Your physician knows your health and your individual pregnancy first hand and is there to help you make the right choice for both you and your baby.