Can You Get Botox When Pregnant or Breastfeeding?
Research indicates 92% of people who opt for cosmetic procedures like Botox are women. Consequently, questions like, “Can you get Botox while pregnant?” or “Is it safe to get Botox while breastfeeding?” come up frequently.
Before we explore the answer further, here’s a quick response:
The effects of Botox on an unborn or breastfed baby are not currently well-researched, so no one can definitively say whether it’s safe or unsafe. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s always best to check with your OB or pediatrician before getting Botox.
That said, we’ll get into more detail below to help you decide what’s right for you and your baby.
What Is Botox and How Does It Work?
Botox is a drug made from botulinum toxin A. As a cosmetic treatment, it helps address wrinkles and fine lines on your skin. As a medical treatment, Botox can be used for conditions like temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), which causes jaw inflammation and pain.
Although it affects the appearance of your skin, Botox doesn’t make changes to the skin itself. Instead, it temporarily weakens the muscles underneath, so they can no longer crease or wrinkle the skin they attach to so much. Once a doctor injects Botox into a particular area, the drug stays there and doesn’t spread to other parts of your body.
After you get Botox injections, your body slowly metabolizes the drug and clears it from your system. That process takes about three to four months, after which the effects wear off and your muscles can move freely again. At that time, if you want to refresh your results, your doctor might recommend another treatment.
Once you establish a routine of getting Botox regularly, the treated muscles will weaken over time, so you won’t need infections as often.
Can You Get Botox While Pregnant?
The FDA has classified Botox as a Category C drug. This means animal studies have shown possible adverse effects on the fetus, but researchers haven’t completed any studies with pregnant women.
The main concern with getting Botox while breastfeeding or pregnant is the possibility of the drug entering the mother’s bloodstream and affecting the baby’s health or development. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough research to conclusively say that Botox is either safe or unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Due to the possible risks, scientists likely won’t inject pregnant or lactating women with Botox, so this may never be a well-researched area.
However, if you’re still wondering if you can get Botox while pregnant, we highly recommend speaking with your doctor. They can provide personalized recommendations and weigh the risks against your current condition, medical history, and your baby’s health.
Can You Get Botox While Breastfeeding?
Similarly, scientists aren’t 100% sure whether it’s safe to get Botox while breastfeeding because there isn’t enough human research out there.
That said, more than likely, getting Botox while breastfeeding won’t harm your baby. According to a publication in the National Library of Medicine (NLM), botulinum toxin A is unlikely to transfer to your breast milk after you receive injections.
The basis is a study which documents a lactating woman suffering from botulinum poisoning. Though she breastfed her child throughout her ordeal, researchers found no detectable toxin in her breast milk or in her baby’s blood or stool. Since the typical cosmetic dosage of botulinum toxin A is much lower than the levels that cause botulism poisoning, the NLM publication suggests it’s unlikely a lower dose of the drug would cause adverse effects in breastfeeding infants.
Regardless, we still highly recommend speaking with your pediatrician before getting Botox while breastfeeding.
In Lubbock? Reach Out!
If you’re in the Lubbock area and interested in Botox for cosmetic or TMJ treatments, schedule a consultation with us. We’ll be happy to revisit this topic and answer any additional questions you have about getting Botox while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Dr. Cuthbertson is a physician at Ear Nose & Throat Associates of Lubbock. He joined the team at ENT Lubbock from Houston, where he was chief resident of the prestigious Bobby R. Alford Department of Otolaryngology at Baylor College of Medicine. He is board certified in Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery and has quickly built a reputation, not only as an extremely skilled surgeon, but as an approachable and compassionate clinician adept in the newest standards and technologies. Learn more about Dr. Cuthbertson.